Football Odds 101 for the newbie punter

So you’d like to bet on the footy and make some money from online bookmakers. First things first, read this simple guide to understanding football odds for the newbie punter.

Before placing a bet, you should know how the odds are stacked in the bookmaker’s favor and how much you stand to win or lose when you bet.

The bookmaker advertises odds based on its assessment of the probable result less a percentage which guarantees its profits. You’ll need to be able to spot errors in the bookmaker’s judgment or be very lucky if you are to win in the long term.

The amount you win or lose on a traditional bet is determined by the stake you risk and the odds you’re given. The bookmaker will pay out in proportion to the odds taken on the bet and if it loses, the bookmaker will keep your stake.

The traditional odds format in the UK is Fractional odds which indicate the amount you will win in relation to the stake.

For example, bet £1 at odds of 4/1 and you will win £4. The bookmaker will give you £4 winnings plus your £1 stake for a total return of £5. If you bet £10 at 4/1 you would win £40 and so on.

You don’t always stand to win more than you stake if a selection looks a good thing the bookmaker will offer odds on.

For example, 1/2 gets winnings of £1 for every £2 staked. Here your £1 bet would win .50p for a total return of £1.50 and your £10 bet would win £5 for a total return of £15 and so on.

Decimal odds are more common in Europe and they show the total returns for 1 unit of a stake in decimal format.

The decimal equivalent of 4/1 is 5.00 so betting £10 will give a total return of £50.

The decimal equivalent of 1/2 is 1.50 and betting £10 gives a total return of £15

American odds or ‘moneyline’ is quoted as either positive or negative using the + and – signs and indicates winnings to a 100 unit stake.

4/1 odds will be shown as +400, meaning you’ll win £400 for every £100 stake

A £10 bet would win £40 for a total return of £50 when the winning stake is refunded.

1/2 odds are shown as -200, meaning you win £100 for every £200 stake.

A £10 bet would win £5 for a total return of £15.

When registering on a bookmaker website you will be given the option for the odds to be shown in your preferred format when you log in.

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