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How Do Betting Odds Work

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A Short Guide On Betting Odds & How They Work

One of the most basic things you need to learn as a beginner to sports betting is how odds work. This is the only way to understand how likely an outcome is to happen while knowing the potential profit. There are guides for different types of odds. UK residents prefer using fractional odds for example, a big majority of Europe uses decimal, while North America is displaying odds in American style.

Probability and sports betting

Probability is a very important term for sports betting. More experienced players are using it to predict the outcome of a particular sports event. If players’ prediction is correct, the bet will win and result in profiting money. We are going to use one of the simplest examples to explain probability. If you roll a dice, there are six possible outcomes, which means the chance to predict is around 16%. This is what exactly what betting odds do as well. How to use this method on football matches? It is very simple using the formula below.

Let’s take fractional odds for this example. You have placed a bet on Leicester City to beat Manchester City on the road at 9/1 odds. How many chances in percentages you actually have to win this bet? The formula is (%)= 1 / (9+1) = 0.10. This means we have a 10% chance to land this betting selection.

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How To Calculate Winnings?

This one is very simple as well. You can do it by simply using betting odds given by the bookie. We are once again going to use the 9/1 odds bet on Leicester City to beat Man City at Etihad. Using the fractional odds makes it even simple. Take a look at the second number and take it as a stake. The first number should be looked at like a potential profit. So, for every £1 bet here you are looking at potential £9 in winnings. The same formula applies for 13/10 odds for example. A player who places £10 bet can earn a £13 profit, a total of £23 cash-out.

How do decimal betting odds work?

Decimal betting odds are mostly used for betting exchanges. Betfair is one of the best examples we can use here. A betting exchange is a bookie which allows players to face each other rather than playing against the house. Bookie takes a small fee for organizing the game, and the winner takes all the rest. Decimal odds are more common for European and Asian countries, but the main principle is the same. 13/10 bet in fractional, transfers to 2.30 in decimal odds.

There are numerous betting calculators available online. Use these to understand and convert odds from one to another format easily. Here is how we calculate profit using the decimal odds. We multiply the odds, in this scenario 2.30, with a stake. 2.30 x £10 = £23. These are your potential earnings, while the profit, in this case, would be £13.

How do football betting odds work?

It doesn’t really matter on which sport you prefer to place bets. The odds are working the same way in 99% of situations. Learn how to read the odds and take advantage of it. Not even the biggest football experts follow all leagues in the world. Sometimes, just by opening odds for Indonesian football league you can make assumptions on which teams have the advantage. 3/5 odds on a home team is very much likely to happen than the other outcomes, right? More experienced bettors are taking advantage of many events where bookie underestimates one side. That would not be possible without How Betting Odds Work.

Are Fractional Odds Better Than Decimal?

Fractional odds are identical to decimal odds, which mean all players will earn the same profit despite their type of odds. 6/1 odds are the same as 7.00 in decimal version, which means everyone wins equally. Historically, fractional odds have high usage in the UK, especially when it comes to horse racing. Some would say that decimal odds are much easier to comprehend.

All popular online betting sites have all options covered today. It doesn’t matter which format of odds you prefer – a switch button will make sure players are one click away from selecting their favorite.
Fractional odds are not including the returned stake into potential winnings, which is not the case to decimals. The massive popularity of betting exchange sites has led a lot of UK players toward using decimals.

How To Find Betting Site With Best Odds?

It is really hard to answer which betting site has the highest odds. It all depends on sport, market or a particular event. There are numerous free tools online which are very helpful in situations like this. Obviously, all experienced bettors understand the value of getting the best odds possible for the selected event.

Our advice on this is to do a small research. Let’s say you find 10 online bookies which have a high chance to own the best price for football events. All of the sites from our list above can be trusted, so you can open new betting accounts with them.


Step number two is to compare the odds. Let’s say PaddyPower has the best odds for Man Utd to beat Swansea City on the road. However, Betfair holds the best price for Fulham to win against Crystal Palace. In a scenario like this, simply place two separate single bets on two separate bookmakers to get the best value.

Hopefully, How Do Betting Odds Work article was helpful. Let us know if you have any issue of understanding the odds!