Starting a bookie business sounds tempting and it seems so simple when you first think about it, all you have to do is get your first clients which usually are your close friends, initially with just a few clients and a little capital, a simple system to keep track of your lines and bets, you are set, maybe you focus on just one sport to keep things simple.

If you are doing things right, your clients will demand more, you’ll be making a good profit and you’ll want to grow, you start working harder, perhaps hire additional help, after all, there’s always something to gamble on.

The problem with this plan is that soon enough you’ll find yourself in one of two situations, your business will be doing great but you’ll be going crazy, overworked and at the limit of your capacity to a point where you are even getting sloppy; or, you will manage to do OK by keeping a small operation, limiting your clients considerably in the options you offer them and they start taking their money elsewhere.

What Happens Now? What are your Options?

Getting the adequate technology and hiring additional help seems like the logical step if you want to grow your business, but this requires a large investment, you must take your business offshore, setting up an online sportsbook involves a lot of different aspects, and there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get enough clients to support such a complex operation, after all, there is a lot of competition in this industry today.

There is, however, a smarter way to go about continuing to offer your services while having the capacity to grow and offer your clients a great service. We are talking about the pay per head service.

What is a Pay Per Head (PPH) Service and How Does it Work?

Simple, a PPH service will enable you to offer your clients the service of a first-class sportsbook, while maintaining control of your business and paying just a small fee for each of your active clients.

A complete and professional pay per head solution such as will be able to provide complete software for your clients to place their bets online, easy reports for both you and your clients, additional features such as digital and live casino; but this is not all, customer support and experienced line managers are also part of the service, as well as a customized website that works across all platforms, and a toll-free number.

Using a PPH company is a great and smart choice, but, be careful about choosing the right company for your needs. Do your homework, test their system and their operation in all aspects, remember, that you are trusting your clients to this new service with the purpose of continuing to grow your business; the last thing you need is a mediocre service that will make you lose clients and move backward instead of forward.

In my experience, is one of the most reliable pay per head solutions, they have been around for a long time and their reputation is impeccable; but, don’t take my word for it, take the free 6-week trial and see for yourself, this is the best option to start and/or grow your bookie business.

7 Must-Have Skills for Bookmakers to Ensure Success

In 2020, Americans bet over $6.8 billion on the NFL’s Big Game. Yes, Americans love to bet on sports.

If you’re thinking about getting a piece of that gambling pie, you’re not alone. Sports betting bookies these days can make a nice income. Making money in this hustle isn’t only about taking bets.

You need a skill-set to be successful. What are these skills?

Read on to learn about the seven bookie sports betting skills you need for long-term success.

1. Market Knowledge

At -110 odds, a sports bettor needs to win 52.4% of their bets to break even over the long term. The good news? Most players won’t hit that number and lose money.

You hold the advantage as a bookie. The bad news? You never know who among your players is a sharp or a whale.

A player with superior knowledge can come along and clean you out in no time if you’re not paying attention. To make money as a bookie, make sure you’re more knowledgeable than your players.

Your market knowledge is your edge. Given how much sports news and information is available, how do you keep that edge? You’re going to have to hustle.

What is a Betting Market?

A market is an open exchange of economic transactions. When you offer bets on a sportsbook, you’re offering a betting market. These markets are divided among the different sports.

Think of your sportsbook as one big market divided into smaller markets. When it comes to football, you have the NFL, NCAA, CFL, and Australian Rules.

You offer bets for players to buy in each market. Say Alabama plays LSU, and you set Alabama as -7.5 favorites. A player who places a bet on either side is a buyer.

How Do You Gain Market Knowledge?

Most sports bettors love sports. They gamble as a hobby. You, on the other hand, have to eat and breathe sports. Work is the key to keeping your knowledge edge.

Work means watching games, reading the latest news, and exploring statistical metrics. There’s no bookie formula for sports betting to shortcut the amount of work you need to do to gain this knowledge.

2. Setting the Vig

The vig, otherwise known as the juice, is the amount of money you keep on a bookie sporting bet. It’s included in the odds price and is best compared to a service charge. 

How does this work?

Let’s say you offer that spread bet on Alabama vs. LSU. You have Alabama favored at -7.5. Spread bets have odds associated with them, the standard being -110.

If a bettor places $100 on Alabama -7.5, -110 and wins, they receive their original $100 plus their winnings of $90.91. Should another bettor take LSU +7.5, -110 for $100 and lose, you keep that $100.

You make a profit of $9.09. This fee is the primary way bookie sports betting services make money.

3. The Art of Balancing

To make a profit off the vig, you must keep your bets even. That means you need an equal amount of bets on each side of your bet offer. If ten people win on Alabama, you make the most vig profit if ten others lose on LSU.

