With an evens bet, the bookmaker is essentially suggesting that the outcome has a 50/50 chance of happening.
An evens bet has an implied probability of 50%, meaning many regard it as the perfect combination of risk and reward.
An evens bet is easy to spot instantly through how the odds are written. With decimal odds, an evens bet is written as 2.00. With fractional odds, an evens bet is written as 1/1. With American odds, an evens bet is written as +100. Some bookmakers will simply present evens bets as EVS.
Calculating returns & payout with an evens bet
Returns in an evens bet are exactly the same as the stake placed. Payout in an an evens bet is double the stake placed.
Arsenal vs Liverpool - Liverpool to win at odds of 2.00 with a £15 stake
Returns = £15
Payout = £30
How to use evens bets in betting
Although an evens bet has an implied probability of 50%, when you factor in the bookmakers' margin - the slight edge bookmakers give themselves to enable them to make a long-term profit - this means the actual probability of an evens bet is slightly lower than 50% and the bookmaker actually considers the outcome as marginally more unlikely to happen than likely.
Certain evens bets are more appealing than others. For example, if the home team is priced at 2.00, but the away team has odds of 3.60. This would be generous odds for a team considered more likely to win than the other.
In order to evaluate the risk of an evens bet, consider the number of possible alternative outcomes. For example, if a golfer is priced at evens to win a tournament in a field consisting of 54 other golfers, they would be considered a strong favourite.
Should I place an evens bet?
An evens bet is worth backing if you believe the bet has value. For example, if you think that the chance of the outcome occurring is higher than the implied probability of 50% - such as due to form, a strong home record or injuries - then the evens bet has value.
You should bet on an outcome because you think that the outcome is going to happen and the bet has value, not simply because the odds are evens.