Soccer Odds Explained

Soccer Odds Explained

One of the first things you should do if you are new to betting is to learn how soccer odds work. It is critical because it allows you to understand how likely an event is and what your potential gains are. It may appear perplexing at first. However, to help you understand, read this guide to betting odds explained.

The odds in betting represent the ratio of the amounts staked by the parties to the bet or bet. Thus, odds of 3 to 1 indicate that the first party (the bookmaker) bet three times as much as the second party (the bettor).

soccer odds explained

What exactly is probability?

At its most basic level, betting allows you to predict the outcome of a specific event. You will win money if your prediction is correct.

There are a fixed number of outcomes for any given event. Consider the act of rolling a die. There are six possible outcomes when a dice is rolled. As a result, if you bet that the person will roll a ‘one,’ you have a 16.67% chance of winning.

Calculating Probability Using Betting Odds

Fractional odds are when two numbers are separated by a trailing slash, such as 4/1. A calculation can be used to determine how likely a given event is to occur. For clarity, let’s replace the numbers with letters, so 4/1 becomes A/B. Here’s how it works: B / (A+B) = Probability (%)

  • 9/1 is calculated as 1 / (9 + 1) = 0.10 – the event has a 10% chance of occurring.
  • 4/1 is calculated as 1 / (4 + 1) = 0.20, indicating that the event has a 20% chance of occurring.
  • 1/1 can be calculated as 1 / (1 + 1) = 0.50 – the event has a 50% chance of occurring.
  • 1/4 is calculated as 4 / (4 + 1) = 0.80 – the event has an 80% chance of occurring. 

Hooray! We’re getting closer. We can now tell how likely (the probability) what we’re going to bet on will happen given a fraction. Let’s see how much money can be won by using betting odds.

Winnings Can Be Calculated Using Betting Odds

You can use betting odds to calculate how much money you will win if you place a bet. Let’s use the same examples as before, but this time we’ll replace numbers with letters, so 4/1 becomes A/B. Simply put, for every value of B you bet, you will win A plus your stake back.

  • 9/1 for every $1 wagered equals $9.
  • 4/1 for every $1 wagered equals $4.
  • 1/1 for every $1 wagered equals $1.
  • 1/4 for every $4 wagered equals $1.

What about decimal numbers?

Decimals are far more common on exchanges like Betfair, but all major betting sites allow you to view betting odds in this format. They are an alternative to seeing soccer odds in fraction format, and we believe they are easier to calculate. Here’s how it works: (odds * stake) – stake = winnings Let us use some examples to demonstrate this.

  • 8.0 is equal to (8.0 * $10 stake) – $10 stake = $70 winnings.
  • 5.0 is equal to (5.0 * $10 stake) – $10 stake = $40 winnings.
  • 3.5 is equal to (3.5 * $10 stake) – $10 stake = $25 winnings.
  • 1.35 is equal to (1.35 * $10 stake) – $10 stake = $3.50 winnings.

Example of Betting

To make all of this information a little clearer, here’s a quick example of a bet on a soccer game.

If you were to bet on Man City beating Man Utd 2-0, the odds would be 4.0 (decimal) or 3/1. (fractional)

You can immediately calculate how much you could win if your stake was £10:

  • 3.0 is equal to 3.0 * $10 stake – $10 = $30 winnings.
  • You can win $3 – $30 for every $1 you bet.
  • Remember, you’ll also get your original stake back.

Fractional odds vs Decimal odds

There is no superior method, but there is a growing trend toward using decimal odds. Fractional odds have traditionally been used in the United Kingdom, particularly at racetracks and on the high street. There are two significant differences.

In general, decimal odds are easier to comprehend. Based on this, there is a movement to increase the number of people who participate in horse racing by making it more accessible to the average punter. If you went to Glorious Goodwood or Cheltenham ten years ago, all the odds would be displayed as fractional odds. They’re mostly in decimals now. 

The second distinction between the formats is that fractional odds only represent winnings and do not include the returned stake, whereas decimals do. The growing popularity of betting exchanges such as Unibet and Ladbrokes accelerated the transition from fractional odds to decimals.

It is extremely difficult to marginally increase or decrease the probability without creating large fractions when the odds change slightly. These are difficult to calculate for the punter and are not an effective way of explaining soccer odds.


Betting odds represent the probability that an event will occur and thus allow you to calculate how much money you will win if your bet is successful. For example, if the odds are 4/1, you will win £4 for every £1 wagered. This has a 20% chance of occurring, as calculated by 1 / (4 + 1) = 0.20.

Soccer Odds FAQs 

Which is preferable, decimal or fractional odds?

When it comes to odds format, there is no right or wrong. You should only use what is more familiar to you and easier to understand.

What should I do if the odds are given in decimal and I prefer fractions?

An odds converter is always available. However, most online betting sites will provide you with the option.

Why is decimal odds becoming more popular?

Traditionally, UK bookmakers used fractional odds, but decimal odds are becoming more popular. This could be because they are simpler to calculate potential winnings. Or because they are more widely used in Europe.



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