Betting Odds

For Beginner
Soccer dice

How are betting odds determined? It is common for beginners to wonder about this as the odds do not just fall out of the sky. Keep reading to find out more about betting odds, the meaning and why understanding them is so important. On paper, these stats are pretty simple which is good news if you are only starting to learn the ins and outs of betting as you will not have to spend much time understanding this section. Do not get intimidated by the thought of mathematical calculations, the idea is more complex than the method.

Betting odds explained: odds are calculations that express your chance of making a profit. In other words, the odds are there to help you work out how much money you will win if your bet is successful.

Facts About Betting Odds

  • Betting odds reflect the likelihood of an outcome
  • You calculate your profit through betting odds
  • Lower odds mean higher profits
  • Profits are affected by betting tax
  • Different bookmakers have varying odds
  • Bonus programs are affected by quotes
Sports Odds (soccer) and outcome probabilities

What is Probability?

As mentioned, betting gives you the ability to predict the outcome of an event, this is the first thing that you need to wrap your head around. For any game or event that you are thinking of betting on, you will have a certain number of outcomes. For example, if one person rolls a dice, there are six possible outcomes. This means that if you place a bet that they will roll a ‘three’, the chance of this happening is 16.67%. Now, when referring to betting odds, they present how likely each outcome is. These odds are presented in different ways, the most common being either in factorial or decimal form.

Odds – Why Are They So Important?

When it comes to sports betting, odds are a core element in the process. This is due to a number of things:

  • Odds are in place to predict the likelihood of a win: the entire point of bookmaker odds is to gauge the end result of a game. By now you should understand how that can be considered important – betting odds will weigh in on your decision when it comes to trying to score a cashout.
  • The odds will lead to a profit calculation: For instance, 4/1 for every 1 credit you bet, you will win 4 credits. Going back to the likelihood of a particular outcome, the lower the odds of something happening, the higher the potential profit. Of course, this comes with a higher risk, however, it is good to know where the bigger profits lie.

Where Betting Odds Come From


If you are wondering where bookmakers get these stats, there are two ways that providers get their odds. One way is by purchasing the probabilities from specialised companies. The other route that betting providers calculate the likelihoods themselves. To work out the probabilities of various games there need to be certain records such as team info, past results, curves, and many more aspects for evaluation. This is how results are predicted and the likelihood of these results calculated for bettor strategies.

Here is a comprehensive example to see what we mean in action. Imagine you had a game between favourite/underdog teams. If you were to divide 100% between three likelihoods, then the odds would look something like this:

  • The stronger team wins – 70% (the expected outcome)
  • The game ends in a draw – 20%
  • The underdog team wins – 10%

This is a basic example of how the probable result would be measured according to outside information, history, etc.

Fair Odds Explained

Fair odds, also called refined odds and true odds, level profit opportunities for betting providers and bettors. These odds can be found in sports betting portals. The idea behind fair odds is that successful bettors with the right information and predictions get to collect their profits, while unsuccessful users fund these payouts. Theoretically, all of these types of bets are divided among sports bettors at fair odds.

Special odds

This is why the odds that are calculated by the bookmaker are set at a “discounted price”. In order for betting providers to make a profit in the long-run, they need to have odds set as less than the corresponding fair odds. If you are ever lucky enough to find provider odds that are higher than the fair odds, we recommend that you take the bet as this is a rare sighting and bodes well for your bankroll.

How does betting tax affect you when it comes to betting odds? Betting tax does not have influence over the odds themselves, however, you will be adversely affected. The tax will not change how the odds look, but it will reduce your potential profit. This is good to know and take into consideration when calculating your potential winnings.

Conclusion: Use the knowledge about odds for yourself

Sports betting winner

Now that you have a clearer picture as to what you are dealing with when it comes to betting odds, you will be able to use the knowledge to calculate bets and your chances of making a profit, as well as, a number of other factors. It is important to know that there is no such thing as a sure bet or 100% chance of winning – that is why they are called odds. Be sure to look at betting odds carefully and do your research. For instance, remember to compare them to other predictions like fair odds and quotas presented by other bookmakers. This ties into a piece of advice found among our 18 Tips for Successful Betting – open more than one betting account to ensure that you get the best deals. In order to become a successful sports bettor, you need to be able to read and understand odds. Besides this, calculating your potential winnings is a skill that all bettors need to master.