Finding the right bet to make is always a bit of a balance.
You want the bet to have a decent chance of winning, but you also want to win an amount that makes the bet worth your time in the first place.
This is the eternal struggle of the bettor, and is why we should always do our best to look for value in a bet rather than purely looking at odds.
The sorts of odds mentioned on this page are so short that a bettor looking for a value bet wouldn’t even let their eyes settle on them.
Sometimes, the bookies are so sure of the outcome in a race, match or competition, that they price the result so short as to make it impossible to bet on. There would simply be no point.
Taking a bet at odds of 1/10 would stand you to win 10p per £1 bet, for example, so it would not entice anybody who was serious about their wagering. Even if you put £100 on and won, you would get back just £110 for your efforts – a £10 reward.
Even worse, you would have to risk £100 to get it, and that just doesn’t make sense.
It makes even less sense when you realise that sometimes, even the shortest priced selections can fail to win.
There have been losers priced even shorter than the 1/10 example above, so be warned; just because the odds are short, it doesn’t mean the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
Shortest Odds Losing Bets
|23/06/2013||Tennis||Wimbledon 2013, 1st Round||Nadal to Win||1/500|
|11/02/1990||Boxing||WBA, WBC, & IBF Heavyweight Title Fight||Mike Tyson to Win||1/42|
|05/09/2023||Horse Racing||Maiden Fillies' Stakes at Ripon||Doom To win||1/25|
|23/09/1948||Horse Racing||Clarence House Stakes at Ascot||Royal Forest To win||1/25|
|01/06/2019||Boxing||IBF, WBA (super), and WBO Heavyweight Title Fight||Joshua to Win||1/25|
|25/03/2015||Horse Racing||Maiden Fillies' Stakes at Lingfield||Triple Dip To win||1/20|
|22/03/2018||Horse Racing||Novices Chase at Ludlow||Tree of Liberty To win||1/20|
|17/07/1947||Horse Racing||Flat Race at Chepstow||Glendower to Win||1/20|
|31/08/2022||Horse Racing||Novice Stakes at Chepstow||Broadspear to Win||1/16|
Why Would Someone Bet at Short Odds?
There really isn’t a sensible reason to risk your money at these sorts of odds – it’s more like giving the bookies a free go at taking your cash, because even if you win you aren’t going to win much.
But you could always lose.
The only time it might make some sense is if you were including a short odds horse in a Tote bet, or adding a short odds selection to an acca, maybe.
But making a single on something with odds so short that you risk your stake to make pennies is just plain bonkers.
So why do people still do it?
I think it comes down to the feeling we get when we win. It’s nice to win something isn’t it, even if it’s an easy win and you don’t gain much form it.
There have been a few instances of anonymous bettors wagering large amounts on very short odds bets too, such as betting $1 million and only standing to win $25,000, or one poor bugger who lost $1.4 million on a bet that would have only won them $11,000! That’s odds of 0.01/1.
I honestly think boredom might have been behind this one, or some bizarre attempt from the bettor to give themselves a thrill.
You also get people trying betting systems where they make a small bet at short odds then reinvest the winnings several times over (it’s a system that will lose before you win enough to make it worth it, trust me), so this could be another reason behind people betting at short odds.
When a bookmaker prices something as short as the odds seen on this page, they are basically telling you that they don’t want you to bet on it because they are sure it will win. They are deliberately making it an unattractive proposition, so there is no good reason to fly in the face of that and take the bet anyway.