How to calculate eSports betting odds and make them work for you

When betting on e-sports it is important that you understand what we mean by the term “odds” and how they work.

The reason why is obvious; they help tell you how likely you are to win, how much you can earn, and what the risks are to your bet.

At first odds can seem really confusing, but don’t worry, we’ve made it as simple and clear as possible to understand, so you’ll never be confused again.

What Are betting odds?

Odds reflect the probability of an event occurring. Outside of the betting world, you would probably think of this as “chance” and we measure that in a percentage.

“There is a 95% chance that this will happen”

Betting odds do the exact same thing, just in a slightly different format. Ultimately, you’re still looking at the chance that an event will occur.

For example, in a League of Legends match between two teams there are two possible results, either one team wins or the other does.

Both teams have a chance to win the match, though it’s likely one is better than the other.

It is the sports bookies job to calculate the likelihood of this event occurring, based on various data such as form, history between the two teams & a myriad of other factors. This probability will then be expressed by the bookies as the odds.

In the UK these odds will normally be expressed as a fraction. So they might say the odds of one team winning a certain match is 4/1 – which in layman terms means that if they play 4 matches, they are likely to win 1 match.

Most bookies will also offer the opportunity to express these odds as a decimal.

Explaining eSports betting Fractional Odds

As mentioned, fractional odds are also the very most common format to express odds when betting on sports or esports.

For the match we described above, where one team has a 4/1 chance of winning, this corresponds to a 20% chance of winning the match. You can actually convert fractional odds into a percentage relatively easily.

Let’s look at a few examples to show you how to do this:

  • 4/1 = 1/(4+1) = 0.20 (20%)
  • 11/5 = 5/(11+5) = 0.3125 (31.25%)
  • 1/1 = 1/(1+1) = 0.50 (50%)
  • 1/9 = 9/(1+9) = 0.90 (90%)

This should allow you to start recognising just how likely a result is to occur; just keep this simple calculation by your side when you start browsing our recommended esports betting sites.

Alternatively just remember; if the number on left is higher than the number on the right, the odds are more against you.

If the number on the right is higher to the number on the left, the odds are more in your favour to win.

But how does this translate into actual money?

One of the great things about fractional odds is how easy it is to work out your winnings.

Let’s look at our example odds again:

  • 4/1 – for every £1 you bet you will win £4
  • 11/5 – for every £5 you bet you will win £11
  • 1/1 – for every £1 you bet you will win £1
  • 1/9 – for every £9 you bet you will win £1

You see, nice and simple. Obviously you probably won’t be betting £1 of a 4/1 bet.

However you just need to multiply the numbers by your stake, so if you bet £5, then you’ll win 4 x £5 = £20.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are becoming more and more common in recent years, particularly online.

There are a number of reasons for this, most notably because decimal odds are easier to understand, particularly in relation to working out the probability of an esport bet to win.

Another benefit of decimal odds is that they show you what you will actually get back from a winning bet (including the stake) whereas fractional odds only show your winnings, without the stake included.

With decimal odds you can work out the probability of a bet by simply dividing 100 by the decimal odds. We can look at a few examples to see how this works.

  • 5.0 = 100/5 = 20%
  • 2.0 = 100/2 = 50%
  • 2.5 = 100/2.5 = 40%
  • 1.5 = 100/1.5 = 66.66%

You see, this is really quite simple, and so very easy to get used to for the newbie gambler.

It is also much easier to convert this into actual return on your bet. You just multiply the decimal odds by your stake.

If you were to make several different bets on the decimal odds of 5.0 you would get the following returns.

  • £1 = £1 x 5.0 = £5
  • £5 = £5 x 5.0 = £25
  • £10 = £10 x 5.0 = £50
  • £12 = £12 x 5.0 = £60

As we mentioned earlier, the final value here is your returns. This is your winnings and your stake included.

With fractional odds the number you get from the calculation doesn’t include your stake, so you would need to manually add it on top to work out your returns.

So for the first example; £1 x 5.0 = £5 (your winnings) + £1 (your original bet) = £6 in your account.

Even the bookies get it wrong

Remember, of course, that just because something has been predicted to be favourable, or unfavourable, doesn’t mean it will end up that way. Chance, and outside factors, (is one team member suffering from the flue that day?) can all turn good odds into bad, and bad into good.

Which is why esport betting odds are constantly changing as new information comes into play.

That said, once your bet is made, the bookies will pay you based on the odds you placed your bet on.

So if you bet on the underdog that had a 20/1 chance to win, and they later become the favourite, and the odds change to 5/9, you will still be paid the 20/1 amount.

As with all things in life; timing is everything.

Next, check out our e-sports betting guide. It’ll tell you all about the key things you needed to keep an eye on in order to be more successful when betting on e-sports tournaments.

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