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Betting odds explained

By Admin on August 19, 2012 in Betting Guide

Yes, as a beginner you need to have your betting odds explained to you until you get the point. There is no way around it. If you are a seasoned veteran, head on to the next article please. The scope of this article is to show you the importance of odds, and the main ways odds can be stated.

In general odds are just the inverse of probability. To illustrate what we mean by the inverse of probability, we will use a simple example. Say Croatia is playing Sweden in men’s handball. You think it is a 60% chance Croatia will win. Now, divide 1 (100%) by 0.60 (60%) and voila, 1.67. We discuss probability in many other articles, and we do urge you to read those. A basic understanding of probability is necessary in order to succeed in betting on sports.

Betting odds explained – odds are all around us

Odds are everywhere! When you cross the street, there may or may not be a car driving. If you had been standing long enough at comparable times on comparable days, you probably could get some decent odds to throw around.  Maybe you are hitting the town hard with your buddies and try to chat up a new potential “first lady”. If the first one objects don’t give up. If you ask enough ladies you’ll find someone attracted to you that is within your acceptable parameters. Just assess your chances. Let us assume you aren’t quite a Casanova, that you are not extremely selective, and that you haven’t had much luck before, let’s say you got a 2.5% chance at finding Mrs. Right. Again, let us use the math from earlier. 1/0.025 = 20. Wow, one in forty girls is going to give you a green light. Go for it Tiger. (Editor Note: He clearly did)

Let us return to gambling. Maybe you are a lottery player? If that is the case you likely don’t want to know what your odds are. They really are that slim. If you enjoy grinding the ticket one number at a time, don’t let us spoil the fun, but don’t bet your house on it. Perhaps you like the horses? The odds are always clearly marked when betting on the ponies. (Note they will often change prior to the drop of the gate). Maybe you prefer betting on x factor odds? All these reality – competition type of TV shows have opened up new and exciting betting possibilities. Betting on sports is no different from those other odds betting activities mentioned above.

When we look at horse racing as mentioned, the ten horses typically have odds ranging from 2-1 all the way up to 50-1 or higher. What this means is if you bet $1 and your horse wins, you either win $2 or you win $50. Betting on sports is similar; there are a variety of ways the odds are posted.

Betting odds explained – How odds are quoted

The most popular ways of quoting odds are: decimal odds, fractional odds, US odds, Hong Kong odds, INDO odds and Malay odds.

Here is one practical example for you: New England Patriots -7 can be quoted as (US -200), (Decimal 1.50), (Fractional ½), (Hong Kong 0.50), and (Indo -2.0) @ Buffalo Bills. These odds all mean the same thing, in order to win $100 net you need to bet $200 on New England. Don’t let the -7 confuse you. It is just an example. For you to win this bet the New England Patriots must win by eight points or more.

Using decimal wagering the odds is 1.50. To find out what your bet pays net you simply multiply the odds 1.5 with the stake you bet ($200 in this example). Then you subtract the stake. In this example we then get to a net win of $100.

In the fractional example your first number shown would be your potential winnings. Here, one unit is gained for every two units wagered. Intuitively this makes sense. This way of quoting odds is popular with the British.

Most reputable books catering for the western betting markets will post odds in all of these formats, it just comes down to personal choice as too what you prefer. If you happen to prefer Asian odds and are using a book in the fast growing, and popular Asian market you will need to get used to the Hong Kong odds and Indo odds, another popular one used is Malay odds.

Betting odds explained – Asian odds

Hong Kong odds state the number of units you win net if your bet is a winner. It takes your stake out of the equation. Hong Kong odds of 0.50 therefore imply that if you bet one pound you will net 50 pence.

Indonesian odds are stated as a number, using decimals. What you need to know is that when it is a positive number it works like Hong Kong odds. So, if you are offered Indonesian odds of 2.50 you know that you need to bet 1 unit to win 2.5 units net (3.5 units gross). If the number is negative they show you how many units you need to risk in order to win 1 unit. So, if you are quoted -2.00 you know you need to bet 2 euro to win 1. An even odds situation is quoted as 1.00 using Indonesian odds.

Next up are Malay odds. When they are quoted as a positive number they show you what you win if you are betting one unit. So, if you are quoted odds of 0.5, you know you will net 0.50 units per 1 unit you bet given your bet is a winner. Yes, this is just like Hong Kong odds too. When Malay odds are quoted as a negative number, such as -0.5 it indicates you need to risk 0.5 units to win 1 unit net. Quite simple isn’t it.

Final notes

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