The Basics: Betting Odds Explained

If you are new to the betting world, then you are probably confused about how betting odds work. One of the major areas of betting is the odds; thus, all bettors need to understand these numbers to maximize success in the industry.

Online sportsbooks display odds in different formats. As a result, most bettors find it difficult to interpret some of these numbers. Depending on the location of a betting site, there are three forms of betting odds used in sportsbooks.

Below, we will explain how betting odds work and some important details you need to maximize your success as a bettor.

What Are Bet Odds?

Bet odds are digits that represent the possible result of an event. The odds are popular in the world of statistics and gambling, and they often come in three major forms, depending on the region of a sportsbook.

By observing odd placements, a bettor can understand the team that’s most likely to win in a sports event and how much money the odds can generate for a specific wager.

Due to the sudden buzz of the betting industry, there are new bettors every day. Thus, there is an increasing demand for updated bet guides as beginners hit the internet every minute. As we speak, thousands of active betting and casino blog sites steadily dish out bet guides online. However, the betting industry is so vast that it is nearly impossible to cover all areas thoroughly. Without any worry, we’ll provide you with all the important info you need to know about sports betting as a beginner.

Without any delay, let us take a look at the forms of betting available in sportsbooks worldwide.

Forms Of Betting Odds

As of today, there are three major formats in which bookmakers display odds. These formats include Decimal, American, and Fractional systems. The American/Money Line odd system is popular among bookmakers in the United States. In comparison, the Decimal betting odd system is popular in European regions like Canada, Australia, etc. As for the Fractional format, this odd system is primarily available in sportsbooks in the United Kingdom.

Decimal Betting Odds

As said earlier, Decimal odds are popular in major European countries, so it is one of the most popular odd formats on betting sites. Also, the Decimal format is one of the simplest betting odd formats, as even beginner gamblers find it easy to understand. As the name implies, Decimal odds are in Decimal forms (i.e., 1.23, 2.83, 4.97, etc.).

Due to the straightforward style of this odd format, it is already the standard format worldwide. These odd numbers represent your potential win for a C$1 bet. Thus, if you place a C$1 bet on a total odds of 4.92, your potential win would be C$4.92. This calculation means your profit is the extra C$3.92 after deducting your initial stake of $1, making a total of C$4.92.

The same goes for higher bets, which only increase your profit range. Thus, by placing a bet of C$10 with the same decimal odds of 4.92, you get a total winning potential of C$49.20, making you a profit of C$39.20, excluding your initial stake.

Due to the simple number representations, decimal odds are often very clear to understand, as players can easily calculate potential winnings from the total odds.

Fractional Betting Odds

The fractional odds are popular in the United Kingdom, and they are often more complicated than the other forms of betting odds. Though most experienced bettors insist that the Fractional odds are simple; however, this is different for beginners.

Fractional odds often appear in fractions (e.g., 25/100, 11/10, 5/1, etc.). Typically, the numbers on the top of the fraction tell you the amount you are to win if you place a wager of the amount on the base of the fraction. This system is quite simple from a straightforward approach. However, for newbies, calculating the potential win with complex fractions can be a bit complicated.

In these cases of complex fractions, you can derive your total profit percentage by converting your fraction to decimal odds.

To do this, you have to divide the numerator of your fraction by the denominator and add 1 to your final result. Thus, converting 28/100 to decimal will have 28/100 = 0.28. At this point, adding 1 to our final result would make it 1.28, which is the decimal representation of the fraction. This odd format is surprisingly popular in online casinos, and even the top anonymous bitcoin casino sites in Canada use these odd fractional systems. However, players can change to their preferred odd formats. Thus, you can always enjoy your preferred betting odd style by visiting your dashboard.

Money Line/American Odds

As the name entails, the odd American format is the most popular odd format in the United States. Unlike the decimal odd format, the American odds are in either negative or positive three-digit numbers. Though they are easy to understand, many newbies do not understand this system, as they find it difficult to interpret the negative (-) and positive (+) number representations.

To explain in the simplest form, a positive number in the American odd format represents how much a player can make from wagering on a particular odd. The negative numbers, on the other hand, represent the money a player must stake to earn a win. For example, if you see a money line of +185, it indicates that placing a C$100 bet on the odd would bring you a return of $185 in profit. This amount is an addition to your original bet of $100, totaling $285 in potential winnings.

In the case of negative numbers, a money line of -185 entails that you have to place a wager of C$185 to make a profit of C$100. Thus, placing a bet of C$185 on a money line of -185 would bring you a total potential win of C$285, leaving you with a profit of C$100, excluding your initial stake.

Betting Tips For Newbies

Upon understanding how betting odds work, there are still some tips you must carefully observe while starting your journey in the betting world.

Moreover, sports betting is a vast industry, so even experienced bettors always have something new to learn. As a newbie, here are some tips to consider.

  • Use a trusted bet site with a vast odd market.
  • Bet on sports events you know and understand.
  • Use only standard payment methods.
  • Avoid withdrawals/deposits on public networks.
  • Start with smaller odds and moderate stakes.
  • Stake what you can afford to lose.
  • Adhere to responsible gambling measures.

Betting is unpredictable, so it is impossible to guarantee straight wins in all your stakes. However, by following the tips above, you can maximize your overall winning potential and beat the odds most time.


Understanding betting odds is the first step toward starting a journey as a bettor. Moreover, it is impossible to understand these numbers without first understanding what they represent. Although these odd formats can be confusing in most cases, leading to misplaced stakes due to misinterpretations.

With this article, you can fully understand all three formats of betting odds and how they work. Upon understanding how these betting odds work, you can follow the extra tips to maximize your success in the betting world. Of course, betting can be daunting in some cases. However, with the information in this piece, even newbies will find it easier to succeed in the industry.

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