New to betting? No problem, since BetandSlots can guide you through this fun and entertaining activity. The first thing a new player in gambling needs to know before placing a wager, whether he wants to place a bet on a retail store, or online, is how bet odds work, not only in sports betting. Since you can understand it, you will be able to calculate the chances of each outcome is and your potential winnings as well. All you need is some simple maths in order to win.
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What are betting odds?
In order to offer any real money bet, bookmakers are checking the chances of each possible outcome and offer specific odds. These betting odds come in various forms and types. You will find them as decimals (for example 1,55), as fractions (3/1) or written with a plus or minus in front of a number (+200, or -150) which are called as American odds or money line.
Depending on the sport or the betting market, there are multiple possible outcomes for each event. The simplest football bet for example is to predict if the match winner is the home or away team, or if it will be a draw (1X2). Bookies offer specific odds on each of the three possible outcomes. And the player can place a bet on a home win (1), on the draw (X) or on an away win (2). These odds are based on the probability of each outcome according to the specific Bookmaker.
As you will find out, bookies offer odds and bets on almost everything, not only sports but politics, TV shows, music and movie contests etc. Besides presenting the chances of each bet, odds help the punters to calculate their potential winnings. Let’s give an example. You want to bet on a football match. You think that the home team will win, and the bookmaker of your selection gives you a 1.60 odd on the home win. If you want to calculate your total profit, you have to multiply the bet made by the odds.
A successful bet on the home win multiplies the stake by 1.60. With a stake of 100 euros, this results in 160 euros and thus a net profit of 60 euros.
How bet odds work and how to read them?
As explained betting odds indicate the probability and the chances of an outcome whether come in a fractional, or decimal, or as American odds. Also, sportsbook odds show us the possible winning amount, if we placed our money bet on the right outcome. But, lets start learning and understanding how to read betting odds.
Decimal odds are pretty simple regarding our profit calculation. They tell us straight forward our potential winning amount including our betting stake. All we have to do is multiply our stake by the given odds. For example a $10 on Team A to win at 3.00 will return $30 if we successfully predicted an underdog to win. From those $30, our initial stake was $10, so our net profit is $30-$10= $20.
Here are some other examples:
- 11.00: $10 bet will return $110 (including our stake)
- 3.50: $5 bet would return $17.5
- 1.40: $20 bet would return $28.
Fractional odds show the potential winnings in relation to the stake. The first number, the one on the left-hand side is the potential profit if we wager is the second number, the one on the right-hand side. For example, a $10 bet on Team A to win at 2/1 will return $30 if it is successful. Of this amount $20 is our profit and the remaining $10 is our initial stake. Here are some other examples:
- 10/1: $10 profit for every $1 staked.
- 7/2: $7 profit for every $2 staked.
- 3/11: $3 profit for every $11 staked.
When the right number is bigger than the left number on a fractional odd, the bet is called odds-on. When the left number is bigger than the right one, the bet is called odds-against. 1/1 odds are also called evens and the equivalent of 1/1 odds in a decimal is 2.00.
In order to understand American odds, or moneyline are some examples. American odds show the potential winnings from a bet. For example Team A +150, Team B -180.
If moneyline odds have a plus sign, it means it is the underdog. A successful bet on Team A means the punder will earn $150 for every $100 he bet. A bet on A winning bet on Team B on the other side, which odds have a minus meaning they are the favourites, will give the bettor $100 for every $180 staked.
Betting odds and probabilities
Sportsbooks use probabilities to set odds. In the first step, the probability of the results is determined. Bookies study all available information and analyze every detail, starting with the current form of the teams, athletes, horses, table standings, eventual derby character, missing or injured players, weather conditions, head-to-head comparison. Every tiny detail might be crucial.
A percentage probability of occurrence is formed from this information, which can be seen on the outside, for example, as follows: Team A: 50 percent Draw: 30 percent Team B: 20 percent. Or if we are talking about horse racing, NBA, or Formula 1 racing, in the same way the Bookmaker lines the chances of each team and driver to win.
