Know that odds at the track tell you amount of profit you will make per dollar spent. Odds of 3-5 indicate that your profit will be three-fifths of a dollar. In other words, for every $5 you bet you can win $3 in profit. To determine profit, multiply the amount you bet by the fraction. If I spend $15, then my profit for winning is $9 (15 x 3/5). Sports Betting Odds Explained Online sports betting offers gamblers access to thousands of internet sportsbooks worldwide. Our guide will help you learn how to calculate sports betting odds in different formats and compare them against each other, and improve your gambling with our sports odds calculator. Betting odds, especially for novice bettors and for those that are new to sports betting, can be difficult to grasp. There are several types of betting odds that are offered to players, but they all have one common theme – they reflect the probability of an outcome in a sporting event.

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  1. Explain Betting Odds
  2. How Do You Read Odds For Betting

Odds on betting – Explained

Learning how to understand betting odds and read them correctly is the first thing you must do if you wish to bet online or offline.

The principle of betting odds is to tell you, the ‘punter’, how likely it is that an event or outcome will happen. This includes telling you how much you can win for a desired stake amount.

No bookmaker can predict the future, that is why all events’ odds are based on probability. Odds are important because you can’t bet without them.

The Basics

Placing a bet is the method of predicting what the outcome of a sporting event will be.
Bookmakers display odds on what the probability is of the event outcome, e.g. win, lose, draw.
2 simple forms of understanding probability are the roll of a dice and a coin toss. Choosing a number on a dice is a one in six chance that it will happen and choosing the side of a coin is a one in two chance.
In betting, this outcome ‘chance’ is displayed as odds.
Odds are most commonly displayed in one of two ways; fractional or decimal.

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Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are displayed as numbers separated by a forward slash, e.g. 5/1.
When a bookmaker tells you the odds based on the above they will say ‘five to one’.
These odds are just mathematics showing the probability of the event outcome and how much you will get back if you predict the outcome correctly.

The number on the left of the forward slash is the amount you receive if your bet wins.
The number on the right is the amount you bet to receive the amount on the left.
For example; 5/1 will give you 5 units back for every 1 unit you bet, in addition to getting your stake back.
So if you bet £1 at 5/1, you will receive £5 + £1 stake back if successful, giving a total of £6.

Other examples are:
8/1 – You will receive 8 units back for every 1 unit you bet + your stake.
7/2 – You will receive 7 units back for every 2 units you bet + your stake.
6/4 – You will receive 6 units back for every 4 units you bet + your stake.
If the number on the left is higher than the number on the right, it means that it is less likely to occur.
However, in fractional odds, the number on the left is not always greater than the number on the right.
If the left number is less than the right, it is known as ‘odds on’, meaning the event prediction has a good chance to happen.
For example; 1/2 means that for every 2 units you bet, you will get 1 unit back.
In addition, often bookmakers display odds as ‘Evens’, which is the same as 1/1 and will give you one unit back for one unit you bet.
Shorter odds (e.g. 1/2) mean less return than 2/1, but also mean that the event outcome is more likely to happen.

Explanation Of Betting Odds

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are exactly what it sounds like – odds of the event, displayed as a decimal number, e.g. 4.00.
To calculate how much you can win using decimal odds, multiply the odds by your bet amount.
For example; odds of 4.00 x £1 (or currency equivalent) equals £4 return. £3 win plus £1 stake.
Decimal odds automatically factor in your stake amount to the price, which is the main difference from fractional odds.
Decimal odds of 4.00 is the same as 3/1.

Examples of decimal odds:
5.50 – You will receive 5.50 multiplied by your stake, e.g. 5.50 x £1 = £5.50 return.
1.70 – You will receive 1.70 multiplied by your stake, e.g. 1.70 x £1 = £1.70 return.
All examples are done in the simplest of forms using 1 currency unit stake. However, you can easily use the same calculation for any stake amount, such as:
If your stake is £5.50, and you multiply this by odds of 4.70, your return will be £25.85.

Betting Favourites

Almost every betting market has a favourite when it comes to outcome.
This means that it is most likely to win over the other participants, be it horse racing, greyhounds or tennis etc.
Favourites are usually the shortest odds out of all potential winners. In horse racing, the favourite is represented by F. Sometimes the 2nd favourite or even joint favourite is also displayed, which are represented by 2F and JF.

Fractional Vs Decimal

When it comes to choosing how you want to display odds, there is no right or wrong answer.
It is purely down to the preference of the person placing the bet.
Many online bookmakers provide automatic odds selection so that you can select how you want the odds displayed.
Fractional odds are more old-school and used to dominate every type of betting market. However, in 2018 we are seeing the continuous rise of decimal odds for sports betting as they are generally easier to work out and calculate. In addition, people prefer decimals on sports betting exchanges as they can clearly see when odds change by only a slight margin.

