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Odds are simply a measure of probability. They represent the most likely outcome of a particular event.


Below is how bookmakers display their odds:

Fractional odds

Fractional odds are the traditional way of showing odds in the UK. They show the total to be paid out for a successful bet in relation to the stake.


Betting £1 at Odds of 5/1 would return £6. You win £5 plus your stake of £1.


Be careful you are looking at the fraction correctly because:-


Betting £1 at Odds of 1/5 would return £1.20. You win 20p plus your stake of £1.

Decimal odds

Decimal odds are more common in Europe. They show an outcome equivalent to the decimal value of the fractional odds plus one.


5/1  would be Decimal 6.

Betting £1 on Decimal 6 would return £6.


1/5 would be Decimal 1.2.

Betting £1 on Decimal 6 would return £1.20.

American odds

American Odds are also known as Moneyline or US Odds. The figure quoted will be either positive or negative.


If they are shown with a + sign it means how much you would win on a £100 stake.


If they are shown with a - sign it means how much you would have to stake to win £100.


5/1 (Decimal 6) would be +500.

Betting £1 on US +500 would return £6.


1/5 (Decimal 1.2) would be -500

Betting £1 on Us -500 would return £1.20

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Betting Odds Explained

Article written by Michael Flynn.