Vigorish, also known as the “Vig” or “juice”, is the commission that sportsbooks charge for placing bets with them. It comes from an old Yiddish word “vyigrysh”, which means winnings.

For example, let’s say the Boston Red Sox are playing the New York Yankees in New York and the odds are:

Boston Red Sox (BOS) +135
New York Yankees (NYY) -145

Those wishing to bet on the Yankees (favourite) will have to risk $145 to win $100, while those wanting to wager on the Red Sox (underdog) will risk $100 to win $135. The difference between the $145 and $135 is the vig.

In baseball, the sportsbooks often only make money when the favourites lose. Let me explain. Using the above example, the sportsbook collects $145 for NYY and $100 for BOS for a total of $245. If NYY wins, the book pays out $245 leaving no profit. However, if BOS wins, the sportsbook only pays out $235 leaving a $10 vigorish profit.

Learn why it's important to calculate the Vig as a percentage.

The commission or vigorish charged on your bets depends on the sportsbook that you use. Pinnacle Sportsbook revolutionized the sports betting industry in late 1999 when they introduced "reduced juice" betting odds. The industry thought Pinnacle was crazy when they began offering -105 odds all of the time.

However, Pinnacle understood that the cost of doing business online was a fraction of what it takes to run a Las Vegas sportsbook. They took a no nonsense approach to sports betting and passed the savings on to the sports bettor.

Unfortunately in Dec of 2006 Pinnacle Sportsbook pulled out of the US market. No longer can US citizens enjoy the benefits of reduced sports betting.

5Dimes Sports is an excellent choice if you are looking for a safe and reputable book that offers dime lines, quality service, and the most extensive selections of betting odds & wager types in the industry. Considered a “sharp” and a "loose line" book, it is a must if you want to find solid lines on both favorites and underdogs. It is available to citizens living in the United States.

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