Decimal, fractional or American: What’s the difference?

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With our sportsbook imminently on the way, we thought it was about time that we delved deeper into some of the more complex parts of the product. We have spoken about how our current casino can be played in a sportsbook type format, and we have teased the fact that we are getting closer and closer to releasing a product that is going to turn the industry on its head.

It’s about time we increase the hype, and it’s about time we prepare to make the leap into the world of sports. One thing that is integral to our sportsbook are the odds. No odds, no bets.


Decimal odds is the most common way of displaying odds, as it is the most popular one with customers. It is also one of the easiest to calculate. All you need to do is multiply the amount you wish to bet by the odds that are offered.

Odds x stake = return

Let’s take this hypothetical for example:

Barcelona: 2

Draw: 3.25

Real Madrid: 3.80

If you’re having $50 on Real Madrid:

3.80 x 50 = $190

Your return includes your original stake – meaning your real profit is $190.


Fractional odds, like decimal odds are also a popular way of displaying odds, especially in the UK. However, the difficulty in comparing them to other odds means fractional odds are becoming more out of favour. In saying that, they are a key part of the history of sports betting – something we don’t plan on losing with our product.

The big difference between decimal and fractional odds is that when using fractional, the odds show your real profit rather than showing your total return.

The easiest way to understand this form of odds is using this short formula:

How much you’ll win/how much you’ll stake

Therefore, if your odds are 7/1 – a $1 stake will win you $7.

If you need to calculate your returns on a bet paying 7/1, with a stake of $10, it is also quite simple.

((numerator/denominator) + 1) x stake = return((7/1) +1) x 10 = $80


American odds are quite different to the aforementioned decimal and fractional odds. The interpretation of your odds is based around whether there is a (+) or a (-) within the odds that are displayed. Numbers are expressed that are relative to 100, a base figure.

  • When there is a (-), you need to bet the amount expressed to win $100.

  • When there is a (+), you will win the amount expressed for every $100 that you bet.

Negative odds: (100/odds) x stakePositive odds:Odds x (stake/100)

Looking at another example:

Chicago Bulls: -270

LA Lakers: +195

  • This would mean you would have to bet $270 on the Bulls to win to make $100 profit.

  • This would also mean you would win $195 if you placed $100 on the Lakers to win.

Decimal odds calculate your return whilst fractional odds calculate profit only. In comparison, American odds calculate your profit based around a figure of $100 – a common and easy to understand value. will cater for all punters, but we feel it is important to be properly educated when it comes to odds. We do not want a lack of education and a misunderstanding of odds to be the difference between winning and losing.