Bookmakers, as a profession, run gambling operations in which customers place bets at odds set by the bookmaker, or bookie. The most common things bet on are sports events such as horse racing, football and baseball, although a bookmaker may offer odds on many other outcomes. For an inexperienced gambler, figuring out the odds system to calculate winnings may seem complicated; but once the odds system is understood, this will quickly begin to make sense.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Betting slip
Make a note of what the odds were on the outcome you betted on. This will be in a fractioned form, for example, 2/1, 7/4 or 100/30.
Remember how much money you bet on the outcome. This information and the odds given will be printed on the betting slip.
Work out how much money is won on the bet. Another way of looking at the fraction odds is winning the first number for every second number you bet. If the odds are 2/1, then £1.30 will be collected for every 60p bet. If £65 was bet at odds of 5/1, then the bet winnings will be £325.
Work out winnings if the betting fraction was not a simple number. Sometimes odds can look very complicated, for example, 7/4 or 100/30, if £2 or £19, respectively, were the bets placed. Divide the second number by the amount bet and divide the first number by that answer. For example, if £6 was placed at 100/30, 30 divided by 10 is 3, so divide 100 by 3 to work out the winnings.
Add the amount of the bet to the winning total. The initial stake is paid back to the gambler if the bet wins.
Tips and warnings
- Bookmakers are a regulated industry so the easiest way to work out how much is won on a bet is to go to the counter and collect the winnings.
- Gambling is addictive. If you think you have a gambling problem, there are support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, that can be contacted.