Betting would be impossible without betting odds. Odds represent the likelihood of something happening. Everyone who starts betting eventually asks the question “how do betting odds work?”
The article explains how betting odds work, with easy-to-understand resources and down-to-earth explanations. Read this article and you will not be asking “how do betting odds work?” any longer.
Betting odds are a way of showing how much you’d win if the outcome of the event you’ve wagered upon is the result. Say you are betting on an EPL game, for example Brighton to beat Newcastle United. The odds of Brighton winning are 5/2. This means that if you bet £2 on Brighton, you would win £5. You would also get your £2 stake returned, so your total returns would be £7. Simple, huh?
Well, it’s not quite as simple as that, although it doesn’t get too complicated. What if you don’t want to put £2 on Brighton winning? What if the odds are 1/4? Do I have to put £4 on to win £1? The odds I’ve seen are quoted as 1.50 – what does that mean?
In our continuing quest to explain how do betting odds work UK, let’s take a look first at the three most common types of odds representation in the UK, decimal, fractional and American.
Different Odds Type Comparison
|Type||Decimal Example||Fractional Example||American Example|
|Simple (‘to one’)||11.00||10/1||+1000|
|Evens||2.00||Evens, or 1/1||+100|
To convert from fractional odds to decimal betting odds you just need to represent the fraction as a decimal and add one. So, with Brighton at 5/2, we need to calculate 5 divided by 2 (2.50) and add one to arrive at 3.50.
To go the other way around we need to first subtract one and then covert the decimal to a fraction. So, for Newcastle at 1.40 we subtract one to get 0.40. We now need to find a whole number that, when multiplied by our result, gives another whole number. The easiest way of doing this is by multiplying by 5 to get 2. The fractional odds are therefore 2/5 (result/multiplier).
Converting odds is perhaps best done via our bet calculator, as it doesn’t make mistakes!
You may wonder how betting odds are calculated. The answer is via probability. A risk assessor is employed (or via an algorithm or AI model) by an online bookmaker will calculate the probability of a specific outcome, and then represent that outcome via the odds.
Let’s say in our example above, it it assessed that Brighton have a 25 percent chance of beating Newcastle. That means if Brighton were to play Newcastle one hundred times under current conditions, they’d win 25 times, with the other 75 games ending in a Newcastle win or a draw.
To get the decimal odds we just divide one by the percentage chance, which is 1 divided by 25 percent (which is 0.25) to get to 4.00. Bookies always slice a little off their odds to maintain a profit, so that’s odds of 3.50.
Now, let’s look at a real example. We like BetUK for betting odds, so we looked at their site and found odds for that weekend’s big EPL game, Aston Villa v Tottenham. The odds were as follows:
Those good at maths will notice that 43.5 + 27.8 + 31.7 = 103%, which some may find puzzling. The reason the combined percentages do not add up to 100 percent is because the extra three percent represent’s BetUK profit margin. This means that, if there is an even spread of money placed on all three options (which, in truth, barely ever happens), BetUK will make a profit of three percent of all money wagered.
Most UK bookies will calculate probabilities and odds with a two to four percent margin in order to increase their chances of making money on all bets placed, but this is never guaranteed as money is never spread evenly. Let’s say in our example, a total of £10,000 was bet on Villa, £2,000 on the draw and £1,000 on Spurs. Villa won, meaning that BetUK paid out a total of £13,000, but only took in £3,000, losing £10,000 in the process.
The way to beat the bookies is to compare your thoughts on the chance of something happening to the odds given by the bookie. Say, in our real example, you think there is a 40 percent chance of Villa drawing with Tottenham. The bookies applied probability is 27.8 percent, giving you an 12.2 percentage advantage meaning you feel this is a value bet.
Conversely, you think Villa have a 30 percent chance of winning. The implied probability given by the bookie is 43.5 percent, giving them the odds advantage (13.5 percent). This would not then be the bet for you.
Remember, to covert decimal odds to applied probabilities, just divide one by the odds. Then compare your thoughts to the probability applied by the bookie.
Getting things right when it comes to betting odds is key to maximising your profits when betting on sports. Here are three top tips which will help you in your sports betting experiences:
Betting is not a perfect activity but you can reduce your chances of losing money if you try and avoid making mistakes. We’ve listed three common mistakes made when using odds, so that you can eradicate them from your betting procedure.
Of course, we would not be betting sites experts if we did not know which UK betting sites offered the most consistent and competitive odds. Here now are three bookies that we recommend for the consistency of their beneficial betting prices:
Understanding how betting odds work is essential if you want to make informed betting decisions in the UK gambling industry. As you’ll be aware, there are three main options of odds display at online UK bookies – fractional, decimal and American. Which you prefer is your choice, and most sites will allow you to pick which format you want to use.
We hope this page has answered your question ‘how do betting odds work?’, and you are now in pole position to make the best decisions possible in terms of sports betting and in line with your understanding of how do betting odds work UK.
The betting odds represent the potential payout from any bet in the UK, based on the probability of the event occurring. The longer the odds (i.e. the bigger the potential payout), the less likely the outcome. Odds come in three formats: fractional (i.e. 5/2), decimal (3.50) and American (+250). There are many other formats, but these are the three most common ones found at UK bookmakers.
Betting odds are typically expressed as fractions, decimals, or American odds. To convert between them, you can use conversion calculators or formulas. For fractional odds, divide the first number by the second number and add one. For decimal odds, multiply the stake by the odds and subtract the stake. If you're using American odds, divide the odds by 100 and multiply by the stake.
Bookies make an assessment of the probability of an event occurring. They then add on a small percentage to increase their chances of making a profit, and then convert that percentage to odds. You can convert back yourself by dividing one by the odds (in decimal format). For example, odds of 3.50 represent a probability of 29.4%.
All football matches with have three sets of odds – the odds for a home win, the odds for a draw, and the odds for an away win. You can calculate the probabilities of each outcome using the method in the previous question, then compare them to your own thoughts or calculations. If you think an outcome has a greater probability than the odds imply, then that is a value bet.
American betting odds can be positive or negative. Positive odds represent the amount of money won for a $100 bet. Negative odds represent the amount of money need to be bet in order to win $100.