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  • Betting odds tell you how likely an event is to happen
  • They also tell you how much money you will win
  • However, at first, they may seem confusing and complex
  • Our comprehensive guide takes you step-by-step to explain them

If you’re new to betting, one of the first things you should do is learn how betting odds work. It’s critically important because it allows you to understand how likely an event is to happen, and what your potential winnings will be. At first, it may appear confusing, however, read our guide and let us explain it to you.

In gambling, odds represent the ratio between the amounts staked by parties to a wager or bet. Thus, odds of 3 to 1 mean the first party (the bookmaker) stakes three times the amount staked by the second party (the bettor).

What is Probability?

The most basic level, betting provides you with the ability to predict the outcome of a certain event, and if your prediction is correct, you will win money. For any given event, there are a certain number of outcomes. Take rolling a dice for instance. If someone rolls a dice, there are six possible outcomes. Therefore, if you bet that the person rolls a ‘one’, there is a 16.67% chance that will happen. What betting odds merely do is present how likely the event is to happen. Bookies most frequently in the UK do this as a fraction, i.e. 4/7, whilst the vast majority also offer the ability to view them as decimals. Again, let us talk you through them. All will become clear.

Using Betting Odds to Calculate Probability

Whenever you see two numbers separated by a trailing slash, i.e. 10/1, this is known as fractional odds. From this, you can calculate how likely a given event is to happen with a calculation. For ease of explanation, let’s replace the numbers with letters i.e. 4/1 becomes A/B. Here is the calculation: Probability (%) = B / (A+B).

  • 9/1 can be calculated as 1 / (9 + 1) = 0.10– There is a 10% chance that the event will happen.
  • 4/1 can be calculated as 1 / (4 + 1) = 0.20 – There is a 20% chance that the event will happen.
  • 1/1 can be calculated as 1 / (1 + 1) = 0.50 – There is a 50% chance that the event will happen.
  • 1/4 can be calculated as 4 / (4 + 1) = 0.80 – There is a 80% chance that the event will happen.

Hooray! We’re making progress. Given a fraction, we can now tell how likely (the probability) what we’re going to bet on will happen. Now let’s figure out how much money can be won using betting odds.

Using Betting Odds to Calculate Winnings

Betting odds allow you to calculate how much money you will win if you make a bet. Let’s use the same examples as before, with the same replacement of numbers for letters, i.e. 4/1 becomes A/B. Quite simply, for every value of B that you bet, you will win A, plus the return of your stake.

  • 9/1 for every £1 you bet, you will win £9.
  • 4/1 for every £1 you bet, you will win £4.
  • 1/1 for every £1 you bet, you will win £1.
  • 1/4 for every £4 you bet, you will win £1.

What About Decimals?

Decimals are far more common on exchanges, such as Betfair, but all leading betting sites do give you the option to view betting odds in this format. They are an alternative to seeing betting odds in the fraction format, and in our opinion, are easier to work out. Here is the calculation: winnings = (odds * stake) – stake. Let’s illustrate it with some examples

  • 9.0 can be calculated as (9.0 * £10 stake) – £10 stake = £80 winnings.
  • 4.0 can be calculated as (4.0 * £10 stake) – £10 stake = £30 winnings.
  • 2.5 can be calculated as (2.5 * £10 stake) – £10 stake = £15 winnings.
  • 1.25 can be calculated as (1.25 * £10 stake) – £10 stake =£2.50 winnings.

You can use our bet calculator to help you calculate winnings.
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Decimal Odds Versus Fractional Odds

In truth, one isn’t better than the other but there is certainly a trend emerging towards decimal odds. Historically fractional odds were used in the UK, especially on racetracks and on the high street. There are two key differences. Generally, decimal odds are easier to understand. Based on this, there has a movement to attract more people to horse racing by making it more accessible to the average punter. Ten years ago, if you were going to Cheltenham, all the odds would be displayed as fractional odds. Now, they’re largely all in decimals. Don’t hesitate to check out our exclusive Premier League Betting Offers !

The second difference between the formats is that fractional odds only represent winnings, and do not include the returned stake compared to decimals which do include the stake. The transition from fractional odds to decimals largely kicked off with the growing popularity of the betting exchanges such Betfair. For odds to change slightly, it’s really difficult to marginally increase or decrease the probability without creating large fractions which are hard to compute for the punter.

Use Our Tool to Convert Betting Odds Into Your Favourite Format

Explain Betting Odds

Our odds converter toolwill allow you see odds in whatever format you like . Not only that, but it’ll tell you how likely the selection is to win!

In Summary

Betting odds represent the probability of an event to happen and therefore enable you to work out how much money you will win if your bet wins. As an example, with odds of 4/1, for every £1 you bet, you will win £4. There is a 20% chance of this happening, calculated by 1 / (4 + 1) = 0.20.

Next steps

That’s it! Hopefully, that clears up betting odds. You should now have the knowledge to read betting odds, understand how likely it is to happen, and how much you stand to win.

How Do You Read Odds For Betting

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