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Betting Odds explained

by Alexandra Mihaiu on Betting Tutorial

Odds are numbers which represent the probability of an outcome to take place during an event.
They tell how much you can win by placing a certain bet – the rule is that higher the odds are, lower are the chances of winning on that outcome.
betting odds explained
There is not a standard representation of the odds around the world but there are a couple of formats which are widely used: European, British, American (most common ones), Malaysian, Indonesian or Hong Kong. European bookmakers usually have their odds available in European, British and American formats, giving you the option to choose which one you prefer to work with.

European Odds (decimals)

European odds multiplied by your stake equals the payout. The odds show how many units the bookmaker pays back per unit staked.

You can best understand decimal odds if you look at your outcome as a percentage possibility and divide it into 100. If you have 50% chances of winning the bet, your odds will be calculated 100/50 = 2

Because part of the bookmakers profit comes from the way they establish the odds, it is common for them to cut a percent margin from the total of 100% which should be distributed between the outcomes.

For example, let’s say you want to bet with bet365 on the Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Munich match. If you place a £10 bet on Bayer, on a 1.8 odds, you will receive back £18. As you can notice, you stake is included in the bet.

european odds example

British Odds (fractions)

British odds are often considered the traditional style in betting. Taking the above example, we see that for 50% chances of winning, odds are 1/1. This is saying that you have once chance of winning and once chance of losing.

British betting odds example

UK odds multiplied by your stake equals the profit. The odds show how many units you win in profit per unit staked.

If you place a £10 bet on Munich, as in the example from above, you will receive back £18. This is calculated by adding the numbers from the fraction and then dividing the result to the second number: (4+5)/5=1.8

American Odds

American odds are the most specific odds available for the European bookmakers. Knows also as lines or money lines odds, These are bets that have a high probability of winning since you require less than your stake back in order to place the bet. In fact, you will at most require a 50% probability for the bet to win in order to place the bet. This is where European odds are less than 2 or UK odds are less than 1/1. The odds number shows how big a stake is needed for a winning of 100 units. It is also negative – to easily know which of the two cases you’re in.

When American odds are marked with a + (plus) sign they show the amount you would win for a 100 stake. If they are marked with a – (minus) sign, they show how much you need to stake to win 100.

American odds example

Now that you understand how odds are calculated and listed by the bookmakers is time to place your first bet!

This article is a part of our betting tutorial, where we explain all aspects of football betting.
You can find other parts here: Betting Tutorial

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