Want to learn to bet? Betting 101 is the place to start and understanding Betting Odds is one of the most important parts of your betting education.

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Betting Odds

The first thing to understand when you’re betting? Odds.

All betting is maths: the odds (or the price) for a bet are simply the market’s take on the likelihood of the bet winning. The longer the odds, the less chance the selection is thought to have of winning. When it does win, you get paid out more.

There’s actually a few different ways which prices are expressed, in a mathematical sense. The simplest is the decimal system, which (thankfully) Australia uses. Therefore, it’s the largely the only system you’ll need to know.

Decimal odds

Decimal odds are expressed as simple numbers, which represent the amount your bet will collect should it win. See an example market:

Horse Price
Northerly 6.50
Winx 2.25
Sunline 6.00
So You Think 4.00
Might and Power 5.50
Octagonal 26.00
Better Loosen Up 31.00


Your total collect will simply be your stake times the price. For example:

If you bet $100 on Winx, your collect will be $225 ($100 x 2.25)

If you bet $20 on Octagonal, your collect will be $520 ($20 x 26)

Fractional odds

Fractional odds were previously used in Australia, and are still the preferred method in Britain. As the name implies, the odds are expressed as a fraction:

Horse Odds
Northerly 11/2
Winx 5/4
Sunline 5/1
So You Think 3/1
Might and Power 9/2
Octagonal 25/1
Better Loosen Up 30/1


Fractional odds are verbalised as ratios: Northerly would be said to be “11 to 2”, while So You Think would be “3 to 1”.

The easiest way to work out the collect is to think of the denominator (the second number) as the stake and the numerator (the first number) as the winnings.

To work out the winnings, divide the stake into the denominator, then multiply that by the numerator.

Your total collect is both your stake and the winnings.

If you bet $100 on Might and Power, your collect would be $550:

$100 / 2 = $50

$50 x 9 = $450

The collect is the stake ($100) and the winnings ($450).

The advantage of decimal odds is the instant comparability for everybody, including novice punters: take Sunline and Might and Power as examples. What’s quicker and easier to compare? 5/1 vs 9/2, or $6.00 vs $5.50?

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Dean Zardo

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