betting-odds-typesFor those of you new to the world of online betting, you might not be aware that there are several different types of betting odds. What’s key to remember is that whilst odds may look different in terms of layout, they all mean the same thing in that it gives you a clear representation of the odds for a certain bet and the money you could win.

We are lucky in that pretty much all bookmakers will give you an option to choose between your preferred betting odds. This means that essentially you could just learn one and make sure you flick between the ones that you recognise and more importantly, understand.

But, for the purpose of this article we want to try to make you understand the three main types of bets that are in circulation. It’s not essential that you know these, as we mentioned, but we feel it’s still important.


Fractional is probably the most familiar betting type for the majority of bettors. It’s been around since betting began and is and easy way in which you can understand the odds.

Fractional bets work with two columns each separated by a forward slash ’/’. The left hand column is signifies the amount in which will be returned for the amount that is placed in the right hand column. So for example, if you had odds of 5/1 you would get back 5 units (left hand column) for every one unit (right hand column) you wagered.

If you are placing more than the unit that is signified in the right hand column then you just multiply this number by the left. So if you wanted to stake 5 units on the same 5/1 bet then you would receive 25 units (5 units x 5 in the right hand column).

As a final note on fractional bets, you need to be aware that this amount does not include your stake back. If you are unaware, when placing any types of bets with bookmakers, all winning bets will get the amount you staked back as well. So the above bet would actually give you 30 units back (25 units won + 5 units staked), but the profit would be the 25 units, as signified in the fractional odds.


Decimal betting types are a bit more modern than fractional and really stem around the online infusion betting has had. They often put people off due to the nature of them having up to two decimal places after the number, but they are actually very easy to work out.

Your bet may look something like 5.00 when using decimals and this number is the amount you get back when you place one unit on that amount. The difference comes between decimal and fractional is that the decimal number includes your stake back.

They are super simple to work out as well. You just times the number by the amount you want to stake and that’s how much will be returned. Remember, this number includes your stake back.

A quick example; let’s say you want to wager £50 on South Africa to win the World Cup at odds of 7.72. All you do is take your stake and times it by 7.72 leaving you a return of £386.00.


American odds may look totally alien to the European or even causal bettor. Just like decimal bets, they are actually quite easy to understand and work your way around.

What you will see is one of two number types with American odds; either positive or negative. The positive number represents how much you will win should you place 100 units on those results. The negative shows you how much you need to stake to win 100 units.

You may be faced with odds of +325 which basically means that for every 100 units you stake, you will receive 325 in return. Conversely, if the same bet was -325 then you would need to wager 325 units to win back 100 units.


The different styles of odds may look confusing to some, but it’s important to remember that they all essentially mean the same thing. The only thing you need to decipher between the three is if the stake is returned in the price or not. Both fractional and American style odds do not include the stake, whereas decimal odds do include the stake.

We’d highly recommend that all of our readers take the short amount of time required to learn all types of odds. Granted, most bookmakers will include options to switch between each, but even just a basic understanding will go a long way. Maybe you get quoted by someone a specific type of odds and knowing how to interpret them is key when analyzing bets.