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Sports Betting Glossary

Odds

The concept of odds

Odds are used to calculate the profit that can be made on a bet. The size of the odds is inversely proportional to the probability of a result occurring. In other words, the lower the odds, the greater the probability of a result occurring:
Odds
= 1 / Probability

The different types of odds

  • European odds: These odds are expressed as a whole or decimal number (e.g. 1.5 or 3). The following formula is used to calculate the profit associated with European odds:
    Profit = Stake * (Odds - 1)

  • British or fractional odds: These odds are expressed in the form of a fraction (e.g. 1/2 or 2/1). The following formula is used to calculate the profit associated with British odds:
    Profit = Stake * Odds

  • American odds: These odds may be expressed in the form of a positive or negative number (e.g. -200 or 200). Negative odds indicate how much money must be staked to earn a profit of 100 ($) and positive odds show how much profit would be earned on a bet of 100 ($). The following formulas are used to calculate the profit associated with American odds:
    Profit = Stake * 100 / (- odds) for negative odds
    Profit = Stake * 100 / odds for positive odds
  • Types of Sports Bets

    • Traditional handicap
      Find out more>>>
       
    • Asian handicap: This type of handicap operates in a similar way to the traditional handicap, but with specific rules. For example, it is impossible to bet on a drawn match. 
      Find out more>>>
    • Long-term or outright bet: Betting on a long-term event.
      For example, "Who will win the Champions League?"
       
    • Live bet: Betting on an event that's still in progress. The odds fluctuate wildly according to changes in the score. 
       
    • Special bet: A bet that is not connected to the result of a sporting event. Bookmakers offer a wide range of special bets, many of which are highly inventive. But beware! Bookmakers often make their biggest profits from this type of betting.
      For example: "Who will be Manchester United's next coach?" 
       
    • Single bet: A bet on a single event, with a single forecast. If you forecast the outcome correctly, your stake is returned, along with a profit calculated by the following formula: 
      Profit = stake * (odds - 1) 
      The bookmaker keeps your stake if you lose the bet.
       
    • Multiple bet: A bet featuring multiple forecasts. To win the bet, all of the forecasts must be correct. The profit is calculated by combining the different odds.

      There are many possible combinations:

      Double: Involving two forecasts. If both forecasts are correct, you win the bet and your stake is returned, along with a profit that is calculated according to the following formula: 
      Profit = stake * ((match 1 odds * match 2 odds) - 1)

      Multiple bet - double

      Match 1: Arsenal – Real Madrid, forecast: Arsenal at odds of 2
      Match 2: FC Porto – Milan AC, forecast: Match drawn at odds of 3.30

      The stake is 100 euros. The bet is won if Arsenal wins and if FC Porto and AC Milan draw their match. In this case, the profit is 560 euros:

      Profit = 100 * ((2 * 3.3) - 1) = 560 euros

      If one of these forecasts does not happen, the stake is lost.

    • Treble: Involving three forecasts. You win your bet if all three forecasts are correct. In this case, your stake is returned, along with a profit that is calculated according to the following formula:
      Profit = stake * ((match 1 odds * match 2 odds * match 3 odds) - 1) 

      The multiple bet principle applies to even bigger combinations of up to ten simultaneous forecasts which may be accepted by bookmakers. This is what is meant by an X-fold accumulator (the X corresponds to the number of forecasts). 
       
    • Complex multiple bet: Several forecasts for several events. In contrast to traditional multiple betting, the bet is won if only some of the forecasts are correct.
      There are a number of different complex betting combinations. 

      Complex multiple bet - Trixie

    • Match 1: Chelsea FC – Inter Milan
      Forecast: Chelsea FC at odds of 2
       
    • Match 2: AC Milan – Barcelona FC
      Forecast: match drawn at odds of 3.3
       
    • Match 3: Leeds Utd – Bayern Munich
      Forecast: Leeds Utd at odds of 2.2

    The total stake is 100 euros, i.e. 25 euros per bet (there are 4 combinations)

    Outcome 1: None or just one of the forecasts is correct. The total stake is lost.

