Updated Updated: October 25, 2019

How to Read Betting Odds

If you are new to the betting world it can be hard to understand and read all the different odds offered.

Odds are the most important thing we are looking at when placing our bets, to see the value of the bet and find the likelihood of winning.

We are going to explain everything you need to know surrounding them so that you can easily calculate how much you will win!

Betting Odds Explained – Understanding Odds

When you see odds in front of you it means that someone has calculated the chances of something happening and presented them for you to decide if it’s worth betting on.

They tell the probability of something winning, whether it be a horse, football team, TV show contestant or the tail side on a coin.

Different Odds Formats

There are three different types of odds mainly used:

  • Fractional odds (most common in the UK)
  • Decimal odds
  • American odds

In sports they evaluate the odds based on previous performances and statistics, normally this provides us with a favorite and an underdog, if the game is between two very good teams it is more like a coin flip where they both share similar odds to win.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are the most popular odds used by the UK bookies currently. The fractional odds tell us how much profit will be received by a 1 unit stake bet. To find out your winnings simply multiply your stake by the fraction and you will see the profit made if won.

Calculating Fractional Odds – Example

Let’s say we have a football game with the odds 3/5 for one of the teams.
The odds of 3/5 tell us that if we stake 100 GBP we will receive 3/5 in profits if we win.
3/5ths of 100 equals 60 GBP meaning our profits will be 60 GBP but the total received amount will be your stake+profits (100 GBP + 60 GBP = 160 GBP)

calculating odds

Decimal Odds

In Europe the most common form of odds are the decimal ones. They are very straightforward and easy to understand, you simply multiply your stake by the given decimal to see eventual winnings. Doesn’t get easier than that. If you have more than one game in your coupon you multiply the odds together.

Calculating Decimal Odds – Example

Here are two examples:

Say we have Manchester United playing a bottom team and chances are pretty high for them to win. The bookies have given them 1.4 in odds to win and we bet 100 GBP. This gives us 1.6×100 if we win, meaning 160 GBP with a 60 pound profit.

If we chose 2 games instead with United and also Chelsea to win at 1.7 we have to multiply our odds together to see how much we might win. Then we take 1.6×1.7 to see our accumulated odds. We end up with 2.72 which we multiply by our stake, 100 GBP, giving us 272 GBP if we win.

Skybet – Understanding Fractional/Decimal Odds

American Odds

The least common type of odds that we find in Europe are the American odds, but for those interested in American sports or betting over the pond, it is a good thing to understand how they calculate their odds. They call the American odds Moneylines, Moneylines come with a + or a – in front.

For the Moneylines with a + in front it means how much profits you will receive if you stake 100 units. Quite simple as well as everything is calculated from 100, if it says +160 it means you will profit 160 from a 100 unit stake, giving you a total of 260 back.

For the – in front it instead shows how much you have to stake in order to make a 100 unit profit. Say for instance we find a game with -150, then it means you have to bet 150 in order to make 100 in profit.

Calculating American Odds – Example

If we use the same Manchester United example as above where they have 1.6 in decimal odds or 3/5 in fractional odds we can see the difference. As American odds are normally calculated either to make a 100 unit profit or from a 100 unit stake they would be shown as -166.7 or +60. With -166.7 being the amount that you would need for a 100 unit profit and +60 being for a 100 unit stake.

Odds Comparison

See our list below to compare the different styles of odds.

DECIMAL ODDSFRACTIONAL ODDSAMERICAN ODDS
1.101/10-1000
1.402/5-250
1.501/2-200
2.001/1 (even chance f.e coin flip)(-)100
3.002/1200
5.004/1400
10.009/1900
101.00100/110000

Choose whichever style that is easier for you to understand as you are the one placing the bets. If your site currently is showing another type of odds you can normally adjust this on the site, if you don’t know where you can simply ask the customer service agent and they will help you out.

It is very important to understand how to read the different odds in order to find value for your bets, the easier you read the odds, the easier you can find the good value bets. Once you have learned how to read the different odds you can start gambling and calculating the risks you take when placing bet.

You can now understand how they calculate and adapt accordingly. If you want to be more advanced you can start combining bets to achieve greater odds, but always remember that greater odds come with greater risks, hence the chances of higher winnings.

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