What is the odds at bookmakers?

What is the odds at bookmakers?


The world of sports betting is replete with different concepts and terms. The success of his betting strategy depends on how much the player understands their essence. Some terms are intuitively understandable, while others require easy-to-understand explanations from professionals. One of the most important and frequently used concepts is the coefficient. What it is, what types of coefficients are and how to use them, we will tell you in this article.

What is the bookmaker's odds and what types of odds are there?

The bookmaker's odds are the numbers used by the bookmaker to calculate the players' winnings. That is, the coefficient is a reflection of how the money from the players is distributed. The more money bettors place on a team relative to its opponent, the lower the odds on it (respectively, the higher the odds on the opponent).

The odds appeared simultaneously with the bookmakers, since it is not possible to place bets without odds.

There are several types of odds, but the most common are:

  • English (fractional);
  • American (positive or negative);
  • European (decimal).

Each of these types has its own characteristics and areas of application. Let's consider them in more detail.

English coefficient

Bookmakers offer this coefficient to gamblers most often. It is very recognizable as it appears to the audience as a fraction - for example, 5/1. Such a quote is a direct reflection of the amount of net winnings to the amount of the bet. In other words, if you bet $ 1, the net winnings are $ 5. It is also worth noting that the British odds of 5/1 are practically the same as the usual odds of 6.0.

Fractional odds can be converted to decimal to make them easier to read. To do this, divide the numerator by the denominator and add one to the resulting number. The player's winnings are calculated using the formula:


An important nuance: British odds with a fractional value greater than 1 are a sign of an outsider.

If you find it difficult to navigate in fractions, just remember that the outsider will always have the upper odd number higher than the lower one.

American odds

Among the three leaders presented, the American coefficient is the least common, because it is the most difficult to perceive. The American ratio is positive and negative. They are distinguished by the signs + or -, which are placed before the number or the name of the command.
If you find it difficult to calculate winnings according to the American system, use the Betting Odds Calculator until you learn how to calculate them yourself.

The negative American ratio shows how much you need to bet to make a profit of 100 units. Calculated by the formula:


For example, odds -105 means that in order to win $ 100, the stake must be $ 105. In the European system, this value corresponds to the coefficient 1.95. 

A positive American odds shows how much profit a player will get with a 100 units bet. Calculated by the formula:

For example, you are betting on odds +110. In this case, to get $ 110 profit, your stake must be $ 100. This system cannot be called simple, but it is extremely rare and bookmakers always offer alternative options for calculating odds.

European coefficient

This type of odds is considered to be the easiest to count, therefore, it must be present in every bookmaker's office. And in some countries, this is the only possible option for calculating the coefficients. Its peculiarity is that numbers are written in decimal form, which is very easy to understand.

What is bookmaker's margin?

We figured out the concept of odds and what the odds mean in bets. Now let's look at the concept of bookmaker's margin, because it is inextricably linked with odds.
Margin is the difference that the bookmaker deliberately includes in the coefficient indicator in order to guarantee a profit for any outcome of a sporting event. The amount of the pledged margin is not the same for all bookmakers - each one sets the percentage of discrepancy at its own discretion. Typically, this percentage depends on the following factors:

  • importance / rank of the sporting event;
  • financial policy of the bookmaker's office;
  • the popularity of a particular sport.

Bookmakers often use one trick: to attract players to non-mass and / or exotic matches, they overestimate the odds and at the same time significantly reduce the margin.

How do bookmaker analysts calculate the odds for a match?

This is always done in such a way as to attract bettors to make approximately the same number of bets on rival teams. Based on this, the entire sum of the probabilities is taken as 100% and evenly distributed among all the probable outcomes of the sporting event. As a result (whatever the outcome), the office gets its profit from the commission.

Online calculator vs independent calculations: which is better?

In fact, each bettor chooses the most convenient method for calculating the odds. The advantages of an independent approach are that the player can conduct a comprehensive and deepest analysis of the sporting event of interest. Also, the bettor has the ability, at his discretion, to take into account the factors and nuances that can affect the team's morale and, therefore, the likelihood of its victory or defeat.

Online calculators are good because they save the bettor from the need to independently calculate odds, probabilities and other mathematical indicators using complex formulas. This is especially suitable for those who do not have sufficient knowledge of mathematics for self-calculation or have not yet fully understood the different types of coefficients.

How to calculate the odds on your own?

Considering the fact that bookmakers always give not quite correct odds, it is often unprofitable for bettors to make certain bets. To identify them, it is advisable to use a special Value Betting formula, which makes it possible to calculate the profitability of a bet using the odds given in the bookmaker's office. 

The Value Betting formula is as follows: K x P -1, where K means the bookmaker's quote, and P is the probability of a positive outcome of the event from 0 to 1. If the number is positive, then the ROI of the bet is positive and therefore this bet is profitable at a distance. The bettor calculates the P value independently, based on his knowledge and mathematical models.

How to calculate the odds on a match using the calculator?

Online bet calculators allow you to simulate all the outcomes. To do this, it is important to tick the boxes "win" and "return" in order to get the maximum set of possible options. The calculator easily calculates systems with any number of events and gives all possible combinations. And the bettor can only decide which bet to place. In general, this is a fairly effective tool for sports betting.