How to Understand and Correctly Calculate the Odds in the Betting

 November 7, 2021

By  BC Editorial Team

People who make money or simply have fun betting on sports know what betting odds are. However, for users who have just decided to start betting and have chosen a company like 22Bet, the odds are something unknown and mysterious. Thus, all beginners and even experienced punters should know how betting odds work.

What Are the Odds in the Betting

Betting odds are found on the website of any bookmaker. As a rule, it is a numerical value by which the bet amount is multiplied in case the bet is won. Thus, the client understands how much money he can earn.

What Does It Mean

Sports betting odds are not just a number by which the bet amount is multiplied in case of a successful outcome of an event. That is a number that corresponds to an estimate of the probability of a particular outcome. So, for example, when the odds for the upcoming match are 1.2 for team “A” and 3.8 for team “B”, it can be concluded that the chances of the first team to win are higher. Consequently, having a bet on it, the client’s winnings will be less. But the probability that the bet will be played will be higher.

Ways of Forming Odds

When we know that the bookmaker odds show the probability of the outcome of a sporting event, it is important to touch on another topic. Namely, how the odds are calculated. Obviously, the figures are not taken from the ceiling and are the result of a number of experts whose goal is to make sure that the bookie was a winner.

Bookies odds are calculated from several indicators:

  • The opinion of BC analysts on a particular outcome;
  • ancillary events, including injuries and disqualifications of players; the odds in the bookmaker’s competitor;
  • the number of bets on a particular outcome.

Main Types of Odds for Betting

The odds for one or the other team to win are indicated differently depending on the market where the bookmaker’s office operates. Thus, in the USA, and the UK there are their own types of odds, which, however, always reflect the probability of the event.

European (Decimal)

European odds are used in most countries of the world, as it is the most accessible and understandable. It is expressed in a number with decimal fractions denoting the probability of the outcome. For instance, the decimal coefficient of 1.5 tells us that a bet of 100 or 1000 dollars should be multiplied by the number of odds in order to calculate the rate of winnings.

As part of the European rates, it is also customary to consider the Hong Kong odds. They are also a number with decimal fractions, but their size is one less than the European. Such odds show the profit. That is, making a bet of 100 dollars at odds 0.5, the player will get 50 dollars of net profit, as in the case if the bet is made at European odds 1.5.


American odds are probably the most difficult to comprehend for players who are not familiar with betting. These odds are integers, indicating the size of the winning bet of $100. In this case, American odds can be with a “+” and with a “-” sign. In the first case, it shows how much a person will win by betting $100, and in the second case, it shows how much to bet to achieve a profit of $100.

As an example, it is not necessary to consider many quotations, but only one will suffice. A -300 odds on one or the other team winning says that to get a $100 net win from the players requires a $300 bet. And a +300 odds would say that the net profit from a $100 bet would be $200 ($300 minus the betting amount).

British (Fractional)

Fractional odds are common in the British Isles and are part of the culture of soccer’s ancestors. They show the probability of an outcome in a numerical ratio. For example, 6/2 means the odds are 6 to 2. To get the European odds, you would need to divide the value, and then the fractional odds of 6/2 would correspond to the decimal 3. In short, the first part of the fraction shows the size of the winnings in conventional units when making a bet equal to the second fractional number.

  • N1 – 25%; N – 15%; N2 – 60%.

Then the percentage of margin is added to the percentage of probability. This is the bookmaker’s commission, allowing him to stay in the black, regardless of the outcome. Let’s say the margin is 5%. In this case, the bookie distributes this percentage between the three outcomes at its discretion. For example:

  • N1 – 25% + 1% = 26%; N – 15% + 2% = 17%; N2 – 60% + 2% = 62%.

Based on the estimated probability and margin, the calculation of odds by the formula 100 / X, where instead of the letter “X” indicates the probability in percentage. As a result, we get:

  • N1 – 3.8; N – 5.9; N2 – 1.6.

The final size of the odds shows that the “B” team is really the favorite, but at the expense of the margin, the client’s winnings will be less, as for each outcome the commission percentage has been added.

Adjusting the Odds

The information presented in the material is enough to understand what the odds in betting mean and how they are calculated. However, along with the simple calculations discussed above, there are adjustments to the odds. After all, if you remember, odds are constantly changing, and the most significant difference is noticeable when the event has already started.

Let us just note that the adjustment directly affects the amount the player will receive in case of winning. Suppose, for instance, on Monday you decided to bet “P1” on Friday’s match with odds of 1.5. At the same time, on Wednesday one of the key players of the home team got injured and the chances of winning have sharply decreased, due to which the odds have risen to 1.8. However, you should not assume that betting before the match increases the probability of winning. The situation can swing either way, and the betting option should be calculated solely on its own beliefs.

BC Editorial Team


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