If you think that calculating sports betting odds is a tad complex and time-consuming, you are not mistaken. But without a proper understanding of how the odds work you cannot beat the bookie. Bookmakers display betting odds that represent how probably an event/outcome is. So, odds can be written down as fractions, decimals, or with positive and negative signs.

**How to go about betting like a professional?**

Probability simply refers to the chance of something taking place. For instance, if a bookie is likely to get results through an event, it is likely to occur. You will notice that UK sportsbooks display probability like a score that is written with a slash, like 1/2. Probability is easy to understand if you consider a coin toss; there can only be 2 outcomes here, a head or a tail. So, there is a 50% chance you will win. This can be written as 1/1 odds. Bettors will use these betting odds to understand how likely an outcome is according to a bookie.

- If you know how to calculate an event’s probability you can use odds to see how much you can hope to earn from your bet. Decimal odds will show you how much you can win through a bet. For instance, if you beat a team 4/1 with a 1/1 bet and the bet succeeds, you will get back 5 pounds (4 pounds as profit and 1 pound of your share).
- When you know which bets are worth placing you need to decide which format of betting to use. You can choose from 3 types of odds, namely, fractional odds, decimal odds, and moneyline odds.
- Finally, odds will be used to calculating probability of a specific outcome in any event.

American odds are most commonly wagered in the US and uses the plus/minus sign before number for estimating payouts. The sign indicates whether you bet on the underdogs or the favorites. Negative sign implies favorites and positive sign implies underdogs. When you research on sports betting you often come across the term “implied probability”. This means the prospect of an outcome. To know this, you must convert odds into percentage. The reason to do this is to figure out if the probability of a game you bet on is different from a bookie; you can accordingly adjust your bet then.

Decimal odds are the easiest to understand and mostly used in continental Europe. Here, you only have to multiple your wagering amount with odds assigned to the sports team you bet on.

Finally, fractional odds are most common in the UK, mainly for betting on horse races. Here, the left side number show how many times a bookie expects an outcome to fail while the right side number shows how many times this outcome is likely to succeed. You multiply your bet with the top number and divide this result by denominator. If your horse, for example, has 8/3 odds, it means it is expected to win 8 times out of 11 races. You divide this by total number of races to get implied probability.

Once you have understood how the betting system works, you should find it easy to engage in sports betting.