Decimal Odds

Decimal odds is one of three odds types available to sports bettors. It is most popular in the likes of continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It is widely regarded as one of the simplest odds types to read and understand in sports betting.

Read on for our detailed guide on decimal odds, explaining exactly how it works, how it can be read and the key differences between decimal odds and the other odds types. 

What are Decimal Odds?

Decimal odds is an odds type in betting that is widely used online and around the world as they are arguably easier to understand than American Odds and Fractional Odds. The number listed in the decimal odds represents the amount you stand to win for every $1 bet. What makes decimal odds so easy to read, is that the number in the odds shows you the total payout you would win, rather than just the profit, which is a key feature of other odds types. Put simply your stake is already included within the decimal odds number so you can easily see your risk to reward. 

How do Decimal Odds Work?

The beauty of decimal odds is that the number in the odds tells you exactly how much a $1 stake will return in total, so effectively decimal odds do the work for you. The calculation breakdown of decimal odds would look like this:

Stake x Decimal Odds Number = Total Payout 

For example a well known European betting website has the top two in the Super Bowl LVI futures betting market looking like this:

Kansas City Chiefs: 5.50

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6.00 

The numbers in the decimal odds next to each team simply represents how much one would stand to win with every $1 staked. Therefore if somebody put a $1 bet on the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl and they did, the bettor would return a total of $5.50 ($4.50 profit and $1 stake returned). The calculation would look like this $1 (stake) x 5.50 (odds) = $5.50 total potential payout. 

Similarly, a bettor may be really confident in the chances of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and decide to bet $100 on them to win the Super Bowl. In that instance if they were to win your bet would look like this: $100 (stake) x 6.00 (odds) = $600 total payout. With $500 net profit made and your $100 stake returned. 

Now let’s take a look at a decimal odds example with a short priced favorite to crunch the numbers there. 

In this instance I fancy a bet on the NHL. I can see at the same sportsbook a moneyline betting market between the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche is listed as follows:

Chicago Blackhawks: 3.30

Colorado Avalanche: 1.35

With decimal odds you can easily identify who is the favorite and who is the underdog of a contest or an event as the favorite will always have the smallest number in the odds, whereas the underdog will always have the bigger number. 

So with that in mind we can see that the Chicago Blackhawks are the (3.30) underdog and Colorado Avalanche are the (1.35) favorite.

The same principle applies that the numbers represented in the decimal odds are the amounts you stand to win but just on a much smaller scale. In Colorado Avalanche’s instance we can see that with every $1 bet your total return would only be $1.35 (including stake). So you can see you would only stand to make a net profit of $0.35 (35 cents).

Converting Decimal Odds Into Probability Percentages

Decimal odds can always be converted into percentages, which is an extremely useful tactic to find out odds implied probabilities. The formula for calculating this is as follows:

1 divided by the decimal odds listed. 

Using the above example of the odds 1.35 odds offered on The Avalanche the odds implied probability would look like this: 

1 / 1.35 = 0.7407 (74%)

So the odds offered by the sportsbook are implying that the Avalanche have a 74% chance of winning.

Compare that with the underdog of the contest, Chicago Blackhawks at 3.30:

1 / 3.30 = 0.3030 (30%)

So the odds are implying that the Chicago Blackhawks have a 30% chance of winning the game.

However these probability percentages are only those implied by the odds offered by the sportsbook and they will always offer you slightly worse odds compared to the true odds/probability. This is because sportsbooks add a margin to every market they price up. For more information on sportsbooks margins and true odds vs displayed odds check out our sportsbook margin guide.

Decimal Odds vs American Odds & Fractional Odds

You may see all three odds types listed at different sportsbooks depending on your location and your own personal preference. Some sportsbooks even allow you to opt for your preferred odds type and will then list their betting markets in that format. 

To show you how odds of the same value looks across all three most popular odds types, let’s say we want to place $20 on an evens bet (2.0).

A $20 bet at decimal odds of 2.0 returns $40 ($20 profit and your $20 stake returned)

A $20 bet on the same odds in American Odds format would look like this: $20 bet at +100 returns $40 in total.

A $20 bet on the same odds in Fractional Odds would look like this: $20 at 1/1 fractional odds returns $40.

Decimal Odds FAQs

Decimal odds are sports betting odds type that is popular in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Decimal odds are one of the easiest odds formats to read as the number listed in the odds represents the total payout a bettor will receive with every $1 wagered.
Decimal odds are widely considered to be the easiest of all the odds types to read. That is because the number represented in the decimal odds is the number you stand to win with every $1 bet. For example if the decimal odds were 3.0, that tells you that with every $1 wagered you will return a total payout of $3. $2 of which is net profit from the sportsbook and then your $1 stake is returned to you.
Decimal odds can be converted to American odds with a bit of number crunching. For example, to convert a short priced selection that has decimal odds of 1.2, you’d divide negative 100 by the odds, minus 1 (1.2 - 1) = -500. Bigger odds are easier to convert, let’s say the decimal odds we want to convert is 4.0. You’d just take the decimal odds value (4.0) minus 1 multiplied by 100. Which gives you this breakdown: 4.0 - 1 = 3 (3 x 100 = 300) which gives you your plus American odds value (+300).
Decimal odds to fractional is a really straightforward conversion. You just subtract 1 from the decimal odds value which gives you your fractional odds amount. So for example a 6.0 decimal odds value could be converted to fractional as follows: 6.0 - 1 = 5 (5/1).

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