True odds is a betting term which refers to the actual probability of something happening, rather than the odds which a bookmaker or casino might offer against it happening. It always has to be remembered that bookmakers will set the odds they do not as a simple reflection of what they think the outcome of an event will be, but at a level which they believe is likely to make them the most money. The odds offered by a bookmaker need to be attractive enough to bring in bets, but still profitable in the event of the bookmaker wining, and not too damaging for them if the bettor wins.
Calculating the true odds of a sporting outcome is a question of examining all of the odds being offered in depth and comparing the likelihood the bookmakers are expressing to the likelihood as it actually is. Of course, much of the pleasure of sports betting, and of watching sports in general, lies in the unpredictable nature of very many outcomes, so calculating the true odds will always be a matter of opinion as much as it is anything else. Professional tipsters who advise bettors on where to place their bets should, if they’re to be trusted, be able to spot the true odds on any given bet.
The ability to spot true odds is something which usually comes over time to more experienced sports bettors. It’s a combination of having the determination to truly study an event and all participants – noting factors such as the form of race horses, the likely line up of a football team or the ground at which a cricket match is being played – and an instinct for when bookmakers are playing safe in order to protect their profits. Being able to spot the true odds of a bet means being able to place a higher stake with some of the uncertainty removed.
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