1/2 Odds – How To Work Out Your Bet

Odds like 1/2 are considered very short. Known as ‘Odds On’, they will always return less than you bet. While you may not make a lot of money from a winning bet, they do indicate a clear favourite, so there is slightly less risk.

You will actually see odds of 1/2 on most betting markets. The bookmaker is basically saying that one player/horse/team has a far greater chance statistically of winning.

Their rivals are not as good and barring a major upset those odds are favouring one side far more than the other.

Ordinarily, the lower the odds of something, the less chance there is of it happening. But with betting, it is the opposite. The lower the odds, the greater the chance you may win.

However, the sport you choose will also be important. In a football match, as there are only two teams, there are fewer outcomes.

So the chances of your team winning are pretty decent, particularly if you know they are better than the opposition.

But in a horse race, it’s a different prospect entirely. How many times has the favourite fallen at the last hurdle or been beaten by an outsider?

There are far too many ways a favourite can lose. So in this case odds of 1/2 should be approached with some degree of caution.

1/2 Odds offer very little in terms of payouts. But a win is still a win.

The amounts may be small but they do add up. Just don’t get carried away as favourites don’t always win.

So now you a little bit more, let’s get to the maths!

A Very Simple Formula

The first number (1) is the amount you’ll win from wagering the second number (2). So for every £10 that you bet, you will get back £5 if your bet wins.

You basically get back half of what you bet, plus your stake back.

For instance, a £40 winning bet at 1/2 odds will payout £20 (plus your £40 stake is returned). If you increase the stake to £50 you’ll get £25 back (plus the £50 stake). The maths formula for a win only bet is:

(amount staked x 1) / 2 = win returns + stake back = total amount of returns.

For example: (£30 x 1) = £30 divided by 2 = £15 win + £30 stake back = £45 returned in total.

Each Way Bets

There is an option to bet each-way on most markets. However, it is generally advised not to do this unless the odds are over 6/1.

The reason is that you can’t win any money if your bet loses the win but takes a place instead.

Traditionally most bookmakers paid out 1/4 of the odds on each-way bets. However, with larger offers, such as more paid places, the odds are often less and around 1/5 of the fixed odds quoted.

So, much bigger horse races may pay out more places, but they only pay 1/5 of the odds quoted on the each-way win. And when you are already betting on such short numbers, it is almost impossible to get any money back on an each-way bet.

For example, if you placed £10 each-way (£20 in total) on odds of 1/2 you would get back £11.25 in TOTAL if you won the place part of the bet.

You would lose the win part of your stake, leaving you with the each-way winnings of just £1.25 plus that part of the stake back. That is a loss of -£8.75 on your original total stake. It really isn’t worth it.

So there you have it, 1/2 oods explained in simple terms. There’s a payout guide below for some common bets placed at those odds.

However, you can also use our online bet calculator to work out other odds and stake combinations.


£1 = 50p
£2 = £1
£5 = £2.50
£10 = £5
£25 = £12.50
£50 = £25
£100 = £50

The amounts quoted above are based on Win bets only. The returns do not include the original amount staked. If you place an each-way bet and it wins, you get back the win and the place winnings, plus your original stake.


Easy to follow guides for beating the odds & making smarter bets.

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