Having understood the ins and outs of Fractional Odds (traditionally used by UK bookmakers), we think it will be a useful exercise for you to understand the Decimal Odds system as well. Decimal Odds show how many times your original stake (INCLUDING your original stake) you will get back if your bet wins. Obviously, this number should always be more than 1.0 as you should always get back your original stake if you win, plus some profit. Compare that to Fractional Odds which only show the potential profit you will get back if you win (of course regardless of the odds system, you will always get your original stake back if you win).
Let’s look at some Decimal Odds examples:
6.0 – for every £1 bet you will get £6 back, if your bet wins (i.e. you make £5 profit, per £1 staked). 5/1 (Fractional Odds), and 6.0 (Decimal Odds) are equivalent.
1.2 – for every £1 bet you will get £1.20 back, if your bet wins (i.e. you make £0.20 profit, per £1 staked). 1/5 (Fractional Odds), and 1.2 (Decimal Odds) are equivalent.
Fractional Odds are popular in the UK & Ireland. Decimal Odds are popular in Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. However, even for UK bettors using Fractional Odds, we think it is useful to understand the Decimal Odds system for three reasons:
- As these odds systems are interchangeable, you may find it more intuitive to think of Fractional Odds in a different way in certain circumstances. A good example is for accumulators.
- Imagine the Fractional Odds on three bets you wanted to place as an accumulator were 2/1, 7/2, and 9/4.
- If a £100 3 selection accumulator won at those odds, how much will you get back from the bookmaker?
- Using Fractional Odds, you will have to use the following formula: £100 x (2/1 +1) x (7/2 +1) x (9/4 + 1) – this will show your return including your £100 original stake.
- However, imagine these odds are already given to you in Decimal Odds form: 3.0, 4.5, and 3.25. Then there’s little left for you to do – just multiply the stake by all the odds – there’s nothing more to do…£100 x 3.0 x 4.5 x 3.25 = £4,387.50 back (including your £100 original stake)!
- It is useful to understand the popular Decimal Odds system of expressing odds, as you can then compare odds across other bookmakers across the world. To convert Fractional Odds to Decimal Odds, divide the numerator by the denominator AND then add 1. For example 2/1 becomes 3.0 (2 divided by 1, then add 1).
- You may also be able to understand (and participate) in conversations on forums with bettors from around the world, who are using Decimal Odds to express odds rather than the Fractional Odds system.