There are many things to take into account when it comes to finding the best Irish bookmakers and implementing your finest betting strategy. There’s also perhaps nothing that matters just as vitally to both as betting odds.
In this betting odds guide, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know – from why the best sports betting odds depends on the individual market as much as the bookmaker, to why finding the best odds to bet on is so important to get the most out of your bets. Join us in this vital, comprehensive guide.
Before we get down to the details, let’s begin by explaining just why betting odds are so important when sports betting online. Quite simply, it’s everything they represent. Betting odds not only means you’re getting the best returns possible – and few things matter as much in terms of the bottom line – but having some of the best betting odds usually means you can count on your pick for being strategically sound, regardless of the results.
The difference between good and bad betting strategies, beyond simple sporting predictions, comes from finding and taking advantage of the bookmaker's incorrect probability, which means finding the best odds to bet on. This remains true whether you are looking for the best horse racing odds for today, or you are following golf and want the edge when placing your bet. Lastly – and a point people often forget about – knowing your bookmaker is providing quality odds is arguably the single most important reflection of the quality of that operator.
So, betting odds aren’t just important for their implied value but also how they reflect on the bookmaker. Considering this, it’s probably worth spending some time understanding how bookmakers determine odds. You may think a sports operator simply provides their best prediction on the outcome of events. In reality, that’s only one part of the equation.
The odds that Northern Ireland bookmakers can produce are tied to what other odds are being offered elsewhere – both to stay competitive and to prevent people from taking advantage of odds discrepancies by using arbitrage betting techniques. In addition, the odds set by the bookmaker are also dictated by their need to remain in profit, regardless of the outcome. That means heavy betting on either side can impact the odds.
Put simply, even the best gambling sites online don’t have that much control over their betting odds. Alongside their own predictions, there are also factors beyond their control that they must adhere to to remain profitable. This consists primarily of both movements of odds from bookmakers and the impact of market popularity.
If then all bookmaker odds are essentially the result of their own predictions and outside influences, why shouldn’t they essentially all be the same? Well, there are two key reasons for this.
The first has to do with the quality of the bookmaker itself. All operators have an overround built into the odds. All betting odds are an implied probability and logically, the percentage probability of all possible results should come to 100%. However, that’s not the case and the percentage over 100% is the overround – or the bookmaker’s profit. The larger this percentage, the more the betting odds are stacked against your favour.
The other key reason is simply business. Bookmakers want to provide better odds wherever they can, so actively seek to have different, and better, odds than their competitors to attract bettors.
The key thing to understanding different betting odds formats is they’re all fundamentally different ways of saying the same thing. There’s no such thing as a best betting odds format, merely what you prefer. Important too is that most quality Irish bookmakers nowadays allow you to toggle between the best sports betting odds format for you to make things more user-friendly. However, this isn’t always the case, so it can be useful to understand different odds and how they work.
They may not be the most popular bet type in Ireland but plenty of international bookmakers use decimal odds so they’re definitely worth understanding. Luckily, they’re some of the easiest betting odds to understand.
Decimal odds are simply what your return will be should the bet succeed. Let’s say the decimal is 2.0 for instance, and you bet €10. Simply calculate 10 x 2, and you get your returns which is €20. It really is that simple. In fact, even though you may be put off by decimal odds, with regards to working out your returns, they’re arguably the simplest of any option.
Working out your profits from these odds are straightforward too. Take off the stake from the returned amount. Our example saw returns of €20 with a €10 stake. That means a €10 profit.
Possibly the most popular type of betting odds in Irish markets – and indeed across the world – most people have some fundamental understanding of how fractional odds work. They may know, for instance, that 9/1 means for every €10 they bet, they’d win €90 in return. The first number represents how much you win if you bet the second number. It seems incredibly simple, doesn’t it?
Let’s give it another spin and say you bet on some heavy favourites with 1/5 odds. This means you would have to bet €5 to see a single Euro profit. Let’s try it with an underdog again, and say your odds were 3/1 for Tottenham to beat Man City. If you bet €10 here and won, you’d receive €30 in profit. Do note these examples are all for profit and do not include your stake, so the actual money returned is even more.
Probably the least commonly found on Irish bookmakers, you may consider American betting odds to not be worth your while. But if you’re interested in American sports and utilising the best odds for spread and moneyline markets, this is absolutely worth understanding. Luckily, it’s easy to do so.
