Definition of Bookie
A bookie is the individual or organization that accepts wagers on sporting events and other proceedings based on odds that the bookie posts. In some cases, the odds are negotiable, but this is rarely the case with modern bookies.
Bookies are also known as bookmakers, sportsbooks, the house, backers, risk-takers, shills and speculators.
Usually, one places a bet with a bookie by giving him the entire amount of the wager. If the bet loses, no further action is required. If the bet wins, the bettor goes back to the bookie and collects his bet and winnings minus the vig.
In popular culture, we tend to associate bookmakers with sports, especially horseracing. But bookies take bets on a wide array of events, including political elections, the Oscars and BAFTA, high-profile day of births, and so on.
Many gambling novices tend to look at a wager with a bookie as a bet against the bookie: me versus him. But it doesn’t work that way. Bookies want to avoid risk. They do that by balancing the action on both sides of the bet.
If the action is ‘A’ versus ‘B,’ you bet $100 on ‘A’ and another person wagers $100 on ‘B,’ then the bookie has no risk. Instead, he makes his profit, called the vig or the take, as a percentage, generally 4.5%, of the winnings.