You get on a sports betting website and you see a lot of decimal or fractional numbers and you are wondering what they are? They are what we call ODDS for the game/sports in question that has it. Odds can be quite confusing and at first sight may put a lot of people off betting. Some sports-books quote odds in ‘decimal’, some in ‘fractional’, but most will allow you to view odds in both formats. Fractional odds are really a legacy of the past.

A logical way to explain odds is to describe with “chance”. A Chance is more commonly referred to in percentage terms. If you toss a coin then there is a 50% chance of it landing on heads and a 50% chance of tails. All possible outcomes in any event will add up to 100% . If you roll a 6 sided dice, there is a one in six chance of any one number coming up. This can be expressed 16.66% (six possibilities divided by 100%).

Odds are simply a reflection of the chance or probability of a certain outcome in an event. In any event, every outcome has a chance or likelihood of taking place. Odds are simply an interpretation of those chances. The bookmakers form odds or prices to reflect those chances.

Fractional & Decimal Odds Explained

Fractional odds are the traditional odds you see in the bookmaker window on the street such as 5/1 or 5/2. They are like fractions, divide the 1st number by the 2nd, you will get a multiplier. For example, 5/1 means that whatever you stake on this bet you will receive 5 times your stake back if you win. So, $1 on a 5/1 bet will give you $5 winnings. Less i forget, Your stake is returned so your total winnings is $5+$1=$6.

Decimal odds, unlike fractional odds, reflect a multiplier that will give you your total return (winnings plus stake). e.g. if a team are 5/1 in fractional odds, this would equal 6.00 in decimal odds. If you put $1 on an outcome at decimal odds of 6.00 you will win $6 total returns (simply 1 multiplied by 6.00).

Some Odds Terminology

Fixed Odds Betting
When you place a fixed odds bet, you are staking a certain fixed amount of money against the bookmakers money to predict the outcome of the event. The bookmakers odds reflect how much you will win from the bookmaker if your prediction is correct.

When placing a bet, your stake is the amount of money which you risk or gamble. If you win then your winnings are calculated according to the odds at which your bet was agreed.