Odds Explained

For anyone starting out in the gambling world, the array of odds on offer can be somewhat overwhelming. Different countries often employ different types of odds and whilst you may be familiar one, there will likely be some that are less familiar.

The odds all have the same principle behind them in that they are basically a line set by the bookmaker in which you can either choose to take or not. The layouts can be confusing and sometimes intimidating, so we have produced this guide to give you a breakdown of different odds and also improve your understanding of them.

The great thing about betting online is that you are only ever a couple of clicks away to finding what each set odds mean. One of the best tools to use in your betting armoury is that of a free betting converter. These converters will allow you to punch in the odds you are familiar with and then they will convert them into odds that you might not be so accustomed with. Working your odds through a converter allows for no mistakes with access to the exact lines you taking and more importantly, the potential returns you may get on your investment.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are most common in the UK and provide a simple layout for bettors. They are often known as traditional odds as it’s this format that has been around for the longest and one that most bettors are familiar with.

Working out fractional odds is relatively straight forward. Let’s take odds of 15/1 for example. The first column (i.e. the 15) represents our potential returns, whilst the second column (i.e. the 1) represents what we need to place to earn those returns. In this case a successful bet of 1 unit would return 5 more units as profits. Remember that you also receive your stake back with fractional odds on successful bets, so in reality a winning 5/1 bet would return 6 units (5 units for the win plus our 1 unit wagered).

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are more common throughout Europe, Australia and Canada and are again relatively straightforward. They can be matched up against fractional odds, except the decimal odds account for your exact returns from the bet, or if you like, include your stake back already.

So for example is you were going to wager 100 units on decimal odds of 5.0 and your bet was successful, then your returns would simply be 500 units (5.0 x 100 units).  An even money bet would be 2.0 in decimal format, compared to 1/1 in fractional.

American Odds

American odds are the major betting format for the majority of North American sports such as NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. The odds (often known as money line) will show exactly what you will receive in return for your bet. You could say they are an extension of decimal odds in the way you see your exact returns.

Each bet will have a team which is either plus or minus. The minus odds represent the favoured team, whist the positive odds represent the underdogs. If you wanted to win 100 units on a result and the odds were -250, then you would need to wager 250 units to make a profit of 100 units.

On the flip side, if the odds were +150 for a team to win then these odds actually show what you would win if you wagered 100 units. If that bet was successful then your 100 unit bet would then equate to winning 150 units, plus your original stake of 100 units, resulting in a total of 250 units.