    Outcome 2: Two forecasts are correct: Chelsea FC beats Inter Milan and Leeds Utd beats Bayern Munich. This is therefore a winning double combination. Part of the total stake is returned, along with a profit that is calculated by the following formula:

    Profit = total stake / 4 * ((match 1 odds * match 3 odds) – 1) – (total stake / 4 * 3)
    Profit = 25 * ((2 * 2.2) - 1) - 75 = 10 euros

    Outcome 3: all three forecasts are correct. Therefore, the three double combinations and the treble combination all win. The total stake is returned, along with a profit that is calculated by the following formula:

    Profit = total stake / 4 * ((match 1 odds * match 2 odds * match 3 odds) – 1) + total stake / 4 * ((match 1 odds * match 2 odds) – 1)
    + total stake / 4 * ((match 1 odds * match 3 odds) – 1) 
    + total stake / 4 * ((match 2 odds * match 3 odds) – 1)
    Profit = 25 * 13.52 + 25 * 5.6 + 25 * 3.4 + 25 * 6.26 = 719.5 euros

    Complex multiple bet - Patent

    • Match 1: Valencia – Real Madrid
      Forecast: Valencia at odds of 2
       
    • Match 2: AC Milan – Barcelona FC
      Forecast: Match drawn at odds of 3.30
       
    • Match 3: FC Porto – Bayern Munich
      Forecast: FC Porto at odds of 2.2

    The total stake is 70 euros, i.e. 10 euros per bet (there are 4 combinations and 3 singles)

    Outcome 1: None if these forecasts are accurate. The total stake is lost.
    Outcome 2: Just one of the forecasts is accurate: Valencia beats Real Madrid. Therefore, a single bet wins. A proportion of the total stake is refunded (10 euros), along with a profit for the winning forecast (10 euros). The total loss for the patent system is calculated by the following formula:

    Loss = total stake / 7 * ((match 1 odds) – 1) – (total stake / 7 * 6)
    Loss = 10 * (2 - 1) - 60 = 10 - 60 = -50 euros
    Outcome 3: Two forecasts are correct: Valencia beats Real Madrid and FC Porto beats Bayern Munich. The winning bets are therefore a double combination and two single bets. A proportion of the total stake is refunded, along with a profit that is calculated by the following formula:

    Profit = total stake / 7 * ((match 1 odds * match 3 odds) – 1)
    + total stake / 7 * ((match 1 odds) – 1)
    + total stake / 7 * ((match 3 odds) – 1)
    – (total stake / 7 * 4)
    Profit = 10 * ((2 * 2.2) – 1) + 10 * (2 – 1) + 10 * (2.2 – 1) – 40 = 16 euros

    Outcome 4: All three forecasts are correct. The treble combination, the three double combinations and the four singles are all winners. The total stake is refunded, along with a profit that is calculated by the following formula:

    Profit = total stake / 7 * ((match 1 odds * match 2 odds * match 3 odds) – 1)
    + total stake / 7 * ((match 1 odds * match 2 odds) – 1)
    + total stake / 7 * ((match 1 odds * match 3 odds) – 1)
    + total stake / 7 * ((match 2 odds * match 3 odds) – 1)
    + total stake / 7 * ((match 1 odds) – 1)
    + total stake / 7 * ((match 2 odds) – 1)
    + total stake / 7 * ((match 3 odds) – 1)
    Profit = 10 * 13.5 + 10 * 5.6 + 10 * 3.4 + 10 * 6.3 + 10 * 1 + 10 * 2.3 + 10 * 1.2 = 332.8 euros

    Complex multiple betting – Other combinations

    Yankee 
    A combination made up of one 4-fold accumulator, four trebles and six doubles, i.e. 11 bets in total.

    Flag 
    A combination made up of one 4-fold accumulator, four trebles, six doubles and four singles, i.e. 15 bets in total.

