Horse Race Betting Odds Explained in Percentages

April 7, 2015

Good knowledge about statistical odds is a vital element in maximizing one’s horse racing experience. It is surprising how a lot of people place bets without even having any understanding on what is displayed on the tote board. One needs to have horse race betting odds explained to gain full access on what horse racing really has to offer. 

This article will have horse race betting odds explained through the use of probabilities, fractions and statistics. Let us take for example a five over three (5/3) probability, this can be read as five to three chance of winning on a bet. To compute for the probability of winning given this figure, we will first need to add both the number above and below the fraction. In this case it is 5+3 or 8. Next, we need to take the number above the fraction and divide it to the sum of the numbers you have just added; that is: 3 divided 8 = .375 (or 37.5% percent). Therefore, a (5/3) probability translates to a 37.5% chances of winning the stake. Now that you know how the numbers on the toteboard works, you can now have horse race betting odds explained even in difficult bets such as 15/8. Let us again take the numbers above and below the fraction and add them together; this sums up to 23 (15+8=23). Next, take the number on the top of the fraction and divide it to the sum of the entire fraction (15 divided by 23). This will give us an answer of .6521 or a 65.21% chance of winning on the bet.

By having horse race betting odds explained we will know how our bets translate into money. Let us again look at the first example of a 5/3 betting odds. We can calculate the winnings by taking the probabilities (as explained earlier) then multiply it into the amount we are going to bet. For example, if you are going to place a $10 bet on a 5/3 probability, your total winnings will amount to $26.67. That is 5 plus 3 = 8, then 8 divided by 3 = 2.667. Now, multiply 2.667 to your bet amount to calculate the total amount of returns. In computation that is, $10 multiplied by 2.667 and is equal to $26.667. For the second example, let us say you will bet $20 on a 15/8 probability. To compute, add the upper and lower number and you will get the sum of 23 (15 + 8 = 23). Next, divide the sum to the number below and you will get the number 2.875 (23/8 = 2.875). Translating these to your total earnings can be done by multiplying your bet ($20) to 2.875. Multiplying 20 by 2.875 will give you a total of $57.5. Thus, a bet of $20 in an awkward toteboard probability of 15/8 will yield to winnings of $57.5.


By having horse race betting odds explained, you can maximize your winnings, know how horse race betting works and ultimately enjoy the entire horse race betting experience better.

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Author Andy

I have been placing bets online for over 25 years and specialise in horse racing bets and the different types available. If there's anything you need to know about betting I can advise using my expertise gained over this time.

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