Why is an odd so important and what is a real worth of an **odd**? The basic knowledge will tell us the information about possible payoff in the case our bet will be winning. There is no doubt this information is important, but it is not the key secret.

In this article we try to explain:

• How odds reflect the probability of a match result

• How bookmakers set the odds

• How to use odds for our own benefit

**1. How odds reflect the probability of a match result?**

For example, if the odds for a single match are 1.80 for win, 3.40 for draw and 3.50 for loss, then the corresponding probabilities will be 56% for win, 29% for draw and 29% for loss. How do we know?

Trust me it’s not a rocket science…

**The formula is**: 1/odd * 100 = probability of match result in %

We are not going to deep explanation why this easy formula works. The key message you should learn from this part is:

**“The odds demonstrate the probability of future event.”**

**2. How bookmakers set the odds?**

The odds are designed so that equal money would be bet among all outcomes. Probably the most famous declaration of the current bookmaker’s guy in Las Vegas, Michael “Roxy” Roxborough, has been quoted:

“I am not in the business to predict the outcomes; I am in the business to divide the public opinion about these outcomes.”

We can explain it in easy way. We have two odds for two tennis players. Let’s say they are almost equal strong. A fair odd value for a win would be 2.0 for player A and the same odd 2.0 for player B. However the bookmaker sets different odds : 1.85 for the win of player A and 1.95 for the win of player B. When punters bet 1000 euro on Player A and 1000 euro on Player 2, the bookmaker earns own margin no depends on how the match will end.

When player A wins bookmaker has to pay out 1000*1,95-1000 (stake) = 950 euro, which also means the player B lost so the bookmaker keeps the other 1000 euro. The difference between those two is 1000-950 = 50 euro – the margin for the bookmaker.

The key message you should learn from this part is:

**“The odds offered by bookmakers are not their predictions of future outcome.”**

**3. How to use the odds for our own benefit?**

Now we know the odds do not reflect the opinion of a bookmaker about the match result. They use odds to balance their win/loss accounts to be almost equal to lower their risk. With this in mind we need to find matches where we think there is a positive statistical probability on our side AND at the same time the odd set by the bookmaker is high enough. We can surely find such a matches because as we all know the odds sat by bookmaker do not reflect what bookmaker thinks about the match.

The key message you should learn from this part is:

”**To become a successful punter the main rule is to be selective. Only bet if the odd is on your side!”**

**What have we learnt?**

**The odds demonstrate the probability of future event.****The odds offered by bookmakers are not their predictions of future outcome.****To become a successful punter the main rule is to be selective. Only bet if the odd is on your side!**

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