This guide is intended for those who are new to online betting but also for those for whom decimal or American odds are unfamiliar (which is the majority of those living in England).
To avoid confusion, remember that odd means bet in English, you never know :D
How odds work in eSports
As an introduction, let’s just say that when you are betting on the victory of Fnatic in an LOL tournament, you’re given a small numerical figure. Some sites use this numerical figure as an indication of your possible winnings and others assume that you understand that this figure represents the odds.
What are odds?
Odds are numerical values that represent the possible winnings you can earn in the event of a correct prediction. You must understand how to read them and an explanation is provided below.
Before getting into specifics, keep in mind that odds are not
the same as probabilities of victory of each participant. Of course the favourite will have the ‘lowest’ odds and the underdog will have the ‘highest’. But the values for odds are complex calculations made by the bookmaker to achieve one objective: to make a profit regardless whoever wins the match.
For example, let’s imagine that Team A has never lost against Team B. All the punters will want to bet on Team A. If it turns out that Team A really is the winner then the bookmaker, the one who organizes the bet, will have lost money because if the odds of winning are higher than 1, he must pay out money. However since nobody lost money by betting on Team B then the bookmaker will not be able to make up for his losses.
The answer then is to offer low odds for Team A but more higher odds for Team B in order to entice gamblers to bet on B (and to pay those players who bet on Team A if they should win). Additionally the bookmaker will also factor their own profit margin into the equation.
So it’s in the bookmaker’s interest to balance as much as possible the money collected for each bet adjusted by the odds. These values determine what kinds of odds the bookmaker will offer. So that means that the values of the odds may vary right up until the start of the game.
The three kinds of odds
The decimal odds
In England the odds are expressed in decimal form. This format immediately allows you to know how much you’ll earn in the event of a victory by multiplying the bet’s odds in case of a win.
Let’s take for example the case of a match expressed as victory A/victory B.
A 1.23 | B 3.5
This means that if you bet 1£ on A, you’ll get back 1.23£ if that team is the winner and
3.5£ if you bet on B and they win.
Obviously A is more likely to win than B. This kind of expression is often used for sports betting. For example, on a match 1|N|2 (=win for team 1|Null/Tie game | win for team 2) the odds will be expressed as 2.5|4.2|1.3.
Odds in fractional form
You should become familiar with this way of expressing odds because it is used by English-speakers and they are part of the bookmakers who offer eSports betting.
For a match where the outcome is a win for A/win for B, you will see odds of this kind:
A 6/4 | B 5/2
This means that if you bet 4£ on A, you’ll get back 6£ (+ the 4£ inital bet) if that team wins and
if you bet 2£ on B, in case of a victory for B, you will have won 5£ (+ the 2£ inital bet).
It’s what’s commonly known as 3 to 1 odds, for example =3/1. For every 1£ that you bet, you’ll get 3£ in more in the event of a win. Since English-speaking punters prefer not to mix decimals with their fractions, you won’t see an expression like 2.5/1 which corresponds to 5/2.
Once again, you need to have a firm understanding of this kind of expression because eSports betting dealers are often American. The term 'Moneyline Odds' is also used. The American form of expressing odds is a more complicated system to understand because it uses positive and negative values and is less intuitive than previously mentioned expressions.
An example follows, but you should know that this calculation is based on a value of $100 (or £, whichever you prefer), that ‘+’ means that you will have, in the event of a win, the value indicated in extra winnings added to your bet in case of a win. A value preceded by a ‘-‘ indicates the amount of money you must to bet in order to win, in addition to the initial bet, $100/£.
A +200 | B -200
This means that if you bet $100 on A, you’ll have a profit of $200, for a total of $300 in the event of a win for A and,
if you bet $100 on B, then if B wins, you’ll make a $50 profit, for a total of $150.
To understand the second example, tell yourself this: in order to win $100, I must bet $200. Then that means the odds are 1/2 when expressed as a fraction or 1.50 if they’re written in decimal form.
So that’s an explanation of odds, don’t hesitate to return and review this article later on, once you’ve registered on one of the eSports betting sites that we recommend.
You may now continue your reading with with how to bet on an eSports game or go back to the eSports Betting Guide.