How To Read Betting Odds – A Short Guide


Posted: January 17, 2024

Updated: January 17, 2024

In this guide, we uncover the secret to understanding the difference between American, Fractional and Decimal betting odds. Essentially, the value of these odds will always remain the same, regardless of which one you pick. Selecting American Odds will not have a better return for the same bet as Fractional or Decimal Odds. However, as personal preference goes a long way, you may find yourself with a better understanding of fractional odds, as opposed to decimal odds. Personally, we prefer decimal odds as they are incredible simple to understand. You simply need to multiple the decimal betting odds by how much money you with to bet. However, to make things easier, we will show you all three styles and you can make your own mind up about which one you prefer. Continue reading to learn more about the three different betting odd styles and how you can understand them.

In this guide, we break down how to read betting odds and how to be able to calculate American odds and fraction odds if you ever come across them. Essentially, the online gambling industry is a place in which you may want to enhance your knowledge of how to play by simply getting more in-tun with what is going on around you. That is why we are here to help. Continue reading to enhance your knowledge of the industry.

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How to Read Betting Odds: An Introduction

First and foremost, it is important to understand the different types of sports betting odds. There are a variety of ways in which odds may present themselves to you when you log into your betting account. At most online sportsbook sites in the UK, the odds will be presented as fractions. However, this can always be altered in the settings and adjusted to decimals or the American format. Below, we break down how to read betting odds in these different styles.

Types Of Sports Betting Odds

When looking through all of the sports bets available, bettors will be able to find odds on all of the different bets available. There are three different ways that sports betting odds are presented, the decimal format, fraction format or the American odds format. The most common is the decimal format, which is by far the easiest to read for punters who want to know exactly how much they stand to win if they put money on a bet.

Even though most fans may never really need to use the American or fractional betting odds, it can be useful to know how they work. If there are any running promotions that present sporting odds in any other format, it can be advantageous to know some basics of how that format works.

How to Read Decimal Betting Odds

The decimal odds format can be easily calculated, the bettor needs to place a stake and then multiply that by the odds offered. For example, if a bettor placed a stake of $10 on a bet that has an odds of 2.3, then they would stand to win 2.3 x 10, or $23.

How To Read Betting Odds
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Decimal betting odds are even more useful when it comes to parlays. Here, single bets are combined and the odds are multiplied together to create even larger odds. Many sports fans prefer to use parlays as they can choose which bets they want to include in the parlay and they can put together as many bets as they want to reach the odds that they are aiming for.

When it comes to decimal odds, calculating the odds of parlays are the most straightforward. Here all bettors need to do is multiply the odds of the individual bets in the parlay together. If a parlay includes three bets that come at odds 2.1, 1.8 and 3.5, the odds for the parlay would be 2.1 x 1.8 x 3.5 which becomes 13.23.

These will not be necessary online because the odds are automatically generated once the bets are put together. Punters with good multiplication skills will be able to do some quick maths as they look over the different bets, and be able to have a good idea of what their odds would look like if they chose certain bets.

How to Read Fractional Betting Odds

Fractional odds are used a lot in the UK. These odds are not as easy to read as the decimal odds, but they can still be understood to a certain level without using a lot of calculation. Here, bets will be presented in fractional form such as 5/1, in which case the bet will pay 5 times the stake, with the original bet returned. If a $10 bet is placed on a 5/1 bet, this can win $60.

How To Read Betting Odds
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Odds that say 1/1 are odds where the bet pays even money. What this means is that a winning bet will pay the same amount as the original stake, as well as returning the stake, so a $10 bet will win $20.

How to Read American Betting Odds

American odds are only used in America, but there may be some running promotions on American sports that use the format. The American odds system presents odds with values that are either negative or positive.

There may be a two way sports bet, with the bets presented in the following way

Home team to win -120

Away team to win +230

The negative bet is for how much money must be placed for the bet to win $100. In this case, $120 can be placed on the home team to win, and the bet can pay out $100. To calculate this amount in decimal odds, bettors must divide 100 by the negative number, so in this case the decimal odds are 0.83.

The positive value shows how much a bettor may win if they place a $100 bet. These winnings do not count the original stake, so a bet of $100 on the away team to win can pay out $330. To calculate this value in decimals, bettors need to divide the number by 100 and then add 1. Dividing by 100 will show how much the bet would win for each dollar, and adding 1 shows how much would be won including the original stake.

When it comes to parlays with fractional and American odds, it can be very difficult to calculate, as these may be easier to convert into decimal odds first. This adds many extra steps to the odds calculation, so it is probably more convenient just to use the online sports book parlay, where the odds will be instantly calculated. Of course bettors who want to see exactly how much their odds improve with certain bets can use their calculators to make their own calculations.

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How To Bet On Sports

Now you have all the information needed to know how to place bets and to calculate how much each bet stands to win. These values are always calculated by the sportsbook, but it is also useful to know exactly how the betting odds work.

With decimal odds, bettors can calculate roughly how much they would need to place to win a certain amount, if the target is for example $60 and the bet comes at odds 3.0, the bettor can calculate that a bet of $20 will bring exactly $60. Of course this is one of the easier examples, but decimals do give the chance for bettors to make rough estimates when pre-calculating the odds and how much they can win.

The Bottom line

To conclude, we hope that now you are more familiar with how to read betting odds online. Should you enter an online sportsbook, such as BC.Game Sportsbook, you will have access to one of the three different betting odd styles above. This should help you navigate your way through the odds and find the best value for a wager that you wish to place.

Click here to sign-up to BC.Game Sportsbook and start betting with any of the formats above.

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