Online Gambling India / Best Sports Betting Guide for India / What Do Betting Odds Mean? An Easy Explanation From GamblingGuy For You!

What Do Betting Odds Mean? An Easy Explanation From GamblingGuy For You!

Publish Date: 10/03/2020
Fact checked by: Myra Chopra

Have you ever wanted to indulge in sports betting and had this question —What do betting odds mean? The key to successful betting is ingrained in the understanding of how betting odds work as your understanding of any sports bet revolves around your knowledge of how betting odds work. Odds are the most important part of a bet, as they indicate the likelihood of an event to take place and the profits you stand to make if you win your bet. By knowing what do betting odds mean, you can do a better comparison of odds, and choose the best odds for your bet.

Main Points – The Meaning of ‘Betting Odds’

It is important to have an in-depth understanding of how betting odds are calculated and what do betting odds mean. A realistic estimation of the winning amount helps in formulating a strategy. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Knowing what do betting odds mean can help you identify the best odds and where you can make the most profit with your bets
  • There are three different odds systems followed by bookies — American, Fractional and Decimal odds.
  • Different odds give out a different return for the same amount of money.
  • In gambling, the house always wins on short bets, so aim for long term bets.
  • Be familiar with the ability to browse through different odds to read, compare and interpret them.

Your Quick Guide to Understanding Betting Odds

The simplest answer to ‘what do betting odds mean’ is that betting odds are defined as a numerical representation of the probability of an outcome. In gambling, these odds represent the probability of a win and more specifically, the amount of money you can earn in winnings by betting. Once you grasp the fundamental idea of what do betting odds mean, it is easier to further bifurcate and explain the types in a concise manner. There are broadly three types of different formats of odds that bookmakers follow. These are the decimal odds, fractional odds, and the American/ Moneyline odds.

  • Decimal odds

This system is mostly followed in the European markets and hence is also known as the European method. The odds are represented in multiples of your stake that you get back in the event of a winning bet. Thus, if the bet was fixed at a rate of 3.5, then for every $1 you bet, you get back $3.5 if you win.

An elaborate example: In a cricket game between India and Australia, suppose Australia are given a betting odds of 4.6 then a successful bet of $1000 would yield a total payout in the amount of $4600. It is important to note here that the total payout also has the initial betting amount combined. Thus if the odds were to fall below 1, for instance 0.8, then you would actually lose money even if you win the bet.

Simply put the formula: Total payout = Odds x stake

  • Fractional odds

In some countries like the UK, the fractional odds are used to fix betting odds. The betting odds, in this case, are represented in a fraction. The numerator represents the amount the money your bet will yield if you win, while the denominator represents the amount you are putting on the bet.

For example, if the odds in a football match between Manchester United and Liverpool are represented as Manchester United 10/15 and Liverpool 5/1, then the winning amounts would be as follows:

In the event of a successful bet on Manchester United, a bet of $150 would yield a reward of $100. Thus, the total amount you shall get back is $250.

If you bet on Liverpool and win, then a bet of $100 would yield a reward of $500. Thus the total reward you shall get back is $600.

Simply put the formula: Return = ((Stake/denominator) x numerator) + stake amount

  • American/ Moneyline odds

American odds are usually employed by American sports or betting websites. The odds are expressed by considering a figure with a base value of 100 units. If you consult any of the sites, you will notice that these odds usually begin with a ‘+’ (positive or addition) or a ‘-’ (negative or minus) sign. These signs indicate the favour the bookmaker holds the particular outcome in. A positive sign would symbolise the parameter the bookie considers his favourite, while the negative sign signifies an underdog. For example a -370 player has a better chance of winning a tournament than a -300 player, while a +100 player who is an underdog has a better chance of winning than a +200 player.

There are also a couple of formulas you can use while calculating the returns you make on your bets.

Negative odds = (100/Odds) x Stake = Profit

Positive odds = Odds x (Stake/100) = Profit

Different Types of Bets You May Encounter

The previous section of betting odds explained, you saw the difference in their approach to the winning amount. Now, it is crucial that you not only understand ‘how do betting odds work’ and ‘what do betting odds mean’ but also the different types of bets they are applied upon. Here’s a list of some of the major types of bets you may encounter while betting.

  • Straight Bet – The advent of online casinos has brought about a whole new set of betting formats. This, however, is the most convenient format to place bets on. The simple standard bet on any outcome of the game by picking a side, player or parameter is called a straight bet.
  • Money-line Bet – Also considered as an alternative to the extremely popular point spread, these bets are made on the overall outcome of the game. However, rather than the fixed odds, the winnings are calculated on the true odds.
  • Parlays – Parlays have emerged as some of the most popular forms of betting owing to their high return value. However, this return does come with its fair share of risks. The bet involves betting a smaller amount for two or more games. To claim your winnings, you must win all those individual bets.
  • Teaser Bets – The teaser bet operates on a high-risk, high return policy. The bet allows you to combine two different bets made on two separate games and adjust your points spread. However, doing so can yield a lower return if you win.

