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Understanding Betting Odds

by Fractions
Updated: 22/05/2019 06:00

If you are new to betting and don’t understand the odds, it is crucial you read this guide. Yes, you can use a “Bet calculator” to work out your returns, but you need to know how to see value in a bet. It is also critical in working out the probability of an event occurring.

In this guide, we will explain the three most popular odds formats. Fractions, Decimals, American and the probability of it occurring.

You will be able to compare odds across different betting sites no matter the format to find the best value.

How do I Understand the Betting Odds?

In brief, betting odds represent the probability of an event to happen. You use the odds to know how much you will win if the bet is successful. As an example, 2/1 odds mean for every £1 you stake, you will win £2.

Betting Odds as Fractions

Fractional odds are most common in the UK, most bookies now offer a few different formats but if there is only fractional, it’s easy to understand.

The easiest way to learn is by looking at the odds like this: How much you will win/how much you stake (2/1)

So for every £1, you stake, you will win £2. Simple as that. (2/1)

8/1 = Every £1 you stake, you will win £8

1/10 = Every £10 you stake, you will win £1

1/3 = Every £3 you stake, you will win £1

1/1 = Every £1 you stake, you will £1

This is not including your stake though, just the profit from the bet. For the total amount add your stake.

Betting Odds as Decimals

Decimals are becoming a lot more popular with most bookies having them as an option. They are an alternative to fractions and can be easier to work out.

They represent the potential returns of the bet including the stake.

Simply multiply the amount you wish to bet by the decimal odds offered.

So (odds x stake = returns – stake = profit)

For example 3.50 x £10 = £35 – £10 = £25 profit

Betting Odds as American

American odds, also known as Moneyline odds are in shown in a positive or negative number. A positive number shows how much you might profit if you bet £100.

A negative number shows what you must bet to make £100 profit. The positive number shows the underdog and the negative shows the favourite.

This format will not be used by many UK punters but it is an option in many sportsbooks so it’s good to know.

Now it’s important to know that you do not need to bet £100, the odds work on whatever stake you place.

American Odds: Russia (-275) vs Saudi Arabia (+900) stake £100

To work out the favourite you can do 100/275×100=£36.36 profit with your £100 stake

To work out the underdog you can do 900×100/100=£900 profit with your £100 stake

Working Out the Odds as a Percentage

Bear in mind that the odds actually reflect the chance of a said event happening. It is important to know how to change it to a percentage to decide if there is any value in the bet.

The easiest way is using the decimal odds. Quite simply divide 100 by the decimal odds and you have the %.

Examples:

100/1.40 = 71%

100/2.00 = 50%

100/3.50 = 28%

As you can see the lower the decimal the higher the percentage and vice versa.

Steven has been following football and darts since he was very young. He has a passion for enhancing sporting events through betting for long-term, sustainable profit.

Discussion

  1. Tom 07/01/2019 08:53

    I only ever used fractions as they are so common in England, but the decimals make so much more sense after reading this!

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