The Odds Business: Know the Math

Wed, Sep 6, 2023
by CapperTek

Sports betting is a big business that draws players from all over the world. Online casinos and sportsbooks have made it easier for bettors to access their favorite games from anywhere. This means a bettor might not have to be in a country to access that country's online casino. Some can access it from anywhere and experience games created for that country.

These online casinos also have bonus systems that can give you free spins. You can also find some of the best bonuses on sites such as this one. Knowing your odds is essential to bet on your favorite sports.

Here Is the Math

The math that governs odds is a determinant of whether a wager is worth it. Understand that there are three types of odds: American (moneyline), fractional, and decimal. Although the odds may look challenging to calculate and understand, the concept is easy. You just need to understand the three types of odds and how these numbers are converted into implied probabilities.

American odds are also known as moneyline odds. They commonly appear with a plus or minus sign. The plus sign is assigned to a lower probability with high returns.

Fractional odds, also called British or traditional odds, appear in a fraction or expressed ratio, for example, four-to-one. 

Decimal odds represent the amount won for every dollar in a bet. For example, if an odd is 4.00 that a horse will win, it means the payout is $400 for every $100 bet.

You can also find tools online that assist in making the convergence between the three types of odds. Most online casinos will display the odds in the preferred format.

How Do Online Casinos Create Odds?

Online casinos use a random number generator or RNG. An RNG uses an algorithm that generates results. These results are a sequence that can't be easily predicted. An RNG algorithm works by using what’s known as a seed, which combines with other data to generate the new value. The algorithm then continues to create more results.

RNGs can be used for games or statistical sampling. A simple example of random number generators is a coin toss. There's always a 50/50 chance of landing a head.

Why Do Online Casinos Use Complex Algorithms?

Online casinos use complex algorithms to:

  • Ensure fairness in the games

  • Create odds similar to those of physical casinos

  • Ensure players are not taken advantage of

  • Create unpredictable results

Checking the Fairness of an RNG

RNGs must be secure in the game they’re used in. The RNG must conform to a certain standard for the casino to go online. Third-party auditors regularly test these RNGs to ensure no manipulation occurs. The site will be certified as safe, and any site that has undergone testing means they have fair games. 

Factors that Affect Odds on Online Sports Betting Sites

  • The bookmaker aims to make a profit. Sportsbooks use what they call, “making the book” to balance out stakes. This means their prospects commonly reflect the likelihood of an actual outcome. 

  • Ratios can also be affected by the amount of money bet on a single outcome. Most bookmakers can adjust these in real time depending on how many bets have been placed on the outcome to maintain a balanced book and minimize risk.

  • Chances may also be affected by a team's performance and recent form and injuries.

  • External factors like weather conditions and the game's location can also affect the odds.


Remember to always do your research on the online site or sportsbook you'll be placing a bet with. Check all necessary credentials such as legality and licensing, withdrawal limits, customer support, and game selection. Remember, odds aren’t as complicated as they look; it becomes simple once you know how they work.