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What American Odds Mean

Before we look at the crypto aspect of American odds, it’s important to take a close look at what they mean in general. It should also be noted that they are sometimes known as Moneyline bets. The way that American odds are expressed is generally as follows:

  • They will be defined as a 3-digit number
  • They will have a + or – in front of them

This is obviously a little bit different from other odds and could cause some confusion, especially if you’re not an American player. The basic premise of these odds is linked to $100. As it’s American odds and in the past fiat currency was the only way to place a bet, this does make sense from a logical standpoint. Obviously though, with the world being different now it’s not always the case of fiat currency being used to bet.

With crypto betting becoming a lot more popular, it means that this form of odds might confuse some people. However, we’re going to cover how to understand American odds from a crypto perspective so our players are able to get the most from their favorite betting sites.

American Odds from a Crypto Perspective

To put it very simply, instead of thinking of the odds from the perspective of $100, players just need to think of them as 100 units. This instantly makes the odds a lot easier to apply to a crypto bet. Even if you wagered 1 BTC, you could think of it as 1.00 BTC in order to calculate your potential returns using this form of odds.

The two ways that these odds can be expressed is with a + or a – in front of the 3-digit number. So, they might offer -110 or +350. This provides an extra layer of confusion, so we will cover what each one means and how you can work out your potential payout.

Odds with – at the Front

These are bets on the favorite. The potential payout is worked out in a different fashion to bets on + Moneyline bets. What this essentially means is that this is how many units you will need to wager in order to make 100 units as profit. So:

  • A -125 bet would require a 0.125 BTC to return 0.100 BTC as profit
  • This doesn’t mean there’s a 0.025 BTC loss on each bet
  • The return includes the stake as well, so a 0.125 BTC bet would return 0.225 BTC in total

As it’s a bet on the favorites, it means that players will have to wager more in order to make a profit. The more fancied the favorite it is, the higher the 3-digit number will be.

Odds with + at the Front

This is a bet on the underdog. Instead of telling you how many units you need to wager to make 100 units profit, this tells you how many units profit you will make for a 100 unit bet. So:

  • A +350 bet would mean that if you bet 0.100 BTC you would get 0.350 BTC as a profit
  • It doesn’t mean you get 0.350 BTC returned
  • Your total return would be the profit and the stake, so 0.450 BTC total return

These odds tend to be winners a lot less, as they’re underdog wagers. However, good value can be found in them if you do the right research.

Do American Odds show Probability?

They do, it’s not a guaranteed probability though. As is always the case with statistics, it shows the likelihood of something happening, not a guarantee that it’s going to happen. This is very important to understand when you place a wager.

An example would be that a -100 Moneyline bet is a 50% probability bet. So, if the bet was placed 10 times the probability says that it should win 5 times and lose 5 times. However, in real life, if you placed 10 -100 moneyline bets you might win 7 and lose 3.

Probability is significant when it comes to finding value though. The way to work out the probability of a – Moneyline bet is as follows:

(Odds/(odds + 100)*100)

You just need to enter the value of the odds that are offered into the formula and it will tell you the probability expressed as a percentage. The way to work out the probability for a + Moneyline bet is slightly different. The formula is as follows:

(100/(odds + 100)*100)

As you can see this changes the first number in the formula.

Finding Value

This is the most important part of betting on anything. The way to do it is to watch the news surrounding the sports event that you want to bet on. For example, if the favorites in a soccer match had a sudden outbreak of food poisoning before the game, you might be able to find good value in betting on the underdog. This would especially be the case if the news broke before sportsbooks had the opportunity to adjust the odds.

You can also find good value by using in-play betting tactics. An underdog taking an early lead is often an excellent way to find value in betting on the favorite. The odds might not have been particularly good before the game, but if they go behind early on then this could cause the odds to reverse and provide you with good value. This is why watching the games you want to bet on is always a good tactic. The eye test in conjunction with research is always the best way to find value.

American Odds Converted to Other Odds

American Odds can be converted to other odds methods relatively simply. However, it should be noted that it’s much easier to convert them to decimal odds than fractional odds.

Converting to Decimal Odds

There are two different formulas for both – and + moneyline odds here, just like for the probability. When it comes to working out the – odds the formula is as follows:

1 – (100/odds)

The + odds has a similar formula, but it does have a few important differences:

(odds/100) + 1

Both of these are very simple to carry out, especially if you have a calculator handy.

Converting to Fractional Odds

The basic way to convert to fractional odds involves a little bit of mathematical knowledge. So, for + odds you would need to do the following:


Once you have worked this out you will need to simplify the answer. So, the odds of +150 would be canceled down as follows:

  • 150/100
  • 15/10
  • 3/2

Negative odds are worked out in a similar way but it will often require a calculator to get the answer exactly. The formula is as follows:


This means that the odds of -110 would end up as:

  • 100/110
  • 10/11

This is an easy one to work out, but some other odds can be a lot more complicated.

Why Convert Odds

At first glance, many people might not realize why it’s important to convert odds. However, if you are playing at 3 different crypto sportsbooks that all offer different odds, then it will be important. This will allow you to easily compare the odds that are offered on a specific bet. From there you can ensure that you get the best value. So, if you play at multiple sportsbooks, converting odds will make sure that you get the very best possible payout when you place your wagers.


A pro gambling writer since 2015, immersed in the world of crypto since 2016. I've built up a wealth of knowledge and experience in both crypto gambling and crypto betting, making me one of the most prominent voices in the industry.

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