At times, odds in a football matches are confusing. I too used to get confused about them before I came to realise how odds work. Different bookmakers have their own default way of displaying the odds for their users. I will show you how Europe’s top bookmakers do that. What I mean by top bookmakers are the likes of bet365, Ladbrokes, Unibet, William Hill, Betway, BetVictor, Coral, and ComeOn.

I will literally explain some of them in a moment.

Let us take a look at the bet365 bookmaker. Normally, when users log into this website, they will find odds that are fractional as the default odds setting on this site. There are two other settings that a user can opt to use. These are American and Decimal. For example, in El Clasico (Real Madrid FC vs. FC Barcelona), you may find odds that look like this: 7/5 given to Real Madrid if it wins that match, or 21/10 placed for Barcelona to do the same. Basically what this means is that a punter will have to place a stake of €5 for Real Madrid and get a payoff of €7 once it wins the match. The total amount that he/she will go home with will bet €5 + €7= €12. Same will apply to Barcelona’s odds.

I remember telling you that a user can select among the three types of odds that are there. We have tackled the first one. Let us go to the next one which is decimal odds. This is simpler to understand compared to the other two. We have Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC facing each other at the Wembley stadium next month. Each one of them will be seeking to be crowned the champions of England’s FA Cup. Therefore, bookmakers have already included this match in the football events calendar and have given them some odds. I am assuming that the odds could be 1.89 for Chelsea FC while a draw being 2.75 and Arsenal FC to win has been given odds of 2.52. So, whatever stake you use on any if the odds, it is multiplied by the odds and the total winnings are then displayed for you. I can use an example of €10 that has been placed for Chelsea FC to win. The total or possible “win” will be calculated as (1.89 * € 10) = €18.9.

Then there is the American odds type. The odds in this category normally are +100 and -100. Nothing comes in between these two figures. I will illustrate an example using Australian A-League match between Perth Glory FC and Brisbane Roar FC. You may find that Perth Glory FC has odds of -225 to win that match while on the other hand, Brisbane Roar FC being given odds of +160. What the negative odds mean that a punter will have to place a stake of €-225 in order to get a payoff of €100 once the team wins. The positive odds of the Brisbane Roar FC means that a punter will place his/her stake of €100 and get a possible “win” of €160 if this football team wins.

These three types of odds are common amongst the top bookmakers.

Unibet’s types of odds are the same with those of bet365 and others. I can demonstrate how Unibet’s odds work with just one football match. For example, using the El Clasico, assuming that Real Madrid FC has fractional odds of 2.11 to win the match while FC Barcelona have odds of 2.56, it means that whatever stake a punter decides to use, he/she will have to multiply that by 2.11 or 2.56 depending on the team he/she thinks will win the match. Whatever he/she gets should be the possible “win”.

Had the user opted to go with fractional odds, he/she would find that Real Madrid FC has been given the odds of say 7/5 while that of FC Barcelona being 2/1. It means that if Real Madrid FC to wins that match, and a punter placing a stake of €5, the payoff he/she will get will be €7 and the total will be €12. Meanwhile, if FC Barcelona wins in the same match, and the bettor placing a stake of €1 on it, that punter will get a payoff of €2 and a total of €3 will be reflected in his/her account.

Finally, the user might opt to use American odds system. For your information, this system operates in positive and negative values. FC Barcelona might have an odd of +169 while Real Madrid FC being given an odd of -202. It means that the possible “win” that someone gets from relying on FC Barcelona to win the match and placing a stake of €100, will be €169. Had the same user placed his/her bet on Real Madrid FC, he/she will have to place a stake of €202 in order to get a payoff of €100.

I have focused myself so much on “win” “win” for these teams yet there are other bet options that the user can choose from. The likes of “Draw”, “First Goal”, “Goal Scorer” and much more.

There are also the live betting odds which are very dynamic. These odds are affected by factors like time, goals scored, the number of corners taken, Red/Yellow cards, Penalties missed or saved, halftime winner, goals over/under, and so much more. Remember that all these happen in an ongoing match. Nevertheless, the odd types will be chosen from the three most common types that I finished mentioning a while ago.

Now, folks that is how odds in a bet works. In case you did not understand a certain type of odd, I suggest that you go through this article again and have a look at that odd again. I have bolded the various types of odds. This should make your work of searching easier. Make sure you fully understand before placing your odds blindly.