In this section we will quickly go through the basics of gambling including odds and percentages and the importance of value in betting. For those with gambling experience, you still may find some useful information here, and I would advise everyone to at least skim read this part.
British - Fractional Odds
The traditional British way is to describe the odds as a fraction e.g 5/1 or "Five to One". When the first figure is higher than the second it is called "odds against". The amount won will be greater than the original stake. For example if the odds offered were 5/1 then for every £1 staked you would win £5.
When the first figure is smaller than the second it is called "odds on" and the amount of winnings will be smaller than the stake. For example if the odds offered were 4/6 then for every £6 staked you would win £4.
European - Decimal Odds
Unlike the British fractions the European system deals in decimals. The figure quoted is the return a punter receives (including the stake) based on a bet of 1 unit. To transfer from British odds to European odds simply divide the first number by the second number and add 1.
So odds of 5/1 become 6 (5 ÷ 1 + 1 = 6)
and odds of 4/6 become 1.67 (4 ÷ 6 + 1 = 1.67)
The betting exchanges all use the European odds system so it is something you are going to have to learn to recognise.
The American system is different again and is the most complicated due to odds being either positive or negative. The system is based on “evens” (1/1) being expressed as 100.00.
If an event is odds on then the figure is preceded by a minus “-” and represents the amount you have to stake in order to win 100 units. If an event has odds greater than evens then it is a positive figure and represents the amount you win for every 100 units staked.
Don't worry if you don't understand this completely. We will not be dealing in American odds in any way.
Table of Odds and Percentages
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