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What are decimal odds?

Decimal odds are displayed in decimal format and the total return includes the bet stake and the winnings.

Decimal odds are the most popular type of betting odds used in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Canada. Most UK bookmakers use fractional odds.

Benefits of decimal odds

Bettors like decimal odds because they make it easy to compare odds without following complex mathematical formulas. It’s easy to see your potential returns at a glance. The higher the number, the higher the value of your winning bet.

Another benefit decimal odds is that the unit of betting is included. So you’ll always easily know your total return including the initial stake you made when you first placed your bet.

Decimal odds examples

We explain decimal odds using an example from Australia. Let’s say that Collingwood is playing Carlton in the AFL. Your bookmaker believes Collingwood is more likely to win, so it offers decimal odds of 1.13. This means for every dollar you bet, you’ll get only $1.13 in return, which is not a great profit.

On the other hand, the opposing team, Carlton, has odds at 11.00, meaning you’ll get $11.00 back on a $1.00 bet if Carlton win. Those are much better odds, but your likelihood of success is lower.

For horse racing bets, you can easily compare odds for horses with decimal odds:

  • Horse A: 23.00
  • Horse B: 6.00
  • Horse C: 61.00

You can quickly see that the lower the decimal number, the more likely the horse will win (according to the bookmakers). So in this example, Horse B is the clear favourite. Whereas bookmakers think Horse C will need a good stroke of luck to win.

Pro Tip

Always convert odds into the format that you are most comfortable with and evaluate the probability.

How to convert decimal odds to fractional odds

The easiest way is to use an odds converter, but if you’d like to calculate it yourself, minus one from the decimal, then convert to a fraction and reduce the fraction to its simplest form.

For example for decimal odds of 1.90:

  • 1.90 -1 = 0.9
  • convert to fraction = 9/10
  • this cannot be reduced further, so the fractional odds are 9/10

For decimal odds of 4.35:

  • 4.35 – 1 = 3.35
  • convert to a fraction = 335/100
  • reduce to a simpler form = 67/20

As you can see, converting decimals to fractions can yield unlikely odds. (That’s why it’s safer to convert odds using a calculator.) Bookmakers are unlikely to offer odds of 67/20, they might offer a similar rate of 10/3.