In sport in the UK, bookmakers use odds as their rating of the probability of something happening. If you’re new to betting, one of the first things you may need to do is learn just how betting odds work – however they may see a tad confusing at first.
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Online and mobile bookmakers certainly make it easier for you to understand as any picks made will automatically have the winnings calculated on the screen before your bet is made once the stake is input. However a huge part of betting is spotting where the value is on a certain market or selection, and this can come down to current form, the strength of the opposition or field, weather conditions, travel conditions and undoubtedly, there is an element of luck involved.
Once an understanding is gained of how odds work the value in odds prices are able to be established, although of course betting is often down to opinion too.
At its most basic level of explanation, betting allows punters to predict the outcome of a certain event and money will be won if the prediction comes true. Bookmaker’s odds are the tool that decides the probability of something happening – although each bookmaker will often interpret an event slightly differently to another.
In the UK, odds are usually displayed in either fractional (e.g. 2/1) or decimal (e.g. 3.00) format, the difference between which will be explained in this article. Bookmakers will allow punters to switch between both fractional and decimal odds at the click of a button, so whatever is individually preferred can be used.
Fractional odds are probably the most popular way of displaying odds in the UK, as most bookmakers will present this style before decimal style.
Fractional odds are displayed as just that; fractions. Whether you were that good at maths or not back at school fractions are a little harder to understand than decimals, but starting at the most basic we’ll move from there with the explanations.
The first number in the fraction will tell you how much you will win relative to the second number in the fraction.
For example, betting £10 at a price of 10/1 means that if the bet wins, you will receive ten times your original stake back PLUS your original stake. Meanwhile, betting £10 at 6/4 would mean you earn one and a half times your original stake. This is because fractional odds only tell you how much profit will be made, so just don’t forget about your original stake – if you do, you might be in for a pleasant surprise.
Decimal odds are slightly easier to get your head around; where you only need to multiply your stake by the number/decimal shown knowing that amount will be returned, with the stake included.
For example, betting £10 at decimal odds of 5.00, you will receive £50 in winnings.
Odds are something that with practice will become more familiar and easy for punters to understand. It may take some time, but with the benefits of online betting now all calculations are done before any bet is made, leaving all of the hard work, adding and subtracting out of the way.