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  • DECIMAL, FRACTIONAL OR AMERICAN: What’s the difference?

       (6 reviews)


    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.

    Odds can be displayed in a number of ways. You may have seen Decimal, Fractional or American format. Those same three ways of comparing and displaying odds that we will dissect in this piece.



    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 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, where 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 stake
    Positive 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.

    Stake.com 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.

    Edited by Jarrod

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       12 of 12 members found this review helpful 12 / 12 members

    Great guide for anyone interested in the Stake Sportsbook.

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       3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

    Very neat and comprehensive guide. Job well done, Jarrod! :D

    Thanks for all the info! ^_^

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       2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

    very well informative when it comes to odds, guiding stake players into the right path, job well done sir thank you :) 

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       2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

    thanks for infromation will read and understanding more to start 

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       1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

    Very good


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       1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

    Only comment I have is for the decimal odds profit. The real profit is 140, the payout is 190. Else, I think this guide is really good in explaining the different formats used in the west.

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