How do odds work in betting?

One of the first things you should do in sport betting is educate yourself on how betting odds are calculated.

It is of the utmost significance since it enables you to comprehend the probability that an event will take place as well as the amount of money that you might potentially win.

What are the odds?
What are the odds?

At first glance, it may not make much sense. But if you need help understanding, you can read this guide that explains how betting odds work.

When it comes to betting, odds are defined as the ratio of the sums of money that each party has committed to a bet.

Thus, the odds of 3:1 mean that the bookmaker will wager three times as much as the amount that will be bet by the bettor.


At its most fundamental, betting gives you the opportunity to speculate on the result of a certain event. If your forecast is accurate, you will be rewarded monetarily for your efforts.

There is a predetermined number of possible outcomes for each event that takes place. Consider the act of rolling dice as an example.

There are six distinct outcomes that might occur depending on the outcome of a die roll.

If you place a wager on an individual rolling a “one,” there is a probability of 16.67% that your prediction will come true.

Fraction odds

Let’s use the same previous instance, but this time we’ll substitute the numbers with the corresponding letters so that 4/1 will become A/B.

Fractional odds
Fractional odds

To put it another way, for each value of B that you wager, you will gain A in addition to the return of your initial investment.

  • According to the odds of 9/1, you will gain £9 for every £1 that you wager.

Decimals odds

The use of decimals to provide betting odds is by far more popular on exchanges like Betfair.

Decimal odds
Decimal odds

Nonetheless, all the top betting sites provide you with the option to examine odds in this format.

They offer an alternative format for a fraction and are simpler to calculate.

The computation goes as follows: (the odds * the stake) – stake = win. To make it clearer, consider the following:

  • It is possible to compute 4.0 odds as (4.0 * £10 stake) minus £10 stake, which results in a £30 gain.


The chances of Arsenal winning against Liverpool by a score of 2-0 might be as high as 4.0 in decimal or 3/1 in fractional terms.

By using the following calculation, you may quickly determine how much you might potentially earn if your bet was ten pounds.

  • 4.0 odds compute as (4.0 * the £10 investment) less the £10, which results in £30 in profit.
  • You will gain £3 for every £1 that you wager.

Comparison of decimal odds with fractional odds

There is no clear winner when it comes to whether the method is superior, but the use of decimal odds is becoming more popular.

In the past, the odds in the United Kingdom have often been expressed using fractions, particularly on the main street and at racetracks.

There are two primary distinctions between the two.

odds format

In most cases, decimal odds are simpler to grasp than their fractional counterparts. Some time back, Glorious Goodwood portrayed odds as fractional odds.

Today, however, the chances are displayed as decimal odds. These days, the vast majority use decimals to represent odds.

The second distinction is that decimal odds take into account the original investment in addition to the wins, whilst fractional odds just take into account the earnings.

The increasing popularity of betting exchanges like Unibet was a major driving force for the shift away from using fractional odds and toward using decimal odds.


Betting odds represent the chance that an event will take place. As a result, they allow you to calculate how much money you will gain if your wager is successful.

To give you an example, if the odds are 4/1, you will earn £4 for every £1 that you wager.


Which method of calculating odds, decimal or fractional, is more accurate?

When it comes to the structure of the odds, there is no such thing as right or wrong.

You should stick to making use of what is more common to you and simpler for you to comprehend.

What to do if the odds are in decimal format?

There is always the option of using odds converters.

But most online betting sites will let you choose.

Why is the usage of decimal odds becoming increasingly popular in today’s society?

Bookmakers in the UK previously used the fractional odds format.

However, the decimal odds format is becoming more widespread.

This might be due to the fact that it is simpler to estimate one’s chances of winning.

As a result, Europe uses decimal odds more frequently compared to fractional odds.