Esports Odds: Your Complete Introduction to Esports Betting Odds
Every great bet starts with great odds—and esports wagers are no exception. Sure, it’s important to have a reputable bookmaker, wide esports coverage, broad betting markets, and a generous welcome bonus. Yet, when push comes to shove, all bets come to numbers and probabilities. And none of the above-mentioned intangibles will amount to anything if they’re not reinforced by fair esports odds.
Odds are the foundation of your wagers. They’re the only thing that dictates your success in the long run, and whether you’re a green rookie or a grizzled veteran, you need to know your way around odds if you want to be a winning gambler.
Of course, this is something easier said than done. There are many different kinds of odds in UK like decimal, fractional, and moneyline. Moreover, odds are deeply intertwined with the concepts of live betting and welcome bonuses, and these interactions can be confusing if you’re just dipping your toes in the gambling waters.
This is where our guide comes in.
Our team of JustGamers experts worked hard to break down the numbers and bring you a quick and simple introduction to esports odds. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
Get an edge by learning everything about esports betting odds
The best way to understand odds is to view them as a reflection of probability. However, instead of dealing with percentages,esports betting odds display how much you stand to win by placing a wager on a particular outcome—which is way more convenient for gambling purposes. As a rule of thumb, the most probable events will give you a smaller return on your investment and vice versa.
So, let’s say you’re planning to bet on a CSGO match between Astralis and NaVi. In theory, both teams have a chance to come out on top, but in practice, Astralis are seen as overwhelming favorites. This means that bookmakers will be less inclined to give you good offers on Astralis markets since your risks are so low, but they’ll be happy to offer great odds on NaVi wagers.
Okay, but how do bookies decide who are the underdogs and who are the favorites?
Most of it comes from statistical analysis. As any reputable esport odds comparison would let you know, betting sites base their judgments on a multitude of different factors like recent performance, win/loss records, and kill/death/assist ratios. Some even account for rumours and news releases.
Now, this system is very effective on paper, but it doesn’t mean that your operator is always right. There are many intangibles in competition, and you could discover a sea of lucrative offers on CSGO betting, Dota 2, and Overwatch matches if you were to take them into account. Of course, results may vary depending on your awareness and game knowledge, but it’s still good to know that you can make odds work in your favour.
What is the difference between fractional, decimal, and moneyline esports betting odds?
Now that you know the idea behind esports odds, it’s time to learn how to read them. All odds can be viewed in fractional, decimal, and moneyline formats. ‘Viewed” is the key word here, as the only difference between these categories is how the numbers are displayed on your screen. With that, one of the best esport odds tips you could follow is to get familiar with different odds types and decide which format works best for you.
Fractional Odds (UK)
Fractional odds is the most popular way of displaying esports betting odds in the UK. Just as the name implies, they take the shape of fractions where the number on the left highlights how much you stand to win and the number on the right shows how much you need to bet to get to that outcome. Sounds confusing?
Here’s a quick example:
Let’s say you want to bet on Fnatic in their Rocket League match against Dignitas. The odds are 5/1, meaning that for every £1 you bet, you will gain £5 plus your initial stake. So, if you were to win a £20 bet on Fnatic, you’d get £120 (£100 in winnings and £20 from your initial stake). If, on the other hand, the odds were 1/5, you’d have to bet £5 to win £1. This means that your £20 bet on Fnatic would only amount to £24 (£4 in winnings and £20 from your initial stake) in the event that you win.
Decimal Odds (Europe)
Decimal odds is the most popular way of displaying odds in Europe. Their main advantage over their UK counterpart is that decimal odds already include your initial stake, making them a bit easier to calculate. After all, the only thing you need to do is to multiply your stake by the corresponding decimal number.
Here’s how it works:
Let’s say you want to bet on London Spitfire in their Overwatch match against Seoul Dynasty. The odds are 2.25, meaning that for every £1 you bet, you will gain £2.25 including your initial stake. In that case, a £20 wager would earn you £45 (£25 in winnings and £20 from your initial stake). Meanwhile, a different bookie could run a thorough esport odds comparison and set decimal odds at 1.50, so you would only gain £1.50 per every £1 you bet. With that, a winning £20 wager would get you £30 (£10 in winnings and £20 from your initial stake).
Moneyline Odds (USA)
Moneyline odds is the most popular way of displaying odds in the USA. There are two subcategories of moneyline odds: positive (+) and negative (-). Positive moneyline odds display how much you stand to win with a £100 stake. So, if you were to place a £100 bet with odds of +200, you’d get a return of £300 (£200 in winnings and £100 from your initial stake). Negative moneyline odds show how much you would need to bet to win £100. With that, making a £100 wager with odds of -200 would get you £150 (£50 in winnings and £100 from your initial stake).
It’s worth noting that this is arguably the most confusing format for non-US citizens. Fortunately, most European bookmakers let you switch between different odds types. Moreover, any esport odds comparison worth its salt is conducted in fractional or decimal formats, so you won’t have to deal with moneyline odds if you don’t want to.
How do odds interact with live betting and welcome bonuses in UK?
Esports live odds can be very different from regular gambling offers. The main reason behind it is the dynamic nature of in-play markets. It’s no secret that most bookmakers keep tabs on live matches and adjust their odds to accurately represent the current state of the game. So, for instance, if TSM won game 1 in their League of Legends series against Team Liquid, you’d have a hard time finding generous match winner odds in their favour. On the other hand, if you thought that TSM’s victory was nothing but a fluke, this would be the perfect time to capitalise on high odds on Team Liquid.
In short, you need a great deal of foresight to navigate the in-play markets. You need to learn everything there is to know about player strengths, team identities, and global meta tendencies. Otherwise, you will have a hard time taking advantage of esports live odds.
Odds also play a huge part in many promotions and welcome offers. The best betting sites require their customers to place wagers with specific odds to redeem their risk-free bets and deposit bonuses. There’s nothing wrong with this approach on paper—after all, few operators would be in business if they were giving away money for free.
However, some betting sites impose strict bonus conditions on their customers by asking them to place their wagers with unnecessarily high odds. To make matters worse, failing to meet these requirements can void all of your winnings, which can be a very tough pill to swallow when you invested so much time and effort into honing your gambling game. With that, one of our main esport odds tips is to always read the small print before signing up for promotions. And remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
How do I find the best esports odds in UK?
The easiest way to set yourself up with the good gambling offers is to find an in-depth esport odds comparison for the UK market. We at JustGamers strive to bring you relevant odds and notable betting offers from some of the most reputable bookmakers in the industry. In a similar fashion, don’t settle for a single operator. Most bookies will have different offers for different games, tournaments, and team matchups. And if you want to make the most our of your money, it’s a good idea to gamble at several betting sites at once.