Odds can be confusing. How much money do you need to stake to win what you want? How much will you win if you bet a certain amount? It’s good to know exactly what odds represent before you put a bet on. Fortunately, we’ve put together a short handy guide for you to get familiar with betting.
The three most common formats for odds you will find on a betting website are Fractional (6/4), Decimal (2.50) and Moneyline (+150). In this guide we’re going to explain all three types for you so you can make a decision about which one you prefer. Depending on the website, the default format could be any one of these but you will be able to change it to your preferred format.
Fractional odds, sometimes known as Traditional or British odds, are always displayed in a fraction. Examples of this are 1/2, 5/8, 1/1, 11/8, 2/1, 20/1, etc. This fraction represents the fraction of your stake that you will get back if the bet wins. So if you bet $10 on a selection at 4/5 and it wins, then you get back your $10 stake plus 4/5 times your stake which is $8, meaning your total winnings will be $18. If you bet $10 on a selection at 3/1 and it wins, then again you get your $10 stake back plus 3/1 times your stake, being $30. This means your total winnings will be $40. It’s very easy really. In short, the fraction represents the amount of profit you will make on your bet if it wins. This format is very traditional and is becoming less and less popular online, being replaced by Decimal odds usually. All betting shops in the UK still use this format.
Decimal odds, often known as European odds, are a bit simpler than fractional odds and are the most common format you will find on betting sites. Examples of these odds are 1.50, 1.63, 2.00, 2.38, 3.00, 21.00, etc. To work out your total winnings on a bet with decimal odds, you simply multiply your stake by the decimal odds and that will be your total wi nnings. So if you bet $10 on a selection at 1.60 and it wins, then you get your total winnings will simply be $10 multiplied by 1.60, which is $16. If you bet $10 on a selection at 3.50 and it wins, again multiply $10 by 3.50 to find your total winnings which will be $35. Because of its simplicity, you can see why it is the most common format for online gamblers.
Most betting sites, especially the ones based in Europe will have Decimal odds set as their default format. For beginners we would highly recommend starting with Decimal odds to get a good feel for how the stakes and winnings work.
Moneyline odds, also known as American odds, are probably the most complicated of the three common formats. Unless you are already familiar with Moneyline, we would not recommend using it as your preferred format. There are people who have been gambling for years who still do not fully understand Moneyline. Examples of these odds are -200.00, -158.73, +100.00, +138.00, +200.00, +2000.00.
Very simply put, moneyline odds represent how much money you need to bet to make $100 profit, but it’s not clear how that works. If the odds have a minus sign (-) in front of them then that is the amount of money you need to bet to make $100 profit, so if you bet $10 on a selection at -200.00 and it wins, then you will receive $15 as your total winnings. If the odds have a plus sign (+) in front of them, then that is the amount of profit you will receive if you bet $100 on the selection, so if you bet $10 on a selection at +180.00 and it wins, then you will receive $280 as your total winnings.