It genuinely seems like the more betting options that become available, the shorter the odds get. A quick glance through the odds on offer today and I actually saw 1/40 ON for Real Sociedad to beat Becerril in the Spanish Copa Del Rey.

And yes, you read that correctly – One to Forty ON. That means you win £1 for every £40 that you bet. Frankly, that’s outrageous and if that’s the best on offer, they can keep it!

So odds of 1/3 are starting to look very reasonable already. Yes they are short but not so short that you can’t actually make any money from them. The good news is that they are also fairly common so you will see them across a number of sports betting markets. Generally, it’s when one team just has an edge over their opponents. In this instance, you may also find that odds for both teams are quite short, as is the possibility of a draw.

Odds this short mean that you will get back less than you staked if you place a winning bet. Simply put, you will receive £1 for every £3 that you stake on a successful bet. So no matter how much you decide to spend, the most you can ever expect back is about one-third of what you bet.

The only real advantage to odds this low is that they heavily indicate a favourite. However, you need to look at all the odds on offer and weigh up your options. As an example, one boxer has odds of 1/3 to win but his opponent is 2/1. This really means that both are quite equally matched with one marginally better than the other. And we all know that anything can happen, especially in the ring. So while the odds are short and reasonably favourable, they absolutely do not indicate a potential clear cut winner.

So now you a little bit more, let’s get to the maths! This is actually a very simple formula.

The first number (1) is the amount you’ll win from wagering the second number (3). So for every £15 that you bet, you will get back £5 if your bet wins. You basically get back a lot less than you bet, plus your stake back.

For instance, a £30 winning bet at 1/3 will payout £10 (plus your £30 stake is returned). If you increase the stake to £50 you’ll get £16.67 back (plus £50 stake). The maths formula for a win only bet is:

(amount staked x 1) / 3 = win returns + stake back = total amount of returns.

For example: (£40 x 1) = £40 divided by 3 = £13.33 win + £40 stake back = £53.33 returned in total.


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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.

Most bookmakers payout 1/4 odds on each-way places, basically a quarter of the odds. However, there has been a move to reduce this and only offer 1/5 of the odds. 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) on odds of 1/3 you would get back £10.83 in TOTAL.

You would lose the win part of your stake, leaving you with the each-way winnings of just 83p plus that part of the stake back. That is a loss of £9.17 on your original total stake. It really isn’t worth it.

So there you have it, 1/3 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 @ 1/3 = 33p
£2 @ 1/3 = 66p
£5 @ 1/3 = £1.67
£10 @ 1/3 = £3.33
£25 @ 1/3 = £8.33
£50 @ 1/3 = £16.67
£100 @ 1/3 = £33.33

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.



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