Betting Odds – Decimal & Fractional Odds Explained

Understanding betting odds is crucial to online betting and there’s no way around it.

From the basics of betting like how much you would win depending on your stake, to advanced betting strategies like identifying value bets – all of these depend on having a firm grasp of the concept of betting odds.

Traditionally, there are two ways of calculating and listing odds: fractional and decimal.

There is no inherent advantage to using one or the other. At the end of the day, both display pretty much the same thing. Which one you should use is purely down to personal preference. Without further ado, let’s get into this beginner’s guide to betting odds.

Fractional Odds

This type of displaying odds is probably more familiar to UK punters and looks something like this: 2/1 or 7/4. There are a lot of ways in which you can interpret these, but probably the most beginner-friendly way of looking at it is this:

“How much you will win”/”How much you stake.”

So, in one of the above examples, you would win £2 on a £1 bet. It’s important to note that, if you chose to look at it this way, the first number is pure profit, and does not take into account that you would also win your stake back. So, in such a bet, the full payout would actually be £3.

With this example specifically, that would place your chances of winning somewhere around 33%. Consider it this way – a 1/1 odds bet would essentially double your money, and represents a straight 50 – 50 shot.

By extension, odds displayed with the smaller number first – something like 2/7 – mean that your profit would be smaller than your stake. This happens if the bet in question is being placed on the favourite, or generally on something that is more likely to happen then not. So if you were to place a bet with 2/7 odds, if you bet £7 and win, the total returns would be £9, ie. a profit of £2.

Obviously, the calculations here can get more complicated with less convenient numbers. Here’s a simple formula you can use do determine your returns for any fractional bet:

((Stake /denominator) x numerator) + stake

So, if you were to go for £10 on 7/2 odds:

((£10/2) x 7) + £10 = £45 of total returns.

Decimal Odds

More popular in mainland EU betting, decimal odds are widely considered more convenient for calculations.

Basically, decimal odds represent the ratio of total returns to the placed stake. That means that a 2.00 odds bet doubles your money, which translates to a 50% chance of winning.

Remember this number 2.00, and it should be easy to get a picture of what the odds are in any scenario. Anything between 1.00 and 2.00 implies a “safe” bet with chances of winning higher than 50%, and thus decreasing profits.

How To Convert Decimal Odds to Fractional Odds

The easiest way of doing this is dividing the fractions and adding one, which represents your stake. For example, to convert fractional odds of 3/2:

3/2 + 1 = 1.5 +1 = 2.5.

Simple enough, right? Well, that’s pretty much all you need to know about fractional and decimal odds.

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