How To Use A Betting Calculator
Sports betting is a multi-million pound industry in the UK. With so many sporting events to choose from, barely a day goes by when a major sporting event doesn’t take place. Be it the Premiership football season, summertime tennis at Wimbledon, or rugby union season, major annual sporting tournaments make up the bulk of sports bets. Special events like the Olympics (summer and winter), and various World Cup events also make ideal betting opportunities. Choosing what to bet on is the easy part; when it comes to working out your odds and what you might win, a little more help is often needed.
That’s where an odds calculator becomes essential. Smoothly handling multiple bet types and applicable to thousands of sporting events, a functional odds calculator is vital to both the occasional punter and seasoned professional. Whether you like to wager pennies or pounds, knowing your odds and potential return makes having a flutter a more scientific and, ultimately, more rewarding experience. Here’s our unique guide to using an odds calculator in the UK betting market.
High Odds versus Low Odds
Before we get started, it’s important to understand the language used to describe odds. When people refer to ‘low odds’, it means that the event is likely, therefore the profit made on a winning bet will be low. For example, if Venus Williams plays a tennis match against a child, the odds of Williams winning will be something like 1/100 – very low odds.
A bet of £100 on Williams to win will result in a payout of £101 (£1 profit), making it a very unattractive betting prospect. Conversely, the term ‘high odds’ is used when an event is very unlikely. Using our tennis match example, the odds of the child winning might be 100/1 – very high odds. In this case, if the child won, a simple £1 win bet would return £101 (£100 profit). High odds make sports betting exciting, especially when, as is always the case every year, outsiders succeed and upset the balance. Catching a surprise win on a high odds bet may be fun, but many dedicated punters prefer to make more calculated betting decisions in the long-term.
UK Fractional Odds And Payout Figures
There are three diverse ways to express betting odds, and each country has their own preference. In the UK, the format of choice is fractional odds. You will see odds written as “digit”/”digit”. Fractional odds are very easy to understand, and for simple odds it is possible to work out your return without a calculator. For example, odds of 2/1 mean that for every successful £1 bet, £2 is paid out, plus the original £1 (totalling £3). As a formula, it looks like this:
Odds to win = “number 1” / “number 2”
Bet amount = “number 2”
(In the event of a win) Return = “number 1” + “number 2”
Unfortunately, not all bets are as simple as this basic equation so it is usually necessary to calculate odds and returns using an odds calculator beforehand.
Online Betting versus Bookies Betting
Usually, the odds given by bookmakers are relatively similar both online and in the bookies itself. The fundamental difference, however, between the two sites is that online punters have the opportunity to use betting calculators to better understand the odds and potential returns on their bets before placing them.
While this doesn’t change the actual odds, it does give people access to more accurate statistics, figures that would otherwise be unknown. Some punters practice something called ‘arbitrage betting’, a system set up to make constant betting profits. Also known as ‘sure bets’, some skilled punters use statistics (and calculators) to quickly work out odds and return figures and then place bets on all outcomes to guarantee a profit. For sports betting, arbitrage betting only works when you place bets on different bookies’ websites, taking advantage of different odds. Odds are calculated to ensure that bookmakers always make a profit and are therefore dependent on other punters’ stakes. Different bookies, therefore, will offer different odds on the same events depending on the value of earlier bets
Types Of Betting Calculators
An odds calculator (also know as a bet calculator, or betting calculator) is simply an online tool used to work out how much money you can make (or lose) when placing a wager on any sporting event (or series of events). There are two main types of odds calculators: simple and comprehensive. The simplest type of calculators will work out only one bet type.
There are many different types of bet (see our summary below), and sometimes a separate calculator is used to work out each type. For example, a ‘trixie’ odds calculator will work out how much you could win when placing a ‘trixie’ bet. Similarly, a ‘double’ odds calculator will work out the return on a ‘double’ bet. The most basic (and common) form of sports bet is the ‘single or ‘win’ bet. The outcome of these bets can usually be worked out without a calculator, but we find it’s good to double-check anyway.
Pros often notice that their mental maths capabilities improve over time, meaning that regular punters can quickly calculate potential odds without help. A comprehensive odds calculator will work out any type of bet for you. These betting aids are ideal if you’re not sure which betting option to select, allowing you to cycle through a few and work out the different odds and returns without navigating to different pages.
The Elements Of A Betting Calculator
Let’s take a look at the different parts of an odds calculator, how it works and what you need to do to use it effectively. The first section to examine is “Bet Type”. There are many diverse types of bet, some simple and some complex. Generally, all bookies offer the same types of bet so it’s important to understand the language used and common terms before getting started. If you’re completely new to sports betting, it’s a good idea to get started with a betting glossary in the first instance.
Here is a glossary of the most common bet types used in the UK (some US and European bookmakers have different terms for the same bet types).
