Understanding Odds: An Explanation of Decimal and Fractional Odds

Sports betting odds can be very confusing, especially when the odds are shown in a format that you are not used to.

On this page we'll try and explain how odds are shown on this site.

There are two main types of odds, Fractional and Decimal. Each of which we will now explain.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are the most commonly seen odds and are the odds that are most often seen online, they are represented by two numbers separated by a dash (e.g. 10/1 or 6/4). The best way to treat them is just like simple fractions. If you divide the first number by the second, you will get a multiplier. For example, 10/1 means that whatever you stake on this bet you will receive 10 times your stake back if you win. So, £1 on a 10/1 bet will give you £10 profit. For £1 on 6/4 you just need to divide 6 by 4, giving you a multiplier of 1.5. Therefore if you stake £1 on a 6/4 bet you will return profit of £1.50.

However, it is important to remember that when you bet and win you also get your stake back on top of your profit. So, £1 at 10/1 will give you £10 (profit), plus your £1 stake back equalling a total return of £11, and £1 at 6/4 will give you £1.50 (profit), plus your £1 stake back equalling a total return of £2.50.

So the fraction helps explain how much your profit will be, but you must remember to add your stake as well.

Decimal Odds

Online betting sites can also quote odds in a decimal format (this is most commonly seen on the betting site Betfair). Decimal odds make things simpler since you do not have to deal with fractions and calculating winnings using more complicated fractions like 10/11.

Decimal odds, unlike fractional odds, reflect a multiplier that will give you your total return (winnings plus stake). For example, if a team are 10/1 in fractional odds, this would equal 11.00 in decimal odds. If you put £1 on an outcome at decimal odds of 11.00 you will win £11 total returns (simply 1 multiplied by 11.00).

Decimal odds are simply a multiplier by which you can multiply your unit stake and calculate your total returns (profit plus returned stake). It does make things a little simpler, however if you like to keep your winnings and total returns (stake plus profit) calculations separate (for example if you want to compare profit to stake as a percentage of stakes), then stick to fractional.

If you don't understand one of these though don't worry. Most sites will let you chose how you see the odds, so if you have a preference you can just change the settings on the site to make the odds show up either as fractional or decimal.

We hope this helps explain how odds work online but if you have any further questions then do feel free to get in touch via our contact form.