Having a perfect understanding of the types of betting odds and interpreting their formats is one skill every intelligent bettor must possess. There are three major types of odds namely; American odds, fractional odds, and decimal odds.

Decimal odds are a popular way of presenting the potential payout for sporting events – especially in Europe. Decimals are easy to understand and you can quickly work out your profit amount without having to use a special calculator.

However, if you’re not familiar with this format, it may appear complex and confusing. In this article, we will explain exactly how decimal odds work, why bookmakers use them and discuss how you can use them to your advantage when placing sports bets.


Sportsbooks compile odds in such a way as to represent what they believe is the probability of an event happening. Around the UK, the odds are represented as a fraction (2/1), while the Decimal format is used more in Europe (2.0).

There are also “American odds” or “Moneyline odds” represented thus; +200. These usually have positive or negative signs before them.


Decimal odds are the most popular way online bookmakers present their odds to bettors. You only have to multiply your stake by the decimal odds to get your potential payout. The formula for calculating decimal odds would be;

Stake X Odds= Payout

Let’s consider an example: You bet on Chelsea to beat Tottenham Hotspurs in a premier league game at decimal odds of (1.82). If you bet $100 and the blues are victorious in the end, you win $182. The returns include your original stake of $100, hence your net profit is $82.

Here is the Math;

Stake ($100) X decimal odds (1.82)=$182 in winnings.

The advantages of decimal odds

The main advantage of decimal odds is that they are very easy to understand and calculate as they simply indicate the amount of money you will receive in total, depending on your wager. For example, if the decimal odds are 4.00 and you bet $1 then your total return would be $4.

This makes it easier for gamblers to compare returns across different bookmakers and make informed decisions about their betting activities. Decimal odds can be helpful for those who are just starting out or those with little experience in sports betting as they provide an easily understandable format that shows what you could win in total if your bet is successful.

Should I switch to decimal odds?

Whether or not you should switch to decimal odds really depends on your individual preferences and the types of bets you’re placing. Decimal odds are widely used in international betting markets and allow bettors to convert the final payout into a percentage of the bet amount, making it easier to compare different offers more quickly.

However, if you’re familiar with fractional or American odds and prefer them, there is no compelling reason to switch. It all depends on which type of odds makes sense to you and is easiest for you to use when placing bets. So if you feel comfortable with the type of betting already being used, then there is no need to switch.


Calculating payouts with decimal odds is not hard. All you have to do is multiply the value of your stake by the odds given.

There are two calculations that can help you work out the potential profits and total payout of a bet using decimal odds, these are:

  • Potential payout = Stake X decimal odds


  • Potential profit = Stake X(decimal odds-1)

Below are real-life adaptations of these formulas;

  • If you stake $30 at 2.50 odds, your potential payout will be $75 ($30X2.50=$75)
  • Hence, your potential profit will be $30X(2.50-1)= $45


When wagering on sports, understanding the odds is a key part of the process. Decimal odds and American odds are two popular types of betting systems used by sportsbooks. By using any — or both — systems, you can calculate the chances of winning or losing a bet accurately.

Learning how to convert American odds into decimal odds can give you an edge when betting on sports. It’s a simple process that takes a matter of seconds and can help you maximize your winnings. There are two rules you need to understand if you’re looking to convert US odds into decimal odds.

Rule 1

For US odds with a plus sign before them, divide the money line by 100 and add 1 to it.

decimal odds = (US odds/100)+ 1

Example: We are going to convert +100 and +300 into decimal odds.

Since US odds= +100;

decimal odds= (100/100)+1 = 1+1 = 2.00

Since US odds= +300;

decimal odds= (300/100)+1 =3+1 =4.00

Rule 2

For US odds with the minus sign before them, we are going to divide 100 by the US odds — not paying any regard to the minus sign before it — and then add the value we get to 1.00.

decimal odds = (100/US odds)+1

To put this in practice, let’s convert -250 US odds and -540 US odds into decimal odds.

Since our US odds is -250;

(100/250)+1 = 0.4+1 = 1.4 decimal odds.

Since our US odds is -540;

(100/540)+1= 0.185+1 = 1.185 (or 1.2) decimal odds.


The formula for converting decimal odds into implied possibility/probability is represented as follows;

Implied possibility = 1/decimal odds x 100

Let’s consider an example in which Liverpool FC is given 1.65 odds to win.

