# What Does “Betting Odds” Mean?

The concept of “odds” pertains to the chances of something happening. For example: If you were to place a bet on the outcome of a horse race, the odds would be expressed as 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 (four to one means the payout is four times the stake you placed, and five to one means the payout is five times the stake you placed). The chances of you winning or losing would be stated as well, so you can have an idea of whether or not you stand to win (or lose) money based on what you do.

This article will go over some of the most common uses of odds and how to interpret them. We’ll begin with some general definitions and understanding of the terms used before moving on to explain each type of odds individually.

## Odds, Odds And The Stake

Odds can be used in reference to sports and gambling. A common misconception is that “odds” only apply to sports betting. In reality, the odds can be applied to any situation where you are making a wager or putting on a bet. In fact, one of the meanings of the word “odds” is “the amount of money wagered or staked on a particular event.”

For example, if you were to bet on the Super Bowl this year, the “odds” would be expressed as 4 to 1 or 5 to 1, which mean the payout is four or five times the stake, respectively. In this case, you would stand to win (or lose) \$20 based on the outcome. This is also known as a “push” or “push wager.”

Keep in mind: The chances of you winning or losing do not change just because you are using odds to determine your bets. You will still need to consider the vigorish (handicap) and commission rates of the place you are betting to determine if you are going to profit or lose money. However, using odds can be a quick and easy way to make or lose a few bucks without too much thought required. In most situations, you will likely end up in the black (winning), but it’s not impossible to lose either.

## Types Of Odds

There are three different types of odds – money line, spread, and implied odds. Let’s examine each one individually.

### Money Line Odds

The first type of odds is the “money line”. With most bookmakers, you can find this available near the top of the page (on most gambling sites) when you look at the sports books. This is the most basic type of odds, and it merely refers to the fact that “the money is on the side of the host.” In the example above, the Patriots are the hosts and the Baltimore Ravens are the guests. Thus, the Ravens have “money line” odds of 5 to 1 in this example.

You should always use these types of odds when placing a bet on a sporting event. This is because they are the simplest to understand (and thus, the most common) and because they give you the highest possible return on your wager (plus they are available in most places). If you are new to the world of betting, it is recommended that you stick with this type of odds unless you have a particular reason for using another type.

The second type of odds is the “spread.” This type of odds is used when you are making a bet on a game or a sports event between two or more teams. For example, the New England Patriots have “spread” odds of +3 at most bookmakers. In simpler terms, this means that the betting odds for the Patriots are 3 points in their favor (the bookies are taking an implied “point” for themselves when placing these types of bets).

In most cases, you will see the spread displayed alongside the money line odds. However, in some circumstances, the spread may be displayed alone, especially if the money line is available but the spread is not. In other words, if you think that the favorite is going to win, you may choose to bet on them using the money line, but if you think that an underdog is going to win, you may choose to use the spread.

You should use the spread when you are placing a bet on a game that has two or more teams. In fact, using the term “spread” in reference to a wager means that you are using this type of odds, regardless of whether or not the money line is available. Keep in mind: When you are using the spread, you are implying that you think there is some value or likelihood that one of the teams you are betting on will win. So, if you’re using the spread and think that the Packers are going to cover the 3 point spread, you may choose to wager \$100 on them using this type of odds.

### Implied Odds

Finally, we come to the third type of odds: the “implied odds.” This type of odds is widely used in horse racing, and it is basically the collective opinion or “line” that the bookmaker is willing to offer regarding the outcome of a particular race. For example, the bettor may choose to wager \$100 on the favorite in the 4th race at Belmont, and the bookmaker may decide to give them odds of 10 to 1 or 11 to 1 in order to make a profit. Keep in mind: The implied odds are always what the bookmaker is willing to offer, so they may not correspond with the actual odds of the teams competing in that race. Therefore, it is crucial to always check the odds before making a wager or placing a bet. The advantage of using the implied odds is that you are not exposed to the potentially tricky or dishonest odds that the bookmaker may give you if you actually wanted to bet on the underdog. For example, in the above case, if the bookmaker gave the bettor 11 to 1 odds on a false pretense that the favorite was a strong contender in the 3rd race at Belmont, they would be in for a large disappointment if the underdog turned out to be the actual winner in that particular race (10 to 1 is closer to the actual odds).

In horse racing, the line is often displayed above the race if the implied odds are available. If you choose to wager or place a bet using the implied odds, you will see that they are much more easily accessible (and thus, more commonly used) than the other two types of odds. Keep in mind: There is actually no set of odds that you should use when betting or wagering on horse races. It all depends on what you believe the outcome will be and which type of odds seem easiest or simplest to use at the time. At the end of the day, though, it comes down to whether or not you think there is any value in betting or wagering on horse races. If you do, using the money line can be a quick and painless way to make or lose a few bucks.

Now that you have a better understanding of what these terms mean, it’s time to examine how to interpret them. Just remember: You are always free to ask the bookmaker anything. Even though they are an independent contractor and not a part of the casino, you are still considered a guest and entitled to the same level of service that a paying customer would receive.

## Understanding The Results

You don’t need to be a mathematician in order to understand the result of a wager or bet; all you need to know is whether or not you won (or lost) money based on the outcome of the event. In most cases, you will see the results either displayed alongside the wager or bet (if you’re looking at the sports books or other places where wagers and bets are placed) or at the end of the day (if you’re looking at a website that tracks online wagers and bets).

For example, if you wager or bet \$100 on the Seahawks and they win the game, you would want to know how much you profited (or lost) because of that wager or bet. In this case, you would simply look at the results and calculate the amount you gained (or lost). The same goes for a loss:

If the Seahawks had lost, you would have wanted to know what your loss was (in other words, how much you had to wager or bet in order to lose \$100). In this case, you would look at the results and see that you lost \$100 because you had to wager or bet \$100 in order to have that outcome.