What are ‘Odds’?
Odds are a pair of numbers in gambling that are used to indicate the likelihood of a single event occurring, such as a team winning. It is a numerical representation of the probability of something happening.
If the odds are heavily against something happening, they will be very high, such as 20-1. If a player bets $1 on this outcome, and wins the player wins $20. If the odds are for something happening they will be low such as 1-4. If a player bets $20 on this happening and they win, the player wins $5. Even odds represent 50/50 chance of winning. For example, the odds on a coin toss.
The casino odds tend to be fixed. In comparison, sports odds are variable and can change considerably due to outside factors such as form, weather, sporting injuries and other contextual factors.
There are fractional odds, decimal odds and moneyline odds. Fractional odds are mostly used by UK bookmakers and they quote how much the bookmaker will pay the customer in relation to how much money they put on the event. For example, odds of 4-1.
Decimal odds are used in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada and they quote the ratio of how much the bookmaker will pay out in relation to how much the customer put on the event. For example 2.00 are even odds.
Moneyline odds are used in America and they quote how much a customer can win or lose on a $100 bet. For example, a +400 moneyline bet is a 4 to 1 bet and a -400 moneyline bet is a 1 to 4 bet (i.e a customer stands to win and lose $400 respectively on a $100 bet).
Most people find decimal odds are the easiest to understand. Most British bookmakers tend to give their customers the option to change between decimal and fractional odds.