If you’re interested in betting on horse racing, you’ll need to understand the horse racing odds. The odds help bettors determine the possible payout you can get with your wagers. Other bettors use the odds to determine the possible winners of every race. It’s because every sportsbook presents two categories of runners, the favorites and the longshots.

The former are horses that the sportsbooks deemed as horses who have better chances of finishing first, and otherwise are the longshots. Thus, if you’re planning to take the odds to your advantage, you first need to understand them.

To help you, here are the different types of horse racing odds you might encounter as you place your bets, as well as how you can read them.

Morning Line Odds

If you’ve been in horse racing events before, you’ll notice that odds are already displayed before the betting and wagering starts. This type of odds for every race will serve as the starting point for horse racing betting. The track’s oddsmaker placed the morning line odds to present how he perceived the public would bet.

Also, this will allow the bettors to know which horses will likely be the favorites and the longshots. The favorites possess larger numbers in the denominator, and the longshot is otherwise. The morning line odds are usually presented in fractional format.

Fractional Odds (Win Odds)

The fractional odds are presented as 4-9, which is also written as 4/9. This type of odds presents the amount you can win and the total amount you must risk. For example, in fractional odds in horse racing, the numerator, or the first number, presents the total units you stand to win. Meanwhile, the second number’s denominator shows the total unit you need to risk to win that much.

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There are usually payout tables that sportsbooks present to their bettors to help them determine their possible winnings. Also, since the odds show the amount you can win and the total unit you have to risk, the odds are usually interpreted as in. For instance, you’re betting for 10-3 odds. These odds will show you that you can get $10 for every $3 you bet. So, if you bet $3, you can win $10 with a return of $13.

On the other hand, if you prefer to calculate your payout manually, here’s something you can follow. If you’re planning to wager $10 for an 8-3 odds, you must multiply your bet by the fractional odds. It would look like ($10 x 8)/3, which results in $27 in profit. You’ll also need to add your original wager ($10); the total return would be $37.

On the other hand, if you face odds with a denominator 1, like 10-1 or 7-1, they’ll have an entirely different formula. For instance, if you’re staking $10 for a 7-1 odds, it would look like this ($10 x 7/1). However, instead of having the denominator outside, it’s enclosed together with the nominator. For this wager, you can win $70 with a return of $80.

It can be complicated at first, but once you can distinguish the fractional odds, you can have an easier time manually calculating your possible payout.

Decimal Odds

Although it may not be as popular as the fractional odds, some other parts of the world use the decimal odds format. It’s also easier to read than the latter. Unlike the fractional odds format, the decimal format will present you the exact amount of money you can payout depending on your wager.

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Calculating your winnings in this format is also relatively easier than the fractional odds. All you have to do is to multiply your wager by the decimal odd. The result will then show you the total return you can get if you win.

If you’re planning to stake $50 for 3.0 decimal odds, then you’ll only need to multiply your wager and the odds ($50 x 3.0). This results in $150 as your return.

Remember that compared to fractional odds, where you need to separately calculate your profit + original wager to get your return, the decimal odds already include the return of your original wager. If you’re already so accustomed to calculating fractional odds, you’ll need to be careful when dealing with decimal odds. Nonetheless, it’s not as complicated.

Moreover, you should also remember that the 7/1 odds in fractional are not the same for the 7.0 of the decimals. If you calculate them with a $2 wager, the 7/1 odds will present you with $14 in profit with a return of $16. Meanwhile, the 7.0 will present you $14 in total, which already includes your original wager.

Final Thoughts

Trying to practice manual calculation of the payouts may be complicated at a glance, but if you continue participating in betting, you’ll finally understand its formula. It doesn’t consist of a complicated equation, and a little practice and experience will eventually get you there someday. For now, you can first try figuring out what type of odds your sportsbook uses and start from there.


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