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Bookmakers digital board showing available bets.
Bookmakers digital board showing available bets.
Betting Odds Explained

All you need to know about how to read the odds.

How Odds Work

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Whether you’re a beginner, have dabbled or are a seasoned pro, betting odds can still cause confusion. So how do betting odds work, and how can you calculate your winnings?

In short, odds tell you how likely that horse is to win, and how much money you will get back if you bet on it. The daunting numbers can be broken down easily when you understand what information you are being given in each format. In the UK, odds usually come in two formats: fractions and decimals.

Racegoer reading through Racing Post newspaper.

Fractional Odds

These are the odds you will regularly see on racecourses across the UK. You see two numbers in the fraction, the first part refers to how much you could win, the second part refers to how much you bet.

5/1

If you bet £1 (your stake) 5/1 will give you £5 winnings plus your stake. Total - £6

11/2

If you bet £2 (your stake) 11/2 will give you £11 winnings plus your stake. Total £13

2/7

If you bet £7 (your stake) 2/7 will give you £2 in winnings plus your stake. Total £9

Three racegoers consulting over a racecard.

Decimal Odds

These type of odds have gained popularity over time, as most people find them a lot easier to understand. You see one number, which you multiple by your stake (how much you wish to bet) to see how much you win in total.

6.0

If you bet £1 (your stake) 6.0 will give you £6 back, as it includes both your winnings and stake. Total - £6

6.5

If you bet £2 (your stake) 6.5 will give you £13 back, as it includes both your winnings and stake. Total - £13

1.29

If you bet £7 (your stake) 1.29 will give you £9 back, as it includes both your winnings and stake. Total -£9

Our jargon buster includes a whole host of betting terms if you want to impress your friends on the day, or just feel a little bit more comfortable with what to ask for.

Downloadable Guide

To learn how to pick a winner, why not download our full beginners guide?

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