Even though horse racing is a highly entertaining and possibly rewarding pastime, many new punters may find getting to grips with horse racing betting odds challenging at first.
We would go so far as to say that there are many people who would love to get involved with sports betting and horse racing betting specifically, but are scared off by the ‘math’ of it all. However, we have some good news – it’s actually all quite simple.
Odds are simply what you can expect to get back if the horse you bet on is successful and reflects the investment versus return. Don’t worry if your head is still spinning, as we explain this concept in greater detail below in our handy guide to understanding horse racing betting odds.
Fractional odds are usually displayed in the following format: 4/1 or 4-1 and in spoken form these odds would be ‘four-to-one’. Even though many people find odds to be intimidating, it’s important to remember that odds are just simple maths. To simplify the concept of fractional odds, we will refer to each number as a unit in the example below.
- 4/1: for every 1 unit staked, you will receive 4 units if your bet is successful, as well as your initial stake
- 7/2: for every 2 units staked, you will receive 7 units if your bet is successful, as well as your initial stake
- 9/4: for every 4 units staked, you will receive 9 units if your bet is successful, as well as your initial stake
If you’re still having trouble understanding, the good news is that you will never have to deal with odds when enjoying online casino New Zealand!
If the odds are displayed the other way around – such as 1/5 – it’s known as ‘odds-on’ and simply means that the horse is a favourite to win the race. In this instance for every 5 units staked you will receive 1 unit back if your bet is successful, as well as your initial stake.
Decimal odds are usually displayed in the following format: 5.00. Many punters find decimal odds easier to work with as you simply have to multiply the number displayed (in this case 5) by your stake to calculate your total potential returns. However, it’s important to remember that unlike fractional odds, your stake is already factored into the price quoted. So for example 5.00 is the equivalent of 4/1 fractional odds plus the 1 unit staked.
Decimal odds won’t always be as simple as 5.00 and could even be along the lines of 1.82 or 1.95. However, there is no need to worry as the calculation remains the same: your stake x odds = pay out. So if you staked $100 at 1.82 odds and your bet was successful, you would receive a pay out of $182 which translates to a gain of $82!
Pari-Mutuel Pay Outs
Pari-mutuel pay outs are different to decimal and fractional odds, as in the pari-mutuel betting system all bets of a particular type (win, show, exacta etc.) are placed in separate pools.
A percentage of the total pool is subtracted – essentially the juice or the vig – and the remaining funds are paid out amongst the winning wagers.
The winning pay out for a successful pari-mutuel bet is determined by the total pool size divided by the number of winning bets.