Decimal, Fractional and American Odds

The first thing to understand is the difference between payout and winnings. When you put a bet on you give your stake to the online sportsbook, if you win the sportsbook will give you your stake back and pay you your winnings. You can’t count getting your stake back as winnings because it was yours to begin with.

stake + winnings = payout.

If you bet ฿0.1 at even money and the bet wins your payout is ฿0.2 but you have not won ฿0.2. ฿0.1 of that was yours to begin with so you have won ฿0.1

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are the most common odds format in the online era. Decimal odds are great because they are simple and let you do calculations easily. Think of it like the metric system, it is superior but some old timers and Americans stubbornly refuse to use it.

The odds will be your return for every bitcoin you stake. If the odds are 1.32 you will get back ฿0.132  for every ฿0.1 you stake. This includes your stake of ฿0.1 and winnings of ฿0.032. If the odds are 11.00 and you win you will get back ฿0.11 for every ฿0.01 staked, this includes your ฿0.01 stake and ฿0.10 of winnings. Odds of 2.00 are “even money” because if you bet ฿0.1 you will either lose ฿0.1 or win ฿0.1.

The two other main odds formats are inferior and less common than decimal odds; they are fractional odds and American odds. These odds types are outdated and online sportsbooks that show one of these odds types will also have the option to displaying decimal odds instead.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are expressed as two numbers with a / in between like a fraction. Think of it as winnings/stake. The first number is the amount you will win if you stake the second number and the second number is the amount you would need to stake to win the first number. If you add both numbers up that is the return you would get by staking the second number.

For example fractional odds of 4/6 means you would win ฿0.4 by staking ฿0.6, so if you stake ฿0.6 and win your return will be ฿1 this is made up of your ฿0.4 profit and ฿0.6 stake. Even money could be written as 1/1 but instead is called “evens”.

American Odds

American Odds are either expressed as a negative (-) number or a positive (+) number. Negative (-) numbers are used for bets of less than even money, such as a favourite to win in a two outcome market. A negative (-) number is how much you would have to stake to win ฿100. Odds of -220 means you would have to stake ฿220 to win ฿100. So if you staked ฿220 and won, your return would be ฿320, made up of your ฿220 stake and ฿100 profit.

Positive (+) numbers are used for bets at greater than even money such as for an underdog to win. Positive (+) numbers are how much you will win if you stake ฿0.100. Odds of +480 means that if you stake ฿0.100, and win, you will win ฿0.480. So your return would be ฿0.580 made up of your ฿0.100 stake and ฿0.480 profit.

The reason American odds were popular despite seeming unnecessarily confusing is because American odds make it easy for online sportsbooks to calculate the opposite side of a two outcome market  and adjust their prices and profit margin for one side in relation to another.

For a more in depth look at odds and if you are getting good value odds from your bitcoin sportsbooks see our article

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