Betting Odds Explained

How Betting Odds Work

Betting Odds are commonly shown as fractions (5/1) or as decimals (3.00). Fractions were traditionally used by on-course bookmakers and also high street bookmakers until recently when the online gambling boom took hold and now you will find both fractions or decimals available online.

There are also another couple of odds formats, European decimal odds are now frequently shown with many bookmakers and also American Punters use Moneyline or American Odds which are a little more complicated and thankfully won’t be needed whilst matched betting.

Whilst looking at odds formats and trying to work out what they mean can be daunting at first they are basically expressing the same price.

Understanding Fractional Odds

If a bookmaker is offering odds of 4/1 for an event to happen, you would win £4 for every £1 that you stake (Plus £1 stake returned). At odds of 9/2 you would win £9 for every £2 staked (Plus £2 stake Returned). Those fractions shows above are known as “Odds Against”

When the number listed first is lower than the second number (1/2) or (2/5) etc this is known as “Odds On” and the odds suggest the chances of something happening (Win) is pretty high. Placing bets on “Odds On” selections means your winnings would be less, at odds of 1/2 you win £1 for every £2 Staked and at odds of 2/5 you win £2 for every £5 staked.

When the numbers on either side of the slash are the same (e.g. 1/1), we refer to them as ‘Evens’.

Understanding Decimal Odds

When Matched Betting it is always suggested that you use decimal odds, this is because they are easier to understand. This is because all you have to do to calculate your potential winnings is multiply your stake by the odds. For example, if you make a £10 bet at odds of 3.5, you could potentially win £35 (including your stake).

By contrast, fractional odds can become confusing. For example, which odds give the best return – 16/5 or 3/1? You can work it out, but a glance at their decimal equivalents (4.2 and 4.0 respectively) quickly tells you which odds are most favourable. This is why we recommend that all beginners start betting using decimal odds.

You should bear in mind that decimal odds include your stake. So, if you bet £10 at odds of 2.5, you can expect to win £25 (£15 on top of your £10 stake). You should also know that 2.0 is the evens line, so numbers lower than this return a profit that is lower than your stake.

Understanding Moneyline

Moneyline odds aren’t generally used in either the UK or Europe. But you might see them in American media and sites, especially those that cover boxing or mixed martial arts.

Moneyline odds use $100 as the evens line, with either positive or negative outcomes. So, if you have odds above the line, this tells you how much you profit you stand to make from a $100 bet. For example, if you put your money down at odds of +175, you can expect to make $175 profit from a winning bet.

If you the odds have a negative value, this tells you how much money you need to wager to win $100. So, if you want to bet on an event at odds of -175, you must bet $175 to win $100.

Odds Converter Table

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