Understanding Betting Odds
There comes a time for betting fans when they no longer want to just cheer for their favourite teams but instead actually put some money where their mouths are.
Fortunately, and thanks to sites like ours, it's not that difficult to find high quality online bookies offering betting odds and to do just that.
Most bookies offer free bets to new members so you can get the most from betting on your favourite team whilst not risking too much of your own money!
However, even sports fans who have a grasp of the game, the teams, the players, and the statistics doesn't necessarily understand how to take advantage of betting offers as they may not understand the actual betting odds that the online bookies set.
Whether attempting to quickly cash in on a free bet offer or depositing a large sum of money and making many large bets, new bettors must first learn how betting odds work.
While you're still having sports betting odds explained to you it's recommended to use as many free bets as possible as it provides the opportunity to partially bet with the bookies own money.
Understanding Bookies Odds
Bookies assign odds to possible outcomes of various sporting events. In other words, if a dominant club is playing a match against a much weaker one, a better can’t simply hope to bet £100 on the good team and expect to double their money when that team unsurprisingly wins.
Instead, nearly all bets that bookies offer have some form of betting odds attached to them to explain to the bettor how much or how little sports bettors can expect to win or lose.
It all starts with probability. If the conventional wisdom is that Manchester United is four times likelier to win than Norwich, then it's easy to surmise that Man Utd have about an 80% chance of winning while Norwich is a huge underdog at 20%. But betting odds aren't shown as percentages at bookies, they're usually either fractional odds or decimal odds.
Instead of saying that Norwich has a 20% chance of winning, online bookies say that Man Utd are have betting odds of 4/1 (or 4-to-1 or 4:1). If a bettor places £100 on the proposition that Norwich will win and the proposition proves correct, then the bettor wins back his £100 plus an additional £400.
Meanwhile, if you bet on Man Utd (who has an 80% chance of winning and has betting odds of 1/4) and the proposition comes to pass, then the bettor wins back his £100 plus an additional £25. If the bettor's proposition fails, he or she doesn’t receive back any of the money they bet so making use of bookies free bets can come in quite handy!
Betting odds may also be expressed using decimals. With decimal odds, online bookies always add the original stake to any winnings. In the example above, the decimal betting odds for Norwich would be 5 meaning that for every pound bet, four more would be paid out on top of the amount staked.
The decimal betting odds for Man Utd would be 1.25 meaning that for every pound bet, the bettor would win 25p as well as getting their original stake back.
Regardless of whether bookies have free bet offers or you have to deposit your own money to get started, be sure to understand the type of betting odds that a bookie offers before using a free bet. The best bookies allow you to change how sports betting odds are displayed on their site, check the FAQ section of the bookie you're betting with to find out how.
It's critical to winning free bets that punters understand the difference between short betting odds (such as 1/2 fractionally, 1.5 decimally for favourites; 2/1, 3.0 for underdogs), even betting odds (1/1, 2.0), and long betting odds (such as 10/1, 11.0 for underdogs).
Bookies betting odds are based on common sense and probability. The main aim of sports betting at online bookies is to have a hunch regarding the probability of an outcome happening as you’ll probably win more from free bets.
Then you need to find a bookie that has, what the bettor believes to be, decent betting odds. Bet on it with the correct understanding of the amount that will be won should the proposition come to pass based on how betting odds are displayed, while also understanding that the stake could be lost if the bet loses.
Free bets are offered by bookies to get new users to open an account with them and start betting using their odds. Obviously, free bets mean that you aren't risking too much of your own money, so it's a good way to get started.
Once you've made use of all the free bet offers we feature, you'll hopefully have a strong grasp of how betting odds operate and what you need to do to make them work for you and the bets that you place.