Betting margins are an important factor when choosing an online bookie. They reveal how much money the site makes from each bet, and so an operator with lower margins generally offers better odds.

Betting margins are the differences between the odds offered by a given bookmaker and the odds that it would take to win a bet. All bookmakers have them, but they vary.

People need to know more about a given iGaming operator to make sure they’re choosing the right one. This information will help them choose a better operator with better odds.

What is a Margin Bet?

A margin bet is when you wager on the winning margin in a given match. The bookmaker determines this because it breaks the number of possible outcomes down into points, making it easier to determine how much of an advantage or disadvantage you have. For most people, they have access to two types of margins:

  • Broad points rage
  • Narrow points range

Let’s say you want to bet on a basketball match between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. As a favourite, the latter has a higher chance of winning than its rival. This is why bookies allow users to place a margin bet by choosing several other variations, depending on the potential points difference.

The Boston Celtics will win this game by a 3-6 point advantage, leading by 7-9 points, and more. Bookmakers allow you to bet on a 20+ point difference in the margin, which means that there will be at least a 20+ point difference between the two teams.

How to Calculate Your Margins

If you’re a new gambler, following a couple of steps is all you need to calculate the betting margin in your chosen market. However, they are easy and can be easily understood by first time bettors, so we’ve listed them below.

Margin Calculations on Two-Way Markets

You’ll need to use a formula when betting on margin of victory for two-way options, like cricket and tennis. For example:

The odds are multiplied by 100 to get the betting margin.

Roger Federer (1.5) and Nick Kyrgious (2.3) faced off in a tennis match recently. Using the formula above, we can compute their skills as follows:

(1/1.5)*100 + (1/2.3)*100 = 66.6 + 43.4 = 110 = 10%

Calculate Margin on a Three-Way Market

To calculate the betting margin in a three-way market, you can use the same formula explained above. However, to account for the possibility of a draw, you add it to your equation as follows:

The odds for home, away and draw are equal to 1/3, 1/2 and 1/1 respectively. Add these numbers together to get the betting margin.

Although people can use the three-way betting markets on multiple sports, football is the most popular one. So here are some examples of random events between Real Madrid and Barcelona from the past two seasons (Real Madrid 2.2 home, 3.5 X; Barcelona 2.8 away, 3.5 Y).

(1/2.2) x 100 + (1/3.5) x 100 + (1/2.8) x 100 = 45.4 + 28.5 + 35.7 = 109.6 = 9.6% margin in betting.

Margins and commission

Although standard betting options are often used by punters, some players prefer to use exchanges. The reason for this is that they have to add their commission to the equation. Accordingly, you have to use the following equation:

1 + ((1 – (the commission/100)) x (the odds – 1)) = your total odds.

To choose an exchange that will give you the best odds on a tennis match between Roger Federer (4.2) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (1.3), you need to know the expected values associated with each player:

Federer scored 1.14 points per game through the first round. (1 – (2/100)) * (4.2 – 1) = 4.14

The following is an approximation for Tsitsipas’ kill percentage: 1 + ((1- (2/100)) * (1.3 – 1)).

We now know this information, so we’ll use it as follows:

Adding together (1/4.14) and (1/1.29) gives 24.15 + 77.52 = 101.67, which is greater than 1% margin of error.

Betting Margin Calculation

If you’re curious about the odds before you bet, but don’t want to use a formula, there’s an alternative. Nowadays, you can access a margin calculator that will do all the maths for you. Add your bet and check your margins in seconds.


What is a Fair Market?

Bookmakers often offer lower margins on their odds. This is because they want to encourage players to predict their bets, making them more likely to win.

What is Considered a High Margin?

Not everyone thinks the same about high margins, but most people are accustomed to thinking that 20% is a high margin. Some bettors, however, think 10% is also a high margin.

What is a Tri Bet?

Tri Bet is a specific market that allows you to bet on three different options. For example, if you choose Team 1, you can wager on it winning by 20 or less points; or if you choose Team 2, you can wager on it winning by 20 or less points; or if you choose either side to win by 19 points or less than that.

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