Explaining the Formats of Sports Betting Odds

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Those new to betting must learn how betting odds work, this is the first priority on the road to placing bets on value. Here you will learn about the odds, how they work and how they differ and how they can help you calculate your potential wins.

Fractions and Decimals

Most UK online casinos have their odds presented as decimals or fractions. These reflect the percentage of your original stake returned after a good gamble, since your original stake is included in the decimal odds when fractions are not.

Fractional Odds

This is the conventional way of showing odds and it’s popular to see odds like 2/1 and 10/1 to show the winnings you’ll get based on how much you’re staking. 2/1 suggests you’re going to win £ 2 for every £ 1 you’re staking. Through returning your share, you measure your full return.

£10 at 2/1 = £20 winnings plus £10 stake = £30 total
£10 at 5/2 = £25 winnings plus £10 stake = £35 total

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds will already have your stake included in the winnings. So decimal odds of 3.0 is in fact 2/1, as £1 at 3.0 will return you £3. You simply multiply your stake by the decimal odds quoted and that will be your return.

£10 at 3.0 = 10 x 3.0 = £30
£10 at 4.5 = 10 x 4.5 = £45

American and European Formats

American sportsbook providers present their odds in a different way, known as ‘money-line odds’. Sometimes, European bookies will use this format for American sports. They feature a ‘plus’ or a ‘minus’ sign with plus indicating how much you will win with £100 and minus shows how much you need to stake to earn £100. Odds of -200 means that a £10 bet would return £15, i.e. (100/200) x 10, plus the £10 stake. Odds of +200 mean a £10 bet would return £30, i.e.(200/100) x 10, plus the original £10 stake.

1×2 and Asian Handicaps

There are typically three results in a’ city for match winners’: win, lose or draw. A’ 1×2 Bet’ helps you to bet at odds presented as one of the formats mentioned above on each of these outcomes.

Asian handicaps use a shape-based odds calculation to exclude a draw option, so only a fixed margin is used to back a winner. In soccer, bookies pick a goal handicap they believe will make the chance of winning as close as possible to 50% (1/1 or 2.0); the odds will be expressed in a decimal format that excludes the original stake.


For example, in November 2014, Tottenham was rated 2,000 at -1.5,-2, for Tottenham vs. Partizan Belgrade, which assumes that Tottenham is two better goals than Belgrade. A £ 10 bet on Tottenham would return £ 20 to win by two or more goals, 200 percent of £ 10. Note, the initial stake excludes these decimal odds.
Asian handicap odds can usually be spotted as they stretch to three decimal places, versus regular decimal odds which barely reach two.

Over/Under Bet

A bet called ‘over/under’ is a wager where you expect an event will be over or below a particular figure. In a basketball game, you can bet on the over / under total points score, e.g. over / under 170. The choices may vary across sports, but in the over / under market, it is normal to see corners, chips, goals, birdies, tries, wickets, and much more. There’s no draw for this match, so it’s always a 50% chance to win.

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