Ever wondered how the concept of betting actually works? Many people assume that the idea of odds and that of probability are the same things, but any bookie will put you right. Odds and probability are related to one another – but they are different.
Think of probability as a number between 0 and 1, where 0 means there’s no chance of something happening and 1 means there’s 100% chance. In other words, the event will definitely take place, no matter what.
What Are the Odds?
The odds of something happening is about the ratio of the probability of the thing happening, as opposed the ratio of the probability of it not happening. While this might sound clumsy, it’s a concept which takes you into fractions and decimals… The practical way.
In Practical Terms?
Think of a coin. It has two sides: one is conventionally called a head. And the other, a tail. Now, in your mind’s eye, flip that coin. There are only two possibilities on which it can land. The probability of it landing on either the head or the tail is 50%. The odds are 1/1.
Think of a dice. It has six sides, and they’re all numbered. Now throw that dice, in your mind. What will it land on? There’s a 16.66% probability that you will be correct in predicting how it will land. In terms of odds, this would be written 5/1.
So, now look a football possibility in this light.
If a bookie tells you the odds of a match being won by team X are 7/4, what you do is the following:
- You keep the second number, 4.
- You add together both numbers: 7+4=11
- And then you do the sum: 4/11 = 0.36
- And work out the percentage: 36%. Which means that the odds aren’t that great for this team to win. This is how interpret the odds!