Betting Maths For Dummies

Math test. Cute teddy wearing glasses and black chalkboard

Most people know that if there’s a 10 to 1 bet, they get ten times their stake in winnings. And they get their money back. So they know they’ll get £110 back if they placed a £10 bet on 10 to 1 odds. But if the odds are 9 to 7 or 7 to 9, they’ll be flummoxed. And rightly so.

Betting Odds Explained

It’s not easy. UK and Irish sites tend to express odds as fractions. Whereas odds are expressed as a decimal in American betting with the stake added into that decimal. It’s confusing. And it’s also very offputting. If you ask most people, they’ll say that Maths class was probably one of their least-liked lessons in school. Sure, there are the maths geeks that adore numbers but most of us never fully got to grips with maths. This puts a lot of people off sports betting and other bets which is a shame.

In this guide we attempt to go through fractional betting so you’ll never have a problem again.

Fractional Betting Explained

So here’s the actual sum that refers to betting odds:

The total return on a stake can be stated as: Total Payout = [Stake x (Numerator/Denominator)] + Stake where numerator/denominator is the fractional odd, e.g. 10/1.

Before you run for the hills, let’s go through it and it will all become clear. Let’s take a bet of 7 to 1.

If I place £10 on a 7 to 1 wager and I win, then I will get my stake multiplied by 7, and my stake back which is written like this: (£10 x 7/1) + £10 =£80 Conversely though if I bet on something that is a very safe bet and has 1 to 7 odds, I won’t get much back in return, I’ll get (£10 x1/7) + £10 = £11.42

Let’s Keep Going

Say I bet on Biden to win the US election, his odds currently stand at 11 to 13. From looking at this you can immediately see that for the stake of £13 I will only get £11 back. My returns would be (£10 x 11/13) + £10 = £18.46

For Trump, his odds are currently 11 to 10. This means that he is less likely to win as I will get more money than my original stake. I’ll get (£10 x11/10) +£10 =£21. Americans use decimals to express betting odds as we mentioned. So, they’d express that as 1.84 and 2.1, respectively.

Which Is Bigger?

But let’s leave that for another time. Here we can see that Trump is less likely to win from these odds as the bookies are prepared to pay out more than if Biden wins. The important thing to remember is whether your bet is more or less likely.

We know straight away that 10 to 1 odds meant that the outcome is very unlikely, since the bookies are prepared to pay you out handsomely. Conversely, 1 to 10 odds relate to something that is very likely. That might be Roger Federer playing in round 1 of Wimbledon, he is very likely to win his first-round match. So if the numerator (top number) is higher than the denominator ie 10 to 1 it’s an unlikely event and you’ll win more. And if the numerator is smaller than the denominator (bottom number), for example, 1 to 10, it’s a safe bet and you won’t win so much.

Those are the very basics and if you keep those two pieces of info to mind, you’ll be able to place a bet and understand your chances of winning easily. Best of luck!

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