Understanding the odds is the precondition of betting.
Most online sportsbooks give their odds the American way that will usually confuse the non-initiated. However, once you have sighed-up, the sportbook will let you choose between decimal, fractional, or American odds.
My favorite, and by far the easier to understand and most logical, are the Decimal odds.
Here below are some basic explanations of the three types of odds.
1. Decimal Odds
This is probably the most popular and simpler format. Decimal odds are favoured in continental Europe, Canada and Australia.
Formula: stake x odd = payout
If you put $100 on 1.50 odd, possible payout would be $150. including the $50 profit
These odds are considered to be best for parlay betting (accumulators), since the payout is simply the product of the odds for each outcome wagered on. Also, decimal odds are favoured by betting exchanges because they are most suitable for trading.
2. Fractional Odds
If the decimal odds are the most popular, fractional is definitely the oldest format.
Differently from decimal format, they show the possible profit (stake is excluded). Odds of 2/1 (the way to say is “two to one”, or less commonly “two to one against”) imply that the bettor would have $200 profit on a $100 stake. If the odd is 1/2 (“one to two”, or “two to one on”), the bettor would have $50 profit on a $100 stake. Odds of 1/1 are also known as evens or even money.
Converting this format into decimal is very easy, just divide fraction and add 1 (1/2+1=1.50)
Fractional odds are also used in horse racing.
3. American Odds
American odds are, of course, the most popular at US bookmakers but are offered by most online sportsbooks as well. They’re also known as “money line odds” or “lines” and are different for favorites and underdogs.
If the odd is worse than even, the figure is negative and it shows how much money must be wagered to win $100. If the quoted odd is -200 (1.50 in decimal format and 1/2 in fractional), it means you have to put $200 to win $100.
If the odd is better than even, the figure is positive and it shows how much money will be won on a wager of $100. If the quoted odd is 300 (4.00 in decimal format and 3/1 in fractional), it means you will win $300 with a stake of $100.
Conversion American odd to decimal depends on whether it is negative or positive. If it is negative, take -100, divide it by US odd and add 1. (-200 will be -100/-200+1=1.50). If it is positive, just divide it by 100 and add 1 (300 will be 300/100+1=4.00). Same principle is with conversion to fractional format. If US odd is negative, take -100, divide it by the odd and then convert to fraction (-200 will be -100/-200=1/2). If it is positive, divide it by 100 and convert to fraction (300 will be 300/100=3/1).