Decimal, fractional and American odds

Sports-Betting-Odds

Click here to convert any number between the different odds formats and see the probability it represents.

Stake + profit = payout

The first thing to understand is the difference between payout and profit. When you put a bet on you give your stake to the sportsbook. If you win the sportsbook will give you your stake back and pay you your profit. You can’t count getting your stake back as profit because it was yours to begin with.

If you bet 1 m฿ at even money and the bet wins

Stake1
Profit1
Payout2

Decimal odds

Decimal odds are the most common odds format in the modern era. Decimal odds are great because they are simple and let you do calculations easily. Think of it like the metric system, it is superior but some old timers and Americans stubbornly refuse to use it.

The odds will be your payout for every unit you stake. If the odds are 1.32 you will get back 1.32 m฿ for every 1 m฿ you stake. This payout includes your stake of 1 m฿ and profit of 0.32 m฿. Here are a couple of examples with winning bets.

Decimal odds1.32
Stake1
Profit.32
Payout1.32
Decimal odds12
Stake1
Profit11
Payout12

Odds of 2.00 are “even money” because if you bet 1 m฿ you will either lose 1 m฿ or win 1 m฿.

The two other main odds formats are inferior and less common than decimal odds; they are fractional odds and American odds. These odds types are outdated and sportsbooks that show one of these odds types will also have the option to displaying decimal odds instead.

Fractional odds

Fractional odds are expressed as two numbers with a / in between like a fraction. Think of it as profit/stake. The first number is the amount you will profit if you stake the second number. This could also be expressed as the second number is the amount you would need to stake to profit the first number.

Add both numbers together to see the payout you would get by staking the second number.

For example fractional odds of 4/6 means you would win 4 m฿ by staking 6 m฿. So if you stake 6 m฿ and win, your payout will be 10 m฿. This is made up of your 6 m฿ stake and 4 m฿ profit.

Fractional odds4/6
Stake6
Profit4
Payout10

 

Fractional odds12/1
Stake1
Profit12
Payout13

Even money would be written as 1/1 but instead is called “evens”.

American odds

American odds are either expressed as a negative (-) number or a positive (+) number.

Negative (-) numbers are used for bets of less than even money, such as a favorite to win. A negative (-) number is how much you would have to stake to profit 100 units. Odds of -220 means you would have to stake 220 m฿ to win 100 m฿. So if you staked 220 m฿ and won, your payout would be 320 m฿, made up of your 220 m฿ stake and 100 m฿ profit.

American odds-220
Stake220
Profit100
Payout320

Positive (+) numbers are used for bets at greater than even money such as for an underdog. Positive (+) numbers are how much you will profit if you stake 100 units. Odds of +480 means that if you stake 100 m฿ and win, you will profit 480 m฿. So your payout would be 580 m฿ made up of your 100 stake and 480 m฿ profit.

American odds+480
Stake100
Profit480
Payout580

Even money could be written as +100 or -100.

Further reading

For a more in depth look at odds and if you are getting good value from your sportsbooks see Understand odds as probability with overround.

2 Comments

  1. Luke 3 years ago

    What makes decimal odds superior to American? I can calculate all three after years of practice but there is something very soothing about the presence of the + in front of my number. While that be a silly childhood blanket attachment on my part, what makes it inferior? What advantage does decimal pricing come with for the book or the player?

    • Author
      BitEdge 3 years ago

      Decimal odds are simpler and therefore easier to understand and bet with. Try explaining both to a n00b, they will get decimal odds almost straight away, it will take a lot longer for them to get American odds.

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