How betting houses work

Understanding how bookmakers or betting houses work, whatever type they are, is essential to be able to make the right decisions when it comes to betting, but also to choose the options that best suit us, whether in terms of odds, promotions, betting methods and types of bets, among others. Below, we explain everything you need to know about how bookmakers work, their business model and earnings, etc. Read on for more information! 

What is a bookmaker?

The first thing to be clear about, first of all, is what exactly a bookmaker is and what we can do in them. Although it is a basic concept, it can sometimes cause confusion. A bookmaker is an online platform (there are also physical establishments) where it is possible to place bets on different sports competitions. Bookmakers work with different odds (these vary from one bookmaker to another) that determine the percentage of probability that a team or player has of winning and, therefore, the profit you can get in case of winning the bet. The advantage of online bookmakers is that they allow you to play from the comfort of your home, without leaving home, but also anywhere else, with the applications available for smartphones.

How sports bookmakers work

Now that you know what a sports betting is, let's take a detailed look at how it works by answering some of the most frequent doubts among its users. 


Types of sports betting odds in bookmakers

Sports bookmakers use special odds to estimate the probability of an event happening. These odds can be of various types, depending on how they are expressed. In general, it is something that depends on each region. We see it! 

  • Decimal odds for betting: Also known as European odds. These odds are expressed with a whole number and a decimal and their value is multiplied by the amount bet in case of winning. 
  • Fractional odds for betting: These are typical in the United Kingdom. Bets, in this case, are split between the net winnings and the amount wagered. For example 6/4, which means that for €4 bet you would win another €6.
  • American odds for bets: They depend on whether they are higher or lower. The former are expressed with the "+" symbol and the value, plus for every 100 € bet you will get the benefit of the quota. The lower ones are expressed with the minus symbol "-" and the value. In this case, you must bet the value of the odds to get a profit of 100 € (they work the other way around).

Types of sports bets

Sports bets, on the other hand, can be of many types. The choice of one or the other depends on each player and, obviously, the odds can vary from one to another. Of course, the lower the chances of winning, the higher the profit - as the risk increases. Among the most popular types of sports bets that we can find in most bookmakers are the single bets, the combined or multiple bets and the personalized bets. One way to give more entertainment to the bets is with the handicap, an option that you can find in several of the bets -regardless of the type they are-. You can learn more about this modality in this article. Live betting is also very attractive.

Bookmakers' business model

All right, we have already seen what we can win and how, but we still need to know what the bookmakers' business is. Obviously, bookmakers also make a profit for offering the service, since it is a completely legal business model. This is what is known as commissions. The bookmaker always gets a small amount of the money that is wagered, even if there is a win by a bettor. This amount that is kept serves, in some cases, to establish a system of rewards and more attractive offers for players.

Offers and strategies to attract bookmakers' customers

As mentioned above, bookmakers use a system of prizes, bonuses and rewards in order to attract players' attention. This is the case, for example, of welcome bonuses. The latter can be of many types and vary from country to country, depending on the laws and regulations. Most commonly, the welcome bonus allows a certain amount of free bets to be placed. Other welcome promotions consist in returning the money wagered for the first time if the requirements imposed by the bookmaker are met -these vary considerably from one bookmaker to another-. In addition to welcome bonuses, there are also many other offers and promotions aimed at building loyalty among regular players.

How to choose a good bookmaker

As mentioned above, there are many different bookmakers. Our recommendation is that when choosing a bookmaker you should take into account the following aspects:

  • Reliability: Choose a bookmaker that operates within the regulations of each country. 
  • Variety: Another of the most important aspects is that they offer a variable betting offer for different events and sports competitions.
  • Live betting: Live betting has one of the best odds in the market, which will allow you to obtain a higher profit. Of course, pay attention to the dynamics, as well as the constant change of this modality, which are the ones that set the pace.
  • Odds: Look at the value of the odds and choose the bookmaker with the most attractive odds for you as a player.

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