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Long Odds

What are 'Long Odds'?

Long odds refers to a bet with little chance of winning, which is highly unlikely to come in but which will pay very highly if it does win. An outcome might be referred to as being 'long odds' i.e. being unlikely, or the term might refer to the actual odds of an event or outcome - such as the odds of betting on an outsider. Playing the long odds is a more risky strategy but it has a bigger overall payoff.

'Long Odds' Explained

Bets can be described as having long odds or short odds. This is both a literal assessment of the probabilities of the outcome and a general phrase to describe a 'long shot' or an unlikely bet. Some players will avoid any bet with long odds, because the risk is much higher. Others will enjoy the risk and make wagers on these long odds in the hope that the bet pays off.Handicap horse racing is a great example of long and short odds. Some horses will be favoured and given short odds, such as 3-1 or 6-1. If a horse with these odds wins, which is highly probable, the bets will return either three times the stake or six times the stake respectively. However, a gambler might go for a horse with 100-1 odds. This runner is extremely unlikely to win, based on previous form and current ability, but thanks to the handicap it does have a slight chance. If this runner comes in first, the bet pays an impressive 100 times over the returned stake.Usual strategies in betting involve betting small on long odds and high on short odds. However/, players often mix these things up and take a risk, as there is always a small chance of the payout coming up - no matter how long the odds are.