understand horse betting odds

If you are new to horse racing betting, then it is crucial to understand odds. In addition to that, you also need to understand to quickly calculate potential winning for different bets especially if odd keeps on changing as the event unfolds. Odds indicate the likelihood of an outcome. It represents the horse, team or athlete with the highest probability of winning. They compare one outcome in comparison to another.

When it comes to horse race betting, your chances of winning is based on two factors, the odds, and stakes. The stakes are in your hand because it is the amount that you are willing to gamble. Odds, on the other hand, are controlled by the bookmaker as well as your bet choice. In this article, we are going to discuss in details how to understand horse betting odds.

How odds are displayed

Horse racing odds or prices are displayed at racecourses in two ways. They include the newly introduced decimal system and the traditional fractional system.

The decimal odds

These types of odds are usually displayed in decimal format. A good example is 5.00. In this type of odd, your stake is usually factored in meaning that if you win then you will get 4/1 plus your stake.

Fractional odds

The fractional odds are usually displayed in 4/1 format. This means that for every one unit of your stake, you are going to receive 4 units plus your stake. When odds are represented this way, they are usually rounded down meaning that your actual profit will be higher than the odds that have been posted.


All horse races have favorites – the horse that is most likely to win. In most cases, horses with higher chances of winning usually have a low price. When betting, you will see the letter F indicated alongside the horse odd. If two or more horses have the same odds of winning, the betting operator will display it as JF, meaning that they are a joint favorite.

Horse racing odds keep on changing

Horse racing odds are determined by a system known as a pari-mutuel system, a fancy French word that means mutual betting. This means that horse racing odds are actually determined by bettors. When you visit any betting platform, you will see that odds have been listed to every horse. However, those odds are just morning line odds which have been set by the track handicapper. Although they are usually accurate, there are usually put to act as a guide. This means that they have no impact on the horse final odds. Instead, odds are usually determined by the amount of money that the public has bet on each horse in comparison to what has been placed on other competing horses.

This means that if the public puts more money in a particular horse, then its odds will reduce. Because odds are usually determined in this manner, they are not constant, meaning that they do change throughout the race period. However, in most cases, these odds don’t change a lot. It is highly unlikely to see a horse that started as the favorite ending up being the least favorite. Horse racing is different than another sport betting where odds are usually locked up the moment you make your bet. Therefore, when making bet in horse racing, it is very important to consider how the race is going to end.

How to understand horse betting odds