What are the odds?
Have you stopped by Cappers Picks today to use our Sports Betting Tips from the experts at Cappers Picks? Here, we are going to clarify how to read gambling odds and calculate payouts so that even a beginner can bet with confidence.
Sportsbooks list odds or payouts one of three ways: in decimal format, in what is known as “American”, or as a fraction or ratio. It’s important to know exactly how to read all three so as never to be cheated.
How to Read Gambling Odds: Decimals
Decimal format has become more widespread because of its simplicity.
The number next to a bet is how much a winning stake will multiply by. So, for example, a winning bet priced at 2.00 means the bettor doubles his or her stake. If he or she bet $100, he or she would, of course, get the original $100 stake back, plus another $100 ($100 x 2.00 = $200 total return, original stake included).
Decimal odds must be larger than 1.00, which would imply no winnings. The occasional confusion with decimal format is that it calculates the total ticket, including the original stake, while the other two formats are based on winnings.
To some, this is more intuitive. A winning stake priced at 3.00 means tripling one’s money. Of course, decimals aren’t often whole numbers. A winning stake priced at 1.65 means the bettor gets his or her money back and wins another 65 percent of that original stake ($100×1.65=$165 ticket — $65 in winnings, plus the original stake).
How to Read Gambling Odds: American
American format is based on $100. The odds will either begin with a plus or a minus. A plus represents an underdog, or “plus money” return, while a minus represents a favorite that offers a potential profit smaller than the stake itself.
The number after a plus is how much a bettor will win with a $100 bet. So a +250 payout means a $100 bet would win $250 and the total ticket return would be $350 ($100+$250 winnings). Of course, the stake can be more or less than $100. A $50 winner with a +250 payout brings $125 in winnings, plus the original $50 stake for a ticket worth $175.
The number after a minus represents how much much be staked in order to win $100. The larger the number, the heavier the favorite. A -600 favorite requires the bettor to risk $600 to win $100 for a ticket worth $700.
To calculate decimal odds from American, first determine if the payout is a plus or a minus payout. If it’s a plus payout, divide the number by 100 and add one to account for the original stake. So that +250 payout gets converted to 3.50 (2.50+1=3.50).
If it’s a minus payout, divide 100 by the number. So that -600 payout would be 1.167 in decimal form (100/600=1.67)
How to Read Gambling Odds: Fractions
Fractional odds are more traditional but gradually disappearing in favor of decimal format. Perhaps the math is just too tough for the everyday bettor to figure nowadays.
The denominator (that’s the one on bottom) in the fraction represents the stake; the numerator (on top) represents the winnings, not the total ticket amount.
Example: 3/1 odds (perhaps shown as 3:1) means a bettor wins three times as much as he or she stakes. A $50 bet would win $150 for a total ticket worth $200.
The denominator can be another number, though. A 5/2 payout means for every $2 wagered, a bettor would win $5, on top of the $2 return for the original stake. A $100 bet would win $250 for a ticket worth $350.
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