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True Odds

What are 'True Odds'?

'True odds' is a phrase used in fixed-odds wagering - the practice of betting against the bookmaker's odds in the hope of picking up a win. It refers to the actual probability of winning and how the odds would look if that were the case. In reality, odds are skewed in favour of the bookmaker, who needs to pick up a profit. By working out the 'true odds', shrewd gamblers can look for bets that are close to the mark and give themselves a good margin for potential profit on their wager.

'True Odds' Explained

'True odds' are the odds as they would look if there were no edge given to the bookmaker. In betting, bookmakers need to make a profit while still attracting bets to their books, so they have to pitch a wager price that is attractive but still profitable. 'True odds' means the actual odds when calculated accurately, without considering the bookmaker's stake. There is some degree of flexibility around the use of the phrase and it is usually used in the context of complaining about the bookmaker's cut of the wagered stake.Understanding true odds and how they relate to the posted odds at the bookmakers is the key to making intelligent wagers. A good gambler will have an eye for figures and will be able to spot a bet that has a narrower margin to the bookie than others - therefore widening their own probability of profit. Playing the 'true odds' in fixed rate betting is not an accurate process as much of it comes down to opinion, but it is part of the skills that a tipster - someone who gives good information about likely bets - should be able to demonstrate. No betting strategy can be 100% reliable, but a good eye for the 'true odds' will certainly help a bettor make a probable pick.
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