There are a few variations of betting odds and these are used in different regions of the world. You may find the American format easier to understand than the UK format (like I do) even if you’re a British punter. There are 3 main ways of displaying betting odds. Let’s take a look:

Fractional odds (e.g. 6/1)

Fractional odds are what UK bookmakers use to present their betting prices. These are pretty much used worldwide when it comes to Horse Racing. These betting odds are displayed to the punter as a fraction such as 6/1.

The left side (6) represents the number of bets you’ll get for a win.

The right side (1) represents the number of bets you need to make.

So if you bet £1, you’ll get £6 back if you win. If the odds are 10/1 you will get £10 profit back on a £1 bet. Simple(ish)!

But the confusion comes with fractional odds like 13/5 and 11/4. Let me try and explain:

There’s two ways to work out these kind of odds:

Divide the left number by the right number – 13/5 = 2.6 then you can turn this into a fraction of 2.6/1 which means you get £2.60 profit from a £1 wager.

The second way is to divide the bet amount (e.g. £1) by the number on the right of the fraction. For a £1 wager, you’ll divide it by 5 and get 0.20 and then you multiply that amount with the left side number and get 13×0.20=£2.60.

Decimal Odds (e.g. 3.0)

Many punters will prefer not to do maths with fractions and prefer working with decimal odds.

An even-odds wager in decimals is represented by odds of 2.0.

In decimal odds, you include the stake in the total (unlike fractional odds). A 10/1 bet is represented as 11.0 in decimal odds.

If you place a £1 wager at odds of 6.0 then you stand to get £5 in return should your bet win.

It’s simple, multiply your wager by the odds and that’s your potential return but subject your the total to get the exact profit.

American Odds (e.g. +1000)

American odds is set around money-lines and point spreads using a +/- system.

In American odds, an even-money wager is represented as +100.

The + or – is not mathematical. This represents whether you will earn more or less than the total of your wager. The numbers themselves are all based on £100.

Let’s break it down:

Positive odds

At odds of +200, you win £200 for betting £100, a £100 profit. This means if you bet £1 you’ll get back £2.00. Pretty simple, right?

The easiest way to work out positive odds is to think of the odds as percentages. If the odds are +160, that’s 160% of your wafer. £1 x 160% = £1.60. Take away your wager of £1 and you’re left with £0.60 profit.

Negative Odds

Negative odds display how much you would need to wager to make £100, odds of -350 you would require you to wager £350 to make £100 profit.