How Betting Sites Calculate The Odds

The three types of odds are fractional, decimal, and American. One type of odd can be converted into another and can also be expressed as an implied probability percentage.

betting odds

Like any other type of money generation, betting requires knowledge for it to be effective. You must comprehend the fundamental concepts employed, how to construct bets, the mechanics of deciding on odds, as well as how to maximize your winnings. This article will explain odds, how one can improve them, and help you comprehend them better, with different platforms that can be of assistance —

What Are Odds and How Do You Understand Them?

In plain English, odds refer to the techniques bookmakers use to determine the likely results of a given event. Bookmakers assign a particular weight to each result while analyzing the potential possibilities. What is known as odds is that particular weight associated with them.

Three formats are often used to depict odds: decimal, fractional, and American odds.

Decimal Odds

This one is typical and probably the easiest to comprehend in Nigeria and globally. Simply multiply what's in the odds by your bet amount to determine your potential winnings. To calculate the profits from your victories, subtract your investment from the outcome:

Decimal x bet=your total winnings

Subtract your stake from your total winnings to determine the amount earned:

Your total winnings – bet=net profit

Fractional Odds

These are popular in European nations. To calculate the wins, take this example—if your fraction is 3/1, the money you can win over the money you risked is 3. In other words, you can receive N300 for N100 wagered.

American Betting Odds

Moneyline odds, often known as American odds, show you either positive (+) or negative (-) numbers. The positive and negative values indicate how much it is you can gain or lose in case you wager $100, respectively.

The majority of online companies for betting companies provide the moneyline odds format, though we do not recommend using them because they are rather confusing. Still, feel free to use them if you find them convenient for you.

types of odds

Calculating Implied Probability

Odds represent the assumed likelihood that an event will occur, and understanding how to convert odds to a percentage can help you determine if the wager is worthwhile. We advise choosing decimal odds since to calculate the percentage, you just divide 100 by the decimal odds.

As in 100/2.50 equals 40%.

Let's assume two football teams have collaborated to score in 70% of their games on average.

If the odds were set at 2.50 (40%) for both sides to score, there would be value compared to the market average of 70%.

Something to Keep in Mind About Odds

Although odds are employed by bookmakers for them to depict the possibility of an occurrence, they do not accurately reflect all the likelihood of a particular result. They mostly rely on data which are readily accessible to the public. Expert bettors thus use implied probability for them to calculate the bookmaker's margin to assess the real cost of each wager. Therefore, while seeking to put a bet on a particular event, comparing odds on several sports betting sites might be useful.

Why Does the House Have an Edge?

The odds on display at these platforms never accurately represent the likelihood—possibility—of a particular event happening (or perhaps not happening). These odds always include a profit margin which bookmakers insert, so payouts to winners are never what they would have been if all odds accurately represented actual probabilities.

Let's examine probabilities for each result of a World Cup match in Qatar to provide evidence for this claim.

Morocco has x5.65 which gives us a supposed probability of 17.70%
Spain has x1.705 which gives us a supposed probability of 58.65%
Meanwhile, the odds of a draw is set as x3.5 or 28.57%

As you can already tell, these probabilities add up to more than 100% or 104.92% to be exact (17.70% + 58.65% + 28.57%). That contradicts the rule that any probability has to add up to 100%, doesn't it? This is due to the unfavorable odds shown.

The difference between 100% and 4.76%, or the so-called over-round is how bookmakers profit when all the bets are placed. You really risk $104.92 in case you choose to bet on both participants to win $100. No matter which side prevails, from the bookmaker's standpoint, they are expecting to receive $104.92 in bets and then pay $100 (as well as the deposit), for a projected profit equaling 4.92% (4.92/104.92). These odds have this benefit for bookmakers.

Here, behavioral economics is relevant. A person keeps betting either because they are on a win streak, then it may be because they think a large gain will soon outweigh their losses. The high of winning in both situations is what drives people to play and bet again, not logic or statistics.

What Are Good Methods of Working With Odds

Among the most popular techniques are:
  1. Making predictions about the future based on previous facts.
  2. Trend analysis to find betting possibilities.
  3. Pricing decisions are made in accordance with the sums wagered on certain outcomes.
  4. Providing special incentives or promotions to encourage wagering on certain events.

Insight into bookmakers Earnings

The precise profit margin for bookmakers varies depending on factors such as the sport, the type of bet, and the level of competition within the industry. However, a general estimate suggests that bookmakers typically earn between 5% and 10% of the total amount of money wagered.

Incredible growth in Bet365 revenues
Incredible growth in Bet365 revenues


If the available chances for a result are greater than the suggested probability calculated by bookmakers, then the betting option may be regarded as lucrative. Additionally, the probabilities shown never accurately represent the likelihood that an event will really occur (or, again, not occur). Do keep in mind that a payout for winning is never what one would have gotten if all odds had accurately represented the chances. Remember as this is true since the odds have to favor the house for the bookmakers' profit margin.

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