There are so many different ways to gamble that a person who has only a mediocre understanding of math could go mad trying to get them all correct. If you have never heard of terms like a spread, the over/under, a parlay, pot odds, or fractional probability, you likely will not get the best chance of returning money on your investment. Online spots books and gambling sites have become extremely popular in recent years as more people try their luck at skill games and pick ’ems, but everyone can use a little bit of help to get to a better payout. A betting calculator may be what it takes for you to push your chances over the top.

Few human activities can be tracked with statistics better than gambling. All gambling is, after all, is hedging a chance that an event will occur against the chance that another will not: this simple dichotomy can have a probability of anywhere between one percent and ninety-nine percent, and calculating it can be nothing short of a migraine. If you play online poker, for instance, you may need to calculate the odds of getting one card out of the fifty-two (or fewer) available cards, a formula that quickly leaves even the most math-friendly brains may be unable to come up with. Luckily, a betting calculator takes the multiplication and division out of the process.

An odds conversion betting calculator may be the most typical means of using a calculator, given that the odds are usually set up in one of three different formulas. American odds, as the name suggests, take place with most American sports, and particularly football and basketball. For American odds, you bet your money based upon the odds of making a one hundred dollar profit on selecting the winner of a game. If you watch a basketball team go up against a weaker team, they likely have a negative figure: odds of -150 to win the game, for instance, suggest that you would have to bet $150 in order to win $100 should they win. Conversely, if the team is the underdog and their odds are set at +200, you could walk away with two hundred dollars in profit provided you bet $100. A betting calculator can help you convert the American odds into the favorable (or unfavorable) probability and help you determine the profit of a winning bet.

Fractional odds tend to be more popular overseas, usually within Britain (they may be referred to as ‘British Odds’ depending on who is laying the bets). Fractional odds are most common in horse racing, and if you have ever watched the Kentucky Derby, you have seen the probabilities next to each horse and jockey in a fraction, like 1/3 or 5/2. These are the payout ratios for each investment. If a horse has 3/1 odds, for instance, is a longshot: you win three dollars for each bet of one dollar (or if you are in Britain, three pounds for every bet of one pound). A horse with 1/5 odds, conversely, is a favorite and the figure means that you would only make one dollar for each five dollars you bet. A betting calculator puts these figures in terms that are easier to understand if you are not great with fractions, allowing you to determine what payouts work best for the horse you think will cross the finish line first.

Outside of the US and the UK, you will likely find decimal odds, which are similar to fractional odds except that they are the payout only, rather than the payout plus the initial investment. As such, if you watch an Australian rugby game and want to bet a hundred dollars on a team with .50 odds, you would receive fifty dollars plus your $100 bet if they won. A team that has little chance of winning will have a larger decimal figure. Betting calculators allow you to combine the original figure and the payout, or to put it in terms that are easier to understand.

Of course, not all online betting is done with sports. Some betting calculators are designed to give you better odds on other games of chance or skill. Card games like blackjack, baccarat, and poker all have betting calculators that help you determine what the odds of a favorable card coming up are. If you need an ace to win, for instance, the betting calculator goes through the math of counting the chance of picking that card from the remaining deck. You can use this information to determine if the probability is favorable, or if the amount of money already in the pot makes further raises a wise or unwise investment. While bluffing and luck are always part of the game, a betting calculator gives you the raw odds to help make a choice.