In the next section, we will have **betting odds explained** for you. If you are a novice, we do recommend you stick around. Odds are one of the important factors in sports betting, and you need to make sure you understand their purpose and function. As you will see below, there are different odds formats, but they all play the same role – they help you determine if a bet is worth placing or not. You certainly need to read about odds in detail to figure out what they are before you place a bet. So, how do betting odds work? After reading this post, you will see that it is not as complicated as you thought. Check it out.

## Purpose of Odds

Now, let us explain the betting odds to you so that the next time you are at a sportsbook, you will know what you are doing. One of the purposes of odds in sports betting is to show how likely a particular outcome is to occur. If the outcome is very likely to happen, the odds are as low as they can be, and vice versa. Hence, if you are betting on a team that has bigger chances of winning than the other one, and they win, you will gain a very small profit, as opposed to what you could get if you bet on the team which is less likely to win.

Now, the other purpose of odds is to determine how much you will get if your wager wins. **You should be able to view the odds of a bookmaker at the moment of placing your bet.** Lower odds mean lower payouts and greater chances of winning, whereas higher odds mean higher payouts and less chance of winning. Even money odds mean that your chances of winning are 50/50.

## Formats of Betting Odds

Now, we cannot explain the betting odds in detail without talking about odds formats. In general, they are three: fractional, decimal and moneyline/American odds. The reason as to why you need to be familiar with them all is that at some point you will have to deal with them in some form. The good news is, they have the same functions and mean the same thing, it is just that they are expressed in different ways. We will give you detailed information about each format, including how to read betting odds.

### Decimal Odds

This is the most common odds format, which used to be common in Australia, Canada and Europe in the past. However, **lately more and more bookmakers have adopted this format**, as a result of which it has become the norm. An exception to this is some betting sites in the USA.

The reason decimal odds format has established itself as the standard is that it is displayed as a single number, which is positive. The number expresses how much money you will receive for guessing the correct outcome and includes the original stake. For instance, if you make a stake at odds of 1.5, every £1 staked will return £1.50. If you make a stake at odds of 2.25, for every £1 you will receive £2.25. As far as decimal odds are concerned, an even money stake is displayed as 2.00.

### Moneyline Odds

We shall now move on to the next odds format. Moneyline odds are more often than not used in the States, which is why they are often referred to as American odds. So, if you encounter the term American odds, do not worry, this is not a new odds format you are not familiar with. It is the same as moneyline odds.

What is typical of these odds is that they are expressed in a negative or positive number. If a negative number is displayed, it serves to show how much money you have to give away to win back £100. If a positive number is displayed, it shows how much a £100 bet would win if it is correct according to the news.

**How do betting odds work?** For instance, let’s say you want to place a bet on a sports event and the odds are +200 (3 in decimal odds). It means that you would get £200 back with a bet of £100. If that number is -200 (1.5 in decimal odds), it means that you need to stake £200 to get £100 in return if your bet is correct. When it comes to American odds, an even bet is displayed as +100 (2 in decimal odds).

### Fractional Odds

This odds format used to be the standard in the United Kingdom. However, understanding betting odds of this kind is not easy. As you will see, it is not as straightforward as decimal odds, which is probably the reason why the latter are taking over the British Islands. For a novice, fractional odds may be a little tricky, especially when it comes to calculating one’s potential profits.

For your peace of mind, we shall say that the format is not as complicated as it appears to be. With a little practice, you will get things right eventually. Normally, the format is expressed as a fraction. Take for instance 5/1 (in decimal odds: 6). It serves to show that you can win five units for each unit you stake. The same goes for 7/1 (in decimal odds: 8), which means that you can get three units for each unit you stake. Here is how to read odds: “five to one” for 5/1 and “seven to one” for 7/1. When it comes to fractional odds, an even bet is expressed by 1/1 (“one to one”). So far, so good. This does not look so complicated yet.

In sports betting, and especially with fractional odds, you can also get odds of 5/2, 11/10 or 6/4. Now, that makes things a little complicated. For instance, 6/4 serves to show that for every four units you stake, you are going to get six units. As a whole, this means that per every unit you stake, you will get 1.5 units. And as for 11/10, every ten units you stake will get you back eleven units, which means 1.1 units per one unit you bet.

**If the first number in this odds format is greater than the second, this is said to be “odds against”.** What it means is that the potential winnings will be much bigger than the amount of money you need to stake. Overall, this is the same as positive moneyline odds.

However, when the potential winnings are fewer than the amount of money you need to stake, this is called “odds on”. Basically, it is the same as negative moneyline odds. How is this expressed in numbers and pronounced? For example, 4/7 odds is pronounced as “seven to four on”. As it suggests, every seven units you stake will get you four units.

You are probably wondering how to convert odds so that you can use them in your desired odds format (in case they are displayed in a format you are not well acquainted with). No worries. **You do not have to make complicated calculations.** You can simply use different odds converter sites, which automatically convert the desired number into the format you wish. No effort or calculations required on your part. It is fast and easy.

## Why Are Odds Different With Different Bookmakers

It is not uncommon to encounter different odds for one and the same event with various sportsbooks. For instance, some bookies may display odds of 2.30 for a team to win a game; and others may offer odds of 2.20 for the same team to win. Now, this is another important aspect of understanding betting odds. We mentioned earlier that one of the purposes of odds is to show how likely a particular outcome is to happen. However, this view is expressed by the bookmakers themselves.

So, it is safe to say that odds are a matter of opinion. Someone else’s opinion. So, the more sportsbooks there are, the more different odds you are likely to encounter for the same sporting event. There are many factors that determine the odds with a particular bookmaker. They could be affected by the profits a sportsbook has made in a certain market. So, it does not always mean that the odds express the possibility of a particular team winning the game. It could be much more than that.

**Your job is to correctly guess the outcome of a match because that will make you a good profit.** The more often you predict the correct end result, the more you will win. This is all that matters. You can be a successful punter. Of course, there is more to winning at sports betting than simply understanding the odds and making correct predictions. If you want to make a profit consistently, you need to know about other things. Not to worry, in the next sections of our guide, we will explain other key aspects of sports betting, and hopefully, we will make you an informed and reasonable bettor who knows what they are doing. Keep reading.

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### References to Betting Odds

- Sports Odds for Odd Sports (Vegas Opens for Olympic Bets)
- Real-time Live Betting Line Odds (Compare Top Sports Sites Odds)