You can never be sure of the outcome of events in this life, let alone sporting events. Because of this, bets are among the most uncertain things to take part in. To know the bets that are worth taking in sporting activities, like in the daily free spins in casinos, you must study the odds. It is the odds that will help you ascertain the bets that are worth taking. In sports betting, odds come in varying formats, but you can easily understand them if you read well. You can calculate the possible payout and implied probability of a particular result in an event with the odds.

This tells you that one of the most crucial steps to your success in sports betting is to understand the best way to read the odds. If you can read the odds properly, you are halfway to success in betting. The odds reading skill will help you decide the amount of money to wager and understand the bets with the best value. That is why we have decided to teach you how to understand the odds and use them to win games in this article.

How Tricky Sports Betting Odds Are

Bookmakers always try to see and project odds as special and exclusive. They tend to use languages that are not easy for laymen to understand. That is why in some cases, they present the odds in different ways, making them very tricky for the uninitiated to understand. Many bettors do not understand the odds. They make bets based on emotions and assumed probabilities in some cases. This set does not count on whatever is coming from the bookmakers and odd setters. They simply calculate the probability of an outcome based on their knowledge of the game and the teams involved, and this usually fails them. There are three major ways of presenting the odds in sports betting. They include the American odds, the decimal odds, and the fractional odds, and we will treat the three below.

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American Odds

This stands as the most common of all the types of sports betting odds there are. Here, the plus and minus system is used to calculate the payouts. When you are looking at a bookmaker’s list of odds on any particular sporting event, and a combination of three digits like +120/-360 is used, then you are dealing with American odds. The plus or minus sign in front of each number indicates whether the team is the favourite or the underdog. When you look at the odds, the number with the minus simply belongs to the favourite team. It indicates the amount you must bet to earn a $100 payout if the team succeeds. The number with the positive or plus sign before it is odd for the underdog. That’s the amount you will win when you wager $100 and the underdog triumphs.

An example of this is that the odds will look like this in a game where the favourite team is Chelsea.

Teams Odds Ratings
Chelsea -150 Favorites
Arsenal -340 Underdogs


With the example above, you can calculate the odds this way: You have to wager $150 to win $100 if Chelsea wins. However, if you bet $100 on Arsenal to win and they do, you will gain $340 as your winning, together with your $100 wager.

Decimal Odds

Many people believe that decimal odds are the easiest to understand. So, let’s see if they are telling the truth. You find the decimal odds mostly in European sportsbooks. However, in some of them, you will see the American system as the default. In such cases, you can decide to change to the European decimal version if you wish.

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This is what the decimal odds usually look like:

Teams Odds Ratings
Arsenal 2.10 Underdogs
Chelsea 1.40 Favorites

It is easy to calculate your winnings with decimal odds. The simple process is for you to multiply whatever amount you want to wager on the team with the odds set by the bookmaker on the team. This will give you the potential payout without further calculations. Here, an Arsenal win with a $100 bet will pay you $210. In the case of Chelsea, you will go home with $140 if you wager $100 and they win.

You have a very straightforward and clear-cut way of determining your payout with decimal odds. All you need is to multiply the odds on the team with the wager you make on it. However, this payout also involves the money you wagered. So, to arrive at what you will win, subtract the wager from the payout, and you will get your winning. For instance, you win $110 on Arsenal with the example above and win $40 with Chelsea.

Fractional Odds

It seems all the odds have areas where they thrive. For example, the fractional odd is predominantly used in the United Kingdom. Most times, you see it when you want to place bets on horse racing, which is rampant in the UK. Many people see them as funny-looking numbers, especially those who do not understand them. However, when you come to understand them, you will see that they are not difficult to calculate. When you want to bet on horse races in the country, you will see something like 6/2 or 2/4. Some will call these six to two and two to four.

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To understand this, you must know that the numbers on the left reveal how many times the bookmaker believes the result won’t happen. The ones by the right represent how many times they believe the outcome will succeed.

This makes calculating your payout a bit easier here. You must multiply what you want to wager by the first or top number and divide the result by the second number. So a bet of $50 on each of the odds will entail (50 x 6) / 2. Here you will have $150 as the winning, while the payout will be $200 after adding the wager amount. For the second bet, you have to do (50 x 2) / 4. Here you will have $25 as the winning. When you add the wager amount, your payout will be $75. As you can see, this is very simple to understand.


Now that you can read the odds, you need to start applying them. The fact is that you can’t be a sharp bettor if you are not informed. While the odds on a game do not influence the outcome, it can reveal the outcome or give a clue. That is why you need to understand them to progress. Remember that odds of a particular event may differ among different bookers. Therefore, you need to shop around and pick the best.

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