Betting odds explained

Betting odds explained

Betting odds can appear daunting at first glance but they are actually quite straightforward to calculate. We’ve devised a beginners guide to explain betting odds.

How do odds work?

When looking at the odds (price) of a horse, the two formats used are decimals and fractions. Betting exchanges operate in decimals, whereas fixed-odds betting firms generally operate in fractions.

When determining the returns of a fractional bet, the second number always suggests the stake and the first number denotes what the profit will be if the bet wins. Take 4/1 as an example. If you stake £1 on a horse, then you stand to win £4 if the selection wins the race, which excludes your initial stake. In contrast, the decimal format factors in the initial stake. Betting odds of 4/1 would equate to 5.0 in decimal terms, 5/1 would be 6.0, and so forth.

See the chart below for a breakdown of betting odds in both fractional and decimal format, showing forecasted returns to £5 level stakes for the key prices in a market.

Knowing your odds

Fractional

Decimal WIN RETURNS FROM £5  (inc. stake)

1-2

1.5

£7.50

4-7 1.57

£7.86

8-13

1.62 £8.08

4-6

1.67 £8.33
8-11 1.73

£8.64

4-5

1.80 £9.00
5-6 1.83

£9.16

10-11 1.91

£9.55

1-1

2.00

£10.00

11-10

2.10 £10.50

6-5

2.20 £11.00

5-4

2.25 £11.25

11-8

2.38

£11.87

6-4

2.50

£12.50

13-8

2.63

£13.13

7-4

2.75 £13.75

15-8

2.88 £14.38

2-1

3.00 £15.00
9-4 3.25

£16.25

5-2 3.50

£17.50

11-4 3.75

£18.75

3-1

4.00

£20.00

100-30

4.33

£21.66

7-2

4.5

£22.50

4-1

5.00 £25.00
9-2 5.50

£27.50

5-1

6.00

£30.00

11-2

6.50

£32.50

6-1

7.00

£35.00

13-2

7.50

£37.50

7-1 8.00

£40.00

15-2

8.50

£42.50

8-1

9.00 £45.00
17-2 9.50

£47.50

9-1

10.00 £50.00

10-1

11.00

£55.00

25-1 26.00

£130.00

33-1

34.00 £170.00
50-1 51.00

£255.00

If you want to work out your winnings from a multiple bet such as an accumulator, we recommend you use a betting calculator to do it for you. See our list of betting calculators here.