One big mistake that many gamblers make is that they focus too much on the gambling and not enough on learning about gambling, to eventually make them a better gambler. We can all learn and I think it is very important that you learn how to gamble properly and all the different elements of being a gambler.
I personally spend a lot of time reading and researching about various different things in the hope that I will pick up some tips that are going to improve my gambling skills. No matter how good you think you are, or how long you have been gambling, there is always something out there you can learn.
Being a gambler is about picking winners in whatever sport you choose to bet on. However, maximising your profit and knowing that every time you bet you have everything you possibly can in your favour that is what makes a very good, successful gambler. Many people out there can pick regular winners on their chosen sport, but a lot of those people often don’t gamble in a way that guarantees they are getting the biggest return possible on their bets.
One big problem area for a lot of people is how to convert the two different types of odds. When gambling, we all take whatever odds the bookmaker is offering us, but how do you know that those odds are the best ones available? If you are unable to convert the odds and work out which offer you the best returns then it is highly likely that you are missing out on profit, because you won’t always drop lucky and get the best odds. Understanding the odds is a key to being a good gambler, they affect your profit and when it comes down to profit, you really should be focusing on this.
Fractional odds are the traditional odds format that you will see in the bookmakers you visit, on course at the races and they are the ones you will probably use the most. Decimal odds are growing, mainly thanks to the amount of young gamblers who struggle to work with fractional odds.
These young gamblers tend to do all their betting online where they can choose to see the odds listed as decimal odds, so they never have to work with fractional odds. However, if you are one of those people then one day you will need to use fractional odds, in a betting shop or at the races and with that in mind, even if you don’t use them regularly, I always think it is a good idea to know both. This should include how they work, how to compare them to each other and most importantly of all, which one will give you the most profit.
Fractional odds, displayed as fractions look like this – 3/1
Decimal odds, displayed as decimals look like this – 4.00
Both of the odds listed above are the same, the fractional odds shows how much you will win from the given number. In this case, your profit will be 3 units for a one unit stake, giving you a total return of four units. The decimal odds are showing what you will win if you stake one unit, so this shows 4.00 because you will win four units. Decimal odds are always shown using how much you would return off a one unit bet, while fractional odds use different numbers and that is where some people will become confused with them.
How to Convert Fractional Odds
I think fractional odds will always remain popular due to their use in the betting shops and on racecourses. The simple fractional odds are very easy to understand, but when smaller fractions are used this is a lot more difficult and is an area that people usually struggle with.
This causes a lot of people to place their bets without knowing if they are getting the best odds, and more often than not it is likely that they won’t be. When using fractional odds, the odds are displayed showing how much your returns are for a particular stake. However, the confusion comes because the stake they show your returns to is the thing that changes, which makes comparing them very difficult.
For example, for someone not used to dealing with fractions, comparing 15/8, 9/4, 5/2 and 85/40 would be very hard to do. If you are able to do this quickly then you definitely have an advantage, especially in a sport like horse racing or greyhound racing where the odds change quickly.
If you want to convert odds, the best way to do it is to convert them into a probability percentage. This way you can compare all of the odds on offer and see which offers the best value. When talking about fractional odds, the numerator is the first number shown and the denominator is the second number shown.
The probability calculation for fractional odds is as follows:
Probability = denominator / denominator + numerator
Using 7/2 as an example, the calculation would be:
Probability = 2 / 9 (2+7) = 0.2222 x 100 = 22.22%
The probability of the selection happening is 22.22%
Using 4/1 as an example the calculation would be:
Probability = 1/5 (1+4) = 0.20 x 100 = 20%
The probability of the selection happening is 20%
Using the above calculation you can see that the best odds on offer are 4/1 because they are shown to have a smaller probability of happening. The smaller the probability of something happening, the bigger the odds are.
How to Convert Decimal Odds
The growth in decimal odds will continue, but I don’t ever see them taking over from fractional odds, they are still a clear second to those. More importantly, they haven’t made it into betting shops yet and until they do, I don’t think they stand a chance of challenging fractional odds. Regardless of what odds are shown as a decimal, they are all easy to understand and compare against each other.
This is why many young new gamblers coming into sports betting use them instead of the traditional fractional odds. The odds displayed show how much you will receive back for a one unit stake, including your stake money. For example, the odds 2.50 will give you a return of 2.50 units for your one unit bet.
With no fractions to think about, working out what the best odds are is simply a case of looking for the biggest number. The bigger the number, the more you will have returned to you if you win. This takes away a lot of problems from young gamblers and they can quickly search through the odds to find value.
For example, if a bookmaker offers decimal odds of 1.65 for a football team to win then you will receive back 0.65 profit for every 1.00 you place on the bet. The decimal odds include your stake back, so 1.65 is your total returns for 1.00 unit stake.
To convert the odds into a percentage so you can compare them to fractional odds you need to make the following calculation:
Probability = 1 / decimal odds
Using the example above of 1.65 the calculation would be the following:
1 / 1.65 = 0.606 x 100 = 60.6% probability of happening
When you are comfortable at calculating the odds as percentages, comparing odds from anywhere will be very easy. That means that even if you do bet online using decimal odds, you will be able to head to your local betting shop, see the fractional odds on offer and see if they beat what you can get online.
Betting is not just about picking winners, it is about having a good knowledge to ensure that you make the right decisions all the time. With the knowledge to do this your betting will go in the right direction and most importantly of all, you will know that you are always getting the best deal and you are taking the best available odds.
If you haven’t yet learnt how to use and compare the two different types of odds then it is something I recommend that you do. I am sure it will come in useful for you at some point, regardless of which method you normally use for yourself.
Once you are up to speed you will be able to compare odds from anywhere with ease and quickly ensure that if you do have a winning bet, you are going to take home the best possible profit from that bet.
Being able to convert odds will take a while to learn but it is a valuable lesson that will only send your long term profit in the right direction, which is something we all want. By doing your calculations you can be assured you are getting the best odds every time and you are not leaving any profit behind. Making a profit is why we all gamble, so it makes sense to learn as much as possible about it.