There are certain things a good punter has to master. Actually the list is quite long as sports betting is a very serious occupation, but some points are just of crucial importance.

Probably the most essential of them is to understand the odds in sports betting. You simply shouldn’t be in the dark when it comes to reading odds, because if you are hoping for success in the betting arena, you should be a specialist in them.

First of all it is essential to understand what the odds are and what role they play in the process of betting. That’s why we’ll begin this review by giving a definition to this notion. Generally speaking, the odds are the likelihood or chances of something happening. If we specify this definition to the gambling field of activity, the odds are a certain ratio between the amounts of money staked by individuals to a bet.

When punters think about placing a bet on the outcome of a match or game, the odds are one of the primary factors that should be taken into consideration. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of odds; and if you have any problems reading them, you should immediately repair the omission.

Nowadays various online sportsbooks give people from all over the world the opportunity to wager on almost any sporting or even non-sporting event. That’s very handy, but there’s one discouraging nuance: different bookmakers use different odds formats. Instead of creating one universal odds format, the bookies have made up several different ones according to the preferences of their target customers. That’s how it happened that there are now lots of various odds formats, used by the bettors in different regions. For example, the Europeans prefer decimals, the Americans exclusively use US moneyline, the Englishmen tend to use fractions, and at last the Asians prefer to stick to Malay and Hong Kong odds formats. In order to cast some light upon all the formats, we offer you a “betting odds explained” article.

Decimal odds. As mentioned before, the decimals are favored mainly by Europeans. This odds format is also used in Canada and Australia. Most punters, who have no problems reading all the possible odds formats note that this one is the most comprehensible. This format is considered to be the most popular of all the previously mentioned ones. It is very easy to operate with decimal odds, because they indicate how much money you’ll get from a one unit-stake. So in order to find out how much you’ve won, you simply have to multiply the odds by the amount of your stake. Here’s an example that illustrates the use of decimal odds. Let’s imagine that the odds are 3.5 and you bet $100. If you win, you’ll gain $350 (3.5x $100).

The American Odds are quite different, because they have another principle at their core. It is obvious that this format is used mainly in the USA. It is also known as “Moneyline Odds“. The American Odds work quite differently for underdogs and favorites. So if you bet on a favorite at a bookmaker offering American moneyline odds, these odds show how much money you will have to risk in order to gain $100. It means that if the odds on an event you are considering are -210, your stake should be no less than $210.

Let’s illustrate it with an easy-to-understand example. For instance, there is a certain team which is considered to be a favorite and they are paying -210 for a win of their next game. It’s quite simple: if you wagered $210 and the team won, you would get $310 which is the sum of your initial stake and your winning.

If you bet on an underdog the American odds display how much you gain if you risk $100. So if the odds on a particular match are +150, it means that you’ll have to bet $100 in order to get $150. It is worth noting that if you see the letters PK alongside the odds (particularly in the US format), it indicates that there is no favorite and you have to pick the winner without points spread. Fractional Odds are favored in Great Britain. This type of odds was first introduced for horse racing and in quite a short period of time gained popularity in all the other sporting disciplines. Fractional odds are also known under the names of: UK Odds, British Odds or Traditional Odds. Basically, they tell the bettor how much profit he will gain from a one unit stake. So if the odds offered on a particular race or match are 3/1, it means that such odds will pay out three times the betting amount he placed. In case the odds are 4/1 the punter will be paid out four times the amount of his stake. If the stake equaled to $20, it would translate to $80.

Malaysian Odds or simply Malay odds display the relationship between your stake and your potential winnings on a particular bet. It is worth noting that Malaysian sports bettors are mainly focused on soccer. According to statistics, 90% of all bets are placed on various soccer matches. Malaysian Odds are expressed in decimals, but don’t confuse them with European Odds! If the odds are “0”, then it is an exact 50/50 bet which will eventually payout 1/1. Just as in US moneyline, the Malaysian Odds are either indicated with a – sign, or a + sign. If the odds are displayed with a plus, you just need to multiply your stake by your odds if you want to calculate the winnings. If the odds have a minus sign, then you need to multiply your stake by 1/odds in order to calculate how much money you gain. Please note, that the minus sign is to be ignored while making the calculations.

Hong Kong odds are considered to be quite easy to follow. As all the other odds formats, they express the relationship between the original stake and your potential winnings. Hong Kong odds are very similar to decimals with the only exception that they don’t include the stake. If you would like to learn what your winnings are, you just need to multiply the Hong Kong odds by your stake. These are the most common odds used all over the world. It is advisable to know how to read all of them, but if you don’t want to bother, there are lots of online odds converters you can use instead.