Before you can start betting on esports, and even before you decide which esports betting site you’re going to use, you have to know how to read esports betting odds. If you have a basic understanding of how sports betting works, this should come as second nature, but even if you’re a complete newbie to esports betting, you’ll find out everything you need in this comprehensive esports betting guide!
How Do Esports Betting Odds Work?
If you plan to start gambling – either sports betting, esports betting, or in a casino – it’s essential that you understand the odds. Especially if you intend to make a profit from esports betting, you have to have a firm grip on the main betting odds types and their meaning while knowing how to read and interpret various formats.
In straightforward terms, betting odds are a number representing the likelihood of an outcome of a particular event which you can convert into percentages. In other words, the odds show the implied probability of an event happening, granted the bookmakers don’t necessarily offer fair numbers.
For example, in a coin flip game, there is a 50/50 chance of a coin landing on heads or tails. You can convert the probability from percentages (50%) into one of three odds formats – American (+100), Decimal (2.00), or Fractional (1/1) – each of the three indicating the implied probability of the coin landing on either side.
In esports betting, there is rarely a situation where two players or teams have a 50/50 chance of winning, so the odds and percentages will vary. And while there are instances where a game is considered to be a “coin-flip”, it’s far more realistic to take a look at games where the numbers deviate from it.
For example, if Team A has a 60% chance of beating Team B, the latter’s chance of coming out ahead should be 40%.
In this example, the fair betting odds would show 1.67, -150, or 4/6 to 2.50, +150, or 6/4.
But since the esports betting sites have to make money, they purposely offer lower odds than the actual probability. So, in this case, an esports betting site might offer 1.60 (-167, 8/13) on Team A and 2.40 (+140, 7/5) on Team B.
Understanding that bookmakers will never offer fair odds (by their own calculations) is essential for anyone who wishes to bet on esports and succeed at it. But even if the esports betting site offers odds that it believes represent a lower implied probability, their calculations aren’t necessarily correct.
Esports Odds vs Sports Betting Odds
If you have at least a basic understanding of how sports betting odds work, you already have a solid foundation to learn everything you need to know about esports odds. That is because there isn’t much of a difference between the two.
Both sports and esports betting odds are displayed in various formats (most commonly American, fractional, and decimal) and show the same thing – the implied probability of an event happening. The only difference comes in the bet types you’ll encounter while browsing sports and esports betting markets.
Esports Betting Odds Formats
Esports betting odds – like traditional sports odds – can be displayed in various formats, most commonly in the America, decimal, or fractional odds format. Each of the three shows the same thing, albeit differently, and even though you don’t require to know how to read every format and focus only on the one you intend to use, it is beneficial if you understand all of them.
In this part of our guide, we’ll break down the three most popular betting odds formats and explain how you can read and understand them, so you’ll have an easier time deciding which esports bets to place.
Decimal Betting Odds
Decimal betting odds are the most commonly used format in the world, mainly used by European, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand esports betting sites. Beyond being the most widely used odds format, decimal odds are also the easiest to understand.
As the name suggests, decimal odds are displayed in decimals, where the number can never be lower than one (1.15, 1.70. 5.00, 11.30…). It’s important to know that with decimal odds, the higher the number, the less likely the outcome, which makes it very easy to spot which team or a player is considered the favorite and which is the underdog.
Another major advantage of decimal odds is the simple formula to calculate potential winnings.
Total payout = Decimal odds x your stake
For example, ifyou bet $10 on a team priced at 2.25, your stand to make ($10 x 2.25 =) $22.5. You should note that the potential winnings are not the same as total profit – to get the latter, you have to deduct your initial stake from the money you earn ($22.5 – $10).
The decimal esports betting odds also make it easy to calculate the win percentage, as you only need to divide one by the odds and multiply it by 100.
Win % = (1/odds) x 100
or in this example (1/2.25) x 100 = 44.4%
(1/ decimal odds) x 100 = implied probability
American Betting Odds
American odds format is mostly used on American esports gambling sites, so if you plan to place esports bets on an American bookmaker, you better learn how to read American odds.
Also known as moneyline odds, American odds might seem complex since they do not follow the same rules as decimal or fractional odds. However, once you understand how they work, you will soon realize why so many esports betting fans prefer them over the other formats.
American esports betting odds come in two forms – positive and negative. Before we take a closer look at what those mean, it’s important to note that positive odds (+150) indicate the underdog, while negative odds (-150) specify which team/player is the favorite.
Positive odds are numbers that start with a positive sign (+) and show how much money you stand to win for every $100 wagered.
For example, if you place a bet on Team A to win the next esports match at +150, you will win $150 for every $100 placed. So with a $100 wager, you stand to profit $150, while a $200 would net you $300.
Unlike how it is with decimal odds, the number here shows the actual profit rather than the total payout. You don’t have to deduct yourt initial stake to see how much profit you can earn for every esports bet.
Negative betting odds start with a negative sign (-) and will always stand next to the favorite team/player of the next esports match. The number, in this case, will show how much money you have to risk with your esports bets to earn $100.
For example, if you place a bet on an esports event at odds of -200, you have to place a $200 bet to win $100 in profit. At odds of -1000, you’ll have to risk $1000 to win $100, and so on.
