How To Read Betting Odds Of All Types

read betting odds

It is important to understand, differentiate, and calculate betting odds if you want to join the online betting industry. Read our guide to learn how to read betting odds without any difficulties. Here you will find tips about all types of odds at online sportsbooks, their meaning, and ways to read them.

Every bettor should know how to read betting odds to be able to bet at online sportsbooks smartly. Odds can show favorites and underdogs of any sports event, award ceremony, TV reality, and so on. They also tell you how much you will be paid out in case of winning. Therefore, learning everything about odds and their types is essential for bettors. 

In this guide, we will list all types of betting odds that exist with explanations and examples. Also, we will show how to read betting odds at various online sportsbooks.

3 types of betting odds explained

Odds help bettors to learn about the likelihood of an outcome. They show which individual or team has the highest probability of winning the game/match/tournament and so on. Different bookmakers use different types of odds, depending primarily on their location. 

We have previously composed an article about types of betting odds. However, it would be useful to list them again, so here you have three types of odds that exist: decimal odds, fractional odds, and American odds.

  • Decimal odds are mostly used in Canada, Australia, and Europe. They show the amount the bettor wins for every $1 wagered. Also, they include the initial stake, so one can see the total amount of possible winnings. Examples of decimal odds are 1.50, 5.00, 100.00, 241.00. 
  • Fractional odds are popular among British and Irish bookmakers. They represent the ratio of the potential bettor’s profit won to the initial bet plus the initial bet. Fractional odds are written with a slash. For example: 5/1, 10/2, 8/13. 
  • American odds are prevailing in the US. They are written with + or -. Plus or minus show how much money the bettor can win for every $100 wagered. Examples of American odds: +100, +450, -180, -500.
read betting odds
Odds show which football team is predicted to win

How to read betting odds of all types

So, now you have an idea about different types of odds. However, what should you do with them at online sportsbooks? Keep reading to learn how to read betting odds of all three types. To find more useful tips about odds, check our online betting guides for beginners.

Decimal odds

Reading decimal odds is pretty easy as they are the most straightforward type of odds. Briefly speaking, the lower the number in decimal odds, the higher the likelihood of an outcome win. Thus, 2.00 odds on someone to win are better than 20.00. However, they will bring less profit than betting at the odds of 20.00. 

As we have already mentioned, decimal odds show the total return for every $1 wagered with the money you’ve bet included. How to read betting odds in this case? For example, 2.00 means a  $2 return on a $1 bet, 20.00 means $20, etc. If there are odds of 1.25, you will get 25 cents as the winnings and your initial $1 bet.

Fractional odds

Fractional odds are considered the trickiest. However, they are not as difficult to read as you think. The idea of fractional odds is pretty simple: if a larger number is on the right, the one you bet on is expected to win. If a larger number is on the left, this would be a bet on an underdog. 

Let’s take a look at two examples. Firstly, let’s take an odd 1/4. The number on the right represents the bet amount and the number on the left represents your winnings. Following it, 4 is the bet amount and 1 is the amount that can be won. So, if you bet $4 with the above odds, you’ll win $1.

Another example is a reverse odd of 4/1. In this case, 1 is the bet amount and 4 is your potential winnings. It means that if you bet $1 on this underdog, you win $4. Betting on underdogs is much more profitable yet riskier. Read how to calculate odds here.

American odds

How to read betting odds by American bookies? It’s not too easy, so pay attention to the following numbers and symbols. 

So, favorites always come with a ‘–’ symbol, while underdogs have a ‘+’ symbol attached. The higher the number for the favorite, the higher chance he has to win (e.g. -200 > -150). In the case of underdogs, the higher the number, the less likely the underdog is to win (e.g. +200 > +500). 

American odds reveal how much money you can win for $100. Let’s suppose, we have -120 odds on the favorite and +190 odds on the underdog. In the first case, you must risk $120 to win $100. With the underdog, you risk only $100, but you win $190. Also, the push is possible in both cases.

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