Hero image

UK And US Sports Betting Odds: How They Differ

If you're born and raised in Great Britain, the chances are you're familiar with the fractional odds system used throughout bookmakers and online sports betting sites in the UK. If however you happen to be in Britain on sabbatical from America. Or you've recently made the permanent leap from Europe to living in the UK. The likelihood is you'll be used to an altogether different system of presenting sports betting odds.

In this guide to betting odds outside of the UK, we'll take you through:

  • The differences in the odds styles used in Europe and the United States
  • How to use the different types to work out what you stand to win
  • What to look for when shopping around for the best betting odds online

Why It's Important To Understand Odds

Odds are one of the most important things to get to grips with in online gambling. They basically tell you how much you stand to win if you take the advertised bet. So learning how to interpret odds is a priority for anyone looking to make real money in online betting sites.

While in the UK we work in fractional odds (i.e. 3/4) the same can't be said for elsewhere in Europe. Or in the good old USA for that matter either. Over the pond, and even among our closest European neighbours, the way odds are presented in online bookmakers looks a little different than what us Brits are used to. So this guide to explaining odds will focus on the two less familiar styles. The European decimal system and American Moneyline odds.

Learn How Online Betting Odds Work

Deciphering Decimal Odds

The Decimal odds style is widely used throughout Europe in 2019. In decimal odds, the number you see advertised is the total return you can stand to gain if you win your bet - including your original stake. It's based on a single unit. So to calculate your total return you'd need to multiply the decimal odd by the amount you intend to wager.

  • A £3 bet on Arsenal to beat Everton (6.00) you'd get £18 back (£15 profit + your £3 stake).

  • If your horse finished first on odds of 13.00 and you bet £4 you'd get £52 (£48 profit + £4 stake)

  • A £30 stake on odds of 3.50 gets you a £105 return (£75 + £30 outlay)

  • A £7.50 stake on odds of 1.80 gets you a £13.50 return (£6 profit + your £7.50 outlay)

In this table we've displayed decimal odds on a range of English Premier League football teams winning. The example shows the return you stand to make on a £10 wager.

Outright
Man U 1.20
Everton 2.10
Arsenal 1.53
Chelsea 1.22
Spurs 1.35
Man City 2.00
Liverpool 2.40
Newcastle 3.00
West Ham 2.75
Southampton 1.66
Watford 1.80
Stoke 2.90
Example
Man U 1.20
Stoke 2.90
You bet £10
You bet £10
You win £12
You win £29

With decimal odds it's important to remember that the odds show you the full value of the return you stand to make per every one unit you bet - not just the profit.

Moneyline Odds: Betting USA Style

Hop on a flight to the U.S and again you'll have a whole new kettle of fish to deal with when it comes to online betting odds. These guys don't use the fractional or the decimal system. Instead they have their own unique odds style, commonly referred to as Moneyline odds.

Based on a single bet (i.e a bet with only one outcome), in moneyline a minus sign (-) before the odds indicates the amount you would need to bet to win £100. Where as a plus sign (+) before the odds indicates what you stand to gain, if you were to bet £100. Minus odds indicate an outcome that is more likely to occur; therefore the odds offered

  • You put £10 on England to beat Spain in the world cup at odds of +250. You win £35 (£25 profit + your £10 stake).

  • You bet £50 on a horse placing first at odds of +1000. You win £550. (£500 profit + your £50 outlay).

  • A £5 bet on Murray to win Wimbledon at odds of -100 would net you £10 (£5 profit + your £5 stake).

  • A £3.50 wager on Chelsea to win the league at odds of +120 would earn you £9.50. (£6 profit + your £3.50 wager).

Let's use the same example again, but in this table we've converted all of the odds from decimal to moneyline odds instead.

Outright
Man U 1.20
Everton 2.10
Arsenal 1.53
Chelsea 1.22
Spurs 1.35
Man City 2.00
Liverpool 2.40
Newcastle 3.00
West Ham 2.75
Southampton 1.66
Watford 1.80
Stoke 2.90
Example
Man U 1.20
Stoke 2.90
You bet £10
You bet £10
You win £12
You win £29

As you can see, the return on the £10 investment is exactly the same as with the decimal odds. That's because in moneyline odds the odds only show you the profit you stand to make. You then need to add your original stake on top separately.

Decimal And Moneyline Odds In A Nutshell

Struggling to wrap your head around the world of decimal and Moneyline odds? Here are a couple of conversions that may also prove useful in helping you turn one set of odds into another:

Decimal to fraction

(decimal value - 1 unit) / 100 = fraction

(6.00 - 1 = 5.00) 500/100 = 5 = 5/1

Decimal to Moneyline

(decimal - 1) x 100 = moneyline

6.00 - 1 = 5.00) x 100 = +500

Fractional to Moneyline

(fraction) x 100 = moneyline

(5/1) x 100 = +500

Fractional to Decimal

(fraction + 1) = decimal

(5/1 + 1) = 6

Goalkeeper Moneyline
Odds

Of course the easiest, and quickest, way to convert odds - and avoid human error - is by using an online odds calculator. This will ensure that any sums are 100% accurate, so you don't get left accidentally out of pocket.

We'd strongly advocate this method if maths isn't your strong point. And there are plenty of online odds checkers available online, as well as here at onlinebetting.co.uk.