American v Decimal Odds – Betting odds formats explained

In this article, we’re going to look at American odds and compare them to Decimal odds and explain the difference.

These aren’t the only two betting odds formats; however, they are two of the more popular.

American Odds

American odds don’t have to be just for betting in dollars or on American sports. They are simply another way of representing odds. They either start with a plus or a minus.

If the odds start with a plus, it tells you how much you would earn from a £/$/€100 stake.

Odds of +300 will earn you a £300 profit if you stake £100.

The 100 bit can be confusing – you do not have to stake £100. You could stake £10 and make a £30 profit, for example.

Some conversions: Odds of +100 are equivalent to evens (1/1) and 2.00. Odds of +200 are equal to 2/1 and 3.00, while odds of +250 are equivalent to 5/2 and 3.50.

If the price starts with a minus, it tells you how much you need to stake to win £/$/€100.

Odds of -120 tell you that you need to bet £120 to make a £100 profit. Odds of -250 tell you that you need to stake £250 to make a £100 profit.

Again, you don’t need to stake that much, but it is a handy way of comparing odds quickly to see the value.

Some conversions: Odds of -250 are equivalent to 2/5 and 1.40. If a set of odds starts with a minus, it is odds-on.

You may see the term Moneyline used instead of American odds, Moneyline odds are identical to American odds. It is just another name for them.

Moneyline odds are used across the world, including by some of the top asian bookies.

Decimal Odds

Many folk in the UK prefer to use decimal odds, and they are particularly prevalent online.

Decimal odds tell you the multiplier you stand to make on a given stake.

You can take your stake and quickly multiply it by the decimal odds to work out our potential winnings.

If you see odds of 1.90, it tells you that a £10 stake would give you a return of £19. If the odds are 2.00, it tells you that a £10 stake would give you a return of £20

Decimal odds include the fact that your stake will be returned if your bet wins.

Some conversions: Fractional odds of 1/2 are equivalent to 1.50, evens is 2.00, 2/1 is 3.00, 7/2 is 3.50, 100/1 is 101.00 and so on.

I’ve seen decimal odds used often by asian handicap bookies in the UK.

Decimal odds, like American odds, are relatively easy to compare to each other. The larger the (positive) number, the more money you stand to win.

Comparing the two

The numbers used in Moneyline/American odds make them very easy to compare without paying too close attention, however, the maths required to work out what your specific stake might make are a little more complicated.

Decimal odds are the opposite, they are slightly harder to compare to each other because the numbers are generally smaller and more precise, but taking that odd and multiplying it by your stake is way more comfortable.

At the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference, luckily many websites have odds converters so you can quickly jump between any of the odd formats you wish.

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