As you start out on your journey as a bettor, the first thing you’ll need to understand is betting odds.

Betting odds can appear confusing but when you get your grip around them you’ll understand how likely a potential outcome is to happen and the probability you will win a bet.

Why do we have Betting Odds?

As a novice in the betting industry, you might wonder why we even have betting odds, you could just bet on any team and if you win, great! and if you lose that’s the end of it. This sort of betting would be similar to casinos, for example, on a dice, you roll it and have a 16% chance of being right no matter what you pick.

But Betting odds make things more interesting the chance of two teams against each other winning or losing is not necessarily 50% down the line.

Calculating the Probability of Winning

With Fractional betting odds, you can calculate the probability of winning, which as stated before isn’t neccessarily 50% as would be the case in a casino.

On bookmakers, you’ll find the probability of a possible outcome coming true. This can be represented in a fractional odd

For example in a football match between Team A & Team B you might see:

1st Goal – Team A 7/4

This is the probability of Team A scoring first over Team B

7/4 can be calculated as 4/ (4 + 7) = 0.36

This means that there is a 0.36 chance of Team A scoring first over Team B

With this we can measure the probability of winning. If we do bet on Team A scoring 1st, then the chance of winning would be 36%

What else can you do with Betting odds?

Using the example above about Team A scoring the first goal, you can calculate how much you will win including your returned stake

For example:

7/4 for every £4 you bet, you will win £7

That means if Team A scores in the first goal, for every £4 you put into a bet, you will get a return of £7

Realistic Example:

If you did a £20 bet on Team A scoring the first goal you would get a profit of £35.

To work this out you can do the following:

  1. £20.00 / 4 = 5
  2. 5 * 7 = £35.00

That means you would make £35.00 profit, getting your original stake back too. In total, you would get £55.00.

Decimal Odds

You may also find decimal odds on some exchanges.

These are a different format to the fractional odds but are still very easy to work out, using the example of Team A scoring the first goal we can work out our winnings.

In Decimal format, 7/4 would be shown as 1.75

1.75 can be calculated as (1.75 * £20.00 stake) = £35.00 profit

This is the same result we got before with fractional odds

Often you’ll find betting odds in different formats, you can read more about Asian Handicap which aims to create more fair games with betting odds