There are two main types of bet, which are then broken into further categories:
WIN BET – Simply betting on a winning outcome, a win bet involves picking a winner (or multiple winners) and placing a wager on those wins. If no wins are achieved, no money is paid out. If only some wins are achieved, no money is paid out. Win bets placed across multiple events are known as multiple bets.
Types of win bet:
- Single – betting on the outcome of a single event.
- Double – betting on the outcome of two events. The outcome of both events must be correctly predicted for a payout.
- Triple – betting on the outcome of three events. All three events must be true in order to get a return.
- Accumulator – betting on the outcome of four or more events. All events must be correctly predicted for a payout. The name of each accumulator bet depends on the number of outcomes. For example, a bet on four events is called a fourfold bet, and a bet on six events is called a sixfold bet.
FULL COVER BET – Spreading over a wider range of win selections, a full cover bet will involve more than one outcome. Unlike win bets, only a fraction of winning outcomes are required in order for a payout. Full cover bets are comprised of multiple win bets. Full cover bets are usually employed by experienced punters and require the competent use of a betting and odds calculator.
Types of full cover bet (in order of bet volume):
- Trixie – 3 double bets and 1 treble bet. At least two correct selections are needed for a return.
- Patent – 3 single bets, 3 double bets and 1 treble bet. One correct selection is needed for a return.
- Yankee – 6 double bets, 4 treble bets and 1 fourfold accumulator bet. Two correct selections are needed for a return.
- Lucky 15 – 4 single bets, 6 double bets, 4 treble bets and 1 fourfold accumulator bet. One correct selection is needed for a return.
- Super Yankee (or Canadian) – 10 double bets, 10 treble bets, 5 fourfold accumulator bets and 1 fivefold accumulator bet. Two correct selections are needed for a return.
- Alphabet – 26 bets made up of 6 sections ( 2 patents, 1 yankee and 1 sixfold accumulator bet). Only 1 correct selection is needed for a return.
- Lucky 31 – 5 single bets, 10 double bets,10 treble bets, 5 fourfold accumulator bets and 1 fivefold accumulator bet. One correct selection is needed for a return.
- Heinz – 15 double bets, 20 treble bets, 15 fourfold accumulator bets, 6 fivefold accumulator bets and 1 sixfold accumulator bet. Two correct selections are needed for a return.
- Lucky 63 – 6 single bets, 15 double bets, 20 treble bets, 15 fourfold accumulator bets, 6 fivefold accumulator bets and 1 sixfold accumulator bet. One correct selection is needed for a return.
- Super Heinz – 21 double bets, 35 treble bets, 35 fourfold accumulator bets, 21 fivefold accumulator bets, 7 sixfold accumulator bets and 1 sevenfold accumulator bet. A minimum of two correct selections is needed for a return.
- Goliath – The largest bet of all is made up of 28 double bets, 56 treble bets, 70 fourfold accumulator bets, 56 fivefold accumulator bets, 28 sixfold accumulator bets, 8 sevenfold accumulator bets and 1 eightfold accumulator bet. Two correct selections are needed for a return.
Betting Calculators Continued – Adding Your Odds
Once you’ve typed in your bet type, it’s time to add in your fractional odds. The latest odds can be found on any bookmakers’ website. Remember: odds will differ between different bookies, so check a few or use an aggregator to work out the most lucrative before placing a bet. Odds will change frequently until an event finishes, especially at the last minute so make sure you have time to check the last-minute odds if you want to calculate a bet towards the end or start of a sporting event. After the odds and bet type are plugged into the calculator, simply hit “calculate” and your potential return and profit will be displayed. There’s no need to wait ages for a calculation; most of the top betting calculators offer instant results
Outright Bets versus Match Bets
With sports betting, not all sports are treated equally. The level of betting complexity greatly increases when there are more than two parties involved in any competition. Sports betting can be crudely broken down into two parts: simple sports and complex sports. The simple sports involve only two competitors at any one time. Some examples of simple sports to bet on include football (matches are only ever between two teams at once), tennis, rugby, basketball, snooker, hockey and volleyball. More complex sports involve multiple participants that can compete or race at the same time.
For example, horse racing and motor sports involve several competitors in the same race, while golf tournaments and darts championships have many competitors fighting to win during the same time period. When a match can only be won, lost or drawn, it is much simpler to calculate odds and returns. However, when competitors can finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc, it gets a little more complex. This is where place bets come in. A place bet is a bet on the order competitors will finish. For example, imagine a horse race taking place between four horses: Horse 1, Horse 2, Horse 3 and Horse 4. A simple single win bet could be placed on Horse 3 to win, for instance. A place bet could be taken out on Horse 3 coming in the top 2 (i.e. winning the race or coming second).
Place bets increase your chances of winning by lowering odds, providing more frequent, lower, returns. Of course, sports betting is not all about winning or losing – a multitude of fun and diverse betting scenarios are on offer, from first goal scored to winning race times. Pick a sport to bet on that you’re interested in, adding even more enjoyment to each match or race and, remember, if you need to work out your betting returns at lightening speed, bookmark a reliable betting calculator for easy access.