The Odds Explained

Your guide to the different odds systems of the world

For newcomers to online gambling, one of the most intimidating factors can be the odds. Without explanation, those numbers and fractions can easily overwhelm bettors who simply want to make a wager.

This is why online gambling is such a huge advantage; no matter what country you are from, or what sportsbook you are using, all the best online bookmakers will provide you will tips on how odds work and the different odds systems, not to mention providing all the different odds formats.

For those who are just starting out, an odds calculator is one of the best tools for punters. It allows you to enter the "chance of winning" in a percentage format, and automatically converts it to the three different systems of odds.

Chance of winning odds calculator

% Chance of Winning
· Fractional/UK Odds
· Decimal/European Odds
· American Odds

Fractional Odds

The United Kingdom is home to Fractional Odds (also known as British Odds, UK Odds, and Traditional Odds). In addition to sports betting, Fractional Odds is the most common odds format for Horse Racing.

Fractional Odds are best described as being the net total that the bettor will earn, should they win, relative to their wager.

For example, odds of 10/1 will see the punter win £100 from a £10 wager, and since the stake is always returned on a win, the ultimate return is £110. In contrast, Fractional Odds of 1/4 will earn the bettor £2.50 from a wager of £10, thereby totalling £12.50 overall.

American Odds

While there are three different formats of odds used by online bookmakers, American Odds (also referred to as Moneyline Odds) is most common across the United States. If you are placing a bet at a US-specific bookmaker, you will more often than not be greeted by American Odds. While some sites will offer an odds convertor, it is always best to understand the different betting systems.

When betting on a favorite, American Odds show exactly how much money you need to wager in order to win $100. For example, if the favorite is sitting on odds of -230, you would need to wager $230 in order to win $100. If the bet pays off and your selection ends up winning, you will win back your $230 wagered, as well as the $100, giving you a total of $330.

Conversely, when backing an underdog, American Odds work in a slightly different way. Let's say that you are keen on backing a team that is at +170 odds. These odds now show how much you would win if you wagered $100. So, if the underdog manages to win, you would receive your original $100 wagered, as well as $170 in winnings, leaving you with $270 overall.

For any games that have PK alongside them, it means that there is no favorite, and that it is up to you to pick the winner without any points spread.

Decimal Odds

Decimal Odds is the most popular form throughout Europe, Australia, and Canada, and is widely regarded as the simplest format to understand. Also known as European Odds, the majority of online bookmakers will provide the option to make a wager on Decimal Odds.

In contrast to Fractional Odds, Decimal Odds require bettors to part with their stake before they place a wager. The odds quoted is the exact amount you will be paid out for every dollar wagered.

For example, if the Decimal Odds are 3.00 for a certain event, and you wager $100, your winnings will be $300 (3.00 x $100).

Understanding every system of odds isn't necessary to make a wager, but it allows you to view every option at different online bookmakers with ease. Most online venues will give you the option of converting every system of odds at the click of the button, so no matter where you are betting, you will always be able to determine your ultimate payout on each event.

Decimal odds are commonly used in all major Australian group one horse races so make sure you check the following Caulfield Cup odds, Cox Plate odds and Melbourne Cup odds.

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