How to Read Odds in Sports Betting in Canada

Last Updated on 15/09/2020

Ever wanted to know how to read betting odds? We are here to have reading odds explained. The world of betting can be a fascinating place with its numerous variants of chance games and the bounty of rewards promised at the end of every lucky streak. With the advent of online gaming portals, the whole casino experience ranging from slots and table games to sports betting options have drastically transformed and made it all the more appealing to the players. Now, players no longer have to travel to a casino, subscribe to the arduous entry requirements, and participate in undue social interactions to be able to enjoy a game or two of chance. All you require is a steady internet connection and an account on one of the several reliable online casinos and you’re good to go. If you don’t know how to read betting odds, no need to worry. The digitization of casino games has also boosted sports betting activities in different parts of Canada. So keep reading to understand how to read betting odds.

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The rise of sports betting in Canada

So why do you need to have reading odds explained? Gambling games range from mind-boggling chance games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat, to different variants of slots games, and of course, the more traditional poker hands. In Canada, online gambling websites  have garnered a wider audience due to new, improved technology, fast and secure deposit and withdrawal options, and, most importantly, the convenience of access wherever, whenever.

One of the most significant trends that emerged alongside the rise of online gambling websites is the newfound interest in sports bets. As a result, lots of people will want to know how to read betting odds. For many, to fully indulge in the excitement of a sports event, placing a bet on the winning side becomes a vital ingredient. Imagine being able to get a bookie and manage your bets with a simple click of the mouse. Online sportsbooks bring you the luxury of laying bets on multiple sports games and minutely observing the action unfold from the luxury of your own home, office, or your travel location. If you can verify the authenticity of the bookmaker you select and are well versed with the sport you’re betting on, in terms of knowing how to read betting odds well, then you’re all set to have a thoroughly enjoyable virtual gambling experience. All of which means you’ll need to have reading odds explained.
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What are the kinds of sports betting options available in Canada?

If you’re a sports enthusiast with a knack for laying bets on your favourite team, then sports betting online and make money is the ideal destination for you to enhance the excitement of the game along with the chance of bagging a handsome reward at the end. There are several online bookmaker sites offering attractive betting options and a plethora of games to choose from. The trick is to be cautious while choosing a betting website with authentic permissions since in Canada, while online sports betting is legally permitted, there are certain limitations you need to bear in mind. From horse racing to NFL and Premier Leagues, live betting on sports and winning real money is a flourishing practice in Canada. For many, this magnifies the excitement of the match, and as long as the website you’re wagering on is a legitimate one, this is an entirely accepted hobby to have as long as you’ve had reading odds explained.

All of our recommended betting sites will offer a rich selection of sports betting options and they cultivate intuitive betting practices of the players with the help of their highly skilled bookies. Sportsbooks bring punters of Canada an array of gaming options, ranging from horse races, football, and tennis matches, as well as virtual games like CounterStrike and Overwatch. All of which means that you’ll need to know how to read betting odds for these options.
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What is meant by odds in sports betting?

If you want to know how to read betting odds, you’ll need reading odds explained. Simply put, odds refer to sets of numbers that indicate the likelihood of a particular event to occur. However, in the gambling glossary, odds have a different connotation.
Instead of implying the probability of an event taking place, odds provide a ratio to the amount of the bet to the payout offered if the player places the correct bet.
The trick to winning a sports bet lies in reading the odds correctly.

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How to read betting odds?

Now that you know that odds are the ratio of your potential win from a given bet, let’s try understanding how bookmakers calculate a sports betting odds. Bear in mind that online bookmakers, much like in the cases of land-based casinos, keep aside a commission while placing the odds. Let’s have reading odds explained with an example. For instance, if the probability of wins to losses is 1:1, the bookmakers will project it as 0.9:1. It is vital to understand how to read betting odds in order to realistically estimate the scale of risk that a punter can take while laying the wager.

While online betting websites expand the scope of games and bets players can lay, since punters are no longer restricted geographically, there is a certain challenge that online sportsbook poses for the players. Typically, odds are projected in three different ways, i.e., decimal odds, fractional odds, and American odds. It can help to know how to read betting odds in each of these systems well since different players from different regions are likely to subscribe to a different pattern of odds in betting.

