When gambling you’ll inevitably come across the odds being used in different ways. We’ll help you understand the basics and how it all works! First of all we need to define the 3 types of betting odds – Fractional, Decimal and American (frequently called Moneyline odds).

The easiest to calculate are the Decimal odds – you simply need to multiply the number by your stake. For example, if you bet £5 at odds of 2.20, your return will be £11.

That was easy enough, so let’s make matters a bit more complex. Fractional odds are used mostly in Ireland and the United Kingdom, especially in horse racing events. Here’s an example of how they work:

Let’s say you want to bet £20 at odds of 5/2. To calculate your winnings you need to add up the two numbers in the fraction and then divide the sum by the second number. You then multiply that number by your stake.

5 + 2 = 7 -> 7/2 = 3.5 -> 3.5 x 20 = 70

If all goes well your return for a £20 bet will be £70.

Finally, we’ll discuss American odds. They are determined based on the sum you should stake to win $100. These odds always include a plus or a minus symbol before the number, which indicates whether you need to put more (-) or less (+) than $100 to actually win $100. Usually the favourites are those with a negative symbol, whereas the underdogs are given a plus.

Imagine the odds for a football match are these:

New England Patriots = -150
Miami Dolphins = +200

Clearly, The Patriots have a better chance of winning according to the bookmakers, so you’ll have to bet $150 to win $100. On the contrary, Miami Dolphins are given positive odds, in this case meaning you’d have to put $50 to win $100.

These numbers can be a tad confusing at first, so you’ll need to take your time understanding the arithmetic behind them.