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How to read betting odds

Reading and understanding odds is crucial for people interested in gambling or looking for the best odds. Odds serve as a way to indicate the probability of a specific event happening, and they can be presented in various formats, including fractional, decimal, or moneyline. Proficiency in reading odds can enable you to calculate a bet's potential winnings, the game's anticipated value, and the risk level associated with a particular wager. For more tips and strategies, read this article about the best betting sites with best odds at



What are betting odds?


Betting odds are numerical representations of the likelihood of an event occurring. They are used to calculate a bet's potential payout and indicate the degree of risk involved in a particular wager.


Betting odds can be expressed in different formats, such as fractional, decimal, or moneyline, depending on the region or the sportsbook offering them.


What do - and + Mean in Odds?


Moneyline odds use the minus (-) and (+) signs to represent the favorite and underdog in a betting market. The minus sign indicates the favorite, while the plus sign indicates the underdog.

If you see a minus sign (-) in front of the odds, like -150, you would need to bet $150 to win $100 or an equivalent amount. This shows that the team or player is expected to win, and the odds indicate the amount needed to be bet to win a certain amount.


Conversely, if there is a plus sign (+) in front of the odds, like +200, it means that if you bet $100 on the underdog, you would win $200 or an equivalent amount. 


Implied Probability and Odds

Implied probability and odds convey the same concept, but they are computed differently.


Odds represent the probability of an event occurring and are typically shown as a fraction of the favorable and unfavorable outcomes. For instance, when a coin is tossed, the odds of it landing heads up are 1:1 or "even" odds, as there is an equal chance of it landing heads or tails.


On the other hand, the implied probability is the likelihood of an event happening represented as a percentage. It is calculated by dividing 1 by the decimal odds and multiplying the result by 100. For example, if the odds of a coin landing heads up are 1.5, the implied probability would be 1 / 1.5 * 100 = 66.67%.


What is Vig (or Juice)?

Vig, a shortened term for vigorish or juice, is the fee a bookmaker or sportsbook charges on a bet. The vig is the additional amount a bettor must pay to place a bet on top of their original wager.

For instance, if a bettor places a $100 bet on a team to win, and the bookmaker offers odds of -110, the bettor would have to pay a vig of $10 in addition to their initial $100 wager. If the bettor wins, they would receive a payout of $190 ($100 wager + $90 profit), but if they lose, they would lose their entire $100 wager.



What is Hold?

"Hold" is the percentage of the total bets the sportsbook or bookmaker keeps as profit. It is the difference between the total amount wagered by bettors and the total amount paid out as winnings.


For instance, if a sportsbook receives $100,000 in bets on a specific game and pays $90,000 in winnings, the hold would be $10,000, or 10%. This indicates that the sportsbook retained 10% of the total amount wagered as profit.



By understanding sports betting odds, implied probabilities, and how odds and payouts are correlated, you can create value through sports betting. Created value refers to how much you get in return for the money you invest and considering the risks you take.

It is very important to choose the right bookmaker for your bets. For this, we recommend that you have to read sportsbook reviews and familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of betting.