Sports betting odds - A Beginner's Guide

The odds in sports betting are a numerical representation of the bookmaker's opinion on the probability of the outcome of a particular match. Different countries use different forms of displaying odds, but for domestic bettors, the most familiar are decimal (European) odds. In this article, we will tell you about the formats of odds, what the expected probability is, and show you how to convert one type of odds into another. And you can also find on Parimatch the rating of the betting shops with the highest odds.

What are betting odds and how do they work?

The odds are the probability of a particular outcome, taking into account the margin (commission) of the bookmaker. According to the odds a bettor can determine the possible payout or net profit in case of a successful bet. To calculate the amount you need to multiply the bet amount by the odds.

It is written as a decimal fraction, usually with two decimal places after the point. More about decimal odds we will talk about further on. In each odds the bookmaker's office rolls a margin - the profit which it will get at any outcome of the event. Without margin bookmakers would have long been bankrupt or ceased to exist, because the main rule of a bookmaker's office is always to be in the black.

The lower the odds, the better the chances of that team (according to the bookmaker) to win. If you dig a little deeper, the bookmakers estimate not only and not so much the probability of a particular opponent or club winning, but the probability of whether many players will bet on this outcome. In other words, betting shops set the odds as it is profitable for them, so the quotes do not always correspond to the real balance of power in a sporting match.

Explanation of the different types of odds

Decimal (or European) odds are the most common and understandable type for the domestic bettor. They are written in integer format with the usual fraction: for example, 1.5, 2.25 and so on. The lower the odds, the higher the probability of the outcome.


The European odds are written as a whole number with a fraction, e.g. 1.50, 2.15, 3.00. This shows how much your stake is likely to rise if it succeeds. To calculate how much you will get in case of success, just multiply the bet amount by the odds. There are no positive and negative values here, in contrast to the American format, everything is very simple.

What is Implied Probability?

Implied probability is the conversion of any format odds into percentages. It takes into account the advantage (margin) of the bookmaker's office, but later it is excluded. As a result, the bettor gets the real probability of the outcome of an event. In betting the bookmaker's advantage means that the estimated probability of an event always totals more than 100%. The amount over 100% is the bookmakers' margin.

Every bettor who wants to win consistently in a bookmaker's office is urged to understand how to convert odds to probability. This knowledge helps you evaluate the potential value in a particular betting market and, accordingly, make a bet that will benefit you, not the betting company.

Parimatch does its best to make betting in a bookmaker's office easier for bettors. We have integrated various betting tools into the site which allow the player to estimate the probability of one or another outcome, find the forks, jacking odds and other mistakes in the bookmaker's line.

How to convert odds and probabilities?

Bookmaker's offices put odds in the line based on the probability of a particular outcome or event. If the bookmaker determines them incorrectly, he will lose money. However bookmakers insure themselves against this in advance, putting a certain margin in the quotes. It allows you to make a profit at any outcome of the sporting match. Since the bettor has no such handicap, he needs to understand the origin of odds and be able to convert them into probability.

Converting odds into probability

Going to the site of a bookmaker's office, bettors see before them only a line with odds, no probability percentages there. However, you can calculate this figure yourself without much difficulty. To do this, divide the unit by the odds you are interested in, and multiply the result by 100 percent. The final result is the probability of the selected outcome as a percentage.

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