sports betting odds

How do betting odds work: Complete Guide

If you are new to the betting world, be it eSports betting or any other type of betting, it is of utmost importance to know about the odds of betting and how they work. You must have a good grip on the different types of betting odds if you want to place bets intelligently. It would help if you got your head around betting odds as it will help you predict the outcome to some extent and calculate your potential winnings. 

There are three main types of betting odds in betting games which are fractional odds (British), decimal odds (European) and Moneyline odds (American). These are just alternate ways to present the same thing, and there are no differences in the payouts. This means that the betting odds can be calculated and presented in any of the bettings mentioned above odds. 


What are betting odds?

Betting odds can be defined as presenting the probability of a specific outcome in any event by the bookmakers. Betting odds are often represented as either fractions or decimals. You also have the option of representing the betting odds by writing a plus or minus in front of the number. 

The betting market provides you with different outcomes at any given event. Let’s take the example of football betting. You will be presented with three choices: a home win, an away win, or a draw. Based on the probability of the outcome, each of these outcomes will be presented with a value. They are betting odds not just apply to sports betting but anything that has a set outcome and is seen in TV, politics and music. Apart from presenting with probability, the betting odds also help bettors calculate their potential winning amount. 

Also Read: What Casino Games have the best odds?

How does betting odds work?

Betting odds are mostly represented in fractional or decimal form, and it displays the probability of the outcome. You can also guess your potential winnings from the representation of the betting odds. 

There are three different ways of representing the betting odds, but the payouts remain the same in all three ways. So let’s dig deeper into the different representations of betting odds and how they are calculated. 

Fractional Odds

The fractional odds are a popular way of calculating winning odds and amounts among the British and Irish bookmakers. The bookies use a slash (/) or a hyphen (-) to represent fractional odds. 

A fractional listing of 8/1 odds means that you will win $8 against every $1 that you wager and receive the dollar back. This is the ratio of the profit you win to the opening bet, meaning you will receive your initial stake along with the profit, i.e. $8, which results in the total payout being $9. 

The total return on any stake can be represented as:

Total Payout = (Stake x (Numerator/Denominator)) + Stake Where: numerator/denominator is the fractional odds.

Decimal Odds

Decimal Odds are popular in Australia, continental Europe, Canada and New Zealand. This is because they are easier to understand and calculate than Fractional odds. You can instantly spot the favourites and underdogs by looking at the numbers. 

In decimal odds, the number represents the winning amount for every $1 you put as a wager. In this variation of betting odds, the numbers don’t represent the profit but the total payout. This means that your stake is included in the decimal number, making the calculation of the total payout much easier. 

You can calculate the total return on stake using the decimal odds as follows: 

Total Payout= Decimal odd number x Stake

Moneyline Odds

These betting odds are extremely popular in the United States of America. In this form of betting odds, the favourites are denoted by a minus (-) sign, indicating the amount you need to put in as stakes to win $100. On the other hand, the underdogs are represented by a plus (+) sign and indicate the amount already won for every $100 that is staked. 

In both cases, you will get your initial wager amount back along with the winning amount. The gap between the odds for the underdogs and the favourites widens as the favourite’s winning probability increases.  

Calculating probability by using odds

Betting odds can also be used to calculate the probability of the outcome. Longer the odds, the fewer chances of your preferred outcome. 

We can calculate the probability from fractional odds, take the number on the right side of the fraction and divide it by the sum of both the numbers. 

Let’s assume that odds of 9/1 will have a probability of 10%. So we get 10 when we add 9+1, and one divided by 10 gives us 0.1. So when you express 0.1 in terms of percentage, you will get 10 per cent. 

What do you mean by five-to-one odds?

In Five-to-one odds, you have the chance of winning $5 for every $1 bet that you have wagered if the bet is a success. The number on the left denotes the amount you can win, and the number on the right represents the amount you need to stake. 

 What is +200 odds?

The American Moneyline odds are represented using either a plus (+) or a minus (-) in front of the number. For example, +200 implies the amount you can win when you wager $100. If you win your bet, your total payout will be $300 ($200 profit+ $100 initial stake).   

Are positive or negative odds better?

Negative numbers are for the favourites in the betting world and indicate the amount you need to stake for winning $100. On the other hand, positive numbers are for the underdogs and indicate the amount you can win by wagering $100. 

If you are sure about the winner, you can make more money by placing your bets on the favourable odds. If you bet on the bookie’s favourite, you have a better chance of winning, but the payouts will be extremely low. 

The bottom line is that it is important to understand how odds work and what they mean if you want to set foot in gambling and sports betting. It is important that you are well versed with all three kinds of betting odds because you never know how the websites are going to calculate your betting odds.  You will also have to be well equipped with the conversion of winning odds from one format to another and calculating the winning possibilities from the given odds. You can only place a well-educated bet and guess the true outcome of an event if you understand what betting odds are and how they work. 

Betting Odds FAQs:

How do betting odds work?

Betting odds generally works in two primary ways. First, you can find out the probability of what the outcome of an event can likely be and also calculate the winning amounts from any bet that you may have placed. 

Why do betting odds change online?

The betting odds keep on changing online mainly because of the irregular patterns in betting bets by the bettors. Since the players don’t always follow the strict protocols in wagering the bet amount, the bookies need to adjust the odds based on new proportions. 

Leave a comment