I am guessing that most people have different opinions or thoughts on what a bookmaker is. Just so you know, a bookmaker is someone who takes football bets then calculates those odds and pays out the winnings. So, examples of bookmakers are Unibet, Bet365, William Hill, ComeOn, Coral and BetVictor. All of these are online betting sites that people have to register their selves whenever they want to bet.
If there is a very big bet that may affect their profits, they do try to get rid of that risk by buying bets from others. The funniest thing that they all have in common is that at times they act as market makers and therefore making profits from events regardless of the outcome.
Bookmakers often get regulated by some states. Like in the United Kingdom, bookmakers are legal but the government regulates it. However, in some countries, they are illegal and thus it is against the law to practice them.
So how do bookmakers operate?
Take for example there is a match that will be played tomorrow. Let us take champions league between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as our perfect example. For Real Madrid to win, it will be given a certain odd. The odds for Real Madrid across all these bookmakers barely varies. Currently, Unibet has a £6 stake with a payoff of £4 on Madrid to win. William Hill bet is at £7 stake for £5 payoff on the same team. At the end of it, if someone bets with Unibet and places his/her stake on Madrid and this team win, he/she will get £10 with the inclusive of the stake. Similarly, he or she will get £12 when Madrid wins.
There is really no much big difference in these betting sites. However, the only difference is the amount of stake that has to be placed on a certain team for it to win, draw or lose. The latter means that the opponent will be the winner.
Bookmakers have several categories placing bets. There is a category for winning, losing or drawing. With this category, the results of the bet are determined after 90 minutes with no extra time to be played. So if Real Madrid was to win before 90 minutes elapsed but unfortunately both teams had to go for an extra time and then later on Madrid won, that will not be considered as a win but a draw since the time that was allocated for the stake only lasted for 90 minutes.
Another category that is there in these bookmakers is the one for a correct score. For example, Unibet’s odds for Arsenal’s correct score of 0-1 against Middleborough currently stands at 13/2. This means that people will place a stake of £13 with a payoff of £2. The one for Bet 365 currently stands at 7/1 with the same score line of 0-1 in favour of Arsenal. William Hill has an odds of 13/2 for the same team to win today.
There is this other category of scorers. Take for example Wednesday’s Champions league match between Barcelona and Juventus. The odds on Lionel Messi (Barca’s attacker) to be the first scorer are 11/4 on Bet365, while they are 29/10 on Unibet’s site and 3/1 on William Hill under the same category. Paulo Dybala (Juve’s centre forward) has an odd of 15/2 on bet365 to be the first player to score in that match. The same player has an odd of 17/2 on Unibet and 9/1 on William Hill, to be the first person to score.
Let us talk of a different category of handicap. What this means is that the team is either given one or two or three goals for it to win, draw or still loose. For example, in a match between Manchester United and Anderlecht, if Anderlecht has a handicap of 0-1, it means that meaning that Anderlecht has already been awarded a goal even before the kickoff. So, if Manchester United wins and someone had placed a stake of £33 in Unibet, he or she will get a payoff of £50. Sports William Hill offers an odd of 4/6 for Manchester United to win under the same circumstances as that of Unibet. On the other end, bet365 will pay someone £ 11for a stake of £8 placed on Man United to win at a handicap of 0-1.
The categories have not been exhausted yet. Bookmakers have a category of “both teams to score”. This means that if both teams score, there is an odd for that. There is also an odd for only one team scoring. Like in the case of Man United vs. Anderlecht, bookmaker bet365 has an odd of 6/5 for a “Yes” to both teams scoring and 8/13 for only one team to score or none at all. Unibet’s “both teams to score” category has an odd 32/25 for a “Yes” and 3/5 for a “No” on these two teams I have mentioned. While at the same time William Hill has an odd of 6/5 for both teams to score and 8/13 for one on none to score.
There are many other categories to talk of but let me just mention one more that I think it is also very important to talk of here. That is the “live score” category. What this means is that it bookmakers came up with an idea of betting while the game is ongoing. However, this category is only enabled when the matches have kicked off. Even then, at the beginning of the game, the odds for the teams are barely different from those of non-live matches. They only change accordingly as the 90-minute scheduled time elapses. That is when you will find a team like say Real Madrid having an awkward odd of 11/1 for it to progress to the next level in Champions League, depending on the outcome of the results as by that time.
Now that you have understood how bookmakers operate, what is your next move?