Betting Odds Explained
In the following article Betting Odds Explained, we will give you detailed explanations about the three most popular betting odds formats worldwide – decimal, fractional and American odds. We understand very well that calculating and understanding betting odds can be quite confusing, especially for new players. That’s why we have provided all the necessary information, […]

In the following article Betting Odds Explained, we will give you detailed explanations about the three most popular betting odds formats worldwide – decimal, fractional and American odds. We understand very well that calculating and understanding betting odds can be quite confusing, especially for new players. That’s why we have provided all the necessary information, along with helpful examples, that will help you learn how to calculate your potential profits when betting on sports games. Most of the best sports betting sites will display the betting odds in different formats based on the sport and the location you’re betting from. More often than not, online bookmakers allow punters to change the odds formats for bigger convenience. This is a great feature that will help you enjoy online sports betting to the fullest, even if you’re not familiar with a particular betting odds type. Feel free to use the quick navi menu below, and jump straight to the topic that most interests you. Decimal Odds Decimal odds are without a doubt the most popular type of odds around the world. They are the preferred betting odds format for millions of punters worldwide because converting them to probabilities is very easy, so is calculating profits. They display the total return from a 1 unit stake. They always have a greater value than 1 because the unit stake is always included. Examples for decimal odds are 1.50, 5.00, 10.75, etc. An interesting fact is that decimal odds are commonly called European odds in the United Kingdom, because UK punters are used to playing with fractional odds. All the major online sports betting sites, as well as the most popular land-based sportsbooks in the UK, display the odds in fractional formats. Decimal odds are essentially equivalent to the decimal value of the fractional odds, plus one. Decimal odds are most commonly used when playing at the top football betting sites. As we mention earlier, most online betting sites offer the opportunity to switch between betting odds formats, so you shouldn’t worry if you prefer the operator to display the odds in different formats. In the table below, you can see our selection for the best online sportsbook that offers odds in decimal format. Betting Site Welcome Offer Betting Markets Min. Deposit Cash Out Available Rating Secure Link Terms 1. Bet365 £100 In Bet Credits 155+ £10 Yes 4.90 ★ out of 5 Full T&Cs apply. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. As we said, calculating payouts with decimal odds is very simple. All you have to do is multiply your wager by the decimal odds, and you’ll have the total amount that you’re playing for. If you want to calculate the exact profit you’re playing for, here is the formula that you should follow: (odds x stake) – stake = winnings. In order to be completely thorough and informative, we will give you an example with a real money bet. We’ll take the odds from football’s biggest rivalry in the United Kingdom (and maybe even in the world) – the game between Liverpool and Manchester United. The two most successful clubs in English football history meet at least twice per year, and more often than not, the odds for either team winning are quite similar. The decimal odds offered by the upper-mentioned online sportsbook for a Liverpool win are 2.00, which means that if you stake £100, you will win a total of £200, which is £100 profit. The decimal odds for a draw are 3.60 (£260 profit with a £100 bet), and for a Manchester United win are 3.50 (£250 profit with a £100 bet). Keep in mind that these odds are just examples, and their value might change in time. Fractional Odds As we move further in our Betting Odds Explained article, it’s time to have a look at probably the oldest form of betting odds – Fractional odds. They are most commonly used in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They are also known as UK odds, or even traditional odds, as after all, the United Kingdom is one of the locations with the best developed online betting industry. Historically, fractional odds were used mostly in horse racing, and in time they became the standard odds format in the UK for all sports. Fractional odds are a simple reflection of the return you will receive for a certain bet amount. They are displayed with a / and expressed as three to two (3/2), for example. Calculating your potential profit might not seem as easy as with decimal odds, but trust us, it isn’t hard either. Most of the best new betting sites do use fractional odds as the default betting odds type. You can see our recommendation for the best online sportsbook that offers fractional odds in the table below. Betting Site Welcome Offer Betting Markets Min. Deposit Cash Out Available Rating Secure Link Terms 1. Betway £50 First Deposit Bonus 140+ £10 Yes 5.00 ★ out of 5 Full T&Cs apply. United Kingdom - *New customers only. Opt-in required. 100% Match Bonus up to £50 on 1st deposit of £10+. 50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Irregular gameplay may invalidate your bonus. Not only that the upper-mentioned online betting site is among the best live betting sites in the UK, but it also grants punters with a plethora of betting opportunities and many valuable bonuses. Oh, and it is the official betting partner of the English Premier League club West Ham United, making it a no-brainer for any punter who supports the Hammers. Now, we move on to the example of how to calculate your winnings when betting with fractional odds. After all, this Betting Odds Explained guide not only gives you definitions but also helpful models that you can take as examples. We’ll move on from the greatest English football rivalry and go to the most prestigious tennis tournament – Wimbledon. Let’s take a look at the tennis matchup between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The easiest way to read and calculate fractional odds is to think of the odds in the following way: the amount you will win/the amount you bet. Turning this into a formula, it would look like this: winnings = stake x odds. Let’s say you want to bet on Federer to win the match at fractional odds of 3/4. If you bet £100, you will win a total of £175, which is a £75 profit. Did you get it? Just in case, we’ll give you one more example. The odds for a win for Nadal are 6/4, which means that for every £4 you stake, you would earn £6. Can you figure out what your potential profit will be if you stake £100? Yes, it is £150 (total return £250). And in case you still have a hard time calculating your profits, just remember this: think of the number on the left of the slash ( / ) as the