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Betting Odds

If you’re new to the world of betting, one of the first important things to learn is to how the betting odds work. It’s critically important because it helps you understand how likely an event is to happen, and what your potential winnings will be. As an example, with odds of 4/1, for every £1 you bet, you will win £4. There is a 20% chance of this happening, calculated by 1 / (4 + 1) = 0.20.

At first, it can appear confusing, however, read our set of FAQs below that will allow you to understand working of odds.

Betting in cricket involves a lot of odds which are signified through numbers.

For instance, let us look at these betting odds from the India vs England Test match at Lord’s.

India vs EnglandIndiaDrawEngland
2nd Test, Lord’s1.664.362.60

Now, the Test match can have three different outcomes: an India win, an England win or a draw. This means that you can bet on any of the three different outcomes.

Now, if you bet on an India win, the odds are 1.66. This means that if you bet Rs 1000 on India winning the match and India do beat England, then you will get Rs 1000 x 1.66, which is Rs 1660. This includes the Rs 1000 that you bet plus an additional Rs 660 as your winnings.

Wager amount x betting odds = payout

Similarly, if you bet Rs 300 on a draw and the match ends in a draw, then you will get

Rs 300 x 4.36 = Rs 1308

Your payout will be Rs 1299 and your winning will be

Rs 1308 – Rs 300 = Rs 1008

Similarly, if you bet Rs 345 on England winning and the match results in an England victory, you get

Rs 345 x 2.60 = Rs 897

Your payout will be Rs 897and your winnings will be

Rs 897- Rs 345 = Rs 552

So to calculate how much your payout will be, you just have to multiply your wager with the odds on your chosen result.

Wager x Odds = Payout

A bookmaker has to keep two things in mind when he sets the betting odds:

  1. The probability of each outcome (This depends on current form, experience, trends etc.)
  2. The bookmaker’s margin

Talking about probability, in an India vs England Test match, there can be three outcomes:

India win – 30%

England win – 20%

Draw – 50%

So, the total probability is 100 %.

But the bookmaker needs to add some margin to the probability to make some profit himself. The margin varies for each bookmaker, depending on the sport or the importance of the match.

On an average, the typical probability with margin is around 105-107 %.

So the revised odds after adding margin could look like this:

India win (at odds of 2.77) – 36%

England win (at odds of 4.0) – 25%

Draw (at odds of 2.22) – 45%

So the total probability is now 106%

This is why you’re always at a disadvantage when you’re betting. Without the margin, you would have a 50 % chance of winning, but with the revised odds, you always have a 53 – 60 % chance of losing.

The way to counter this is to look at the betting odds at different places and bet accordingly in a manner that will increase your winnings. Different bookmakers offer different odds according to their calculations and this is what the bettor should look to exploit.

Let’s say, there are two teams A and B with odds of 1.20 and 2.40 respectively.

Now, let’s assume two people place equal bets of Rs 100, one person on team A and the other on team B. If team A wins, the first person gets Rs 120 while the second person loses Rs 100. So after paying the first person Rs 120, the bookmaker is left with

Rs 200 (from the two bets) – Rs 120 (payout to the first person) = Rs 80

But if B wins, the first person loses his Rs 100 while the second person wins Rs 240. So now the bookmaker loses Rs 40.

Such a scenario always arises which is exactly why if the bookmaker notices that there are many bets on B, he will adjust the odds in a way that it encourages bets on A. Depending on how the bets are on both teams and how the teams are performing, the odds will vary.

The bookmaker’s goal is to ensure odds which will result in more days where he makes a profit as compared to the days when he runs a loss.

American odds are written as whole numbers with a plus or minus sign in front of them.

For instance:

Team A +120

Team B -160

The plus sign signifies that the team is an underdog. It means you need to bet Rs 100 to show the amount shown. In this case, if you bet Rs 120 on Team A, you will win Rs 100.

The minus sign means the opposite. The team is not an underdog so you need to bet the amount shown to win Rs 100. So if you bet Rs 160 on Team B, you will win Rs 100.

Fractional odds are used in the UK.

For example, 1.5/1

This means that if you bet Rs 1, you will win Rs 1.5.

Decimal odds are the most simple to read.

For instance, the odds are 65%

This means the odds are 100 % (total) divided by 65 % (odds) = 1.54

So if you bet Rs 1 and your bet wins, then you will receive Rs 1.54.

If you are betting on just one match, it makes sense to place a beat on a team that will most likely win and the odds are good. But if you are looking to make a lot of money in the long term, then you should look for places that offer better odds.

Assuming that your bet wins every single time, you have a better chance of winning if the odds are better so before placing your bet, make sure you check the odds on every site and choosing the best one.

In the long term, choosing your odds is very important and let’s drive the point home with an example.

Let us assume there are two people A and B who both have a 60 % winning probability. Now if they place 1000 bets a year, that means they had 600 winning bets and 400 losses.

Now let’s assume that A always goes for odds of 1.90 while B looks around and finds an average betting rate of 2.00 through the year.

So if you calculate their yearly winning, assuming that they are betting Rs 500 on each match, A’s net winnings would be

600 x 0.90 + 400 x (-1) = 140 x Rs 500 = Rs 70,000

And B’s net winnings would be

600 x 1.00 + 400 x (-1) = 200 x Rs 500 = Rs 100,000

So according to this calculation, Player A is missing out on the extra Rs 30,000 that Player B is making every year just by betting with the same odds all the time.

This is why line shopping is very important and you should always compare the betting odds everywhere before placing your bet.

Unfortunately for us, there is no specific answer to this question. The only way to know this is to look around everywhere before placing your bet. The odds vary because sometimes the bookmakers might be making a mistake (this happens a lot more than you think) or because they are trying to balance the action on both sides.

So do your research, find the best odds and make your bet.

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