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Explaining Odds

FRACTIONALODDS

Anytime you place a bet with a bookmaker you will receive ‘odds’ on that bet. Odds are important as they help you understand what kind of VALUE you’re getting.

For instance the likelihood of a coin toss being heads or tails is roughly 50/50 (we reserve a billionth of a percentage point for the coin landing on its edge). A bookmaker would call this an even chance. This might be displayed as; evens or 1/1 meaning if your bet wins you will win an even amount of money plus your stake back.

Example if I offer you evens on the toss of a coin and you put Example if I offer you evens on the toss of a coin and you put £10 on heads, if the coin lands on heads then I owe you £10 winnings plus your £10 stake back, doubling your money.

Note: if anyone ever offers you more than evens for a coin toss, they are either mad a cheat or a compulsive gambler, if they are the first or last thing, take their offer.10 on heads, if the coin lands on heads then I owe you £10 winnings plus your £10 stake back, doubling your money.

Note: if anyone ever offers you more than evens for a coin toss, they are either mad a cheat or a compulsive gambler, if they are the first or last thing, take their offer.

Evens or 1/1 is an example of neutral odds, as you win exactly the amount you put on, now let’s look at positive and negative odds.

POSITIVE ODDS

Positive odds are when your winnings are bigger than your original stake, positive odds are always represented by a larger number being on the left than the right for example:

10/1 when speaking these odds you will say; ‘ten to one’ but for the beginner it is probably easier to swap the word ‘to’ for the word ‘for’, ten for one. So in other words I will get back £10 for £1 staked plus my original £1 stake, making a return of £11.

Note: Remember your return and your winnings are two different things, your winnings are your profits, what you have on top of your original stake. Your return is your stake plus your winnings, this is important because when you place a bet some online bookmakers will show what your return will be and some your winnings.

NEGATIVE ODDS

Negative odds; more popularly reffered to as ‘odds on’, are when your winnings are smaller than your original stake, this can be a bit of a confusing concept for the new gambler, but as long as you remember that winnings and returns are two separate things, your return will ALWAYS be bigger than your original stake on a winning bet.

So if you place a bet at 1/10 (1 for 10) then this simply means that for every £10 staked you will receive £1 plus your stake back so now to gain a return of £11 I have to put on £10, if I put £1 on this then my return will be £1.10 my original stake plus one tenth.

Now let’s find out about decimal odds:

DECIMAL ODDS

Another way that odds are represented is in the decimal sense; these are sometimes called European odds. They are not as daunting as they at first seem, the thing to remember here is that you don’t have to add on your stake after to work out your total winnings.

For instance odds of 2 are the same as odds of evens, this is because the 2 represents the amount of times you multiply your stake by.

e.g. If I place a £10 bet on Arsenal at odds of 2 then if I win I will get back £20 because 10×2= 20.

REMINDER

When trying to calculate potential returns using fractional odds, always remember to add stake back on. i.e. £10 placed at 2/1 equals £20 winnings plus £10 stake back making a total return of £30.

When trying to calculate potential returns using decimal odds simply multiply your original stake by the number being offered, i.e. £10 placed at odds of 3 = 10×3= 30 making a return of £30.

Here is a little table with some often used odds converted to a decimal form, there are many online bookmakers who use a variety of fractional odds so there are too many to list here, but this should give you a quick reference guide.

Fractional to Decimal Odds Converter

FRACTIONAL DECIMAL RETURNFROM £10 STAKE
1/10 1.1 £11
1/5 1.2 £12
1/3 1.33 £13.33
1/2 1.5 £15
1/1 (evens) 2.0 £20
2/1 3.0 £30
9/4 3.25 £32.50
5/2 3.5 £35
3/1 4.0 £40
7/2 4.5 £45

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