How do betting odds work?

A detailed analysis of betting odds.

Did you know that there is a probability that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to win the next US presidential election according to one of the most popular betting websites?

The odds that "The Rock" wins the election is 50/1, which means "50 chances to lose and 1 chance to win", or else the probability of its victory is 1/51 = 0.0196.

If you plan to start placing bets while playing in the casino, sports bets or any other type of online entertainment, it is important to understand how odds work.

It would be absurd to think of placing bets without first having a good knowledge of the different types of betting odds and the ability to understand and interpret their different formats.

The three main types of betting odds are “fractional coefficients"(British),"decimal coefficients”(European) and“American coefficients".

These methods are simply different ways of presenting the same thing and have no difference in terms of your profit. This means that the probability (or percentage of probability) of the occurrence of an event can be converted and presented in each of the above ways.

How do fractional coefficients work?

Fractional coefficients (also known as the British coefficients or traditional coefficients) are widely used in Britain and Ireland. They are usually written with "/" or "-", for example 6/1 or 6-1 and read "six-for-one". Fractional odds are used by some of the largest betting companies in the world, thus becoming the most preferred way of presenting odds around the world.

A fractional listing of 6/1 odds would indicate that you win $ 6 for every $ 1 you place your bet (also taking back the $ 1 you invested). In other words the amount you will receive will be the $ 6 profit and the $ 1 you placed on the bet, resulting in a total amount of $ 7. Consequently, if you place a $ 10 bet with a 6/1 odds, in the event of a win you will withdraw the amount of $ 70 ($ 60 payout and $ 10 bet amount).

That is, the total amount you would win from a bet can be expressed as:

Total amount won = [placed bet × (numerator / denominator)] + placed bet

For example, one of the largest betting websites listed the following odds regarding the potential winner of the 2017-18 NBA season. Below are the three teams with the lowest odds.

  • Golden State Warriors: 10/11
  • Houston Rockets: 9/4
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: 7: 1

It is very simple to conclude that the Golden State Warriors are the favorites to win while the odds of Houston and Cleveland are higher. Rather a bettor has a payout of $ 10 for every $ 11 played in favor of the Golden State Warriors. Meanwhile he can win $ 9 for every $ 4 played in favor of Houston winning which is less likely to happen. For Cleveland, a profit of $ 7 is taken for every $ 1 placed in the bet.

In the example above, if you place $ 100 in favor of Golden State, you would receive a profit of $ 90.91 [$ 100 × (10/11)], and you would also take back the initial bet of $ 100, resulting in a total amount of $ 190.91. However if you place a $ 100 bet in favor of Houston you would have a profit of $ 225 [$ 100 × (9/4)] and adding $ 100 to the initial bet would withdraw a total of $ 325. By the same token the profit from placing a $ 100 bet in favor of Cleveland would be higher edbe, specifically $ 700 and the total amount won would be $ 800.

How do decimal coefficients work?

Decimal coefficients (also known as European coefficients, digital coefficients or continental coefficients) are widely used in continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. They are easier to understand and act on. Favorites are spotted as soon as you look at the numbers.

The decimal odds represent the total amount won for every $ 1 played. For decimal coefficients this amount is total, so it includes both played and profit.

The total payout from a bet placed would be calculated as:

Total payout = bet placed dhjet December odds

For example, one of the most popular websites has listed the chances of some candidates to win the 2020 US Presidential Election. Below will be listed the odds of the top three candidates as well as the least likely candidate, announced by the betting company in March 21, 2018.

  • Donald Trump: 3.00
  • Bernie Sanders: 11.00 a.m.
  • Elizabeth Warrend: 13.00 p.m.

And a media personality, sports businessman LaVar Ball: 251.00

These figures indicate the amount you would win on every $ 1 you place your bet. Consequently if a bettor bets $ 100 in favor of Donald Trump he would win $ 300. This amount includes the initial $ 100 bet and the $ 200 winnings.

Similarly a bookmaker would win $ 1100 if they placed $ 100 in favor of Bernie Sanders and $ 1300 if they played the same $ 100 in favor of Elizabeth Warren. Subtracting the initial $ 100 from these two amounts also results in the profit received from each bet 

Looking at these odds set by the betting company, it is concluded that according to her, the probability that Donald Trump (the favorite) will win the election is much higher than the probability of other candidates. The higher the total benefit (i.e. the higher the December coefficient) the less likely it is for the listed candidate to win.

How do American coefficients work?

American coefficients are used in the United States. Odds for favorites are accompanied by a "-" sign and indicate the amount you must play to win $ 100. While the odds for the disadvantages are associated with a "+" and indicate the amount you would win for every $ 100 played. In both cases the amount played is taken back. The difference between the odds of the favorite and the unfavorable increases as the probability of winning the favorite increases.

Let us understand this with the help of an example:

One of the well-known betting websites listed the following odds for the men's basketball match between Duke and Syracuse on March 23, 2018.

  • Syracuse: +585
  • Duke: -760

The betting company has offered the +585 coefficient for Syracuae which indicates that it has given a much lower probability of their victory. A bettor must play $ 100 to win $ 585 and by adding to this amount the initial bet taken back, the total amount won will be $ 685.

If you were to place a bet in favor of Duke being listed as a favorite, you would have to play $ 760 to win $ 100. If Duke wins, you would win a total of $ 860 (initial $ 760 bet and $ 100 winnings).

In this match there is a big difference between the two odds, which indicates that the probability that the match will be won by Duke is much higher.

Important conclusions

  • The three main types of betting odds are fractional (British), decimal (European), and American. These are simply different ways of presenting the same thing, and have no difference in terms of profit at the end.
  • Fractional odds are the ratio of the winnings to the bet placed; decimal odds show the amount won for every $ 1 placed in the bet; and US odds, depending on the positive or negative sign, indicate either the amount to be bet on to win $ 100 or the profit to be won by playing $ 100.

If you are planning to enter the world of betting it is important to be able to understand and interpret all types of odds well.

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