1/1.65= 0.606

0.606 is then multiplied by 100 to be expressed as an implied percentage probability of 60.6 percent. So given the Odds of 1.65, Liverpool has a 60.6 percent chance to win the game.


Converting decimal odds to fractions isn’t straightforward, but it’s not complex either. To calculate the fractional format of a line when given decimal odds in the form of a whole number, like 3.0, subtract 1 and set the denominator to 1.

To illustrate, 3.0 odds convert to 2/1 in fractional odds. The same formula can be applied to decimal odds with remainders after the decimal point. However, since most bookmakers don’t like displaying fractional odds with mixed decimals as their numerator, these numbers are multiplied by whole numbers (starting from two) until bookmakers are able to achieve a whole number as their numerator.

For instance, if we were to convert decimals odds of 6.20 into fractional odds, we’d subtract 1 from it and divide the result by 1 to give us 5.20/1. From here, we’ll have to multiply both the numerator and denominator by whole numbers until we are able to round the numerator to a whole number.

This should give us fractional odds of 26/5 (5.20 x 5 = 26).


Decimal odds (or European odds) express the amount of return on a bet, in relation to the stake. Decimal odds are often used in countries where betting takes place in euros or other currencies besides sterling, while fractional odds are traditionally used by UK/Irish bookmakers.

For example, in decimal odds, a return of 3 would indicate that if you stake £1 and win, you get back £3 (your original stake plus your winnings). Whereas in fractional odds, you’d be given the format 3/1 indicating that if you were to wager £1 and won, you’d get back three times your stake of £3 plus your original stake of £1 = £4.


Betting can be a fun and exciting way to put your knowledge of sports to the test. Getting started with betting is not as complicated as it may seem. However, with so many different types of bets available today, it can be confusing to know which one is right for you.

If you want to make a bet but don’t know where to begin, this guide will help you get going. We will outline the different types of bets available and explain how each one works so that you can decide which best suits your needs.

Win Bets and Moneyline Bets

Win bets and Moneyline bets mean the same thing. But based on where you reside, most people prefer one usage over another. People in the United States for example refer to this kind of bet as a Moneyline wager.

Important: Whatever you call it, the win bet as popularly known around the globe is a kind of bet where you select who you think will win the game or match. For example, if you’re betting on an upcoming Spanish La Liga game between Barcelona and Eibar, you’d need to determine which team you think will win.

If you believe Barcelona will come out on top, you will place a win bet on Barcelona. If Barcelona goes on to win the game, you’ll also win your wager. It’s that straightforward.

Totals and Over/Under Bets

This type of wager, also referred to as a total in the United States, is a betting market where the sportsbook will issue a specified total associated with the sporting event, this total is tied to the number of points scored in the game.

The bettor, when placing the wager, will have to decide if the total will actually come in over or under the number set by the sportsbook.

Below is an example:

In an upcoming game between Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, the sportsbook may set a totals of 199 points. If the bettor believes that both teams combined will score more than 199 points in the game, the bettor will bet the Over. If the bettor believes that the teams combined will have a score less than that, the bettor will bet the Under.

Point spread (handicap betting)

A point spread bet is a type of wager in which bookmakers attempt to even out the playing field by giving handicap points to either team. The amount of handicap points given depends on the relative strengths of each team and the bookmaker’s estimate of the chance for either side to win.

The favored team must cover the “point spread”—which is the predetermined number of points they must win by—for you to win your wager. If they don’t, then you lose your wager regardless of how well (or how poorly) your original team performs.

For example, Liverpool FC is drawn against, say, Huddersfield (the last-placed team in the EFL Championship) in an EFL cup matchup. Because Liverpool is seen as favorite to win that match, they are given -2 points by Sportsbook A (and Huddersfield is given +2).

This means that Liverpool must win by a margin of 3 points before a bet in that market can be considered a win. Conversely, Huddersfield must win, draw, or not lose by a margin of 3 for a wager on them to yield profit.

This kind of bet is designed so that each team has an equal chance, as judged by the betting public, to win any given contest. Bettors place their wagers based on whether they believe one team will cover the point spread or not.

In football and basketball betting, point spreads are one of the most popular kinds of bets made by gamblers. They are commonly called handicap bets in Europe and other parts of the world excluding North America (where they are known primarily as Point Spread bets).

