If you enjoy sports betting, the chances are that you’ve come across several different odds formats. Gamblers in the US will be familiar with American odds, while those in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand tend to use decimal odds.
However, if you’re based in the UK, you will likely be accustomed to the fractional odds format. In fact, most bookmakers and online sportsbooks allow you to change the odds format to suit your preference.
In this guide, we explain how to read fractional odds in sports betting. We also show you how to calculate payouts using fractional odds and how to convert fractional odds to American odds. Ready? Let’s go!
How to Calculate Payouts Using Fractional Odds
Essentially, fractional odds are two numbers separated by a slash (/). While American odds use plus (+) and minus (-) signs and decimal odds use a decimal point (.), fractional odds are distinguished by the slash.
Fractional odds may look confusing at first, but there is an easy way to calculate how much money you could win in comparison to your stake. The number on the left is your potential payout, while the number on the right is how much you need to stake.
For example, if you have fractional odds of 4/1, you will need to wager $1 to win $4. On the flip side, if you have odds of 1/4, you will need to bet $4 to win $1.
With that in mind, you can work out that odds of 9/1 will give you a 10% chance of winning, while odds of 1/1 will give you a 50% chance of winning. This odds format can be confusing, but it’s easy to understand once you get the hang of it.
How to Convert Fractional Odds to American Odds
If you want to convert fractional odds over 1/1 to American odds, you need to divide the numerator by the denominator and multiply that number by 100. For example, for odds of 5/2, you divide 5 by 2 and multiply that by 100.
To convert fractional odds under 1/1, you need to divide -100 by the quotient of the numerator divided by the denominator. For instance, 2/5 becomes -100 divided by 2/5.
Here are some examples of common conversions from fractional to American.
Fractional: 1/50; American: -5000
Fractional: 1/5; American: -500
Fractional: 1/4; American: -400
Fractional: 1/2; American: -200
Fractional: 3/1; American: +300
Fractional: 5/1; American: +500
Thankfully, most online sportsbooks have a conversion tool that enables you to convert odds at the click of a button. That said, it is useful to know how to read fractional odds in sports betting and how to calculate payouts.