From the moment bookies have calculated the probabilities, they set the odds. For example, Team A which has 50% chances to win. The bookie divides 100 to that chances (100/50) to get the odds 2.00. This way the draw gets odds 3.30 (100/30) while Team B to win gets odds 5.00 (100/20). But you will never see those quotes, since every bookmaker calculates a commission as well. This is called as Vigorish, or the house edge and varies from 3% to 10% or even more if you want to bet on a championship with no credibility.
So, if Bookmakers keep a commission of 7% they multiply the fair odds with 93% and get their final odds which are available for the players. For example fair odds 2.00 x 93/100 is 1.86 and 3.30 x 93/100 = 3.06 and the published odds will be 3.10, while 5.00 x 93 /100 is 4.65.
From the other side, you as a player get to see just those final odds, but don’t know the probability for each possible outcome. So you have to translate those given odds to chances. Here is how it works. A basic rule is that higher odds means that an outcome is less likely to happen. If the odds are low, the result is highly likely, if the odds are high, it is rather unlikely. If the betting provider offers the same odds for both win and draw, it means that both outcomes have the same chances.
Decimal odds to probabilities
Let’s check out how to make those calculations, starting with decimal odds which are simpler. All you have to do is divide the number one by the decimal odds. So, odds of 10.00 would give an implied probability of 10 per cent. That is because 1÷10=0.1, which expressed as a percentage is 10%.
Here are some other examples:
- 4.00: 1÷4= 1÷4=0.25 (25%)
- 2.50: 1÷2.50=0.4 (40%)
- 1.40: 1÷1.40=0.71 (71%)
Fractional odds to probabilities
To find the probability from a fractional odd, we have to divide the number on the right-hand side of the fraction by the sum of both numbers. So, odds of 9/1 would give an implied probability of 10 per cent. That is because 9+1=10, and 1÷10=0.1, which expressed as a percentage is 10%.
Here are some other examples:
- 5/1: 5+1=6, 1÷6=0.167 (16.7%)
- 6/4: 6+4=10, 4÷10=0.4 (40%)
- 2/5: 2+5=7, 5÷7=0.71 (71%)
How to convert fractional to decimal odds
Generally, you are unlikely to need to manually convert fractional odds to decimals. Almost all Sportsbooks offer this option automatically. But here is how it is done:
To calculate 6/1 as a decimal, we divide the number on the left-hand side by the number on the right-hand side and add one. So 6÷1=6 and 6+1=7.00.
Here are some other examples:
- 10/1: 10÷1-10 and 10+1-11.00
- 6/4: 6÷4=1.5 and 1.5+1=2.50
- 2/5: 2÷5=0.4 and 0.4+1=1.40
To help you we have created this betting odds sheet where you can see the most popular and most used odds in decimal, fractional and moneyline (American odds).
How bet odds work: An odds sheet
Betting odds frequently asked questions
How betting odds work?
Bookies create betting odds showing what the outcome of an event is likely to be. Also, odds show the player’s possible profit when betting on a specific event outcome.
How to read betting odds?
There are many odd formats used by bookmakers. The three most popular (Decimal, Fractional and the popular in the United States moneyline odds) are listed and explained in detail in this BetandSlots article. Modern online bookies use all kind of odd formats, while the default one is according to the target audience. But usually the player can change it if he wishes so.
Who sets the odds for sports betting?
Top bookmakers have their own teams of traders who calculate odds based on various criteria, from the location of the match and the weather, to tactics, H2H history, player absences or injury risks. Odds change quickly, as bookmakers update them while events are in-play.
What’s the difference between decimal, fractional and American, odds?
They look very different, but all odds show the same thing. The chances of any possible outcome and the player’s winnings if he is successful. To help you we have created this betting odds sheet where you can see the most popular and most used odds.
- Decimal odds tell us straight forward our potential winning amount including our betting stake.
- Fractional odds show the potential winnings in relation to the stake. The first number, the one on the left-hand side is the potential profit if we wager is the second number, the one on the right-hand side.
- American odds show the potential winnings from a bet. If moneyline odds have a plus sign, the following number shows us our possible winnings for $100 we bet. If there is a minus sign, the following number shows how much we have to wager in order to win $100.
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