Decimal Odds

Decimal codes are popularly known as European odds and are relatively easy to understand. In general, decimal odds are the figures that the players stand to win if they win a bet. A simple formula may calculate this. You may multiply the decimal odds of the particular game with the wager amount to find out the potential payout. To give an example for having reading odds explained, if you bet $100 on a match with odd 1.90, then your potential winning may be estimated at $900. This format of widely used best betting odds in Canada.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds project the amount a player is likely to win when compared to the amount you bet. In order to estimate the possible payout, the numerator represents the potential payout while the denominator stands for the amount wagered. So let’s look at how to read betting odds in fractions. For instance, if the fractional odds of a particular team in a tournament is 5/1, then it translates to the winning possibility of $5 for every $1 wagered if the team actually wins.

American Odds

American odds is the most popular format of betting odds in the U.S. and is often used in Canada as well. Unlike the decimal odds and fractional odds, this system uses symbols to indicate the winning possibilities, and the unit of reference is $100. How it works is if there is a minus sign in front of a particular figure, it means that the player needs to wager that amount in order to win $100 in the event that it is a successful bet. On the other hand, if there is a plus sign in front of another figure, then if the player wagers $100 and the team wins, then the winning amount corresponds to the amount depicted in the odds.
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Did You Know?

  • In sports betting encounters, there are usually two sides: the favourites and the underdog. While the favourites usually tend to win on most occasions, the possibilities of the underdog or any other team winning are not quite that much.
  • The bookmakers always try to make a profit out of every wager laid. So the odds placed on the favourites are always lower than the odds on the other teams. Here again, it is vital to know how to read betting odds before taking a call.
  • Since the idea is to defeat the bookmaker in the bet, it might help to do a background check on the team’s performances and form before laying your wager. In 2016, when Leicester City, not a favourite, won the English Premier League at an odd of 5000/1, the sports betting industry collectively lost a lot of money.


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How to Read Betting Odds

So let’s have reading odds explained. There are several factors to reading the odds in any sports betting activity. First and foremost, it helps to be aware of the role of a bookmaker while placing the bets. Bookmakers always include a commission, which is called a vig or an overround in the odds. Accordingly, irrespective of the fate of the wager, the bookmaker would be able to gain at least the commission value. So, one option players have is to gauge the percentage of the commission before betting on one team or the other in order to secure a higher chance of winning. This often becomes all the more complicated if the game involves more than one side, especially in the cases of horse racing or any of the Olympics games.

How bookmakers in Canada usually evaluate the odds would be by a simple addition method. In the case of multiple players, the bookmakers add up the decimal odds for each of the teams and then multiply them with 100. Additionally, if the odds are exceptionally in favour of a particular team or athlete, the bookmakers often try to evade their plausible loss by increasing the stakes on the winning odds. The players must be conscious of these fluctuations once the betting market is open in order to maximize their chances of winning. Knowing how to read betting odds is the best way to do this.
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What are the different market scenarios in the case of sports bets in Canada?

To make profitable bets, it is essential to be aware of a few factors. Firstly, the players must be mindful of how betting odds work and what are the different methods and strategies of betting odds applicable. Secondly, the kind of market in which the bets are being placed must be taken into consideration. Finally, there are various betting strategies that the punters can take recourse to in order to boost their winning possibilities.

There are typically two market scenarios that you as a punter must navigate in order to place a successful sports bet – high margin market and low margin market. The low margin market usually comprises sure bets, 1X2, head to head, and Asian Handicap. On the other hand, high margin markets often refer to mainstream and grand scale sporting events such as horse racing, and football, among others. Let’s have some common examples so that you have have reading odds explained.

  • Sure Bets – In this context, punters lay bets on the same sports event with different bookmakers, which encompass different outcomes. The trick would be to calculate the odds on both sides and bet a reasonable amount with more than one bookmaker so that irrespective of which side wins, the player makes a profit that nullifies any losses incurred.
  • 1X2 – This is a popular form of betting for specific sports events, like football or cricket. This follows a three-way outcome wherein “1” refers to an away team win, X refers to a draw, and “2” refers to a home team win. The punters are expected to compare the odds for each of the three possibilities and then place the bets accordingly.
  • Asian Handicap – It might look tricky to know how to read betting odds for Asian handicap bets. But similar to 1X2 betting, the Asian Handicap mainly applies to games like football, where the outcomes may either be a win, a loss, or a draw. You can also know how does football betting work. The Asian Handicap was designed to neutralize the possibility of loss across the different odds by letting the punters spread their bets. The crux of the Asian Handicap is to keep the odds at close to 50%. There is also a 0.5 odd to account for a tie between the two teams. Although 0.5 odd is a rare exception, on most occasions, the Asian Handicap betting is comparable to the flipping of a coin with each side of the coin representing either of the teams.

