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How do you calculate racing bets?

When you place a bet on horse racing, the key element is the odds of your selection. This determines how much you can win if your bet is a success, which we hope it will be. In this article, we briefly explain what the odds mean, how you can calculate them and why this is an important task to perform:

  • What do odds mean?
  • How to calculate your racing bets?
  • The importance of doing so

What do odds mean?

The size of the odds that are given by a bookmaker determine how much you can win. They are based on the probability of an event happening. For example, the horse that is most likely in the view of the bookmakers to win will have the shortest odds. Those horses that the bookmakers believe have a low probability of winning will have longer odds. Some horses may be so favoured to win that they are what is called ‘odds-on.’ For example, a horse could be 1.61 (8/13) to win. Any odds less than 2.0 are odds-on. In this example, £1 staked will only win 61p.

Calculating your racing bets

The online bookmaker site that you use will calculate how much your bet will return if successful. However, this only happens when all your selections have been put into the bet slip. You may wish to know how much the bet will return before putting it in the bet slip. 

This can be an easy task if there is just one selection. For example, a £10 stake on a horse with odds of 3.0 (2/1) will win you £20 and your £10 stake will be returned. If it is an accumulator that you are placing (two selections and above), then there are online calculators that can be used. With system bets such as Lucky 15s, Yankees or a Goliath, there are so many bets involved, the use of a betting calculator is recommended, unless you have a degree in mathematics perhaps.

The Importance of doing so

It is important to know how much your bets may return. You may want to win a certain amount of cash, so if you know the odds, it is possible to determine how much to stake (as long as you stay within your budget). With accumulators and system bets, knowing how much your bet can return will help you. It may be that the return is extremely high, that means the odds are high too. You could decide to reduce your stake, knowing you would still get a big win or reduce the odds of your selections if you believe the odds of winning are just too high.

You can see therefore that calculating the odds of your horse racing bets (and on other sports) is important. 

More about Horse Racing Betting Market