Understanding Esports Odds: A Beginner’s Guide

Esports, the world of competitive video gaming, has evolved from a fringe hobby to a global phenomenon drawing millions of viewers and bettors alike. With its rise in popularity, betting on esports has also surged, offering a new avenue for enthusiasts to engage with their favorite games. However, understanding how esports odds work can be daunting for beginners. This guide aims to demystify esports betting odds, helping you make informed decisions whether you’re a seasoned bettor or stepping into the esports betting arena for the first time.

What Are Esports Odds?

Esports odds represent the likelihood of an event occurring in a video game competition, such as a team winning a match or a player achieving a specific goal. They are used by bookmakers to calculate the payout for successful bets. Essentially, the odds reflect the probability of a particular outcome, with lower odds indicating a higher probability of that outcome happening.

How Do Esports Odds Work?

Esports odds can be displayed in three main formats: decimal, fractional, and American. Understanding these formats is crucial for interpreting the odds correctly and placing successful bets.

  • Decimal Odds: Quite popular in Europe, Canada, and Australia, decimal odds are straightforward to understand. They represent the amount one wins for every $1 wagered. For instance, if the odds are 2.0, and you bet $100, you will win $200 if your bet is successful, including your initial stake.
  • Fractional Odds: Traditional in the UK, fractional odds show the potential profit against the stake. For example, 3/1 (read as three to one) odds mean you win $3 for every $1 bet, plus your original stake, resulting in a total return of $4 for a $1 stake.
  • American Odds: Also known as moneyline odds, they are common in the United States. Positive numbers indicate how much profit you would make on a $100 bet, while negative numbers show how much you need to bet to make $100 profit. For instance, +200 means a $100 bet would yield $200 profit (plus the $100 stake returned), while -150 means you need to bet $150 to win $100.

Calculating Payouts

To calculate your potential payout from esports betting, simply multiply your stake by the odds. For decimal odds, the calculation is as straightforward as multiplying your stake by the decimal number. For fractional odds, multiply your stake by the top number and divide by the bottom number. With American odds, the calculation differs depending on whether the odds are positive or negative.

Types of Esports Bets

Understanding the types of bets you can place in esports is just as crucial as understanding the odds. Below are the most common forms of esports bets:

  • Match Winner: You bet on which team or player will win the match.
  • Tournament Winner: This entails betting on the team or player you predict will win the entire tournament.
  • Handicap Betting: Bookmakers give one team a virtual advantage or disadvantage to level the playing field, offering more competitive odds.
  • Over/Under: You bet on whether the total score, kills, or any other measurable event will be over or under a figure set by the bookmaker.
  • Prop Bets: These are bets on specific events that may or may not affect the final outcome of a game or match.

Strategies for Betting on Esports

While luck plays a role in betting, employing strategies can increase your chances of winning. Here are some tips for betting on esports:

  • Research Teams and Players: Knowledge is power. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the teams and players you bet on can significantly impact your success.
  • Understand Game Mechanics: Each game has its unique mechanics. Knowing how these can influence match outcomes is important for making informed bets.
  • Start Small: If you’re new to esports betting, start with small bets to learn without risking too much.
  • Shop Around for Odds: Different bookmakers may offer different odds for the same event. Comparing odds can ensure you get the best value for your bet.

Managing Your Bankroll

Effective bankroll management is vital for sustained betting. Only bet what you can afford to lose, and consider setting aside a specific budget for esports betting. This will help you enjoy betting while avoiding financial strain.

Further Reading and Resources

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on esports betting or stay updated with the latest trends and news, here are some useful links:

  • ESPN Esports: A comprehensive source for esports news, scores, and updates.
  • HLTV: The go-to resource for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fans, offering match schedules, team rankings, and betting odds.
  • LiquidDota: Offers extensive coverage on Dota 2, including upcoming matches, team information, and community forums.
  • LoL Esports: The official site for League of Legends esports, featuring news, team profiles, and live streams of matches.


Betting on esports can be exciting and rewarding, provided you understand how odds work and approach betting strategically. Whether you are drawn to the thrill of match-winner bets, the foresight required for tournament winners, or the intricacies of prop bets, making informed decisions is key. Start with thorough research, manage your bankroll wisely, and don’t forget to compare odds from different bookmakers to maximize your potential returns.

For beginners, starting with match winner bets might be the simplest way to dip your toes into esports betting, while seasoned bettors might explore more complex bets like handicaps or over/under bets. Regardless of your experience level, the world of esports betting offers a dynamic and engaging way to participate in the fervor of competitive gaming.


What are esports odds?

Esports odds represent the likelihood of an event occurring in a competitive video game match, such as a team winning a match. They are used by bookmakers to calculate the payout for successful bets.

How are esports odds formatted?

Esports odds can be displayed in three formats: decimal (e.g., 2.0), fractional (e.g., 3/1), and American (e.g., +200 or -150).

Can I make a profit betting on esports?

Yes, it’s possible to make a profit betting on esports by making informed bets, managing your bankroll, and employing effective betting strategies. However, like all forms of gambling, there’s also a risk of loss.

What types of bets can I place on esports?

Common types of esports bets include match winner, tournament winner, handicap betting, over/under, and prop bets.

How do I start betting on esports?

To start betting on esports, choose a reputable online bookmaker, understand esports odds, decide on the type of bet you want to place, and start with small bets to learn the ropes.

We hope this beginner’s guide to understanding esports odds has been informative and helpful in getting you started on your betting journey. Esports betting opens up a world of excitement and engagement with your favorite video games, and armed with knowledge, you’re better prepared to dive in. If you have any corrections, comments, questions, or would like to share your experiences with esports betting, feel free to engage. Let’s explore the thrilling world of esports betting together!