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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.

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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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