amount you would win if you bet the number on the right of the slash. As you can see, it is quite simple. American Odds As the name suggests, American odds are mostly used at sports betting sites that accept punters from the United States. This type of betting odds is also known as moneyline odds. American odds are probably the easiest to understand, and there aren’t any calculations involved, as the odds represent how much the punter would have to wager in order to win $100 or how much the win will be when the bet is $100. American odds are two types – favourites and underdogs. Favourites come with a – sign, while underdogs come with a + sign. If you bet on the favourites (the odds start with a -), the number is the amount you need to bet in order to win $100. When you bet on the underdogs (the odds start with a +), the number shows the amount of profit you would earn when you bet $100. Betting Site Welcome Offer Betting Markets Min. Deposit Cash Out Available Rating Secure Link Terms 1. Unibet Get £40 Welcome Bonus 115+ £5 Yes 4.95 ★ out of 5 Full T&Cs apply. New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. BeGambleAware.org. American odds that start with a + are also known as positive odds, while those starting with a – are negative odds. When the American odds are positive, the higher the number – the less likely the event will occur. For example, a + 500 underdog has a better chance to win than a +900 underdog. On the other hand, the odds that come with a – sign, aka negative odds, follow the opposite formula. The higher the value of the number is, the better the chance the bet will win. For example, a -750 favourite has a better chance to win than a -400 favourite. Now let’s give a few real money examples. We already covered two of the most popular sports in the world, so let’s now take a look at a sport that is not so commonly known, even though it does enjoy tremendous popularity in the US. Yes, we’re talking about the WWE. There are many attractive WWE betting sites that offer betting markets for some of the biggest games and the most famous WWE wrestlers. We’ll take as an example one of the most popular current WWE stars – Roman Reigns. Obviously, most of the time, he will be listed as the favourite by the online sportsbooks, so we will use American odds of -350 for him winning a game. This means that if you want to support him, you will have to bet $350 in order to win $100. Punters who prefer supporting the underdog can catch odds close to +750. In other words, for every $100 they bet on the underdog, they will win $750. Probability and Betting Odds Explained Converting odds to probability is quite straightforward as well. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term basic probability in sports betting, we’ll give you a short and easy to understand definition. Probability is a measure of how likely a certain event can happen. Normally, probability is expressed as percentages, and the higher the % is, the more likely a situation will occur. We will give you an example of how to convert the most commonly met betting odds type – decimal odds to probability. In order to convert decimal odds to probability, all you have to do is divide 1 by the decimal odds. Here is an example: let’s say you wish to stake a bet on a market with 5.50 decimal odds. Dividing 1 by 5.50 makes 0.181, which means the probability of that event to happen is around 18%. Best Odds Online Regardless of the betting odds format that you prefer, you should always look for the best odds. The competition among online sportsbooks is fierce, and operators always try to figure out a way to stand out from the crowd and attract new customers. Many bookies state that they provide the best odds online, while others stick to proven strategies for alluring new players, such as attractive welcome bonuses and regular promotions. We always recommend to our readers to make registrations at multiple online betting sites. This way, you can compare the odds and play at the online bookie that provides the best ones. And let’s not forget that having multiple sports betting accounts also allows you to take advantage of multiple sports betting bonuses. Check out the following table, where we have listed 4 of the top sports betting sites where you can play with different betting odds formats and grab fruitful welcome bonus offers. As you can see, there are plenty of valuable welcome bonuses that you can take advantage of. Each of our recommended sites is absolutely safe to play at and possesses the required certificates in order to provide online betting services legally. Players can choose the betting odds format that they prefer and, in case of an issue, can ask the helpful customer support teams for help. On top of that, most of the online sportsbooks offer betting calculators as a feature that can help you calculate your profits or convert betting odds into different formats. FAQ Well, there it is. Our Betting Odds Explained article has come to an end. We hope it has been informative enough, and it has helped you get a better understanding of how betting odds work and how to calculate your potential winnings. As final remarks, we have included our own FAQ section filled with the most popular and commonly asked questions about the topic at hand. 💫 Can I change odds format at online sports betting sites? Yes, you can. Most of the top betting sites offer the opportunity to change the betting odds format, switching between decimal, fractional and American. Normally, this feature is visible on the main page of the site, but sometimes it is located in the settings menu. ❓ How to convert decimal odds to probability? Converting decimal odds to probability is very easy. All you have to do is divide 1 by the decimal odds and multiple the result by 100. For example, decimal odds of 3.50 represent 28% probability ((1/3.50) x 100 = 0.285 x 100 = 28.5 = 28%). 🙋 Which odds format is the most popular at online bookmakers? This depends on the country you are betting from, but decimal odds are the most popular format globally. Fractional odds are the most famous format in the UK and Ireland, while American odds are the preferred type in the US. 🤔 Who decides the sports betting odds? The sports betting odds, whether they're decimal, fractional or American, are set by people known as traders or odds compilers, who have been employed by a bookmaker. The process requires a lot of research, analysis, statistical comparisons and more. After the betting odds are set, the bookies adjust them a bit in order to make a small profit margin. 🔝 How to find the best odds online? Finding the best odds online requires you to spend some time researching and comparing the odds at different online bookmakers. Normally, the betting odds are quite similar, but don't fool yourself, even the smallest distinction can make a huge difference in the long term. That's why opening accounts at multiple online bookmakers is recommended.
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