There are two primary ways to keep your book balanced.

Book Balancing Through Line Movement

The top bookies sports betting today know setting a market is not about predicting who wins and by how much. Market setting is about finding the number that encourages play on both sides of the bet.

The more play you get on both sides, the more juice you receive. Bookies have an advantage. The lines you release can move, and you can move them to keep your book balanced as much as possible.

Let’s use the Alabama vs. LSU example again. With your superior knowledge, you decide to offer Alabama at -7.5/-110. You release the number on Sunday. 

You notice the overwhelming majority of the big, early money comes in on Alabama. That’s a problem. Your players see something you might not.

If Alabama covers that 7.5, you stand to lose a large amount of money. You need to play on LSU, and you get that play by moving the spread number.

The early money came in on Alabama at -7.5. To discourage continued Alabama play and encourage LSU play, you move the number to -8. If more bets come in, you move the number to -8.5.

Bookies adjust the number to continuously encourage even play on both sides.

Adjusting the Vig

Line movement works, but it isn’t the only balancing principle. You can also adjust the vig to balance your books.

The standard juice on spread bets is -110. You released the Alabama vs. LSU number on Sunday. By Friday, the spread sits at -8.5 Alabama. The majority of the money is still played on the Alabama side.

What do you do? You could move the number up to -10, but that could create an imbalance favoring LSU. You’d still lose money.

To get play on the LSU side, you can adjust the vig odds.

An adjusted vig looks something like Alabama -8.5/-120. LSU +8.5/-105. This adjustment entices bettors to take LSU, as their side has a higher payout.

Doing this means you won’t profit as much from the vig, but it helps ensure you still make money. 

4. Business Acumen

The bookie business might seem fun, but it’s still a business. To make money, you have to know how to manage the money coming in and going out.

Your goal is to make as much money as possible. You make money by attracting players. For every sharp, there are hundreds of squares ready to part with their hard-earned cash.

You need a plan to reinvest your profits and grow your business. A restaurant won’t turn a long-term profit by serving the same 20 guests. Your sportsbook won’t make money with the same 20 players.

5. Math Skills

Sports gambling is a numbers game. Gamblers win money by buying and selling numbers they value. You can’t make money by betting heavy favorites.

It’s a game of skill combined with luck. Bookies and players can’t control what happens on the field during a game. You can only control what you think will happen.

Understanding probability is a needed bookie skill. How do bookies express probability? It’s a simple formula.

For negative odds: odds number/(odds number+100) X 100.

For positive odds: 100/(odds number+100) X 100.

Let’s use the Alabama vs. LSU example. You have Alabama at -8.5/-120.

Using these formulas, the implied probability of Alabama winning by more than 8.5 points is 54.54%. LSU’s implied probability is 51.22%.

Why doesn’t the probability of both sides over 100%? It’s because your vig is cooked into those odds numbers. You include the vig to make sure you’re profitable.

6. Risk Management

You want to win players, but you are not a charity. Covering your profits is the name of the game.

Risk management is how you do that, and you manage your level of risk by setting limits. There are two types of limits you can place on players.

Hard Limits

A hard limit means you do not accept bets over a certain amount in any market. You can place limits at any amount. The limit you choose depends on how much money you can payout. 

Limits mean a sharp can’t come along and place a $10,000 bet and wipe you clean before you’ve been in business for a month.

Progressive Limits

Most experienced gamblers will tell you that the best time to buy a bet is when the lines are first released. These initial offerings tend to be where the numbers favor the gambler.

Betting markets stabilize as the games grow closer. You’ve moved your numbers and balanced your book. Your lines should be super tight by gameday.

As your lines stabilize, you’re willing to open your book up to more risk. Progressive limits grow as the game approaches and the betting lines tighten.

7. Gambling Skills

Bookies and players both handicap games. Bookies and players also make bets. Players place their bets with you to try and win money.

A bookie sporting bet is placed in a layoff account. Layoff accounts help bookies offset any potential losses and increase profit.

The most common method of laying off involves you placing a bet with another bookie. This bet reflects the action you see in your book.

If you see heavy action coming in on Alabama, you lay off by placing a bet on Alabama.

You also devote your life to handicapping games and determining probabilities. Why wouldn’t you use that research to earn even more money on the side?

Software for Sports Bookies

It’s never been easier to run a sportsbook. AcePerHead’s pay-per-head software offers sports betting bookies a line service. It also offers money management tools and instant risk assessment.

You receive these features for the low price of $10 per player. Signing up and getting started is a matter of minutes.

Are you ready to start your sports betting business? Do you have the necessary skills? Sign up with AcePerHead today and start taking bets!