Why Most Bookmakers Don’t Set the Odds Themselves

Today’s gambling industry has always been a subject to countless stereotypical myths and falsehoods. And some are far too damning to believe or even imagine that they are true. On the streets, it is a popular belief that bookies actually set the odds themselves.

Yet, that isn’t anywhere near the truth. No bookmaker has the right to set the odds. In fact, the contrary to this rife and downright damning allegation is true: gamblers are the ones who have the last say!

There’s no truth in the statement that the odds are decided by betting providers. Bettors all over the world decide the odds, and bookies are only left to make them available for betting on. How this happens is quite fascinating.

How Betting Odds are decided Upon – How they are Determined

The fact that the entire world of bookmakers is huge and diversified doesn’t mean these players never sing a single song in unison. First, their unity stems from the technology they run and manage their odds on.

As for the odds and how they are generated, the onus goes back to the gambler. Odds essentially are a product of supply and demand from punters. Bookies apply the original equilibrium price ideology to set the market price.

Bookies use different strategies on their trades, but this doesn’t alter the truth about how gamers decide the odds. The only thing that brings the all-too-important checks and balances is simply how they employ different strategies to readjust the odds and establish a competitive edge.

What Role Do Odd Compilers Have?

After they’ve analyzed the market and decided how certain markets behave, bookmakers use their own teams of odds compilers. These cliques use their extreme knowledge and particular types of software to determine and publish the final odds.

Odd compilers ideally play a critical role in determining the odds to be staked on. And part of their skills is to ensure that they are as reasonable and beneficial to both parties as possible. Essentially, they consider four key aspects highlighted below:

  •     Their independent outlook
  •     Profit margin
  •     Prevailing betting habits
  •     Competitor’s odds and lines

Prices somehow arise from the “wisdom of the crowd.” But within the millions of gamblers are professionals with massive successes as well as those who only gamble for fun – recreational gamblers.

And so, after carefully analyzing a match based on the above factors, the compilers must still remain cognizant of the modern-day sports bettor’s price sensitivity. And the trick here is to offer the most competitive odds in the market.

Odd analyzers, thereafter, respond to the market by constantly adjusting the odds and lines. Basically, these individuals can’t do all the odd analysis, publish them online, and sit and watch. They have to keep adjusting them until the game is no longer available for betting.

How Bookmakers Calculate Odds and Set Prices

Now that they don’t set the odds, bookies must ensure that the odds convert margins into odds and balance the book so that whoever wins still guarantees them a profit. Basically, the underlying idea isn’t exclusive to the probabilities of an outcome alone.

And the secret is deep beneath how they calculate odds and set prices. They will set prices in a format that limits variance and still guarantee them a profit regardless of a game’s outcome. Calculations are a balance of their major profit-making endeavor and their need to appear the most competitive bookie.

It is a long and quite elaborate procedure, often left to their best odd compilers and odd calculation software. Essentially, lots of factors come into consideration, all tweaked to favor the gambling company more.

“The Brave Ones”

This refers to those bookies that often are the first to publish their odds. As much as the odds are decided by betting providers, ‘the brave ones’ mostly prefer to publish first and attract more bettors.

Odds published earlier aren’t necessarily beneficial to either party. The brevity can easily hurt the betting company, particularly if the odds are unusually higher and can return little or no profits. It can alternatively eat away the stake of those who bet ahead of the final odds updated.

The only gamers who benefit from these early bets are those who take their time to analyze and detect any badly placed quotas worth risking on. Their focus mostly is on those markets that offer a greater chance of a windfall.

Remember, Bookies are in Business!

Betting providers know that they cannot decide the odds. But knowing that they can influence the numbers to favor their profit margins, they simply do so surreptitiously. And one simple way of doing so is by waiting until when the market is reasonably formed and bettors are eagerly waiting to bet.

They wait until when several bookmakers have offered their prices so that they use the existing odds to set theirs. And much as they will be seeking to look competitive and attract more wagers, these bookmakers will also be looking to manage their risk books and make a decent profit.

So, why do bookmakers rely on bettors to set the odds?

It is important to note that the reason why betting companies do not decide odds is that the betting habit and the general views are held by the bettors themselves. And the bookies are only there to benefit from it.

Punters naturally have a minimal chance to strike riches off gambling. And betting companies know that they are the eventual winners in the long run.

See, bookmakers cannot alter every market to give them a profit. But they ensure that they minimize risks of losing funds to clients and closing business, even in the most obvious of all circumstances.

Thankfully, professional gamblers and those that can win massive payouts per each betting round are few. Betting companies survive off the many recreational bettors who see no problem winning at least once in a while.

If you are a sports gambler or perhaps frequent an online betting company amid the ongoing pandemic, it is better to understand that you form part of those who decide the odds. But you should also understand that the bookies use the same odds to win against you, even when you win!



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