Decimal vs. Fraction Odds

what do betting odds mean

Decimal betting odds are becoming more and more common especially online, as people prefer to show the odds using this format but most people have grown up with the fractional odds system and are more comfortable to discuss the merits of potential wages by speaking in these terms. I’m yet to hear someone boast that they backed a winner at 4.33 recurring, they would prefer to say, “I backed them at 10/3!”

However if you are taking your gambling seriously then you need to be able to converse in both and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to as converting between the two formats is pretty simple once you know how .

Fractional odds show the risk and reward of a bet, 3/1 means for every pound you stake you get three in return if you bet is successful. Equally short odds such as 4/11 mean for every eleven pounds you get four back. With both of these examples you have to remember that a successful bet also gets your stake returned so on a 3/1 bet you are returned four pounds (3+1 = 4) With the odds of 4/11 you are returned fifteen pounds ( 11+4 = 15)

To glance at, decimal odds do not convey the probability of an event occurring as well as fractional especially when dealing with short odds. However, they do include your stake so there is less calculating required once you have got your head round how they work. Our 3/1 example would be simply shown as 4. You can then multiply your stake by that number to see your potential return. With 4/11 the decimal odds would be shown as 1.364 which is the return you would receive for a one pound stake.

There is a simple logic of showing odds in a decimal format as it shows the return for one unit of stake so you do not need to do the calculation of dividing 4 by 11 but it can be hard to get used to seeing short odds shown in this format. Our top tip is to get used to working with some fairly standard short fractional odds shown as decimal.

  • Evens – 2
  • 8/11 – 1.727
  • 8/15 – 1.533
  • 2/7 – 1.286
  • 1/10 – 1.1

If you can get used to seeing these type of decimal odds it will allow you to adapt quickly to judge if you are happy with the odds being offered. We really like using the decimal format on accumulators when we are constructing a bet with multiple events. However when discussing bets with each other we still prefer to speak using fractionals, saying 4/7 definitely rolls of the tongue better than 1.571!

Both systems will continue to run and as we have shown there are merits to both, have a play and see which one you prefer!

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