Betting odds and how they work

Betting Odds and How They Work

Punters need to get a handle on betting odds and how they work for a number of reasons:

  • Betting odds are put in place to give the punter an idea of how likely it is that an event will occur
  • They inform punters how much money they are likely to win if their guess is correct

While betting odds may seem complex and confusing to the absolute beginner, taking a little time to unravel the perceived difficulties is highly recommended. It will ultimately result in the bettor boosting his or her bankroll a little more every time they lay a wager.

A Beginner’s Guide to Betting Odds

The first step to gaining understanding about betting odds and how they work is gaining insight as to probability. Betting is, basically, the ability of an individual to correctly guess the outcome of a certain event, and the provision of real money rewards should this prediction turn out to be correct. For example, when rolling dice, there are six possible results. Betting that the thrower will end up with a one has a 16.67% chance of being correct. Betting odds are simply a representation of the probability of an outcome.

Whenever two numbers are presented divided by a trailing slash, like 10/1, bettors are being presented with what is known as fractional odds allowing them to calculate the likelihood of a given event occurring. In this instance, replacing the numbers given with letters can aid in understanding betting odds and how they work: A/B will stand in for 10/1. The probability, the percentage likelihood of A occurring, is equal to B/ (A+B):

10/1 or A/B can be calculated as 1/ (10+1) = 0.09. There is thus a 0.09 chance that the event in question will occur.

Using Odds in Order to Calculate Payouts

When punters understand betting odds and how they work they are able to calculate how much money stands to be won should they predict the outcome successfully. 4/1 turns into A/B, and this breaks down to every value of B that is bet paying the punter A, including the return of his or her stake. On a 4/1 bet, punters will then win a total of 4 for every 1 they bet, applicable to the currency being made use of in order to lay the wager.

Decimal bets are also very commonly made use of, and many online sites will offer punters the choice to view betting odds in this format. The calculation in these cases becomes payout = (odds X stake), so 4.0 is calculated as (4.0 X 10 stake or) 40 – 10 stake = 30 winnings.

Getting a handle on both means of displaying betting odds and how they work will allow the punter to ensure that he or she is 100% confident as to the outcome of the wager being laid, and prevent any disappointing surprises that may result from a misunderstanding of how this information affects the outcomes of bets.