Proposition Bets and Specials

Proposition bets, also known as prop bets or side bets, are wagers that can be made over the course of a game or sporting event and are not connected to the outcome or final result of said game/event.

Examples of proposition bets might include which team scores first, whether a specific player will score a goal, how many touchdowns will be scored in a particular quarter or half, or what the total number of points scored across two teams will be.

These types of bets offer an additional layer of excitement and can add even more drama to an already thrilling sporting event. Prop bets come in all shapes and sizes. Below are some of the most common varieties found at popular sportsbooks.

Player Props

Player props are wagers made about how individual players will perform in a game, such as how many runs or passes they’ll have, or how many goals or assists they’ll make.

Future props

Proposition futures are wagers made on events that take place at some point down the road with larger payouts than other prop bets, and can take place over weeks or even months before concluding.

Game props

In contrast to player props, game props are bet types that rely on team performance rather than an individual’s play. For instance, a game prop might be predicting which NBA team will score a two-pointer first or the cumulative number of steals of the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors in their upcoming match.

Teasers and Pleasers

Teaser bets and pleaser bets are two types of special wagers offered by many online sportsbooks, as well as in land-based casinos. A teaser bet allows a bettor to combine their individual bets into a single, larger bet with more favorable point spreads and/or totals in their favor.

Conversely, a pleaser is when the bettor takes on the opposite direction, combining individual wagers into one larger wager with less favorable point spreads and/or totals for a greater payout.

An example of a teaser bet would be a parlay with two spreads; a 7-point favorite (-7) and a 10-point favorite (-10). A 6-point teaser gives you 6 points on each bet.

So now the first favorite doesn’t have to win by a 7-point margin since 6 points have been removed from the spread. They just have to win by a 1-point margin for the bettor to make a profit.

The new spreads for the parlay will now be -1 and -4. The same applies to pleasers, only this time the reverse is the case. So instead of getting 6 points removed from a game’s total spread, 6 points are added.

Permutation Betting

Permutation betting, which is sometimes referred to as combination betting, has similarities to placing accumulator or multiple wagers in that the gambler bets on multiple picks simultaneously. The primary distinction here is that all the choices don’t need to be winners in order for there to be a payout. A certain combination of events must occur for the bettor to win.


Odds, regardless of the type, represent the probability of an event occurring. One thing I like about decimal odds is that they are easier to interpret than other types.

All you just have to do is multiply your stake by the total odds of your wager and you’ll get your payout. This doesn’t mean that other odd types don’t represent the probability as accurately as decimals do; no.

They just require more calculations than traditional decimal odds.

Key Takeaways

  • Around the UK, the odds are represented as a fraction (2/1), while the Decimal format is used more in Europe (2.0).
  • Decimal odds are the most popular way online bookmakers present their odds to bettors.
  • Calculating payouts with decimal odds is not hard. All you have to do is multiply the value of your stake by the odds given.
  • For US odds with a plus sign before them, divide the money line by 100 and add 1 to it.

Lay betting calculator

Every match bettor needs a calculator that automatically works out the odds and helps them get the best possible result from the bet.

Our bet calculator is software that ensures you are making the best money-making decision in terms of your bet. It will aid in computing the returns for any given set of stakes or odds.

Odds Converter

Sports betting is complex, especially for novices. The different formats used in representing probability can sound puzzling in some circumstances.

The odds converter below will help make things easier by converting all kinds of odds into users’ desired formats. Try it out!


It is important because it allows you to understand how likely an event is to happen and what their potential winnings of that bet will be.

7 to 2 odds is a betting line where a bettor can win seven times their money by risking two times the amount they expect to turnover. This gives the bettor a 7/2, or 3.5-to-1, chance of winning their bet. It also means that if the stakes are $100, the total profit would be $350 (total payout = $450).

Vegas odds is a term used to describe the betting lines system used in US sportsbooks. It originated in 1930s Nevada, when oddsmakers went to Las Vegas to take advantage of the newly-legalized sports betting opportunities in the state.

Negative odds indicate that an event is more likely to occur than not. For example, if the odds of a team winning a game are -200, it means that the team is seen as a strong favorite and the amount risked to win $100 would be $200. 

+200 odds in gambling or sports betting refers to a moneyline. A +200 moneyline typically indicates an underdog, as the bettor will receive a larger payout than risked if they are successful in their wager.

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