Sharp vs Soft Bookmakers: What’s The Difference?

With the continuous development of software technologies and reliance on mobile devices, consumers and businesses are transitioning to the virtual world to conduct their day-to-day activities or business operations. Such convenience has also enabled the bookmaking landscape to evolve. 

Numerous sportsbooks are offering online soccer betting in Singapore and other betting markets. This abundance in sports betting platforms has allowed professional and casual bettors alike to wager on their preferred sports anywhere and at any time. 

But before partaking in football betting in Malaysia, bettors must know more about online sportsbooks and ensure they select the right one for their betting journey – as not all of them are the same. It is crucial to check the sports betting platform’s offered betting markets, user interface, legality, and bonusesand promotions. 

Accordingly, they also need to determine if it is a soft or a sharp bookmaker. Each kind of sportsbook provides certain advantages for specific types of bettors. Generally, sharp bookmakers are advantageous for professional gamblers who make money from their gambling activities; meanwhile, soft bookmakers are ideal for square or casual bettors who want to boost their betting experience. 

So how does a sharp bookmaker differ from a soft bookmaker? 

The two differ in various aspects: target market, business model, betting odds, betting limits, and marketing efforts. Essentially, sharp bookmakers are targeted at sharp or seasoned gamblers, and soft bookmakers are aimed at casual or recreational bettors.  

Sharp bookmakers have much higher odds than their counterparts, as they model their businesses on low margins – meaning taking only a smaller margin on the odds of the games. On the other hand, soft bookies model their business on higher margins, often taking five to ten per cent on the game’s odds. Since they take a much higher percentage on the odds, the betting odds do not accurately reflectthe probability of an event happening. 

The two types of sportsbooks also have different betting limits. Sharp sportsbooks allow higher betting limits and rarely restrict or ban platform users. In contrast, soft bookies only feature a low max betting limit; hence, they limit or ban betting account users more quickly, mainly if they deem such bettors a significant risk to their business. 

For more information about the differences between sharp and soft bookmakers, see this infographic from 88ProAsia.