Betting odds are one of the basic elements of bookmaking. Anyone who wants to bet effectively needs to know how to read betting odds, what are their recording formats, how betting odds are determined and how to convert them. Odds are estimated by the bookmaker for a specific event. The odds result from the estimated probability that something will happen. The higher the probability that a certain result will occur, the lower the bookmaker’s odds, and vice versa, the lower the probability of a given result, the higher the bookmaker odds are.
Since betting odds express the probability of a specific result (estimated by the bookmaker), knowing the amount of the odds for an “X” event, you can easily calculate the theoretical probability of winning after betting of this type. The formula for this is very simple:
(1 / bookmaker odds) × 100 = probability
And so, if the bookmaker’s odds are, for example, 2.00, after inserting the data into the above formula, it turns out that by betting on a given selection, we have a 50% chance of winning [(1 / 2.00) x 100]. If the odds are low, the chances of winning will be higher, e.g. for odds 1.70, the odds of winning are close to 59%, for odds of 1.50 it is around 66%, and for odds 1.25 it is 80%. In turn, high betting odds will translate into lower chances of winning. For example, odds of 2.50 give you 40% winning probability, odds 3.0 – around 33%, and odds 4.0 – 25%.
Betting odds show the size of the estimated probability, but they also have a different, in practice, more basic function. Betting odds are primarily used to calculate how much we win if we hit a given tip. Here, the low bookmaker odds mean lower winnings and high bookmaker odds result in higher winnings.
Players may also wonder how the betting odds are set and who deals with it. Sport betting odds are the work of oddsmakers who are often outstanding players recruited by the bookmaker. When the oddsmakers specify the betting odds for a given match and they are added to the bookmaker’s offer, it does not mean that their value will not change. They can be modified based on the calculation of algorithms and the analysis of players’ behavior. The bookmaker monitors how many tipsters and what amounts have bet on a given result and makes appropriate changes depending on it. That is why betting odds for a given match may increase or decrease many times, although the analysis of the match itself does not show any changes (regarding, for example, the composition of teams, the form of individual players, etc.). Such operations ensure the solvency (and profit at the same time) for bookmakers. Bets that have already been placed are the same, i.e. the value of the odds on the bet slip does not change.
For live betting the odds are changed many times during a given match, because the bookmaker reacts to subsequent actions on an ongoing basis. Before each important action (e.g. penalty kick), the possibility of placing bets is temporarily blocked and only after updating the odds, you can bet again.
The odds are as specified by the bookmaker but players may use certain methods to increase them and therefore the potential winnings by placing bets on AKO coupons or through the promotions.