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Betting odds explained

Here we have betting odds explained for you. Odds are often referred to as the chance of something happening, outside of the gambling industry is often displayed as a percentage. The idea here is if you add all the possibilities of something happening together it should add up to 100%. So if you flip a coin you have a 50% chance of it hitting heads and a 50% chance of it hitting tails, or if you roll a dice there are one in six chances of something happening or 16.66%. There are three different types of odds and below we will explain how odds work and the various types of odds that there are.

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Understanding odds

Odds are a simple reflection of the chances of something happening in an event. In any event, everything can be given a probability of happening, and the bookmaker will form odds on the chances of something happening. This is then displayed in the form of odds, so if something is displayed as odds of 1/1 then, in theory, the bookmaker thinks it has a 50% chance of winning.

Decimal odds explained

Bookies use odds rather than percentages, and one of the odd formats they display is decimal odds. Decimal odds are mostly used in mainland Europe and are sometimes referred to as European odds. Decimal odds are always displayed as a number for example 2.0 or 2.5 is a form of displayed decimal odds. To work out decimal odds you take 100 and divide it by the chance of something happening, so if something has a 50/50 chance divide 100 by 50 which equals 2.0. If you were then to place a bet on this, you would receive £2 back if you placed a £1 bet, as you can see the returned stake is always included in the odds with decimal odds. So whenever you place a bet with decimal odds for every £1 you place you will receive whatever the odds are back.

Fractional odds explained

For UK customers the more traditional odds display is fractional. This might be something many of you are used to, as always it is a simple display of the chances of something happening. So if we use the 50/50 analogy again, the odds would be displayed as 1/1. So a simple definition of this for every one time you win you will lose once hence 50/50 or 1/1. So to explain this in terms for every £1 you place you will receive £1 back plus your original stake so £2 total. This, as you can see, is exactly the same as the decimal, but is just displayed in a slightly different way. Effectively is 1(winnings)+1(stake)=£2.

US odds explained

US odds are not commonly seen in Europe, but if you want to bet on US sport, you will often see it displayed. American odds are a form of decimal again but are slightly different to European as they only display the profit. We will use the 50/50 analogy again in US odds this would simply be displayed as 1. This again means for every 1 time you win you would lose once and again for every £1 you place you would receive £1 back plus your stake so £2 total.