From all three popular types of odds, decimal odds are my personal favorite. They are easier to read with no need of performing any calculation than fractional odds and American odds.
Decimal odds are represented in decimal form, like this 1.444 odds.
- The numbers on the right side of the decimal represent the possible profit, in the example .444 means 44% in profit for a bet.
- The number on the left side of the decimal represent the stake, in the example “1” means your stake, whatever that number is.
Decimal Odds Calculator
Online you can find many decimal odds calculators for free, we like using OddsChecker. But feel free to search for whichever you like best, in most probability your sportsbook hosts one or you can calculate your stake directly on the betting slip.
Rule of Thumb: Take odds above 1.4 and 1.5, which are 40% and 50% in value.
Example of Decimal Odds
Game between Inverness CT vs Celtic
Celtic to Win 1.72 odds
£25.00 * 1.72 = £43.18
*The calculation is very easy, just remember that with decimal odds the final result includes the stake, so to know your winnings you can either subtract the stake or do the calculation without the whole number on the left side of the odds.
To know your winnings:
£43.18 – £25.00 = £18.18 in profit
*£18.18 pounds is roughly 72% in winnings, so it is very easy to know how much value the decimal odds offer simply by reading the last two digits of the odds and consider them a percentage.
How to Read Decimal Odds
Now you know how to easily know how much a decimal odd will return in profits and how to calculate your winnings, with or without the stake amount.
I strongly suggest to do the calculation without the stake so you can keep track of your performance on an excel sheet. If you include the stake on your winnings you would be seeing a false performance measurement as your winnings would be inflated by your own balance.
But decimal odds will not always appear with a “1” in front of them. Sometimes you will see odds like this:
2.4, 3, or even 57.
The higher the whole numbers on the left side of the decimal the bigger the payout.
To calculate the possible winnings without the stake do the same as before, with an additional process:
West Ham vs West Brom
West Ham to Win 3.40 odds
*You know just by looking at the odds that 40% is your projected profit should West Ham win, but as the odds have a “3” on the left side then multiply your winnings by 2x (not three because you have to discount the stake). So the calculation should look something like this:
£25.00 * 2.40 = £60.00 winnings
Or do it with the stake…
£25.00 *3.40 = £85.00
And then remove the stake by subtraction …
£85.00 – £25.00 = £60.00 winnings
Now you see why they are easier to use than fractional odds?
Why It Is Better to Calculate Odds Without the Stake
Smart bettors will always keep a record of all their bets and historical performance. Not so much to assert your betting picks in terms of prediction skill, but the value in selections and money management.
If you are prone to take sure bets with odds that are usually around 1.4 or more than 40% value in bets, then it should be clear that to see a profit you need to win every 3 of 4 bets. These types of bets are the usual super favorite, like Manchester United vs West Brom, or Barcelona vs some unknown team.
With a 40% profit and a 3 out of 4 correct bets average record, your final ROI or final earnings should be of 20% of your balance. Lose more bets than that average and your balance will be in the negative side.
Just by taking bets with 50% in value, or 1.5, you have to win 2 out of 4 bets to end break even. A much better scenario with a slight difference in odds.
Betting Tip: Always aim to odds with more than 40% value, make it as a rule that this should be your strict minimum range to take a bet.
*Follow our money management tips to maintain your account balance healthy.
Wikipedia, Fixed Odds Betting, 2015