How Do Betting Odds Work?
So firstly, you will need to understand what a betting odd is and how it works. Typically, betting odds are there to allow you to work out potentially what you could win on a bet, as well as allowing bookmakers to understand the potential profit they would make.
At the simplest level, the odds will be the ratio between the stakes placed by both parties in the bet. For example, if you have a bet that is odds of 3 to 1, then that indicate the first party who is normally the bookmaker, states three times the amount that is wagered by the second party, who is typically the punter.
Once you understand this, you will be able to start working out what you could potentially win on a bet, and whether the bet itself is going to be good value. While a lot of odds can feel very complicated, once you get the hang of reading them you will see that they are actually quite simple to work out.
How To Read Odds
Now you know how betting odds work, you need to know how to read them to ensure you are getting a good deal on your bet. Again, this is usually easier than it looks.
Usually, it’s very quick and simple to work out what the odds are on a certain bet. If the site you are using uses fractional odds, then the number on the left of the equation shows you how much you can win if you wager the number on the right.
For example, let’s take that 3 to 1 bet again. Fractionally, that will be written out as 3/1. In this case, If you were too bet 1 EUR on this bet, you would then get 3 EUR back if you won the bet. Once you know this, reading those odds is actually very simple.
It is also worth knowing that if the first number in fractional odds like this is smaller than the second number, then that means the selection is odds on. If the odds are the other way around, then the selection is odds against. This is worth knowing, as bet that are odds on show that there is a clear favourite to win. As such, it can be quite difficult to maximize your winnings from a bet on this selection. However, if you place a bet on an odds against selection, you could get a good return on it. Of course, this is all down to chance and who wins, so even if you place a potentially safe bet you may not get a return on it.
Types Of Betting Odds
This shows you how fractional odds work on betting sites, but this isn’t always how odds are displayed. You will see several different types of odds given, depending on the site and the preferences of those who make them. The good news here is they are again quite easy to read, so you can work out your odds no matter how they are presented to you.
Decimal odds: Decimal odds are another popular way after describing the odds on a bet. You most likely see them on exchanges, but on many betting sites you will see the option to have the odds displayed this way. Many actually prefer them, because they feel they are easier to decipher.
When decimal odds are used, they all display your stake and the profit you would get from a 1 EUR wager. For example, if you had odds of 3.0, then you can potentially make a 2 EUR profit from a 1 EUR stake. In fractional terms, that would be 2/1 odds.
As such, you can see why so many people do prefer to read their odds this way. They have become more popular than fractional odds in recent years, as it as made betting more accessible to the average punter. If you are new to betting, then if you find it easier to understand decimal odds, then you can take advantage of that. You will even see big race courses now display their odds in decimal rather than fractional format, to ensure that everybody can get involved.
Another reason people do prefer decimal odds, is because they actually include the returned stake in the odds, unlike fractional odds. That again makes it easier for a lot of people to calculate exactly what they’re return would be.
Also, fractional odds are quite difficult to really describe how the odds have increased or decreased, without having to create large fractions. This can more easily be done with decimal odds, making it easier for the average punter to calculate the odds for themselves.
American odds: As well as fractional and decimal, you can also find American odds. As the name suggests, these are more typically used in America, but are being used online more and more. These are displayed as a triple digit number, and will typically have a plus or minus next to them.
The whole system is based on using 100 EUR to describe the odds. So, if you see a bet that has -200 odds, that means that you will need to wager 200 EUR to win a 100 EUR profit on the bet. If you see a plus symbol next to the odds, that shows you how much you can win by betting 100 EUR. In this case, with odds of +200, you can make a 100 EUR bet and potentially win 200 EUR in profit.
These are the most commonly used odds that you will see on modern betting sites right now. On most sites, you will see that they offer you the option to switch between several different types of odds. If they don’t though, it’s very easy to find odds conversion tables, so you can quickly work out what the value of that of that bet is.
Converting odds manually: If you would rather convert the manually, then it’s fairly simple to do so. It’s also a good idea to try, as it helps you more fully understand that the odds being offered to you.
For example, if you are looking to convert decimal odds to fractional odds it’s very easy. All you need to do is take one away from the decimal. So in the case of a 4.00 bet, you’d be left with 3.00. When you are left with a whole number or only zeros after the decimal point, you can then put that number over one to get a fractional number. In this case it would then be 3/1.
If your odds are not whole numbers when you take away one, then you will need to multiply until you get a whole number. For example, 5.5 minus 1 is 4.5. In this case, you will need to multiply 4.5 by 2, to get 9.
Once you have a whole number, the number you need to multiply the number by to get it goes under the fraction, while the new whole number goes over it. In this instance, it would become 9/2.
How To Calculate Winnings Using Odds
It’s important to know how to understand odds, as they will help you understand how much you could potentially win if you made that bet. If you are using fractional odds, it’s very simple to work this out. Most odds will be laid out in an A/B format. In these cases, for every value of B that you bet, you will win A, as well as the return of your stake. So as an example, with a 9/1 bet, with ever 1 EUR you bet, you will win 9 EUR.
What about if you are using decimal odds? It’s again quite simple to work this out. Whatever the odds are, all you have to do is subtract one, and then multiply the number by the stake you made. So for example, if you have 4.00 odds, you take away 1 and get 3.00. If you wager 1 EUR on that bet, you’ll get a profit of 3 EUR.
With American odds, you will need to do one of two simple formulas to work out your profits. This will depend whether they have a plus in front of them or a minus. If you are betting on minus odds, then you will divide your stake by the odds and multiply by 100. If you are betting on plus odds, then you’ll simply multiply your stake by the odds and divide that number by 100.
Understanding implied probability: When checking out odds on any bet, it’s a good idea to understand the implied probability of them. This means the likelihood of something happening. When bookmakers make bets, they will have their predictions of what will happen during a match or event. This will be reflected in the odds they offer you.
As a punter, you can find real value in your bets by placing a bet on something you think is likely to happen, but the bookmaker does not. You can do that by understanding the implied probability in the odds you are being offered. There are formulas you can use to understand implied probability, so you can try and get the most value out of your bets.
If you are using fractional odds, the formula goes as follows: bottom number / (top number + bottom number) x 100 = implied probability.
For example, if you have odds of ½, then the formula would look as follows: 1 + 2 = 3. 1/3 = 0.66. 0.66 x 100 = 66%. In this case, your implied probability is 66%.
With decimal odds, this is even easier. The formula will go like so: (1/decimal odds) x 100 = implied probability. So as an example, with 4.00 odds it would work like so: 1 / 4.00 = 0.25. 0.25 x 100 = 25, so your implied probability is 25%.
Horse Racing Odds
If you are interested in horse racing betting specifically, then you will need to understand how odds work when it comes to this sport. Again, once you have the hang of it it will not be hard at all.
You will usually see the odds displayed as either fractional or decimal, so you will already know how these odds work. In horse racing, there is typically going to be one favourite to win. You will be able to see which one that is as they have the shortest odds. You will also see an F listed next to their odds, so if you are new to horse racing betting, you can see at a glance who is the favourite.
It’s worth keeping in mind that some betting sites are better for horse racing than others. If this sport is your main interest when it comes to betting, it’s a very good idea to pick a betting site that is specifically made for it. These typically have more involved guides on how to bet, and make their odds very clear when it comes to horses.
This has been an overview of how betting odds work, and how you can understand them as a new punter. Once you get the hang of them, they are very easy to understand and use to work out your potential profits.