There are three different ways odds can be presented. Depending on which market the bookmaker targets. Odds are presented by either the American, British or European standard.
The American system is different the odds can be 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.
British – Factional Odds
The traditional British way is to describe the odds as a fraction e.g. 6/1 or "Six 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 6/1 then for every £1 staked you would win £6. 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 4/8 then for every £8 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 4/1 become 5 (4 ÷ 1 + 1 = 5) and odds of 4/8 become 1.67 (4 ÷ 8 + 1 = 1.50) The betting exchanges all use the European odds system so it is something you are going to have to learn to recognize.
Laying a bet means you are betting on something not to happen. Laying its like being a bookmaker where you offer odds on sports. With the introduction of betting exchanges like Betfair, you can now offer odds on horse to win, and hence profit when they lose.
Why do you want to lay?
The attraction of laying (or offering odds) is that it offers you a lot of flexibility because you are offering odds on the event rather than accepting odds given to you by a bookmaker.
How does Laying work?
To be able to lay a bet with Betfair you need to have enough cash in your account to be able to pay out if the event you are offering odds on happens. For example if you wanted to lay a horse at 5/1 (6.00) and you had £100 in your account, you would be able to take bets up to a total stake of £20. If the horse wins you have to pay out £100 to the people who have bet £20 with you at 5/1. If it loses, you get to keep the £20 people have bet with you.
A staking plan is a method of controlling how much each bet should bet. There are simple staking plans and there are more complicated plans. But at the end of the day all staking plans have the same purposes: To ensure that the possibility of going bust is kept to a minimum and to try to get as high a return as possible!
Human beings are notorious about being lazy, over optimistic or fall foul of one of many of our many foibles which make up the human condition. Without a staking plan it is so easy to see one's betting bank go under.
I have seen people go bust (when one's betting account reaches zero) because they thought that they didn't need a staking plan. I have never seen anyone succeed without one no matter how disciplined they are or, more accurately, how disciplined they claim to be.
There are two aspects to successful betting; the first is to have the right selections. Without a decent set of selections one is never going to make a profit no matter what one does. The other aspect is the money side of things; how much does one put onto the next bet? This is the function of the staking plan; without this one could be placing the wrong stake onto the wrong horse.
Ultimately betting without a staking plan will negate good horse selection. My advice is that your stake must be a maximum of 0.5% to 1% of your bank.
No matter if you lose or win your stake will be always 0.5% to 1% of you last bank.
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