There are many sports you can play. The popularity of these will depend on where you are. Ice hockey, for example, is more popular in the United States than in the United Kingdom.
However, all the best bookmakers will offer a wide variety of sports, and some of the most popular include football, tennis, golf and ice hockey. So, how do you read the odds in these different sports?
The main market for football matches is the "winner of the match" and for this you will see three different sets of odds. One set is for the home team, also known as "1". The second set is for the away team, also known as "2", and the third set is for a draw, also known as "X".
Based on your understanding of how odds work, you can now quickly assess which outcome is the most likely to occur and which outcome is considered most unlikely.
Take, for example. Chelsea against Newcastle United in the Premier League. Using fractional odds, as they will appear in the UK where the match is played, it will look like this: Chelsea are 2/9, Newcastle United are 12/1 and the draw is 5/1.
This tells you that Chelsea are big favorites to win the match and that Newcastle are the underdog. You will find many other markets for betting on football, but the "winner of the match" is a good place to start.
One refers to player A and the other refers to player B. The odds will be listed under the player's name, but also as "1" and "2", as is the case with football. You'll quickly get used to seeing and using "1" and "2" when it comes to games.
In the match between Jeremy Chardy and Kei Nishikori during the Brisbane Open 2019, Chardy had odds of 4/1 while Nishikori had ⅙. This tells you that Nishikori was a big favorite to win the match, while Chardy was the underdog and was considered less likely to win.
When it comes to golf at odds, we will move to decimal places, as this is a sport that is played all over the world and has several national and international tournaments. However, The Masters is the biggest tournament of the year.
Unlike the odds on football and tennis, the odds on golf tournaments are more like a list. Each player participating in the tournament is listed, and next to their name you will find the odds of how likely they are to win the tournament.
Looking at the odds for The Masters 2019, both Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth have odds of 11.0. Dustin Johnson has 12.0 and Roy McIlroy as well as Justin Thomas have 13.0.
The first thing you will notice is that the odds are much higher than when we talk about who wins a football or tennis match. Golf is not a simple game and big tournaments are played over four days. There are many players who can win, and in the list above you can see that the odds of the different players are quite similar.
By looking at these odds, you know that despite possible good profits by supporting the favorite to win, there are also many other players who are considered good enough to win the tournament, and this is where the risk comes into play.
In our last example, we will look at odds on ice hockey. This is a sport played across much of the world, but the most popular event is probably the National Hockey League in the US and Canada.
Therefore, as you probably guessed, we will use American odds. When you play in the NHL you will find that you do not have as many choices other than using American odds, especially when you are playing on the moneyline.
Take the Winnipeg Jets against the Pittsburgh Penguins as an example. The Jets have +110 and the Penguins -130. There is no market for a draw and using the information from the section on American odds you know that the Penguins are favorites because they have a minus sign in front of the number. The Jets are the underdog because they have a plus sign ahead of the number.
You must place a bet of $1,300 on the Penguins winning to win $1,000 or you must bet $1,000 on the Jets winning to win $1,100. You can also see that since the Jets' odds are quite low, they are no big underdog and therefore they may have a chance of winning.
Understanding the odds in the easy way will help you place your bets. If you do not have a basic understanding of how odds work, what they mean and the different forms offered, you should not play. Use the information above and get to know the odds at stake before placing a bet, and never gamble for more than you can afford to lose.