There are 3 types of betting odds within the betting industry, fractional, decimal and American, each with their own degrees of simplicity and popularity. This article will be going through the 3 types and examining how they work in an attempt for you to understand them better.


Fractional odds are probably the most common of the three and also the oldest of the three. Rather unsurprisingly, the odds are shown as a fraction, which may look like 2/1, 5/2, 11/8, and so on. The rule of thumb with these types of bets is that the left column highlights how much you will win if you wagered the number in the right column. So, if the bet was 5/1, then for every 1 unit that you wager, you will receive 5 units in return if that bet is successful.

It’s worth noting at this point that fractional bets will include your stake back on top of the odds shown, meaning that the fraction actually highlights your total profit and not total return. It’s also worth noting that should the odds not be a fraction of 1, such as 11/8, it doesn’t mean that you HAVE to bet 8 units on that bet, it’s merely the fraction for that bet. Let’s run through a quick example.

You place a 10 unit bet at odds of 8/1 and your bet wins. To work out your winnings simply replace your stake in the right hand column and multiply it with the odds in the left hand column. In this case it would be 8 (odds) * 10  (stake), equalling 80 units in total. You will also receive your 10 unit stake back, which is not included in the odds type, but is included in the result of your bet


The decimal odds structure is more widely used by European bettors and is written as a decimal, such as 2.50, 4.75 or 8.00, for example. This method is very simple in that you simply multiply your stake by the decimal. It differs from the fractional in that overall winnings that you get will include your stake in the equation.

For example, you place at 10 unit bet at odds of 3.25. To work out the winnings fro a successful bet at these odds simply multiply your 10 units by the odds of 3.25, resulting in a return of 32.50 units. The total profit would actually be 22.50 as the decimal format, as mentioned, includes your 10 unit stake.


The American style formula is made up of a positive and negative number, and is very different than that of the two odds variations we have mentioned above. But, it’s quite a simple concept to grasp once you know how. The main thing to consider is that the negative number will be the amount you must wager to make 100 units of profits and the positive number is the amount of profit you will make from a 100 unit bet.

Let’s say you make a 100 unit bet at odds of +300 on the American line. That bet wins. So, as the number I sportive you will then receive 300 units as your profit plus your stake back.

Let’s now say that you place the same 100 units at odds of -300 and that bet also wins. Given that we need to bet 300 units to get 100 units of profit, we are then able to work out that our return would be 33.33 units of profit, plus our 100 unit stake back.