Demystifying Betting Odds and Formats

It’s no secret among the professionals that understanding sports betting odds is an essential part of becoming a successful sports bettor. Odds are used to calculate how much money you could gain from your winning wagers, but there is a lot more to them that lies behind the scenes as well.

You might already know that there are a few different ways in which odds are listed and expressed, but many punters and online casino Singapore players find it challenging to understand them. These odds also show you whether or not a particular wager is good value or not – if you are able to read and understand them, of course. Read on and we’ll show you how to do exactly that!

How Betting Odds Actually Work

As mentioned above, odds are used primarily to determine how much will be paid out for a winning bet. It is for this reason that they are sometimes also called the ‘price’ of a wager; a bet can also have a price that is either ‘odds on’ or ‘odds against’.

Odds on refers to a bet for which the potential sum you can win will be less than that wagered. Odds against means that the amount you could win will be greater than the amount you staked. An odds on bet can still bring you a profit if your initial stake is also returned, but you will have to risk a sum higher than what you stand to gain in order for this to happen. Favourites in sports are often odds on as they have a better chance of winning, while underdogs tend to be odds against.

Odds can also be ‘even money’ in nature. Essentially, this means that if you win, your bet will return exactly the amount you wagered plus your original stake. At the end of the day, if you win such a bet you will be doubling your money.

Different Types of Odds Formats

As for odds formats, there are three main formats that bookmakers use to express odds or prices on their sports markets. You will come across these formats both at retail outlets and online, and some are used more widely than others in certain countries or regions as well. They include:

  • Decimal odds
  • Moneyline odds (also called American odds)
  • and Fractional odds.

Remember that some online and mobile betting sites will allow you to choose which format your odds are expressed in, which can be helpful if you prefer reading them in a certain way. Be sure to check for such a setting when you sign up!

Working Out Your Potential Profits

Decimal odds are most commonly used by betting websites, aside from those with an American player base. This is the simplest of the three formats, and shows exactly how much a winning bet will return per unit staked down to two decimal places. To work out your potential return when using decimal odds, use the formula [Stake x Odds = Potential Returns] and then subtract one from the odds to determine your potential profit.

Moneyline odds are the most popular format in the US, and they are a bit more complex as they come with either a + or a – next to them. Positive odds show how much profit a winning wager of $100 would make, while negative odds should how much you need to wager to make $100 in profit. Use the formula [Stake x (Odds/100) = Potential Profit] to determine your potential profits.

Last but not least are fractional odds, which are used mainly in UK bookie shops. 1/1 would be described as evens, while 2/1 would be said ‘two to one’ and so on. Working out your returns can be complicated, so use the formula [Stake x (a/b) = Potential Profit] where ‘a’ is the first number in the fraction and ‘b’ is the second. Happy betting!