Howdy. My name is Michael Webster. I'm a licensed
bookmaker and I've been licensed since 1975.
'Odds' are a numerical indication of any particular horse's chances of winning. But to make it a little bit more simpler (sic)
, take the odds of $3. That is, in effect, 2 to 1. You put $5 on that horse and it wins, you win $10, you collect $15, which is your winnings plus your original investment.
An 'each way bet' is a bet for the win and for the horse to run a place. And the 'place' part of the bet is at a quarter of the odds. So if you back a horse $1 each way at 4 to 1, and it wins, you win $5. If it runs second, you get your money back.
If a punter asks for the 'place bet', he's backing the horse to run a place. Now, the place can be first, second or third. But the odds will be indicative of the place chances - roughly about a quarter of the odds.
'Odds on' is anything less than even money. For example, 9 to 10 - you put on $10 to win $9. 1 to 2 - you put on $10 to win $5.
A favourite, or the term 'favourite', does not necessarily mean that it's the bookmaker's favourite horse or somebody's favourite horse. The 'favourite' is the horse in the betting which is given the greatest chance of winning, and therefore, by definition, it's the shortest price.