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what does evens mean

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If you’re one of those gambling newbies puzzled by what does Evens mean in betting circles, then your troubles are over. This is the latest in a series of jargon busting pieces from our experts explaining industry terms just like this one. We’ll tell you precisely what is an Evens bet and how it works.

What Does Evens Mean in Betting Terms?

Evens is a popular price offered by leading UK bookies on a whole range of different sports. It means the same thing no matter what you’re wagering on. If posed the question what does Evens mean in horse racing markets, then the answer would be no different if it were football, cricket, tennis or golf and so on.

When asked what is Evens in betting terms, the answer is a price that is neither odds-on nor odds against. Any wager placed at this price is one which, if successful, you will double your money staked. It’s really that straightforward. Hence the expression of Even-money. In the vast majority of cases, a bet at Evens will be the most likely outcome and you’re wagering on the favourite.

How Does an Evens Bet Work?

what does Evens mean in betting

Now that you’ve got your head around what does Evens mean in betting terms, there’s figuring out how it all works. Let’s say that you fancy Tottenham Hotspur to make a top six finish in the Premier League betting market on next season’s final table. When you check the price with the bookmaker you have an account with, it’s Even-money. This can be expressed in many different ways, which will explain in more detail later on.

Hitting the price adds an Evens bet to your betslip. Now matter how large a stake you enter in the relevant box when placing your wager, you can do no more than double your money here. A £5 wager returns £10, while £10 yields £20 back and so on. If your bet doesn’t come off, then bad luck and you lose your stake. If any Evens betting you do is successful, however, then you receive double what you staked from the bookies.

What Does Evens Mean in Betting Odds?

There are plenty of different ways of expressing an Even-money price. Evens can for starters be abbreviated to Evs on horse racing betting sites by bookmakers. Depending on where in the world you’re from and sport you’re betting on, there are different odds formats. While it is written as 1/1 as a fraction, betting Evens as a decimal is 2.00 and in American odds +100. Let’s take each of these in turn.

Fractional odds of Evens as 1/1 make sense when you consider that the numerator reflects what you win based on using the denominator on the stake. For every £1 wagered, then there’s £1 profit. The Evens bet in decimal form, meanwhile, is 2.00 because this expression is consider with total returns. Multiply your stake by this decimal and you always double your money, which is precisely how the wager works.

While the Evens bet as a decimal proceeds like that, American odds are all about using $100 as the main unit of betting. A stake of this amount at the price yields $100 profit, hence +100. You have to gamble $100 to generate $100 in winnings. When you’re next asked what does Evens mean in betting odds, you can now say you know all about the different formats. Each brings something different to the table.

Pros & Cons of Evens Betting Odds

As with any wager, there are pluses and minuses with taking an Even-money price. Sometimes, it’s only with the benefit of hindsight whether that bet on the Six Nations Grand Slam winner or up and coming boxer was worth it. Here are some positives and drawbacks of betting at Evens, for your reference:

  • Good implied probability
  • Relatively low risk wager
  • Can only double your money
  • Still a 50-50 chance of losing

What Does Evens Mean in Probability?

Implied probability underpins all betting odds, so an Even-money price equates to 50%. This explains the old phrase, an even chance. When bookmakers price something up at Evens, what they’re telling you is it’s 50-50. If the event in question were to happen twice, then at least once that wager in question would be the winning outcome. In other words, this eventuality is as likely to happen as not.

Probability isn’t an exact science, because sports events aren’t run more than once in the same conditions featuring the same participants. The theory is sound enough, but it’s important that when considering what does Evens mean in betting you accept the fact that things in practice can be quite different. Implied probability will not always match up with the actual results in real life.

If you want proof of this, then a famous example is when Leicester City became Premier League champions at the end of the 2015-16 campaign. Far from being Even-money favourites, the Foxes were 5000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season to win the title. Their implied probability at those odds was just 0.05%, or a thousand times less likely than a team priced up at Evens. Leicester defied the odds and bookmakers, however, and pulled off a fairy-tale win.

Evens Betting Strategy That Works

Whilst considering what does Evens mean in betting terms, there is also a need to know about when such odds are right for you. Certain situations arise where you must give a wager at this price every consideration. It doesn’t matter if you prefer betting on football, horses or another sport. Luckily, our gambling experts are on hand to provide helpful hints and tips when an Evens bet can work best in your favour.

When You Think Even-Money Won’t Last

Even bets that are Even-money shots can be backed by punters if the general feeling is they’re a good thing. Developing a sixth sense for where and when market gambles may develop comes over time and with experience. If you genuinely cannot see a horse, for example, being returned at as big a Starting Price (SP) as Evens, then you should probably take those odds before they disappear. You’ll be kicking yourself if they were available at this and end up a lot shorter.

If an Odds-On Shot Drifts to Evens

There is such a thing as a bet being too short of course. Bookmakers may think they can get a favourite beaten and so, to balance their market, they might push it out from odds-on to Even-money. It may be that at this point such an outcome become a value betting proposition and you should get involved. Apparent market weakness may not be all that it appears. Rather than something to worry about, it can present an opportunity to bet when one didn’t previously exist.

When a Main Market Rival is Withdrawn

In a popular gambling sport like horse racing, we unfortunately get non-runners for a variety of reasons. These even happen on the day of the race if conditions aren’t favourable or the vets advise trainers not to let their horses take part. The upshot is that a Rule 4 deduction as laid out in Tattersalls Rules on Betting may apply in the event that a withdrawal had odds of 14/1 and shorter at the time.

While this prescribes so many pence in the Pound Sterling in intervals of 5p, a new market ends up forming with the bookies. If the non-runner happens to be the second-favourite, then those others fancied have to have their odds clipped in. You may still be able to get Evens betting odds which, in the revised circumstances, could amount to value. A big danger is no longer in contention, so you may wish to increase the amount staked on your fancy and supplement earlier wagers.

Best Bookies for an Evens Bet

No one bookmaker or betting site is more likely than another to offer Even-money as a price about any specific wager. You must realise that every market on sports events are different. If betting traders feel Evens reflects the implied probability of an outcome, as well as the risk and liabilities they have, only then will such a price be offered.


Why should I place an Evens bet?

What does odds-on and odds against mean?

How much do you win on an Evens Bet?

What does the abbreviation Evs mean?

Is Even-money the same as Evens in betting terms?

Jamie Clark
Jamie Clark
Jamie Clark

Jamie Clark has been with from the very beginning and penned the very first pieces of content that appeared right here. Known for his horse racing expertise, his strong gambling knowledge comes from childhood where he was surrounded by both horses and betting. The godson of a former on-track bookmaker at Market Rasen Racecourse, Jamie ended up working in the same industry and became Sports Editor of heavyweight bookies Coral for three years before they merged with Ladbrokes. After a successful spell freelancing for other big names in the business, he helped us launch this site with his skills, experience and ability coming in useful. Read long form content across a range of betting subjects from Jamie right here.