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There are a number of different ways to represent the odds. The most common are the American, Decimal, and Fractional, but a few other methods are fairly likely to pop up, depending on your area and the type of sport. Horse Racing has its own particular logic, and a few Asian regions have their own minor differences. No doubt you’re used to one way or another, but they all represent the same thing.

If you don’t know what to expect at a sports book, take a look at your favorite sports on the following sites and then head back here so we can explain what you’ve been looking at.

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  • American odds are also known as the “moneyline” and show the favorite and underdog as negative and positive values based on a $100 bet. For example: say New York was the favorite, they might show up at something like -200, so you’d need to put down $200 just to win $100 (for a total of $300 — your bet plus $100 winnings). Now if Boston was the underdog, they might show up at something like +200, so you’d need to put down $100 to win $200 (same total, but the wager was lower and the winnings greater).
  • Decimal odds, used in most places outside the US and UK, are pretty easy to understand. They basically just show you how much you’d get back (total) from a dollar bet. So 1.5000 odds would get you a total of $1.50 (a 50 cent profit) from a winning dollar bet. Odds of 3.0000 would get you three bucks, your dollar plus two more. If you want to convert between US & decimal, -200 equals 1.5000 and +200 equals 3.0000 (even odds are 2.000 in decimal odds, and +100 in US odds, but you probably could have figured that out!)
  • Fractional odds (sometimes called UK odds) are the same exact thing as decimals but in fractional form. So odds of 1/2 pays you 1 for every 2 that you put down (1.5 fractional, -200 US), and odds of 2/1 mean that you get $2 on top of a $1 bet. risked (+200 US or 3.0000 decimal…any decent calculator could tell you that much). Even odds are 1/1, of course.
  • Horse odds are the easiest of all to understand: x to y (or x – y). The y equals how much you put down, and the x is how much you win. So if the odds are 10 to 1, you have to bet $1 to get $10 (or $10 to get $100, and so on). Now if the odds are 1 to 10, you have to put down $10 just to win $1 (or $100 to win $10, et cetera). Not as much of a good idea, right?
  • They do things a little differently for Hong Kong, Indonesian, and Malay Sports Books. The line in these places will often look just like decimal odds, but double-check before you make a bet, because all three work differently — especially when it comes to including your bet versus just the winnings.
  • Now that you know what you’re seeing, try out your new brainpower with these best online sportsbetting sites.

Conversion formulas


x To Do this
Decimal Fractional x-1 , then convert to fraction
Decimal US = 100*(x-1) if x>=2; -100/(x-1) if x<2
Fractional Decimal divide fraction, then x+1
Fractional US divide fraction, then 100*x if x>=1; -100/x if x<1
US Decimal (x/100)+1 if x>0; (-100/x)+1 if x<0

Eventually, we’d like to include a handy little calculator on this page to assist you in your odds computations between the various methods. Stay tuned!


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