What Are Betting Odds?

Odds are the numerical representation of the chance of something happening – it can be anything from a football or horse racing winner to somebody becoming a new Prime Minister.

They affect how much money you win, meaning that some bets are naturally better value than others, so is the most important thing you need to know.

Fractional and decimal are the most common odds used by bookmakers – pay out the same price, so you can choose whichever one you understand the best. The fraction is the widest-used system – the net pay-out is quoted within the odd.

A successful bets’ return stake is not included in the fractional price, though you receive that alongside your winnings.

A bet with 2/1 fractional odds would return £2 for every £1 staked.

For example, placing £10 on Manchester City to win at this price would pay £20 excluding the stake and £30 including it.

Another example: £1 bet on 2/1 horse = £2 return + £1 stake = £3 full return

Decimal odds are becoming increasingly popular, particularly throughout Europe. The way that they differ from fractions is that they include the stake in the quoted price. For example, a 2/1 fractional bet would read 3.00 in decimal form and £1 would return £3 because the stake is included.

Example: £1 bet on 3.00 horse = £3 full return

Because of this, the shortest odds are generally displayed as 1.01 – the equivalent of 1/100 in fractional form.

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