All You Need to Know About the Betting Odds

Understanding how odds work is the foundation of learning how to place bets. If you plan to start betting, especially in India, it is essential to understand how betting odds work. Statistics show that 370 million Indians bet during major events and 140 million bets regularly. That shows just how much you need to understand basic betting odds.

The odds reflect your chances of winning both in the mind of the bookmakers and how much you could win if your bet is successful. To smartly place bets, you must have a good idea of the main types of betting odds and the ability to read their values in different formats.

Although betting odds can look complex at first, technical know-how of how these odds work can help you make better choices when placing bets online.

What are betting odds?

Betting odds are data compiled by bookmakers which represent their measure of the likelihood of an event or a series of events. There are three prominent betting odds types: fractional British odds, money line American odds, and European decimal odds. 

All these odd types represent alternative ways of reflecting the same information and hold no difference in payouts. This means that the percentage probability of a likely event can be presented in any of these three odd types.

Betting odds can be applied to any event that bookmakers take bets on, from football to horse racing, basketball, and cricket.

How to read betting odds

Now that you know the basics of probability and betting odds, you can use them to work out the volume of potential returns if you were to bet on them. Fractional odds show you your potential winnings related to the stakes you place on a bet. For instance, if you place a $1 bet that Chennai Super Kings will beat Mumbai Indians at a 4/1, it will pay a $4 profit plus your $1 totaling $5 when you win.

Any odds where the first number is bigger than the second are identified as odds against but numbers smaller than the second are identified as odds on. Typically, odds-on events on an online betting site have more probability of occurring than odds against.

Why do odds change?

As earlier mentioned, odds tell the mathematical story of how likely an event will happen. However, there is more to betting odds than that. Here, we identify why the odds are sometimes flexible and look at the factors that can influence them.

  • Betting trends

When you start betting, you’ll notice that almost all betting sites have similar or nearly identical odds for the same events. Money is a vital factor for both bettors and bookmakers. They both do everything they can to avoid losing money. Bookmakers prevent money loss by constantly analyzing what participants bet on.

This prevents the loss of money through improperly priced odds. For example, if several customers bet on a specific match, it hints that they know it’s a good bet. Or, from a bookmaker’s perspective, the odds are probably too high. So the bookmakers end up reducing the odds for that specific match to prevent money loss.

  • Competitors

In betting trends, bookmakers also look at other bookmakers’ odds. They do this to prevent losses, read trends and remain competitive. If a fellow bookmaker suddenly reduces the odds on a specific event, it could mean several things.

Firstly, it could mean that their competitor possesses insider information that they don’t have or have more bets on that particular event. Therefore, following a fellow trusted competitor is better than risk getting losses. 

  • Statistics history

Historical statistics have great input on how odd makers place certain odds. If a team or an event has been statistically successful at a particular thing, odd makers consider this during odd pricing.

  • Evaluation

Evaluation of certain events can influence odd pricing. For instance, the higher an evaluation of a game, the greater the chance of bettors wanting to stake more on it. To this end, bookmakers always try to increase the odds for such an event.


General knowledge of betting odds helps not only odd makers but also bettors. It is a basic foundation of betting in India, which every event or outcome is governed by. Learning the basics of betting and how odds work is essential to enjoying the delight of winning a bet. After that, you will need to choose a quality betting platform, and without any doubt, Parimatch is one such platform. Known for a variety of sports that users can bet on, Parimatch offers a responsive website that lets you bet on games from the comfort of your mobile devices.

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