When you’re first learning about odds, it can be difficult to understand how they work. To help you out, we’ll explore the basics of odds and betting in general. After reading, you’ll have a better understanding of how betting and odds interact with each other and how you can use this to your advantage when betting!
To start, let’s define some common terms. Odds are the chances of something happening; they express the relationship between two events, things, or outcomes. For example, the odds of a head’s up on a certain horse in a race are 1:2 because there are two possible head results (Horse A or Horse B) and therefore the chances of one of them occurring are 1 out of 2 (or 50 percent). Another example would be the odds of a certain number coming up in a roll of the dice: 3:2 because there are 3 possible number outcomes (1, 2, or 3) and therefore the chances of one of them occurring are 1 out of 3 (or 33.3 percent).
In general, the chances of one event occurring over another are expressed using the following formula:
- Odds Ratio: This represents the relationship between the amount of money you wager and the odds of that bet winning. In the two examples above, the odds ratio for the first bet would be 1:2 because you bet $2 on a $2 wager and therefore you’ll win $4 if Horse A wins ($2 x 2 = $4).
- Odds Against: This represents the relationship between the amount of money you wager and the odds of that bet losing. In the two examples above, the odds against would be 3:2 because you bet $2 on a $2 wager and therefore you’ll lose $4 if Horse B wins ($2 x 2 = $4).
- Odds Off: This is the amount of money you have to spend to make a profit off a bet. In the two examples above, the odds off would be $6 because you have to spend $6 to win $4. If you chose Horse B, you’d have to spend another $2 on your losing wager.
To put it simply, odds are used to express the relationship between what you wager and the likelihood of winning. For example, if you bet $2 on Horse B, you’d win $4 if it wins, but you’d lose $6 on the other bet. The bottom line is that you can use odds to determine whether or not you profit from a wager. If you want to know how much you’ll win or lose, you can simply add up the amounts wagered and multiplied by their odds to get your result.
How to Use This To Your Advantage When Betting
When you understand how odds work, it’s easier to understand why they’re important and how you can use them to your advantage when betting. Since you’ll always want to make money off your bets (hopefully), knowing how odds work will help you decide whether or not to wager on certain events or players. Take the first bet above, for example. The odds of a head’s up on a certain horse in a race are 1:2, and you’d bet $2 on it. You’d win $4 ($2 x 2) on that bet, but you’d lose $6 on the other one since you’d bet $2 and it would go against you. Keep in mind that if you’d bet $6 on the first bet you’d win, you’d break even, but you’d only win $2 on the other. So, you could potentially make a profit of $2 from the first bet, but you’d have to risk $4 to do so because you’d risk losing $6 on the other.
This is just one example of how you can use odds to your advantage when betting. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to wager on several events or players, you can simply take the total amount wagered on the events you want to wager on and multiply it by the odds of the events to get your final result. For example, if you’re wagering on both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, you could add up the amounts wagered on each and multiply them by the odds of winning the races to get your final result. If you do this, you’ll discover that you’ll win $12 from the race wagers and will break even on the other.
Knowing how odds work and how to use them to your advantage when betting will ensure that you make the most out of your wagering experience. With this information, you’ll be much more likely to win money and be able to predict the outcome of events, which will make you feel like a pro.