Should You Trust Enhanced Odds From Betting Sites?

enhanced odds exampleWhether a bookie refers to them as enhanced odds, a price boost, flash odds or a super boost, the practice of offering customers a deal that appears to be better than the ‘normal’ odds is now commonplace. It is a way of enticing customers to use a bookie’s services, persuading them to take out an account because it seems as if they’re getting a really good deal. This is different from the practice of offering ludicrous odds, such as 40/1 for an event that everyone else is covering at 2/1 or such like, but the principle is the same.

The ludicrous odds are usually only for new customers, have a maximum stake amount and most of the winnings are paid out in free bet tokens rather than cash. What we’re talking about is when companies appear to be offering odds that are incrementally better than their rivals, rather than outright unbelievable odds. They are real, but not necessarily all that they’ve cracked up to be. It makes absolute sense to place a bet with the enhanced odds on offer, but not if you’re only doing it because you think you’re getting good value.

What Are Enhanced Odds?

enhanced odds examples

Often referred to by different titles depending on the bookmaker that you place your bets with, enhanced odds happen when a bookmaker artificially adds a boost to the odds that they’re offering on a given event. We’re not talking about the times that Liverpool are offered at 40/1 to beat a non-league team, say, when the real odds would be more like 1/3. Instead, it’s when the odds that are being offered by the majority of bookies are, for example, 5/1 and a different company ‘boosts’ the price to 7/1, making them a little bit more attractive.

There are numerous reasons why a bookmaker would offer such enhanced prices, but most of the time it comes down to them either wanting to attract new customers or else get the customers that they’ve already got to place a bet on something that they wouldn’t normally bet on. It makes complete sense, of course, given that people logged into a betting site are already inclined to place bets, so offering them odds that look like great value is likely to tempt many into placing a bet on a market that they don’t usually look at.

Are They Good Value?

odds under a magnifying glassThe obvious question that people will ask themselves when considering whether or not to place a bet on a topic with enhanced odds is if they offer good value. The answer to that is a complicated ‘sort of’. What you have to remember is that bookmakers always build an edge into their bets, meaning that the odds that you’re being offered on any given event are not the actual true odds of an outcome happening. In order to understand what we mean by this, let’s look at the tossing of a coin and the odds that you’d get on that.

Coins have two sides, heads and tails. The likelihood of either outcome happening is Evens, presuming that the coin is a fair and balanced one. Realistically, a bookmaker should offer you odds of Evens on both heads and tails with a coin toss, but this means that they would make no money from the bets that they’d accept on it. As a result, real-world bookmakers add in their own margin, so they’ll offer both heads and tails at odds of 19/10, so that their margin will be more like 5.26% regardless of the outcome.

Obviously that is a simplistic example, but it helps you to understand how the odds work and the way in which bookmakers build in their own value. To carry on the example, what happens when a bookie offers enhanced odds is that they essentially say to customers that they can bet on the coin toss at odds of 49/50 instead of 19/10. They still have a margin cut in, but it’s a lot smaller than normal. Essentially, you’re being offered something closer to the real odds but sold it as if it is some sort of brilliant deal to be pleased with.

Some enhanced prices are loss leaders, i.e. the bookie knows there is a chance they will lose money on them but they do it to get you in the door.  These are certainly worth utilising if you were going to place that bet anyway, although it is still always worth checking those odds against other betting sites standard prices to see quite how good they are.  These are bets that the bookies want you to win so that you get a good feeling about them and continue to bet with them.  The savvy bettor will have several accounts and utilise the best enhancements for the bets they want to place on a case by case basis.

Don’t Bet If You Weren’t Going To Anyway

man looking at a bet slip with surpriseBookmakers are happy to offer punters enhanced odds because they know that they’re still getting good value. Even if they weren’t, they know that the enhanced odds outcome won’t always happen, so they’ll make money from it every now and then, as well as the fact that at least a percentage of the people that took them up on the offer will then go and place other bets with them that they might not have placed otherwise. For bookies, enhanced odds cost them either nothing or very little and can even make them money.

Because all you’re being offered is something more akin to the actual odds of an event, it is not worth betting on something with enhanced odds unless you were already planning to do exactly that. If you were going to bet on Horsey Horse to win the Grand National, for example, and when you log into your bookmaker of choice you notice that they’re offering odds of 9/1 instead of the 7/1 offered by everyone else, it makes complete sense to take them up on the enhanced odds offer and place your bet at the larger odds.

If, on the other hand, you were going to bet on Horsey McHorse and notice the enhanced odds offer on Horsey Horse, you should stick with your original thought and not be lulled in by the offer. This, of course, is presuming that you’re the sort of person that does plenty of research into their bets and have solid reasons for your planned bet on Horsey McHorse, as opposed to just liking the name. If you’re placing a bet simply for placing a bet’s sake then you might as well go for the enhanced odds offer when you can.