An Overview of Sports Betting Odds Formats
Those new to betting need to learn how betting odds work, this is the first priority on the road to placing value bets. Here you will learn about odds, how they work and differ and how they help you calculate your potential winnings.
Decimals vs Fractions
Most UK gambling sites present their odds as decimals or fractions. Both represent the proportion of your original stake returned after a successful bet, though decimal odds include your original stake while fractions do not.
This is the traditional way of displaying odds and it is common to see odds like 2/1 and 10/1 to indicate the winnings you will receive depending on how much you stake. 2/1 shows that for every £1 you stake you will win £2. You calculate your full return by adding your stake back.
£10 at 2/1 = £20 winnings plus £10 stake = £30 total
£10 at 5/2 = £25 winnings plus £10 stake = £35 total
Decimal odds will already have your stake included in the winnings. So decimal odds of 3.0 is in fact 2/1, as £1 at 3.0 will return you £3. You simply multiply your stake by the decimal odds quoted and that will be your return.
£10 at 3.0 = 10 x 3.0 = £30
£10 at 4.5 = 10 x 4.5 = £45
American vs European Formats
American sportsbook providers present their odds in a different way, known as 'money-line odds'. Sometimes, European bookies will use this format for American sports. They feature a ‘plus’ or a ‘minus’ sign- with plus indicating ow much you will win with £100 and minus shows how much you need to stake to earn £100. Odds of -200 means that a £10 bet would return £15, i.e. (100/200) x 10, plus the £10 stake. Odds of +200 mean a £10 bet would return £30, i.e.(200/100) x 10, plus the original £10 stake.
1x2 vs Asian Handicaps
In a 'match winner market', there are generally three outcomes: win, lose or draw. A '1x2 Bet' allows you to bet on each of these outcomes at odds expressed as one of the formats listed above.
Asian handicaps use an odds calculation based on form to eliminate the option of a draw, so you only back a winner by a set margin. In football, bookies pick a goal handicap they believe will make the probability of victory as close to 50% (1/1 or 2.0) as possible; the odds will be expressed in a decimal format that excludes the original stake.
For example, for Tottenham vs Partizan Belgrade in November 2014, Tottenham were rated 2.000 at -1.5, -2, which assumes Tottenham are two goals better than Belgrade. A £10 bet on Tottenham to win by two or more goals would return £20, being 200% of £10. Remember, these decimal odds exclude the original stake.
You can usually spot Asian handicap odds because they run to three decimal places, unlike normal decimal odds that rarely have over two.
Over / Under
An ‘over/under’ bet is a wager where you predict that an occurrence will be over or under a specific figure. You could bet on the over/under total points score in a basketball game, e.g. over/under 170. The options can vary across sports but it is common to see corners, cards, goals, birdies, tries, wickets and many more in the over/under market. There's no draw for this bet, so it always offers a 50% chance of winning.
Recommended Betting Sites
Bet £15, Get £10
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus Promo Code: 30FB
£40 Welcome Bonus18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+. New depositing players on STSbet.co.uk only. Promotion from 11/02/2020 until further notice. First deposit min £10. Qualifying bet: min. £10 accumulator bet with at least two selections with min odds of 1/2 (1.50) per selection. Bonus: 50% of the amount of the first bet. Max. bonus £40. Min. 6x wagering with bonus on min odds of 1/2 (1.50) before withdrawal. Deposit method restrictions. Bonus valid for 7 days. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org
Bet £20, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+ New Customers Only. Minimum Deposit and wagering on sport to activate the Free Bet is £20. Customers who deposit using Neteller, Paysafe, Skrill or Skril 1-Tap will not be eligible for any free bet offer.BeGambleaware.org
Bet £20, Get £10 in Free Bets
Double the Odds, Paid in Cash18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+ New Customers Only. Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token. Offer applies to Sport bets only. Maximum total stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total stake). Customers have 60 days after registration to use the Odds Boost token. T&Cs apply. BeGambleaware.org
Bet £10, Get £10 Free Bet18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply New players only. The qualifying bets to claim the Free Bet must have minimum odds of 3/1 (4.00) or higher and must be settled before triggering free bet. 18+. begambleaware.org - Full Terms Apply
Bet £10, Get a £15 Free Bet
Bet £10, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10, Get £10 in Free Bets18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+. New UK customers only. Min bet £10 to receive £10 Free Bet (placed and settled 35 days from registration). Min odds of 3/5. Free Bet credited at qualifying bet settlement and placed within 35 days. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly, www.begambleaware.org - Full Terms Apply
Hi, I'm Dean Ryan
"A passionate sports betting broadcaster and journalist with over 15 years spent in the gambling industry."
- Sports Betting
- Odds Compiling
- Horse Racing