What is the difference between decimal and fractional betting odds?
This text is based on our personal experiences and represents our opinions.
Betting odds online are generally presented in two different formats. It will either be the standard UK format of fractional odds, or the European method of decimal odds. While these odds are presented in different ways, they of course equal out to the same value on a market selection. So if you back a winner at Evens in fractional odds, it will be exactly the same as if you took the price at decimal odds of 2.00 so it all works out the same. Most online bookmakers will allow you to switch between the formats, so that you enjoy betting on their sites with your own preferences. The bulk of UK based online bookmakers will have defaults as fractional odds, and watch horse racing on the TV, and you will predominantly see that format being used. While fractional odds still have a large place in the market, decimal odds have gained a lot of popularity, simply because a lot of newcomers to betting, find them easier to read. So essentially, while there are no differences between decimal and fractional betting odds in terms of value and price, there is a difference in how to read them.
Fractional odds present you with the price on a sporting event, on which your profit will be based. This means that if you back a football team to win at 10/1 with a £10 stake, then you will get the profit of £100. With fractional odds, you need to remember to add the return of your initial stake on top of that, so what you would get back from the bookmaker would actually be £100 winnings + £10 stake. Here is the main difference between the two formats, because fractional odds have everything all wrapped up in a nice little bundle. So, if you took the equivalent of a 10/1 bet in decimal odds (which is 11.0), then your £10 stake multiplied by 11.0 equals £110. That is it, profit and return of stake combined, and for quick glances at odds, people often find this easier to calculate their returns. It works out exactly the same as the fractional equivalent you see. In the example above, you can see how the decimal odds work in the stake, by adding an extra unit to the price. Therefore, a 10/1 fractional odds equates to 11.0 decimal odds, because it is 10.0 (for the profit price) + 1.0 (for the stake), giving you a decimal figure of 11.0. Evens in fractional odds is represented by 2.0 in decimal odds (which again is a 1 for the profit + 1 for the stake). A 2/1 fractional bet is the same as a 3.0 decimal one, and so on.
So, decimal odds can be quicker to pick up on and read, plus when reverse fractions start popping up, like 1/5 for example on a favourite, then it can get confusing for novice punter. In decimal odds, 1/5 would be 1.20, and a stake of £10 on that is easy to work out as £12 coming back to you. It looks a little more complicated when looking at the fractional version of it even though it is the same. For every unit of stake, again say £10, you would receive a fifth of that back as profit. A fifth of ten is two, that’s your profit. Add your stake on top, and that is £12. Both methods are valid and have their benefits, so it is all down to a matter of preference. You are not going to be losing out on value by choosing one over the other.