When we’re placing sports bets, how do we know what returns we’ll get on our investments? The system that defines this is known as ‘The Odds’ and there are three main types of odds in the sports betting industry that are used to show what we’ll win. These are the Fractional, Decimal and US odds systems and we’re taking a look at each of these systems here.
Also known as British or UK Odds, due to them being the favoured type of odds used in the UK and Ireland, fractional odds display the amount that will be paid out compared to the stake placed. An example would be 10/1, also called ten to one, where if a bettor placed a £1 stake and the selection won he would receive £10 in winnings. The opposite would be 1/10, or ten to one on, where a £1 stake would return 10p in winnings. The bigger the odds with fractional odds, the less likely your selected outcome is to happen and the opposite is true the smaller the fraction. With fractional odds the return of the stake is not calculated in the betting odds and when displayed they are always rounded down to the lowest fraction. There is two exception to this, however, and one comes in the sport that still relies entirely on fractional odds – horse racing – as they use 100/30 instead of 10/3 and the second is 1/1 or Even money/Evens.
As the name suggests, decimal odds are displayed in a format that shows the winnings and stake returned to two decimal places. The fact that the stake is included in the odds makes this the most commonly used set of odds in the world, with them favoured in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Using the two previous examples of 10/1 and 1/10 the decimal odds would be 11.00 and 1.10 as they show the £1 stake including in the £10 and 10p winnings. Even money is displayed as 2.00 and the odds have grown in usage with the dawn of online gambling as they are most helpful for determining the odds on accumulator payouts and for trading at betting exchanges, such as Betfair.com.
As the name suggests, this type of odds is most favoured, and almost exclusively used in, America and are also known as Moneyline odds. The name comes from the US term for the outright market of a match, which is known as the Moneyline. US odds are displayed in either a positive or negative format with the positive the better than evens odds and the negative odds-on odds and reflect the amount of money that can be made from a $100 bet or how much is needed to bet to make $100. The earlier examples would be displayed as +1000 and -1000 and they can be very complex figures to work out for those unaccustomed to using this odds model. This is the reason that they have not advanced much outside of the USA.