American betting odds are twofold. First, positive values. These can be recognised by the plus sign next to the odds. This tells you how much you would win if you bet €100. So, if you backed McGregor in his fight against Pourier, you might be offered +180 odds. That represents how many Euros you’d get in profit from betting €100. So, if you bet €10, you’d get €18 in winnings, as that is a tenth of each of the values of the original example.
Moving onto negative values and the situation is reversed. The odds next to the minus number reflect how much you’d need to bet to get €100 in profit. So, if the odds were -200, that’s how much you’d need to bet to get €100 on top of your stake. It’s important to note that both positive and negative numbers refer to profit rather than returns.
Betting odds aren’t the only way of understanding value. Expected value provides valuable insight when comparing the best sports betting odds across any market, as it calculates the probability of winning on the same bet multiple times over, rather than just once.
The expected value calculates the probability of an event occurring, e.g. Team A winning, by adding up the implied probability of the event occurring and multiplying it by the total potential profit per wager. It then subtracts the probability of that bet losing, e.g. the implied probability of Team B winning plus a draw, multiplied by the total you could lose per wager (your stake amount).
The equation looks like this: (probability of winning) x (amount won per bet) - (probability of losing) x (amount lost per bet). When this calculation is completed, you’ll be left with a positive or a negative number. This tells you whether you’re looking at the best odds by telling you how much you would win or lose per bet, according to the bookmaker’s calculation. Do note that the bookmaker’s predictions can easily be wrong, but this does provide a valuable indication of the quality of their odds.
We’ve talked about why bookmakers may have different betting odds and why one operator cannot have the best betting odds for each market. When you have several markets on an event, they must work together to create a comprehensive set of odds to have a competitive overround. In other words, one very good set of NBA odds or UFC betting odds on one market may be the detriment to others and even the finest odds are always shifting.
So, how do you try and get the highest quality odds? Well, that’s why it pays to shop around for the best betting apps Ireland provides. Utilising multiple bookmakers means you have more choice, and more choice means it’s easier to find the most favourable. Remember, you can sign up to as many bookmakers as you like, and in an online market with as many great bookmakers as Ireland, there’s no reason not to shop around.
Of course, betting odds aren’t the only thing to consider. There are other outside factors that can have a positive influence on your returns. Promotions are the most obvious example. Some – like best odds guaranteed or bet boosts – actively increase your potential profits.
Furthermore, while odds are extremely important, they’re not the only consideration when finding your perfect bookmaker. If the difference is slight, and you prefer the experience of one over another, that might be right for you. We never recommend any Irish operator that doesn’t provide consistently decent, fair odds. So, no matter what you pick, you know you’re getting a good overall deal on odds.
Ultimately though, the most important thing is you get the most enjoyment out of your bets win, lose or draw. Odds are but one factor within the many considerations it takes to find your perfect operator. Other considerations include competitive betting offers for new customers, easy to use interface, and multi-market accessibility.
Not only do markets move pre-match a great deal, but they’re positively hyperactive during live betting. And so they should be – great sports are an ever-moving organism which are at their best when things can change at the drop of a hat. That does, however, mean that finding the greatest golf betting odds or football odds for today becomes trickier. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you make the most out of live betting odds:
With so much competition, finding the finest betting odds in Ireland may be complicated. However, by focusing on quality bookmakers, you can ensure competitive odds the majority of the time. This is especially true if you open yourself up to more bookmakers. That may be the simplest piece of advice we can give to ensure better odds variety and quality on a consistent basis. It is key for how to beat the bookies more consistently. Finally, remember odds are just one part of the equation for a great experience and should always be taken as part of a larger betting package.
Betting odds are essential for understanding the value of your bet. They represent everything from your potential profits if you win to the implied probability of an event happening. Understanding how to assess this, and how bookmakers determine them, is key for strategic betting. Read our guide to learn more.
You may notice that not all bookmakers showcase betting odds in the same way. This can often lead to confusion, especially when you’re familiar with just one type of betting odds. While some operators allow you to toggle between them, it’s worth familiarising yourself with them and how they work. In our handy guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know.
Competitive betting odds are just one element of determining the best bookmaker for you, albeit a very important element. In our guide to the best betting odds in Ireland, we’ll give you top tips on how to find the best odds, as well as other considerations to find your ideal operator.