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Odds - Basic Guide!

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Odds - Basic Guide!

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We respect that everyone has to start somewhere, this guide is intended for punters that are starting to learn the game.

Depending on demographics , you are likely to be confronted by three types of odds format, they are UK (fraction) European (Decimal) and American (remember the number 100), let's understand them:

UK : Despite being somewhat outdated, fractions are easy to understand, odds are logical, take the following odds:
2/1, you bet 1 to win 2 , you would receive 3 back (2+1)
4/1 you would win 4 and get your stake of 1 back (4+1) =5
9/1 you win 9 + 1 back =10
20/1 you win 20 + 1 back = 21
This is all very easy so let's move on something a little more complicated:
5/4, you put 4 on to win 5, (4+5) = 9 if you had bet only 1 unit ,use divisible numbers or turn the fractions into whole numbers 5/4 (1 and 1/4) the qtr is 0.25 from 1 (1.25 + 1.00 back) = 2.25
7/4 you put 4 on to win 7 (4+7) = 11 , if the bet was made for 1 unit divide by 4 or (1 and 3/4) = (1.75 + 1.00 ) 2.75
Inverted odds are when you have to put more on than you can win,take into account the last number is what you need to bet to win the first number,examples:
1/2 , you are betting 2 to win 1 (2+1)=3 , if you had bet 1 then you would receive 1.50
1/4, you are betting 4 to win 1 (4+1)=5 , if you had bet 1 then you would receive 1.25
4/6, you are betting 6 to win 4 (6+4)=10, if you had bet 1 you would receive 1/6th =1.67

To summarize, the number you bet is the last one in the fraction, if you win, you receive the win part and the stake returned! We will go into converting fractions into decimal odds later in this section.

European odds: Very obvious to most people and won't need much explaining:

The odds are always based on the stake of 1 , if the odds are 5.0 you receive 5 for every 1 bet
1.60 would return that exact sum
To summarize, the number you see is what you receive if the bet wins, simply multiply the number by your stake, if you bet 5 at odds 4.0 (5*4)=20

American odds : Take a bit of understanding for people outside the Americas, with these odds everything is based on the number 100, the + is what you win for 100 if the odds are against, the - represents odds on (you have to bet more to win less,examples:

+200 is equivalent to UK odds 2/1 and decimal 3.0, for every 100 bet the win 200 + 100 stake = 300
+900 is equivalent to UK odds 9/1 and decimal 10.0, for every 100 bet the win is 900+100 stake= 1000
+150 is equivalent to UK odds 6/4 and decimal 2.50,for every 100 bet the win is 150 +100 stake = 250

When you have odds on the bet goes into - (minus) mode:

-200 is equivalent to UK odds 1/2 and decimal 1.50, this means bet 200 to win 100
-400 is equivalent to UK odds 1/4 and decimal 1.25, this means bet 400 to win 100
-150 is equivalent to UK odds 4/6 and decimal 1.67, this means bet 150 to win 100

Once you get used to the numbers, it's easy.


Bookmakers make profits by building in a theoretical margin, this is done by converting odds into probability and coming up with a sum over 100, before we look at probability lets go through a bit of logic:

There are two sides to a coin, when it is thrown we have a 50/50 chance that it will land on one side or the other, using a UK coin we say 'heads or tails', in a friendly bet the odds for heads will be 100/50 = 2.0, the same for tails, a Bookmaker will build in a margin and offer shorter odds such as 1.95

With a dice you have 6 chances, when it is rolled you have a 1 in 6 chance that it will land on a particular number, the odds are clearly 6.0, probability 100/16= 16.67% , for the Bookmaker to gain an advantage he would offer odds of 5.5 (100/5.5)=18.18% * 6 (number of chances) = 109%, if he took equal bets on all 6 possibilities he would return 100 for every 109 he had taken.

Probability is easy to figure out, take the decimal odds and divide into 100 , let's throw a few on the table, odds 3.0 (100/3)= 33.33% , odds 5.0 (100/5)=20% , more complicated 2,3 (100/2.3)= 43.5%

Using a 3 way football match:

Odds percent
Home 2.3 43.5
Draw 3.4 29.4
Away 3.0 33.3

Total percent: 106.2% The Bookmakers theoretical mark up is anything over 100%

If you wish to work out the margin on a match then turn the odds into returned percent % , using the 106.2% match example flip 100/106.2 = 94.16%

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