As shown, the negative American odds work the opposite way than the positive odds – showing how much money you must risk to win $100 rather than how much money you stand to earn for every $100 wager.
To calculate the win %, there are two formulas you’ll have to use, one for positive and another for negative odds.
Negative odds: (negative odds / (negative odds +100) x 100 = implied probability
Positive odds: 100/ (positive odds +100) x 100 = implied probability
Fractional Betting Odds
Fractional betting odds is the most traditional odds format, which saw its beginnings with horse racing, and it remains the primary odds format in the UK. With a fractional format, the esports betting odds will be displayed as a fraction, representing the ratio between the profit won and the stake.
For example, if you place an esports bet on Team A at odds of 4/6, you’ll have to risk $6 to earn a $4 profit. If we build on that further, at 10/1, you will risk $1 to earn a $10 profit.
If you wish to calculate the probability from the decimal odds, you have to divide the denominator by denominator + numerator and multiply the result by 100. So at 4/6, the win probability is ((6/6+4) x 100)) is 60%, while 10/1 translates to ((1/10+1) x 100) 10%.
denominator / (denominator + numerator) x 100 = implied probability
How To Read Esports Betting Odds?
You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to understand esports betting odds, and you don’t even have to know how to calculate them since all esports betting sites will do that for you. Whether you place a single esports bet or combine multiple esports bets into an accumulator, all esports bookmakers will show you the potential payout you stand to make.
But while esports betting sites will do the calculations for you, you still need to understand the probability behind the odds, as only this way you’ll be able to make educated decisions when you bet on esports.
The Importance Of Probability
As we’ve established, betting odds are nothing more than numbers showing the implied probability of an event happening. But while the idea is straightforward, you have to have a strong understanding of probabilities before you can stand a chance to make a profit from betting on esports.
The betting odds offered by bookmakers on esports matches show the probability the esports betting site believes reflects the actual likelihood of an event happening minus the bookmaker’s cut.
The best way to understand probability is to look at a coin flip, where there’s a 50/50 chance that the coin will land on either heads or tails. If we convert the probability of a coin landing on its head into betting odds, we will get 2.00, +100, or 1/1.
If you understand probability, you would know that 2.00 is fair odds on the outcome (coin lands on heads or tails), and this knowledge will help you narrow down the choices when you’re trying to bet.
For example, if a bookmaker would offer 2.00 on a coin landing on heads, you could take a bet as it’s a fair offer relative to the likelihood of the event happening. However, if the bookmaker offers odds higher than 2.00 (for example, 2.05), you should take the bet in a heartbeat since the offered odds show a lower likelihood than the actual probability.
Skilled esports bettors will decide which esports bets to place by assessing the risk of esports games based on probability and odds, as well as the expected value. The three paint a picture of the risk associated with the bet and tell the punters whether a wager is worth pursuing or whether the offered betting odds are not good enough to place a bet.
If very simple terms, if you believe that Team A has a 40% chance of beating Team B, then you should only bet on Team A at odds that translate to a lower implied probability. Since 40% implied probability converts to 2.50 (+150, or 3/2), you should consider taking the bet at any odds that are higher than that.
How To Find The Best Esports Betting Odds?
The key to success when betting on esports is always being on the lookout for the best esports odds and using only the best betting sites. Often the two go hand-in-hand, but it’s tougher to find good odds than a solid esports bookmaker.
When we talk about the relation between the recommended esports betting sites and the best odds, it’s important to know that some betting sites will offer better odds, but no one betting site will always have the best odds.
Often you’ll see esports bookmakers pricing the same esports games with different esports odds – for example, Bet365 will price Team A to defeat Team B at 2.10, while Midnite might offer 2.15 on Team A. In this case, you would naturally want to bet on Midnite, assuming you intended to back Team A.
However, while Midnite had better odds on this particular match, Bet365 might have a better offer on the next match or during the next esports event. This example shows that the betting odds will differ from bookmaker to bookmaker and that it’s extremely beneficial to have accounts with multiple betting sites.
By having accounts with more than one esports betting site, you’ll be able to price shop i.e. look through esports markets on various bookmakers until you find the best offer. Although this can be tedious, betting with the best odds is extremely important and, unarguably, the best way to make a long-term profit betting on esports.
With that, we end our esports betting guide, where we look over the main things you need to know about esports betting odds as one of the first things you need to learn before you start betting on esports. Equipped with that knowledge, you can now check our other, more in-depth esports betting guides, find the best esports betting site for you, and start betting!
How do you interpret esports betting odds?
You read esports betting odds the same way you would read sports betting odds since they show the same thing – the probability of a certain event happening. There are some slight differences between the two, namely in the available bet types, but if you’re familiar with sports odds, then you should know how to read and interpret esports betting odds with ease.
What does +200 mean in esports betting?
In esports betting, +200 is a form of American odds, which are most commonly used in the United States and consist of positive and negative odds. Positive odds show how much profit you stand to earn on a $100 wager, while negative odds show how much money you have to risk to earn a $100 profit.
How do you calculate esports betting odds?
You calculate esports betting odds the same way as you would in any other form of gambling. The odds show the implied probability of an event happening, and understanding how to read the odds and how probability works is one of the first things you need to learn as a bettor.