Sports betting has always been a popular pastime, but the rise of online sportsbooks has taken sports betting to a mainstream audience. It’s no longer necessary to walk down to the local bookies to place a bet and punters are no longer restricted to local or national events.

Sports Betting

These days, not only can you place a bet on which team will win a football game but you can also place bets on which footballer will score a goal, which half the goal will be scored in and what the score will be at half time. You even can place bets while the game is taking place. These kinds of bets apply to all types of sports – even eSports.

Basically, sports betting has become more popular because not only do more people have access to an online bookie but also because it’s more fun to place bets than ever before. One thing about sports betting, however, has not changed – betting odds. For some of us, betting odds are a foreign language that we simply don’t understand. But if you wish to be successful in the realm of sports betting, you need to understand the odds and how the odds will affect your winnings.

Understanding the Odds

No matter what’s your sport, the odds are there to even the playing field between punter and bookie – or casino and player. What do we mean by this? Well, put it this way; if Rafael Nadal is going up against an unseeded player, it’s almost certain that Nadal will win. In this case, placing a bet on Nadal is clearly not in the bookies favour. The bookie, therefore, will only offer high odds on Nadal in a bid to pay out less money when Nadal wins.

The low odds in this case will be on the unseeded player, or the underdog. Having low odds means the player is not expected to win and betting on said player poses a greater risk to the punter than the bookie. Should the underdog have a surprise win, the bookie will have to pay out a far greater sum to the punter who placed the riskier bet.

Calculating Risk and Reward

Betting odds can be shown as either decimal odds or fraction odds. Most online sportsbooks have switched from fractional to decimal, but British bookies are still quite likely to present their odds as fraction, particularly when it comes to horse racing. Let’s take a closer look:

Placing a $10 bet on a horse that has odds of 4/1 means that if your horse wins, you’ll receive $40 in profit. Notice that in this example, the first number in the fraction is higher than the second. This means that the horse with odds of 4/1 is four times more likely to lose than win. Meaning your return if the horse wins is quite high.

Placing a $10 bet on a horse that has odds of 4.75 means that if your horse wins, you’ll receive $47.50 in profit. Again, these odds show that the horse is not a favourite to win because the bookie is offering to reward you with 4.75 x your bet. If the horse was a favourite to win, the odds would more likely be 1.1.

Casino Odds

As previously mentioned, you’ll also find odds in casino betting. In casino games, the odds are referred to as the house edge. In live casino roulette, for example, you’ll have better odds if you play European roulette than if you were to play American roulette. This is due to the fact that the America roulette wheel has an extra pocket.

If you want to find the best online casinos, check out for some great recommendations. Online sportsbooks are usually connected to online casinos that feature a live casino, so you can give both types of betting a try while you’re figuring it all out. Don’t worry, once you get the hang of odds, you’ll find that they’re not that complicated!