The difference between fractional/decimal/American odds

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Want to bet on Euro 2020 but don’t understand the way the markets are presented? Worry no more with this easy guide on betting odds.

Are you struggling to follow the football markets?

Euro 2020 starts this week and for a lot of poker players it is the only time they bet on sports. However, despite understanding odds in poker, the way sports betting markets are presented can be confusing.

Whether you like to bet on markets or not it is a useful thing to be aware of as a poker player. What you are looking at there is the difference between fractional odds, decimal odds, American odds and implied probability. 

Fractional Odds


The most commonly used odds format, especially in the UK and Ireland. They are displayed in the format of two numbers with a slash between them, ie. 2/1. 

The first number is the amount you can win, the second number is the amount you have to stake. So if a bet is 2/1 you would have to bet $1 to win $2. The amount of money you would get back would be $3 (your $2 profit and $1 stake).  

At the time of writing Spain are 1/2 to beat Sweden in their first match, and Sweden are 13/8 to win. If you bet $10 on Spain you would get $15 back ($10 stake + $5 profit), if you bet $10 on Sweden you would get $26.25 ($10 stake + $16.25 profit). The lower return for Spain means they are the favourite to win. 

Notice that Sweden is not automatically 2/1 to win even though Spain is 1/2, the small difference is essentially how the bookmakers make a profit regardless of the outcome, by charging a small premium on the odds, as well as the chance of a draw. 

Decimal Odds


Decimal odds are common in Europe and Australia, but have become more mainstream in recent years especially since Betfair was launched. They are arguably easier to understand than fractional odds. 

A decimal odd shows you the amount you would win, including your stake, if you bet one unit ($1/€1/£1). They are always shown as a number above 1 with a decimal point, like 2.0. 

In the same example as before, Spain at 1/2 is 1.5 in decimal odds (A $10 bet would return $15 total) and Sweden at 13/8 would be shown as 2.63 (a $10 bet would return $26.3 – note that it rounded up compared to the previous example, decimal odds are shown to two decimal points).

American Odds


This is where some may get confused, because we don’t see Americans talking so much about sports betting odds so the way they show their working out can be confusing to some. 

American odds, or ‘Moneyline’ odds are shown as a plus or a minus amount, ie. -200 or +200, The moneyline indicates the amount you would need to wager to win $100, then depending on whether your pick is the favourite shows a plus for the underdog or minus amount for the the favourite. 

One more time, on the moneyline for the above example, Spain is -200 and Sweden is +163. That means to win $100 profit on Spain, you would have to wager $200, but if you bet $100 on Sweden you would make $163 profit. 

Implied Probability


You probably won’t see people making wagers with percentages but they are useful to provide context for the other three types of betting format. 

You can convert betting odds into an implied percentage chance of happening, which is very important for you to cross reference with your own assessment of the thing you are betting on. 

The 1/2 odds for Spain implied they are 66.7% likely to win the match the 13/8 odds for Sweden when we wrote this implied a probability of 38.1%. If you think Spain was 66.7% likely or better to win the match, then the 1/2 odds are a good bet. If you think Sweden was only 20% to win the match, then the 13/8 odds are not worth it and you would want closer to 4/1.

We have compiled how to convert the different types of odds to the others and you can play around with all of them using the calculator below:

Bet on Euro2020!

Skillyz the Euro 2020 mascot

Is it Euro 2020 or Euro 2021? We don’t care, all we care about is football is back!

Major International competitions are some of the only times many of you will bet on games other than poker, so we wanted to look at the best odds for each team to win the whole tournament. 

France are the favourites at the moment at 9/2 with bet365 with England behind them at 5/1. Given they always raise their game in major competitions, Germany look good value at 7/1.

If you are looking for a long shot there are plenty to choose from, but Czech Republic at 150/1 seems like a steal. 

Team Outright Odds (Decimal)
France 5.5
England 6
Belgium 7
Germany  8
Spain 8.5
Portugal 9
Italy 12
Netherlands 13
Denmark 29
Croatia 34
Turkey 51
Switzerland 67
Poland 81
Sweden 101
Ukraine 51
Austria 81
Czech Republic 151
Russia 67
Wales 201
Scotland 251
Finland 501
Hungary 401
North Macedonia 501
Slovakia 251

The one way to guarantee a result, regardless of who wins, is if you can get free bets for creating a new account. When you create a new account at our partners, you can get the following added value:

Odds are correct at the time of writing. For all offers T & C’s apply, check the operator website for full details. Country restrictions and time limits apply. New players only, 18+. Deposit required.

Have a free bet in our predictions league

Predict the first matches and win!

Of course the best bet of all is one that is completely free and lets you partake in football banter. Once again we are running a predictions league in our forum that is free to enter. 

All you have to do to enter is:

  • Post in our thread your predictions for each team’s first match, including score, before June 11. 
  • The winner will be picked after June 15
  • In the event of a tie the winner with the most correct scores will be the tie breaker. If that still ends in a tie, the prize will be split equally between the winners. 

The winner will get $50 in their Tell-a-Friend account. 

Do not post your predictions in the comments of this article!

Forum: Euro 2020 Predictions