When it comes to sports betting, odds can be tricky if you haven’t seen a certain format before. There are three types of odds that are common among different bookmakers, so we’re going to look at the three of them here.

Decimal Odds

When you look at the bet you want to make and it shows up as a decimal, there’s an easy way to calculate what your potential pay-out would be if you win the bet. By multiplying your stake by the decimal odds, you’ll find your total pay-out (subtract stake for net profit). To better understand this, see the example below:

If you bet £20 (stake) on Manchester United to beat Chelsea at 1.2 (odds), then you multiply £20 by 1.2 to get a potential pay-out of £24. If you subtract the £20 stake, you’re left with £4 net profit.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds tend to be most common with UK bookmakers as it’s a very simple format. The number on the left is the return and the number on the right is the input. For example, if the odds are 3/1 on Liverpool to keep a clean sheet in the UEFA Super Cup and you bet £10, then you’ll get a £40 return. A simplified example is below:

3/1 * £10 = £30 win + £10 stake returned.

Sometimes, the odds will be inverted, which usually happens when the bet in question is highly likely to win. For example, if the odds are 3/10 and you bet £10, you’ll win £3 plus your £10 stake to for a total pay-out of £13.

Vegas Odds

Also known as money-line betting, the odds are based on winning $100. As you can imagine, money-line or Vegas odds are shown in positive or negative numbers, with negative numbers representing favourites and positive numbers representing underdogs. 

Similar technique is used to set up online casino games odds, but that’s a tale for another time.

Money-line odds work in whatever currency you wish to bet with. For example if you were to bet on a favourite represented by a negative odds, the number presented in the odds is what you’d need to be to win £100. If the odds are -400, you’d need to bet £400 to win a total of £500, winning an extra £100.

If you were to bet on an underdog represented by a positive number like +500, by betting £100, you’ll win back a total of £600 for a net profit of £500.