The three main types of odds that you will see when you place a bet are fractional, decimal and American. The names describe how the odds are written. Depending on where you are playing and what sports you are betting on regularly you may have to be comfortable switching between odds formats. However, understanding betting odds will make it easier for you to compare bets, place bets properly and go home with money in your pocket.
Money Line Odds (Also known as American)
- Used by most US bookmakers.
- Based on a straight single bet without a points spread.
- If the money line is positive, the amount quoted is the amount you would win on a $100 bet.
- If the money line is negative, the amount quoted is what you would need to risk to win $100.
Offered as either a positive or negative number. When positive, the moneyline represents how much profit a bettor stands to make on a $100 stake. To give an example, a line of +125 represents risk $100 to win $125 profit. Negative moneylines represent how much a bettor needs to stake for a winning bet to profit $100. A moneyline of -235 means risking $235 to make a $100 profit.
Decimal Odds (Also known as European)
- Used by most European bookmakers.
- Shows the total amount you will receive if you win, including the return of your stake.
- For example, if you bet $100 at odds of 3.75, you will receive $375 in total if you win.
Decimal odds represent how much a winning ticket is worth for every dollar risked. For example, if a bettor wagers $10.00 at odds of 1.95 and wins, their payout is $10 x 1.95 = $19.50. A major difference between American and European odds is that while the American version is based on profit, the European version is based on return. Likewise, a $10 wager on odds of 1.95 means risking $10.00 to make a profit of $9.50. Since 1.95 pays less than even money, it would be expressed in American odds format as a negative moneyline.
Fractional Odds (Also known as Traditional or British)
- Used mainly by UK. bookmakers.
- Based on the amount of profit relative to your stake if you win.
- For example, if you bet $100 at odds of 3/1, you receive $300 profit if you win, plus your stake of $100 back.