Vig Meaning Explained: What is Vig in Online Gambling?

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Published: May 21, 2024

In online gambling, vig is the house edge that an online betting site applies to its betting lines. As a punter, there are multiple reasons that it is useful to gain an understanding on what exactly this is and how it applies to your wagers.

This guide aims to explain vig’s meaning and how to process it while perusing the betting lines at an online sportsbook. We will delve into the typical vig imposed by most sports esports betting sites and pinpoint chances to encounter a lower vig rate on specific games. Keep reading to delve deeper into the world of vig betting.

vig meaning explained

What is Vig?

If you’re wondering what vig is, it’s short for vigorish and is commonly referred to as juice by esports betting guides. It is incorporated by all online sportsbooks into their betting lines. The vig meaning is to cover their operational costs and generate profits.

The concept of vigorish parallels the house edge found in casino games like roulette, blackjack, or video slots.

When an online sportsbook doesn’t apply any vigorish, it will offer +100 odds on both teams to cover the spread. This would allow the bettors to double their money in a successful bet. But the sportsbook needs help to earn a margin of profit and be viable.

Thus, most sportsbooks require a bet of $110 to get a $100 gain. This extra $10 is the sports betting vig. Therefore, even if you win half your bets, you will have a net loss, but intelligent bet selection is the key to making profits over the long term.

Types of Vig in Online Betting

Now that the meaning of vig is clear, let’s proceed to the types that exist. Some bettors meticulously analyse the vigorish imposed on sides and totals, yet it remains a critical consideration across all available bet types. Below are some of the primary wagering options along with the corresponding vig charged on them.

Total/Point Spread

A standard vig on spreads and total bets is 4.77%. The most popular odds are -110 on both sides of a bet, or close to that. If a sportsbook applies a margin higher than the standard, it would be better to look elsewhere as your chances for a profit clearly reduce. At times, some sportsbooks may have the house edge reduced and this is clearly a much more attractive time to place a bet.

Alternate Lines

Lines alternate from the traditional point spread or total points line. You can choose a line that is easier to understand but with a smaller potential gain or a more difficult line that provides a bigger potential payoff.


The force used to moneylines often changes from one game to another. Money line betting requires bettors to compare odds and look for an acceptable margin of profit as they significantly differ from one online betting site to another.

Three-Way Moneylines

In sporting events where a draw is an option, you will come across a three-way moneyline. The method for calculating the vig remains consistent: calculate the inferred probability of each outcome, add them together, and subtract 100.


The vig that sportsbooks put on prop bets is usually higher than on spreads, totals, and money lines. In the given example, the sports betting vig on these player props is around 6.95%, which implies that the success rate has to be high for bets to be profitable. With this, it’s wise to use props sparingly. Further, it is essential to carefully look for the best odds and lines on a prop, as they could vary among different sportsbooks.


Parlay bets usually have a high house edge. The larger the number of selections added to the parlay, the higher the house edge, with the vig compounding within the bet. Thus, sportsbooks on parlays earn a much higher margin in comparison to straight bets, so these bets should be used with caution.

How is Vig Calculated?

It requires more than simply knowing the meaning of vig – in order to become an all-round bettor, you need to know what vig is in gambling and how to calculate it.

To work out the vigorish, you must calculate the implied probability of each side of the bet winning. Subsequently, both implied probabilities were added together, and 100 was subtracted to determine the vig.

When the odds start with a minus sign (-), you can utilize the following formula to determine the implied probability:

If they begin with a play, you can use this formula,

Odds of -110 correspond to an implied probability of approximately 52.4%, calculated using that formula. If a sportsbook provides -110 odds on both sides of a bet, the calculation would be 52.4 + 52.4 – 100 = 4.8. It indicates that the vig is 4.8%, or more precisely, 4.77%.

However, the manual calculation is unnecessary. You can conveniently utilise a free vig sports betting calculator online, which swiftly provides you with the margin a sportsbook is taking. By entering the odds on both sides of the bet, the calculator promptly presents you with the house edge. A lower house edge indicates a more favourable situation.

The Impact of Vig on Bettors

When you know what a vig is in gambling, you will be aware that is has a significant impact on bettors. Below are a few things to keep in mind:

Strategies to Minimise the Impact of Vig

When it comes to reducing the impact of vig on your sports betting adventure, consider the strategies below.

Claiming as many bonuses and promos as possible and bankroll management can effectively reduce the sports betting vigorish, enhancing your long-term profit potential. While odds boosts can be advantageous, it’s crucial to utilize them selectively, focusing on betting markets that appeal to you rather than succumbing to the temptation of wild parlays with slim chances of success.

Finally, always keep in mind that responsible gambling principles should always apply to your betting activity – never spend more than you can afford to lose.

Can You Beat Vig?

Given that every sports betting site will have vigorish in some form – that is in vig’s definition and how they make their money – the best way to beat them and land a profit is by comparing the odds to find one that has a smaller house edge, and then betting on events that you are more confident about. Again, research here is key.

Vig Meaning Conclusion

This page has delved into what vig is in gambling, as well as providing you with a straightforward definition of vig to help you on your way to understanding how it impacts your betting experience.

The vigorish on futures bets tends to be higher in comparison to standard bets. While the total implied probability on a moneyline bet typically ranges between 105% and 110%, futures sports bets can have an overground that occasionally extends up to 140%. However, the upside is that futures often feature high odds and offer substantial potential payouts. This market isn’t where you should seek value; rather, it’s best understood as a high-risk, high-reward wager.

Ben Boland

Since: November 27, 2023

Ben Boland is an editor at EsportsBets and a massive fan of EA Sports FC. Ben has worked in the iGaming industry since 2016, holding various content positions. With a background in journalism and a sports journalism degree from Leeds Trinity University, Ben brings extensive experience to our team.

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