Betting Odds Explained

By BoroGuide

People new to the world of gambling will find it extremely useful to understand what betting odds are. Betting odds are two numbers separated by a dash or forward slash. Sports gambling revolves around these numbers, and they are very simple to get to grips with. 

What are good betting odds?

Let’s start off by talking about what kind of odds might be worth having a bet on. You can expect a better pay-out if you bet on odds where the left-hand number is higher than the right-hand number. These are known as ‘long odds’. On the other hand, odds where the right-hand number is higher (such as 1 / 2 or 2/9) won’t have great pay outs. 

Yet while placing a bet on long odds is tempting, you have to remember that the probability of an event assigned 50/1 or 30/1 odds occurring is very low. Generally, you would need to be quite knowledgeable about the game in question for large bets on long odds to be worthwhile.

If you are starting out in betting, there are many tips and tricks on how to make a right bet. The best advice is to start with small, cautious bets on outcomes that have reasonable odds – neither too unlikely nor overwhelmingly likely. Once you’ve built up your expertise, you will then have more of a chance at identifying instances where the bookmaker might’ve misjudged their odds.  

Betting odds are all about probability

As you’ve probably figured out by now, odds are just a way of expressing probability. Betting odds are numbers that express the likelihood of a particular event happening. Long odds express low probability while short odds express high probability. 

Bookmakers assign betting odds to any scenario where there is more than one possible outcome: a team winning the league, a roulette ball falling on either a red or a black slot, or a horse being placed in a race. 

How do you interpret odds?

A coin toss landing head has a 50 percent chance of occurring. This is because there are only two outcomes, both of which have an even (50-50) chance of happening. You can convert odds into a single percentage figure, too. This will more clearly indicate to you how likely the bookmaker thinks a certain event is to happen. 

First, find the number on the right hand side of the betting odds. Then, divide it by the total of the numbers on the left and right of the odds. The resulting number is the percentage figure associated with that event and odds. 

By applying this formula to the odds of 10/1, you get a percentage figure of 9 %. A 2/1 odds for a particular team winning a game indicates that they have a reasonably good chance of winning – a 33 percent chance, in fact. A betting odds of 4/11 indicates a 73.3 % chance of that event occurring. 

What are the payouts?

Odds do not just indicate how likely or unlikely something is. It also indicates how much you would win if that bet is successful. So, how do you calculate how much you will win?

A gambler who bets and wins on a 10/1 scenario will have a higher payout than they would if they had won a 1/2 odds bet. If a gambler makes a £1 bet on a team with 10/1 odds and that team wins, they will make £10. However, if they make a bet on a team with a 2/1 odds and win, they will make only £3.

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