Understanding the Point Spread System

While going through a lot of bookmaker websites advising on betting strategy, you are bound to have come across the phrase ‘point spread’. Let’s try to understand via an example of how this system works.

Imagine a football match with two contending teams A and B. Now, typically pre-match advantage would favour a specific side, for instance, the home team etc. If such a case people would simply bet on the team with the more significant advantage and collect their winnings.

Point spread includes points to reduce this one-sided contest and make the betting more even. If B were to be the team with the advantage, the odds would display for B as B -6 and consequently A +6. The number 6 here is the number of points attributed to the advantage. For you to win the bet, B has to win by more than six points on the points spreadsheet. This system encourages ATS(across the spread) strategies or betting against the spread strategies like Greyhound Betting Strategy, Value Bet Strategy, Inplay Tennis Betting strategy, Golf Betting Strategy, etc.

Because a balance needs to be ensured on both sides to ensure that there is no unilateral heavy betting on one team, the bookmaker continually keeps on changing the betting spread to generate interest in the match and provide balance.

Benefits of Comparing Odds

If you consult different bookmakers you might be surprised to see that while one bookmaker might place odds on a team at +90, another will for the same team place odds at +65. However, this difference in betting odds for the same team exists because different bookmakers perceive and assess these teams differently. Essentially, therefore, odds are usually a matter of personal opinion. It is vital that you do not stick to a single bookmaker while placing your bets. Shop around, revise your knowledge of what do betting odds mean, compare various bookmakers and then place your bets with the bookie who offers you the best odds.

Betting odds are difficult to grasp at first. Since they involve a lot of mathematical operations and formulas, they may be challenging to remember. However, with time and practice, you’ll find that these figures will come naturally to you. It would be best if you made serious efforts to understand betting odds since they directly influence the betting strategy that you’d wish to follow while placing bets. You could accentuate your betting odds knowledge by using betting guides of accumulator betting, matched betting, etc. You can also go for specific sports odds guides by reading up strategies on Best Betting Odds for Cricket, Best Betting Odds for Football and Best Betting Odds for F1.

The Meaning of Odds – Conclusion

Contrary to what people might think, successful betting involves a lot more than just luck; it requires logical thinking, analysis and a good understanding of ‘how do betting odds work’ and what do betting odds mean. By understanding the odds you can convert them into implied probabilities and be able to estimate the actual chance of expected outcome. You should not only learn about the different types of bets but also how odds are presented. Betting odds are the cornerstone of betting and your only a complete mastery of such odds would enable you to understand the finer nuances of gambling and increase your chances of winning. Apart from guides like how do betting odds work? Gambling Guy also provide you with other information like how to read vegas odds, what do betting odds mean, betting odds explained, how to make sure bets, how to read betting odds, how does cash out betting work, and can you make money on betting, etc.

Read Also
Horse Racing Betting – Strategies & Tips for Horse Racing Bets in India 2024
Horse racing betting is one of the most popular pastimes for people ...
Greyhound Betting – Strategies & Tips for Greyhound Bets in India 2024
Greyhound racing has emerged as a popular sport for betting, as it ...
Pure Win Promo
Guide to Understanding How Do Bookmakers Make Money in 2024
Online gambling can be incredibly lucrative as you stand to win massive ...
A Beginner’s Guide to Betting Odds: How Are Betting Odds Calculated 2024
Many people start betting without even knowing how betting odds work. Hence, ...
Can You Really Make Money on Sports Betting Online in 2024?
Online gambling transactions have risen from $7.4 billion in 2003 to $50 ...
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Stake Bonus India
200% up to $2000
T&Cs apply
Bons Bonus India
200% up to 20000₹
T&Cs apply
JackpotCity Casino
JackpotCity Casino Bonus India
100% up to 40000₹
T&Cs apply
Mostbet Bonus India
125% up to 45000₹
T&Cs apply
Fun Casino
Fun Casino Bonus India
100% up to 12345₹
T&Cs apply
Our Team
Myra ChopraAzad Gallad
Myra Chopra
Myra Chopra
Azad Gallad
Azad Gallad

Users must be 18+. If you are having trouble with gambling then help and advice can be found at

18+eCOGRACloudflareSSLco² neutral
Ready to Win Big? Join the Elite with Our Sports Betting Deals!
Your Bonus Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site