Betting Odds Explained

Often new bettors are confused with what odds are, especially due to the numbers and fractions that remind the school days’ most hated algebra class. However, understanding odds is actually the most important aspect in betting. More surprising is the fact that odds are indeed pretty simple to understand and as soon as the basics are grasped, bettors can place bets, while being totally aware of what they are risking and what return they should expect.

What are Betting Odds?

You may start playing at a good betting site like M88. However, it’s you who should know your betting odds. Odds which are sometimes known as prices are the system by which bookies signify the returns you’ll get from gambling on a given outcome. It’s understandable why they are known as prices. It’s because quite like the price of fish indicates the financial exchange included when you buy 500gm of cod, odds do the same in betting. Whenever a bet is placed, the odds indicate what you’ll get against the bet you’ve placed if your bet wins, with the exact figures based on the odds.

We can look at a simple example. Consider odds of 10/1 which is called 10 to one. It’s also written as 10-1 or even 11.0 or even +1000. Now if you back a horse at odds of 10/1, for every $1 you bet, you gain a profit of $10 if your bet wins. Thus, if you bet $10, you earn a profit of $100 and the bookie will give you $110 (i.e. your profit plus the original amount of your bet) if you win the bet.

horse racing betting

Are Odds Related to Probability?

Yes, odds are related to probability closely, even perhaps directly; but they are not the same. The odds simply describe what the bookie will pay you if your bet wins. Thus, they should be theoretically the same as the probability (but expressed differently), because the bookmaker won’t wish to pay high odds on an event that is very possible to happen, whereas conversely no bettors would bet on a horse at low odds if there is a little possibility of its winning.

Nevertheless, plenty of other factors impact the odds, the clearest being the bookmakers’ profit margin. E.g. in cricket you can place a bet on coin toss which has a 50% chance of winning by either side. If odds were same as probability, you would assume odds of 1/1 (commonly called evens) but since the bookmaker would earn no money on that, odds of 5/6 or 10/11 are more possible.

In such a condition, the odds and probability differ; however, they are directly connected with only the bookmaker’s profit margin, often known as the overround, generating the difference. But that’s not always the case and typically bookies shape their odds based on what bets they have accepted so as to try and form a balanced book, in which regardless of which outcome takes place, they make a profit.

cricket betting

Types of Odds

There are three main types of odds that you will encounter online when you play on a site like V9bet and most bookies offer the option to select how you wish the odds displayed. Irrespective of what method you select the actual odds (return v stake) is similar, but for some people a particular method is simpler to understand than others.

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Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are the basic odds format and remain popular with most bookmakers and punters. These odds are expressed as fractions, e.g. 10/1, 8/13, 6/4 or 66/1. The right-hand side number signifies the amount you bet, while the left-hand side number signifies the potential profit and certainly in each of such bets, your stake is returned as well.

  • If you bet $10 at 6/4, your profit is 6 divided by 4 multiplied by $10 which is equal to $15
  • If you bet $10 at 8/13, your profit is 8 divided by 13 multiplied by your $10 stake which is equal to $6.15
  • $10 at 66/1 is equal to 66 divided by 1 times $10 which means a decent profit of $660!

calculating betting odds

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are popular partly because of the increase in the number of betting exchanges. Decimal odds indicate what your full return from a bet of 1 unit would be and while fractional odds include only the profit, decimal odds involve the return of profit as well as your original stake.

  • If you bet $10 at odds of 1.5, you will probably get $15 in return
  • If you bet $10 at odds of 3.6, you will probably get $36 in return

Since decimal odds involve your original stake as well, you will never find odds less than 1.0 as that would mean the full returns from your winning bet would be less than your initial bet.

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American Odds

Can you guess where American odds are used? They are not something several punters use, need or see, unless they belong to North America. In case of underdogs, where the odds are longer than evens (1/1 in fractional odds and 2.00 in decimal odds), American odds indicate the profit you would earn from a $100 bet, so, +200 means a $100 wager can return $300, i.e. profit of $200 plus your wager.

For favorites having odds shorter than evens the odds are written as a minus number and indicate how much you would require so as to earn a profit of $100.

  • If you place a bet of $10 at odds +200 you would stand to earn a profit of $20
  • If you place a bet of $10 at odds -200 you would stand to earn a profit of $5.

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Odds On and Odds Against

The term “odds on” is often heard and less commonly “odds against” is also heard. Odds-on simply means odds that are lower than evens with odds against referring to bets placed at odds higher than evens. Evens, or even money, is 1/1 in fractional bets and hence any odds-on bet means the left-hand number is lower than right-hand number. Thus 20/21 is an example of odds-on where a bet of $21 would gain a profit of $20 (and a return of $41 in total).

Hopefully, you’ve got a much better idea of odds. Study further and bet responsibly while playing on a site like Bong88 so that you can find increasingly better odds and earn a profit always.

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