What Does -/+ Mean in Betting?

In case you’re wondering, the shorthand ‘-/+’ in gambling and betting means ‘spread betting’. So if you’re asked to put £10 on Sunderland to win against Chelsea, you have to put £10 on Sunderland and £10 on Chelsea to make a profit. It also stands for ‘expectancy’ – that is, the average amount you would win or lose if you wagered on that particular event a large number of times.

If you’re not familiar, betting and gambling are two separate but related activities. Gambling is generally defined as wagering money on the outcome of a casino game or event. You might throw a friendly game of Cards against Humanity with your friends, but that’s not gambling per se. If you want to bet on the game, that’s a different matter and you’ll need to find a bookmaker who takes bets on events such as card games.

How To Read A Bookmaker’s Odds?

The first thing you should do is familiarise yourself with the meaning of the odds. The way bookmakers present their prices and odds is a little confusing, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy enough to work out what they mean. For example, if you want to bet on Sunderland to win against Chelsea, the odds will be 3–1 in favor of Chelsea. In other words, you’ll need to bet £30 to win £10. If you look at the bookmaker’s website for example, you’ll see tables listing the odds for lots of different football matches and sporting events. This is where you can find what you’re looking for and keep track of your earnings – or losses. The important thing to note about the odds is that they can vary from relatively low to very high. For example, if you wanted to bet on Manchester United to win the Premier League, the odds would likely be very long, since most bookmakers would consider that a very unlikely event. In general, the longer the odds, the more likely it is that you’ll make a profit if you bet on that event to happen. If you look at the tables on the bookmaker’s website, you’ll see that the more matches that are left to play, the more likely it is that the odds will shorten. This is because more and more people are placing bets as the games go on – especially as the season approaches its conclusion.

The Multiplier

A 1×2 combination is a single bet of either £1 on team A or £2 on team B. A 2×2 combination is a double bet of £2 on team A and team B. An 8×2 combination is an octuple bet of £8 on team A and team B. The general rule is: the more times the combination appears, the better for the gambler. For example, a 40×2 combination is a quadruple bet of £40 on team A and team B. This means that you’re betting £40 on the outcome of two separate bets – one on team A and one on team B. In practice, this is the same as making eight separate bets of £10 each on the outcome of the match. So if you wagered £100 on eight different outcomes, your winnings would be £800. For the purposes of simplicity, you could treat this as eight wins of £100 each, or four wins of £200 each.

Profit Versus Loss

The main thing to keep in mind when looking at bookmakers’ odds is that they are generally set with the house advantage in mind. In other words, the bookmakers want to make a profit from your wagers, not give you an opportunity to win. The house advantage can be either in your favor or against you, so it’s important to keep an open mind about it. For example, if you’re looking at betting on Sunderland to win against Chelsea and the odds are 3–1 in Sunderland’s favor, it would be wise to assume that the house has some kind of edge over 3–1. This is generally the case whenever the odds are set in favor of the team you’re backing. Think of it this way: the bookmakers know you’re a fan of either team (Sunderland or Chelsea), so they’re giving you an opportunity to profit from their knowledge. In case you’re wondering, one of the biggest edges in gambling is the ‘vig’ or ‘viatical’ betting market, where participants are able to profit from the bets of others. Since these markets exist outside of official sportsbooks, the house advantage in this case is likely to be greater than in an ‘on-pitch’ game, where the house has no edge. Keep this in mind as you try to work out the edge in any game or situation. Betting is all about opportunity, not expectation. The house always has an edge, no matter what happens on the pitch.

The Spread

The odds are always given in a straight line, which means the bigger the spread, the better for the gambler. A 10-point spread is a good example of a relatively wide odds gap, which will result in big wins and losses if the bet goes according to plan. In general, the more points there is between the two teams, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to determine the winner. For example, a 100-point spread is practically impossible to beat, since goals will inevitably go both ways. A 200-point spread is very wide indeed and most likely represents a casino’s attempt to limit the financial damage that can arise from a single large bet. If you’re curious, you can find lots of different football betting markets on a given day, depending on the outcome of previous matches between the teams you’re following. This way, you can find out how each team is performing and plan your bets accordingly. It’s important to note that some matches will have ‘free bets’ attached to them, where you’re granted a wager regardless of the outcome of the game. These are usually matches that have been postponed from earlier in the season and they’re great for creating an edge – as long as the match is settled on the field. If there are no goals scored in the match, there’s really no point making a wager, but as long as everything goes according to plan, you’ll win your stake regardless – assuming you meet the conditions of the free bet, of course.

The Timing Of The Bet

The most important thing to keep in mind about betting is the timing of the bet. For example, if you want to bet on Sunderland to win against Chelsea, but you’re not sure when the game will take place, it would be best to wait until after the two teams have played each other. This way, you’ll be able to accurately guess which team will win and the odds will more or less reflect that. Of course, if you want to place a pre-game bet, that’s fine too – as long as you do it before the match begins and make sure to notify the bookmaker in advance of the scheduled start time.


For all the above, this is what -/+ mean in betting. Keep all this in mind as you try to make your way through the masses of jargon filled with incomprehensible odds that you’ll come across in any online or mobile bookmaker’s website. The odds are always there to be gambled upon, but they’re not always easy to understand, so make sure to keep all the above in mind if you want to make the most out of your betting experience. Good luck out there.