What are Odds?
Odds can be described as the probability or chance of a certain outcome in a specific event. Every outcome will have a chance of happening and odds are a way of interpreting these outcomes.
Betting odds are not a true indication on the chance of the outcome as the bookmaker will add their own profit margin.
How are odds displayed?
Odds are displayed in decimals or fractions. Decimals are used by most european bookmakers and fractions are used by UK bookmakers. The Americans also use their own odds called US Odds. You can change how they are displayed on the bookmakers site to make it easier.
Decimal odds are more common in Europe and the live odds on this site are displayed in decimals as they are easier to read. The chance of the event happening divided into 100. So if the chance of a horse to win was 25% you would do 100/25 = 4. the decimal value is four. If you put £10 on, your winnings would be 4 x £10 = £40. Your stake is included in the odds.
Fractional Odds are mainly used in the UK. Using the above example if the chance is 25% this would be displayed as 3/1. This is showing that every time you win once you will lose three times. Here you win £30 and your stake of £10 back, so £40. Exactly the same outcome as decimal odds just displayed differently.
US Odds can also be named as money line odds or lines. They are displayed with a + or - sign. If they are showing a + sign that that means how much you would win with a 100 stake and if it shows a - sign this is how much you need to bet to win 100. Using the previous example 3/1 or 4 would be +300. If you bet £10 you would win £30 and your stake of £10.
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This page and all pages on Betting UK have been written by Michael Flynn, you can follow Michael on Google+ here.