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Different Type of Soccer Betting Odds – Decimal, Fractional or American, Explained

Soccer betting is only fun when you know what you are doing. If you are new to betting, the right way to make profits putting a wager is to learn how soccer betting odds work. This skill is critically important because soccer odds help you understand how likely an event is to happen and how much you can win from it. For beginners, betting odds can be confusing which is why OddsMax has put together this guide to explain what betting odds are.

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soccer betting odds

What is Probability?

At the most basic level, sports betting is about predicting the outcome correctly to win money in an event. For any given event, there is a certain number of outcomes; each outcome has a certain probability of occurring. For instance, rolling dice can result in 6 outcomes. If you bet on the outcome 6, then there is 1/6 or 16.67% chance of you winning. That’s exactly what betting odds represent; they represent how likely an event is to happen.

In soccer betting, sportsbooks and bookies offer several kinds of betting odds, but mainly three are used widely- decimal odds, fraction odd, and American odds. We will talk you through these three soccer betting odds so you won’t be confused anymore.

What is a stake? 

“Stake + profit = payout”

Most beginners get confused between payout and profit. When you put a wager with a sportsbook, you give your stake to them. If you win, the sportsbook will pay you back the stake as well as the profit. Now the tricky part is you cannot count stake as the profit because it was yours, to begin with.

If you bet $10 at even money (don’t think much, we will explain it later), and the bet wins then:

Stake 10

Profit 10

Payout 20

You cannot say that you had a profit of $20 because the payout is the same; instead, you had a profit of $10 only.

Decimal odds

The most common odds format of the modern era is the decimal odds. All major online sportsbooks such as Bet365 and BetJoe, offer soccer odds in decimal. This odds type is the best because it makes calculations simpler. Still being superior to other types of odds, some old-timers still prefer the older types such as Fraction and American.

In Decimal odds, the payout you receive is for every unit you stake. For instance, if you are playing with decimal odds of 1.50, you will get a payout of $1.50 for every $1 you stake. This payout will include the stake amount of $1 along with a profit of $0.50. Here are some more winning examples to easily understand decimal odds.

Decimal odds 2.32

Stake 1

Profit of 1.32

Payout 2.32

Decimal odds 12

Stake 1

Profit 11

Payout 12

Decimal odds of 2.00 are called “even money” because, for every $1 you stake, you either lose $1 or win $1. 

The Fractional and American odds are less common than decimal odds and considered inferior. Typically the sportsbooks that still show these outdated odds type also have an option to convert these odds to decimal odds.

Fractional odds

Fractional odds, as the name suggests, are represented by two numbers with the backward slash (/) between them, just like fractions in mathematics. In simple words, think of this representation as profit/stake. The first number is the profit, second number is the stake for which you earn that profit. In simple words, the second number is the stake you have to put into earning the profit, the first number. Add these two numbers, and you will get the payout you will be receiving.

Let’s say you have put a wager for fractional soccer odd of 4/5. It means that you would win $4 by staking $5. If it’s a winning bet, then you will receive a payout of $4 + $5 = $9.

Fractional odds 4/5

Stake 5

Profit 4

Payout 9

Another example

Fractional odds 10/1

Stake 1

Profit 10

Payout 11

Even money in fractional odds is represented as 1/1 and referred to as “evens.”

American odds

Different from the two, American odds are either represented as a positive (+) number or a negative (-) number.

Positive numbers are used for wagers for bet at greater than even money. Mostly underdogs are betted with positive numbers. Positive American odds are how much you will win if you stake 100 united. For instance, odds of +350 means if you stake $100 and win, you will receive a payout of $450 ($350 profit + $100 stake).

American odds +350

Stake 100

Profit of 350

Payout 450

Negative (-) numbers are used for the wagers that have a value less than even money, such as a favorite to win. A negative American odds number is how much you will have to stake to a profit of 100 units. For example, -380 odds mean you have to stake $380 to win a profit of $100, and your total payout would be $480 which is the profit along with the staked amount.

American odds -380

Stake 380

Profit of 100

Payout 480

In American odds, even money is represented as +100 or -100.

Decimal Odds Versus Fractional Odds vs. American Odds 

In truth, no one type of odds are better than the others, but certainly, the trend is favoring the decimal odds. In America historically, American odds were used for all kinds of betting while in the UK, fractional odds were most popular.

But decimal odds are much easier for new bettors to understand, and they are easiest to calculate as well. This is why most sportsbooks now display odds as decimals. Also, unlike fractional and American odds, decimal odds include the returned stake.

The growing popularity of online betting sites has made the transition to decimal odds a standard as they offer much more flexibility to calculate the odds during changing events.


Understanding of betting odds is paramount for putting successful wagers. Of all odds types, the decimal odds is the one you must master as it is now the standard one used by most sportsbooks.

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