Betting Odds Explained

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When you’re new to betting, it’s easy to be intimidated by the odds displayed on betting sites and the assumption is that you need to be a mathematician to figure them out. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here, we’ll talk you through the basics of betting odds and how you can make sure you’re getting the best price for your bets.

Types of odds

In the UK, the most common interpretation of odds is fractional, e.g. 5/1, while in Europe, the odds are shown generally as decimals, e.g. 6.0. On all major betting sites, users have the option to display the odds in the way they’d most prefer.

Fractional odds

Fractional odds display the probability of an outcome as a fraction, and most of the time can be fairly easy to figure out.

If you’re betting on a football match and want to bet on a team to win with odds of 2/1, you will win £2 for every £1 that you bet. So, a £5 bet at odds of 2/1 would win you £10 (5×2), plus your £5 stake, so £15 in total.

There will also be instances where a selection gets given odds of something like 15/2, but the same logic applies – for every £2 staked, you would win £15 back, plus your stake.

On the occasions when the second number is higher than the first, the working out gets reversed. For instance, if a selection is priced at 1/4, you would win £1 for every £4 staked. These types of odds are what are known as “short” odds and usually require a higher stake to get a better return.

Decimal odds

If you’re new to betting and are unsure of how odds work, it would probably be best, to begin with, decimal odds.

Decimal odds are just a simpler version of their fractional counterparts. For instance, a fractional price of 5/1 is equal to 6.0 in decimal odds – they’re precisely the same odds, just made more straightforward.

To work out decimal odds, multiply the odds by your stake then take away the value of your stake to get your overall winnings. For example, £10 at odds of 6.0 would return £50 (10 x 6 – 10).

What can affect the odds?

In sports, many factors can affect odds. In football, for instance, one of the most common variables used to calculate odds is the teams’ recent form. If a team have lost their last six games and play a team who have won their last six games, the last team would likely have shorter odds.

However, this isn’t always the case, and the odds get influenced by things such as the teams league position and league. Starting line ups are also a factor, so it always pays to do your research before placing a bet on any sport.

For the best odds – shop around. Not all betting sites will have the same odds for your bet.