Betting Odds Explained

betting odds format

When looking at betting odds format comes in several types and formats. The main ones are Decimal Odds, Fractional Odds and American Odds. Each country and individual punter has their own preference, and below gives you an explanation of each format.

You may also come across Malay Odds, Indo Odds, HK (Hong Kong) Odds, Italian Odds and Chinese Odds. These are not regular with mainstream bookmakers.


Fractional Odds

Fractional odds, sometimes called UK Odds, Traditional Odds or British Odds, is the most popular format in the United Kingdom. Fractional odds quote the net total that will be paid out to the punter, should they win, relative to the stake.

For example:

Odds of 4/1 imply that if a punter stands to make £4 for every £1 that he/she bets. So the punter bets £100 at odds of 4/1, they stand to potentially make £400.

If odds are 1/5, the gambler will make £1 for every £5 staked. So a bet of £100 at odds of 1/5 will potentially win them £20.

The punter will also always receive their stake back, so a bet of £100 at odds of 4/1 will win £500, which is £400 plus the original £100 stake.

4/1 would be called “Four-to-one“ or 1/4 would be called “one-to-four“ – so winnings to stake.

Decimal Odds

Decimal Odds are most popular in Europe, and are sometimes called European Odds. Most online sports books and betting exchanges offer this option.

Unlike fractional odds, the gambler must first part with their stake in order to make a bet. The figure that is quoted in decimals is the exact amount that will be paid out if the best is a winner. This means that these odds are essentially the equivalent to the decimal value of the fractional odds, plus one.

This is one of the most favoured way of displaying odds in Europe, as it is very simple to understand and use, as a punter never has to calculate the return of his/her stake or worry about multiples of £100. The punter simply needs to multiply the value of the bet by the decimal odds value and this will equal the amount of money that is collected as a winner.

For example:

Barcelona Vs Bayern Munich in the Champions League

Odds on Barcelona are 2.0 and Bayern Munich is priced at 1.95

If you bet £100 on Barcelona you will receive £200 in total (2.0 x £100)

If you bet £100 on Bayern Munich you will receive £195 in total (1.95 x£100)

American Odds

Not seen so much in Europe, but very popular with US sports books. American sports betting odds work differently for favourites and outsiders, and are sometimes known as Money line Odds.

American odds for betting on a favourite work but showing a punter how much they need to risk in order to win $100. If the odds offered on a particular event result are -120, it means that in order to make $100 you would need to bet $120.

For example:

Juventus are the favourite in a match against Chelsea, and are paying -120 to win. If a punter places a $120 bet on Juventus and they win, they will receive $100 winnings, plus get your original $120 back for a total of a $220 pay out.

The American odds for betting on an underdog work by showing how much you would win if you risk $100. If the odds offered on a particular event result are +255, it means that in order to win $255 you would need to bet $100.

So if Chelsea are an underdog in the game against the Juventus, and the particular bookmakers is offering odds of +255, it means that if a user bets $100 on them to win the game they would get a potential return of $100 (the original bet) plus $255 winnings for a total collect of $355.

In American style sports odds and sites if you see the letters “PK“ alongside the odds offered on a game, it means that there is no clear favourite and you should “Pick” the winner of the game without any points spread.

Other Odds Formats

Other odds formats are prominent in Asia and certain European Countries.

These include:
Malay Odds
Indo Odds
HK (Hong Kong) Odds
Italian Odds
Chinese Odds

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