One of the most important areas of gambling is also one of the least understood.
So what is a percentage in betting and why do you need to know about them?
If you toss a coin there is a 50% chance that it will come up heads and a 50% chance it will come up tails. Both these outcomes added together = 100%
Likewise, if you throw a dice there is a 16.66% chance of throwing a six. 16.66*6 = 100%
So, how does this impact on betting?
Betting odds are simply a percentage chance of an outcome of a race. Therefore, an even money chance in a horse race has a 50% chance of winning the race. The same chance of a coin coming up heads. In a 100% book. (We will come to this later)
Bookmakers show odds, rather than percentages.
Decimal odds are now commonly used on line and these are very easy to work out from a percentage.
If you work a horse out to have a 25% change of winning a race simply divide 100/25 and you get 4. Therefore the decimal odds of this are 4, the fractional odds are 3/1.
A 3/1 chance is 25% of the total book.
If there were 4 runners in a race and they were all priced 3/1, the percentage of the book would be 100%. However, if bookmakers did this they would never show a profit.
They are more likely to go
This is called an overround book because the total percentage of the book is 108.3%. This is 8.3% in the book makers favour as you would need to stake £108.30 on the race to guarantee getting £100 back.
Percentages are essential as well as knowing how to calculate percentages because the bigger the overround book you are betting in, the more money you will lose.
There are some horse race meetings (Kempton in the evening for instance) where the percentage book is as much as 140%. Punters are still asking to 'take a price' in this instance when the odds as massively against them.
So, if you are in the bookies for an opening show for a greyhound race is 6/4, 2/1, 3/1, 3/1, 7/2 and 9/2 don't take a price. Its almost certain that at least five of these prices will increase as they simply have to for the bookmakers credibility if nothing else. (see the popular prices below and work this book out!)
Hopefully this all makes sense. If not, please feel free to get in touch with us. It really is very important that if you are having a bet you understand percentages.
Some of the most popular ones are:
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