The Odds: Hows Odds Work In Betting

Knowing how the odds work in sports betting is probably the most important thing you’ll want to know before you get started betting online. Different places use different systems to show their odds but in Australia the decimal odds system is used. This is helpful since it’s also one of the easiest systems to learn.

One of the first things you most likely want to know is how much you stand to win. Each team, or player depending on the kind of game you’re looking at, that’s playing is essentially going to have its own odds. If, for instance, in a game of football the odds for a team is 1.93 then that means that if you put $10 on that team and they win, you’ll get back $19.30 (or $1.93 for every dollar you bet). Likewise, if the odds are something like 3.50 it means that if you bet $10 and that team wins, you’ll get back $35.

As such, the decimal system is really easy to learn and understand because you’re basically just moving the decimal point over, especially if you’re betting in $10 increments!

Fractional odds are used in the U.K. and are popular in horse racing. With these, the odds quote the net total that will be paid out to the person making the wager if they win, comparative to their bet. For instance, in the odds of 5/1 it is implied that the person making the bet can make as much as $100 if they bet $20. On the other hand, if the odds are 1/5 then the person making the bet stands to win $4 if they bet $20. In addition, the bettor will get their stake returned so if they make a successful wager of $20 at 5/1 they will get a payout of $120.

In American odds, popular in the US of course, the sports betting odds work differently for favorites and underdogs. Sometimes, these are also referred to as “Moneyline Odds.” Essentially, these odds work by letting you know how much money you need to bet in order to win back $100. If the odds are -110, then to win $100 you must wager $110.

The odds for betting on an underdog show how much you’d win if you wagered $100. For instance, if the odds are +240 then to win $240 you’d need to wager $100. If the letters “PK” show up next to the odds then there isn’t a favorite.

Sports Betting Lingo

The terminology in sports betting online might seem intimidating at first but you’ll be good to go once you’ve been around it for a little while and get the hang of it. Of course, different sports will have their own terms and the lingo might vary somewhat depending on the sport that you are betting on, but you can count on some terms at least being similar across the board.

  • Sports Bet – Gambling in which you place an amount of money on the outcome of a sporting event in order to win more money than you invested.
  • Bookmaker – (Also called a bookie / betting agency) A company or individual that legally allows you to place bets based on their odds.
  • Back – When you bet on match’s outcome. Who you back is basically who you are betting on winning or placing, depending on the kind of bet you’re making.
  • Odds – The ratio of probability between the chances of something happening or not happening. Where sports betting is concerned, the odds are the amounts the bookmaker will pay out if the certain team, player, or animal wins.
  • Lay Bet – Where you bet against an event actually happening. Your example you could do a lay bet against Federer winning the Australian Open.
  • Fixed Odds – Seen a lot in horse racing, fixed odds are paid out to the winner, based on when the bet was placed.
  • Single Bet – Placing a bet on a tournament or an event.
  • Scratching or Scratched – The term that’s used if a horse is removed from the event.
  • Win Bet – A bet placed upon the chances of a team, player, or animal only winning. You lose if it doesn’t win.
  • Place Bet – In horse racing to “place” means that the horse doesn’t necessarily have to win in order for you to win your bet; they can also come in second place or even third.
  • Win and Place – In a dual bet you pay twice to bet that the horse will either win or place.
  • Quinella – A bet in which 2 horses you bet on must come in either first or second place.
  • Trifecta – You pick which horses will come first, second and third in the correct order.
  • Box trifecta – All three horses you choose have to place but they don’t have to be in any particular order.
  • Each Way – You bet the same amount of money for a place and a win. For example, “$4 each way” would cost $8 and you would win if the horse placed or won.
  • Across the Board – Betting on a horse to win, place and show.
  • Double Bet – Betting for twice the size of your usual wager.
  • Favorite – The team that is expected to win an event. You can normally count on the quoted odds of reflecting the extent to which the choice is favored.
  • Handicapping – Trying to predict the outcome of sporting events by using research.
  • Hedging – Placing bets on the opposite side to help cut your losses or guarantee a minimum amount of winnings.
  • Longshot – A team, athlete or animal that is considered unlikely to win.

In horse racing, bets such as Quinella and Trifecta are going to be more expensive than your “to win” or “to place” bets since you are betting on more than one horse at a time. Although these bets do stand to pay out a little bit higher, if you’ve never bet in this kind of sport before you might want to start with something a little simpler in the beginning.