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Betting Odds

Betting Odds Explained

If you want to be successful sports bettor you need to understand the basic things about sports betting. The first thing every sports bettor needs to know is what the Betting odds represent, how the bookmaker calculate the odds and what type of the odds exist in the sports betting market.

Betting Odds – What does it mean?

The betting odds represent the probability of an event happening, and that probability is expressed as a percentage (%). Probability goes from 0% (never will happen) to 100% (certain that will happen). So the bookmakers calculate that probability and translate it into the odds.

How to Calculate Probability?

This is a pretty simple mathematical equation.

(1/ decimal odds) * 100 = probability

On the example:

In the tennis match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer bookmakers set the following odds. Odds on Novak Djokovic to win the match are 1.80, while the odds on Roger Federer to win the match are 2.15.

In this example we will calculate probability on both players:

(1/1.80) * 100 = 55.55% probability that Djokovic will win the match and

(1/2.15) * 100 = 46.51% probability that Federer will win the match.

When you know how to calculate the probability, you will be able to find the value in each and every match. When you find the game where odds are higher than expected likelihood, that game is the perfect game for you to play.

How to use odds to calculate your Winnings?

Calculating your winnings is rather easy. Betting odds allow you to calculate and show you how much money you will win if you make a bet, and manage to win the bet. That equation is also pretty simple:

(Odds * stake) – stake = profit

Here are the few examples with different odds:

(1.20 * 100 Euro) –

100 Euro = 20 Euro of profit

(1.85 * 100 Euro) – 100 Euro – 85 Euro of profit

(2.90 * 100 Euro) – 100 Euro – 190 Euro of profit

(9.50 * 100 Euro) – 100 Euro – 850 Euro of profit

Type of Odds

In the modern sports betting there are three types of odds that are used: Decimal odds (used mainly in Europe), Fractional odds (mostly used in the United Kingdom) and American odds (mostly used in North America). Now we will talk a bit about all of those types of odds, just to show you how they work and help you understand all of those types of betting odds.

Decimal odds

Decimal odds
Decimal odds

This type of odds is popular in Europe (except the United Kingdom) and Australia. Decimal odds are the most comfortable format of the odds to understand. We already explained in this article how to calculate the decimal odds, and it is a really easy process.

The important thing to remember about decimal odds is that your original stake is calculated into your potential winnings. Decimal odds are perfect for combo bets (accumulators, parlays) as you will always see the most accurate odds.

It is important to understand Decimal odds as they are widely used by sportsbooks and betting exchanges.

Fractional odds

Fractional odds
Fractional odds

Fractional odds are mostly used in the United Kingdom. Other names for this type of odds are English odds, UK odds, Traditional odds, etc. This type of odds is one of the oldest types of odds, and it was initially used in horse race betting.

It is not complicated to calculate Fractional odds as well. You have two numbers separated by a fraction, and the first number shows the stake and the second number indicates the potential winning that you might get.

Here is the example:

5/1 odds = 500 Euro potential win on 100 Euro stake

7/4 odds = 700 Euro potential win on 400 Euro stake

10/11 odds = 100 Euro potential win on 110 Euro stake

You can also convert fractional odds into decimal odds by using this simple formula:

You divide first and second number and then add 1. So if you have 11/4 fractional odds, that is (11/4) + 1 = 3.75 in decimal odds.

American odds

American odds
American odds

As we said those odds are used mostly in North America and this type of the odds is the most complicated type of the odds because you have a positive or negative sign before the number.

If you have a positive number before the number, that indicates how much you might profit if you stake 100 Euro and if you have a negative sign before the number that showes the amount you must stake to win 100 Euro.

For example:

-135 odds = you will make 100 Euro with 135 Euro stake

+135 odds = you will get 135 Euro with 100 Euro stake.

To convert American odds into Decimal odds, you will need to understand two formulas. For positive American odds divide American odds with 100 and add 1, and for Negative American odds divide 100 with American odds and add 1.


Now when you understand what the betting odds are and how they work, you might start reading our other articles about various markets and types of bets like Money Line, Asian Handicap and Double Chance. We at BettingZebra are trying to make professional and detailed guides about every sports betting topic, and if you have any ideas or comments, please feel free to write to us and give us your thoughts and options.


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