    Super Yankee ou Canadian 
    A combination consisting of one 5-fold accumulator, five 4-fold accumulators, ten trebles and ten doubles, i.e. 26 bets in total.

    Heinz 
    A combination consisting of a six-fold accumulator, six 5-fold accumulators, fifteen 4-fold accumulators, twenty trebles and fifteen doubles, i.e. 57 bets in total.

    Super Heinz 
    A combination consisting of a seven-fold accumulator, seven 6-fold accumulators, twenty-one 5-fold accumulators, thirty-five 4-fold accumulators, thirty-five trebles and twenty-one doubles, i.e. 120 bets in total.

    Goliath 
    A combination consisting of one 8-fold accumulator, eight 7-fold accumulators, twenty-eight 6-fold accumulators, fifty-six 5-fold accumulators, seventy 4-fold accumulators, fifty-six trebles and twenty-eight doubles, i.e. 247 bets in total.

    Sports Betting Websites

    • Bookmaker: A company whose business is to offer betting opportunities, mainly on sporting events. 
       
    • Betting Exchange: A site where punters exchange bets anonymously. The betting exchange's only involvement is to charge a commission of around 2% to 5% on the punters' winnings.
      Find out more >>>
    • Spread Betting: Certain bookmakers specialise in bets based upon a total number of given actions in a particular sporting event (e.g. runs scored in cricket or points in Rugby Union). The punter predicts whether this total will be above or below a particular level represented by a "spread" of numbers. 
      Find out more >>>

    Football Betting

    • Odd/even goals: Betting on whether an odd or even number of goals will be scored in a football match. 
       
    • Double chance: Two forecasts included in a single bet on the same event. For example: betting on a home win and a drawn match in football. The punter wins the bet for a home win or a drawn match. 
       
    • Half-time: Betting on the half-time result.
       
    • Half-time/Full-time: Betting on the score of a match at half-time and full-time. The punter only wins the bet if both of the forecasts are correct. 
      Example: Arsenal v. Chelsea football match 
      Betting may take the following forms: 
      1/1 (Arsenal leading at half-time and winning the match) 
      D/1 (Match drawn at half-time and Arsenal win at full-time) 
      D/D (Match drawn at half-time and full-time) 
      2/1 (Chelsea leading at half-time and Arsenal winning the match) 
       
    • Over/Under: Betting on the total number of goals scored in a football match. Betting "Over" means betting on more than a certain number of goals and betting "Under" means betting on less than a certain number of goals. 
      E.g. Bets of over/under 2.5 goals are offered in football. An under bet wins if a maximum of two goals are scored, but it loses if three or more goals are scored during the match. 
      Over/Under bets are offered in other sports, e.g. basketball.
       
    • Next goal: Betting on the next team to score a goal. It is also possible to place a "no goal" bet (no more goals will be scored). 
       
    • Correct Score: Betting on the correct final score of a match.

    Other concepts

    • Back: Buying a bet on a Betting Exchange.
       
    • Lay: Selling a bet on a Betting Exchange.
       
    • Margin: The bookmaker's margin refers to the payment it receives for an event on which it is offering bets. This payment is expressed as a percentage of the stakes and is generally between 9% and 15%. 
      It is calculated via the following formula:
      Margin = (1/Odds 1 + 1/Odds 2 + ... + 1/Odds n) - 1 

      Calculation of the bookmaker's margin – Tottenham – Newcastle football match

      The odds are as follows:

      TottenhamDrawNewcastle
      1.93.53.2

      Margin = (1 / Tottenham odds) + (1 / draw odds) + (1 / Newcastle odds) – 1
      Margin = (1/1.9 + 1/3.5 + 1/3.2) - 1 = 0.1245 soit 12.45 %
    • Therefore, the bookmaker receives a payment of 12.45% of the total money staked by the punters.

    • Stake: The amount of money wagered.
       
    • Probability: A percentage representing the chances of a participant winning a competition.
       
    • Underdog: A player or team with very little chance of winning a sporting competiton or match. An underdog's odds are high.