# THE MATH BEHIND JUICE

Juice. Vigorish. Take. Cut. Vig. The Rake. These are all terms used for the percentage the house takes from a bet, with that tax representing the primary reason why bookmaking is a profitable business.

Vegas shines bright in the desert because of the juice that gaming operators attach to every type of bet -- from football games to horse races to the roulette wheel. However, most bettors don’t understand the concept of juice, which represents part of the explanation why the majority of bettors are not profitable long term.

The math behind juice is simple, and critical for all bettors to understand.

Consider a football game with the Patriots as

0 3.5-point favorite over the Chiefs. Whether bettors want to wager on Patriots -3.5 or Chiefs 3.5, the bet will rarely be offered at even money -- and never on both sides (the 3.5 and -3.5). In most cases, oddsmakers will offer each side at -110.

What this means is a bet that is theoretically even in probability (ex. a coin flip) is offered at -110, meaning bettors have to spend \$110 to win \$100.

That \$10 on the \$100 bet is the “juice,” with

bookies essentially taking a little over 9% on

each transaction

(or 10 / 110).

From a bookmaking perspective, the theory is that if they run a perfectly balanced book offering a vig of 9%, they will make a profit of 9%.

For bettors, this means they have to win at more than 50% on what are essentially even-money propositions to be profitable bettors.

The higher the juice, the higher the break-even win rate becomes:

5888 Bettors taking juice of -105 need to win 51.2% of their bets to profit long term

5889 Bettors taking juice of -110 need to win 52.4% of their bets to profit long term

5890 Bettors taking juice of -120 need to win

54.6% of their bets to profit long term

5891 Bettors taking juice of -130 need to win

56.5% of their bets to profit long term

Betting without accounting for the juice can be the difference between winning and losing. Smart bettors understand that value derives not only from the number of the spread but the vigorish being taken by the bookmaker.

Using the earlier example, taking the Chiefs 3.5 at -110 may have value, but taking the same team and same number at -130 has less value -- and perhaps no value at all.

Bookmakers go in with an advantage over bettors in every market. It is an advantage, though, that can be overcome. Unlike casino games -- where the rake is constant in every market -- sports bettors and horse bettors can beat the house. One of the first steps to doing so is by being aware of the juice the bookmakers take and knowing you have to win more to succeed in the long run.

back to news

## FREE Email Sign-Up

View All
• ### Peterson: Best bet for BYU vs. Utah

The the next chapter in the BYU vs Utah rivalry will be written on Saturday, as both teams enter undefeated. BYU Cougars (-1, 137) at Utah...
• ### Andrews: Inside the betting action for NFL Week 12

It’s going to be a very interesting NFL weekend for market watchers because the schedule is packed with competitive matchups.  Bad teams...
• ### Youmans: Four Week 13 CFB bets I like

Two years after winning a national championship, LSU coach Ed Orgeron is headed for the unemployment line. His job is not done, however, and how he goes...
• ### Week 12 NFL Betting Trends

Week 12 is upon us and starts with a lot of action early thanks to three Thursday games. With the Cardinals and Chiefs on bye weeks, that leaves us with...
• ### Five Week 13 NFL games sharps have already bet

NFL favorites posted their first winning week in over a month in Week 11, eking out an 8-7 ATS showing. Underdogs still lead on the season with an impressive...
• ### The Ron Flatter Racing Pod: KDFW overlay is no turkey

This week’s episode of the Ron Flatter Racing Pod features analysis of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager with Horse Racing Nation and Derby Wars CEO...
• ### Our favorite Week 13 college football bets

The final week of the regular season has arrived. Week 13 is Rivalry Week and there are a ton of compelling games as a result. Not to mention, all of...
• ### Week 12 NFL best bets: Picks, odds for every game

We've got a lot of close lines and what looks like a lot of competitive games, at least based on the spreads, for Sunday's NFL action. There are...
• ### NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 11/26

Welcome to the daily NBA betting market report, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout...
• ### Friday CFB Sharp Report

Happy Friday! The Thanksgiving Holiday continues today with 16 College Football games, kicking off at noon and taking us throughout the night....
• ### Tuley's Takes Today: Thursday recaps, updated weekend football picks (11/26)

We hope all our readers had as great of a Thanksgiving as we had in the Tuley’s Takes home office. It wasn’t the most profitable day...
• ### Jeff Siegel's Best Bets for Friday (11-26-21)

Del Mar Race 1:  Post:  12:30 PT 1-Whooping Jay (7/2) Never worse than second in four career starts over the Del Mar grass course, classy...

## Free Trial

Make a risk-free bet on VSiN!

## VSiN+ FREE TRIAL

• Afternoon subscriber-only email with highlights and best bets from the day's programs
• Point Spread Weekly, VSiN's digital magazine on sports betting
• 24-7 Live video stream of VSiN programs plus replays
• Any special sport-specified betting guides we do
• All exclusive subscriber-only stories and data on VSiN.com
Close