In the cases of high margin markets, different outcomes are possible, especially in multiplayer games. This tips the scale in the favour of the punter and the bookmaker will try to incorporate a high margin in the odds to enhance their winnings, irrespective of the outcome of the bet.
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What are the different strategies to make money while making sports bets in Canada?

Once you know how to read betting odds, you’ll want to put down some bets. Among the other factors which are of relevance to a sports bet, keeping a few techniques and strategies handy can always prove beneficial to players. The strategy that works for one player may not be the same as the other players, so it’s essential to try and test out different strategies before finding the most suitable one. Once that has been arrived at, players should ideally stick to that particular technique. It is also advisable to lay the wager only on those sports in which the player is genuinely interested and is conversant with all the rules and regulations.

Ultimately, a lot depends on luck in sports betting, so there isn’t quite a foolproof strategy that punters can take recourse too. However, two popular techniques have worked for several players across time, and it can be good to have reading odds explained for these options.

  • Value Betting – In value betting, the odds are assessed according to the values placed by a bookmaker on one outcome over the other. This means adjudging the possibility of an outcome by checking if the bookmaker has set a high or a low margin in a given odd. The rule of thumb is that the bookmaker will keep a low margin in the more probable outcome.
  • Matched Betting – Although these bets are rare, these are the most risk-free bets. They consist of free promotional bets offered by the bookmakers. These bets cover all outcomes and ensure the player wins irrespective of the result. This provides an excellent opportunity to evaluate the market conditions and learn the ropes of sports betting.

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Fact Check

  • Many bookmakers offer practice online betting guidebooks to nurture the betting intuitions of beginners.
  • One trick to make a successful bet will be to find out if there’s a favourite team in the particular game. The favourites tend to have the shortest odds.
  • All of our recommended bookmakers make online gambling more real money safe by abiding by the principles of responsible gambling.


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The best sports betting website in Canada

Now that you know how to read betting odds, you’ll want to try your luck. can show you the best online gambling websites with an impressive run among sports betting enthusiasts. Microgaming software like NetEnt, Playn’Go, and Yggdrasil that power many of our recommended casino sites make them extremely user-friendly and very easy for even the newcomers to log in and lay bets. Our favourite casinos will come with a vibrant flurry of as many as over 250 games like Keno, Slots, Baccarat, Roulette, and much more. They will provide you with more options to choose from than any other land-based casinos. Licensed by the Gaming Control Authority of Malta, our recommended bookmakers are also SSL-certified, which ensures the complete fairness of the gameplay and security.

Players betting on sports for real money may avail of supplementary bets on any good sportsbook. Adding variety to the plethora of table games, slot games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Poker, and several innovative jackpots spins, our recommended bookmakers and casinos offer their patrons fascinating sports betting terms and options.

Our recommended bookmakers makes the whole sports betting experience thrilling and meaningful for their players. There are promotional matched betting offers that initiate the players into a betting joyride. Their banking options are incredibly convenient, encompassing Visa and Mastercards, e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, etc. This makes deposits and withdrawals hassle-free after you’ve had reading odds explained.
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How to Read Odds in Sports Betting in Canada – Conclusion

All of our our recommended bookmakers hold all the necessary licenses and permissions for lawfully operating a sportsbook in Canada. With the most extensive sports options and generous jackpots, will help you find the ideal site for all sports punters.
So if you are looking for online betting sites in Canada, we’ll help you find one of the best sportsbooks with a diverse range of sports to choose from. There are regular offers and matching bets that further strengthen the betting streaks of the players.
Overall, registering with one of these sites can prove to be the best decision for all fans of sports betting in Canada. So register today to begin your online sports betting journey!

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