What is fractional odds?

Different odds formats

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Odds are the likely probability of a stated event occurring and with regards to financial implications, there should be no impact of using one system of odds over another. This makes it easier for gamblers to choose a betting odds system that they understand the best, which should hopefully allow them to feel comfortable about the bets they place.

The choice of odd styles available are fairly limited, especially in comparison to the number of betting sites and bookmakers available but this uniformity has stood the test of time because the odds work and make it easy for people to understand what they are betting on. The two main style of betting odds that are used most commonly are the fractional odds and decimal odds.

Fractional odds

The style of fractional odds are more commonly associated with book makers and betting systems based in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which makes them a natural choice for betting fans who have commonly placed bets in these regions. Although fractions may make many people think of their schooldays and unhappy times spend in mathematics classes but there is simplicity about fractional odds which make them a great choice for many people wanting to develop their knowledge about sports betting.

One of the reasons why many people choose to use fractional odds as their preferred system of odds is that the odds should indicate the total amount that a person will receive for their winning bet, relative to the stake that they placed. This can be best shown by an example with odds of 4/1 (known as four to one) being used as the odds.

How to calculate with fractional odds

This means that for every unit of currency placed as a stake, the betting fan can expect four units of currency in return. This means that if Bolton Wanderers were listed as 4/1 to beat Liverpool and a person placed £100 on them to win, they would receive winnings of £400 if Bolton were triumphant. The person would also receive their stake back, ensuring they walked away with £500, their initial stake of £100 and their winnings of £400.

Fractional odds work in the same manner if the odds were reversed, for example the odds are offered at ¼. This could be in a game where Chelsea were facing Stoke and equally, one unit of currency placed on a Chelsea victory would see the person walk away with a quarter of that unit of currency if Chelsea win. For a £100 bet, the winner would walk away with £25. Of course, they would also receive their £100 stake back so would have £125 at the conclusion of the game and would be better off but it is obvious there is a far greater risk for a lower return from betting on this sort of odd.

Why fractional odds?

Fractional odds offer a quick and easy way to determine what sort of return a successful bet would provide to the gambler and makes it easier to make a decision on what is a worthwhile bet or not. Weighing up the probabilities, what would be lost and the potential earnings possible from each bet is the best way for a betting fan to decide if the bet is worthwhile and fractional odds make it easy to determine what the expected outcomes are if the bet wins.

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Think about the surface before you bet, grass is a difficult surface for many players…


Sports betting fans of an older vintage will be able to remember back to the 1980s where one of the greatest tennis players of that era was Ivan Lendl. Lendl was a tremendous player who won many honours throughout his career but one that always eluded him was the Wimbledon tournament and a lot of this can be put down to the fact that he was not too comfortable on grass.

Of all the tennis court surfaces, a number of players have difficulty in playing on grass and this may be because they did not practice on it t all when they were developing their kills. It is easier to maintain tennis courts of different surfaces so there could be a scarcity of grass tennis courts for many players and this has affected the ability of many great tennis players to play and win on grass surface.

Check the players record on a surface

A great way to examine the success rate of a player on a particular surface is to look back at the historical records and see what their track record is. There has to be an acceptance that their skill levels may have changed or they may have faced harder opponents in previous years so a history is not always the best indication of future outcomes but it will allow a sports punter to make a better judgment on any upcoming tournament. The impact of the tennis surface can be under-estimated and is easily one of the biggest deciding factors in any tennis betting option.

Know more than the bookmakers (important as always…)

Of course, the bookmakers are aware of this and will usually be able to adjust their odds accordingly but there are occasions where they do not keep up to date as much as they should have done. It may well be that a player who had a poor history on a surface like clay makes a conscious decision to improve their skills and trains regularly on it. This will not be available in the past history and records of a tennis player but by reading tennis articles and keeping up to date with sports news and gossip, a betting fan would be able to glean this sort of information and make their own bet accordingly.

These are the tricks of the trade that many of the betting community are happy to follow in order to gain any slight advantage that they can over a bookmaker. With the bookmaker having so much of the knowledge and information on their side, anything which can even it out is to be encouraged and this is where knowledge about a player reaction on certain court surfaces can have a major impact on the success of a punter.

Of course, with court conditions being an influence on the outcome of the matches, it is also possible that the weather will affect the court condition so this has to be factored into any decision making process. At Wimbledon, it is noticeable that when it rains the games are postponed but on other open air court surfaces, the rain or wind can cause the surface to change its condition and this may affect the bounce and spin of the ball. Being aware of the differences in tennis court conditions will enable any sports betting fan to get a head start on their betting activities.

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