It’s impossible for even the most dedicated enthusiast to be acquainted with every nuance of every game, which is why bookies invented betting odds. A variety of standard forms and arcane traditions govern the way odds are calculated and presented. What’s more important, the quality of odds separates ordinary from the best betting sites.

In order to understand the whole odds system, plenty of research has to be conducted. To save you time, we have prepared this article so that you can have betting odds explained in a simple, down-to-earth manner, without any need for a further search for information.

**Betting Odds Guide**

The practice of applying odds to bets probably dates back to the very first bets ever made. The modern system was conceived and refined by Harry Ogden, an English bookie from the 18th century. Ogden noticed that some horses were more likely to win than the others, so he devised a system of odds that would adjust winnings accordingly while giving punters more information about the bets they were making.

Nowadays, odds are a staple of betting and there is no bookmaker that doesn’t feature them on the homepage where they are, most often, expressed as fractions or decimals. The US betting market has its own system where odds are based on the number 100.

**Fractional Betting Odds Explained**

As the name implies, fractional odds are represented as fractions. When a sportsbook says the odds of a particular event happening are 4/5, it means that the punter who bets £5 will receive his money back plus £4 if he has picked the right horse. A punter who stakes £10 on a winning event with the odds of 4/5 can expect £40 of profit, or a win of £90 altogether. Although fractional odds aren’t terribly precise, they offer an easy and comprehensive way for punters to learn how much they will win.

**Decimal Betting Odds Explained**

Even though they offer more precision, decimal odds are a bit more complicated, and the best way to approach them is as if they were inverted probability. Decimal odds are essentially equivalent to the decimal value of fractional odds, plus one. For example, the odds for an event represented as 4/5 can be represented as 0.80, which means the event has an 80% chance of happening. Therefore, since 0.80 is the decimal equivalent of 4/5, add 1 to the result and you will get the decimal equivalent of the fractional odds expressed as 4/5.

This may seem complicated, but you don’t have to do the conversions manually. Most betting sites include a betting odds calculator that translates one type of odds to the other.

To predict your winnings with decimal odds, simply multiply your bet by the decimal odds. For example, a stake of £10 placed on a bet with the odds of 2.5 will yield a £25 return.

**American Betting Odds**

American odds are perhaps the easiest to understand. Odds have 100 as the base and a plus or minus sign. A minus sign indicates how much a punter has to stake in order to get $100, while a plus sign indicates how much a punter might profit by betting $100. For example, $100 staked at +120 betting odds will have a payout of $120.

**Odds and Ends**

Betting odds serve as a signal generated by bookies for punters, so punters can know how to make a rational or daring choice when placing a bet. Betting sites represent odds in various ways, including fractional, decimal, and American conventions. Fractional odds are the most widely used in the UK, largely because they are the easiest to understand. However, if bettors have a hard time converting odds, they can always use an online calculator. Websites provide so many buttons, calculations, and shortcuts that anyone can make a bet, but no one should start betting before having betting odds explained to them and fully understanding how they work; so make sure you familiarise yourself with all the rules and betting details beforehand.