The odds-on any bet are offered by the online bookmakers as an expression of how likely they think a particular result is to occur, and how much the bet will pay out if it is successful. Although decimal odds and American odds are popular in some parts of the world, the UK, and in particular UK horse racing, tends to favor fractional odds.
These take the following form: 4/1, in which the right hand number represents the stake being bet, and the left hand number the number of times it will be multiplied if the bet is successful. An odds- on bet is one in which the bookmaker thinks a result is so likely that they protect themselves from big losses by making the right hand number bigger than the left.
In horse racing, an odds-on bet is one which is placed on a horse which is an extremely strong favorite to win the race. The appeal of such a bet is that it is usually fairly safe, since strong favorites tend to emerge for very good reasons, while the downside is that, even if it is successful, an odds-on bet will produce relatively small winnings in relation to the money wagered. The antidote to this is to place a bigger bet, but that of course increases the amount of money which will be lost if this race is one of those occasions when the favorite comes up short. The clever bettor will find a way of balancing risk against reward, and betting an amount which they could afford to lose, but which is still large enough to generate an appealing profit.
An example of an odds-on bet:
Lucky Lad is running in the 3.15 at Chepstow, and is the favorite with odds of 1/5. A successful bet of £100 would generate a pay-out of £120 and a profit of £20.
Bettors have to choose whether they want the strong likelihood of a smaller pay out, or the slimmer chance of winning more money. As with all sports betting, the key to success lies in trying to figure out if you’ve spotted something – in the horses, the conditions or the jockey – which the bookmaker might have missed. To get more tips on how to bet horseracing have a look at our horse racing betting guide.
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Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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