Demystifying Betting Myths
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# Understanding Betting Odds – Moneyline, Fractional Odds, Decimal Odds, Hong Kong Odds, IN Odds, MA Odds

### The Two Types of Odds Formats

There are all kinds of explanations on the Internet about various odds types, and the majority of them distinguish between fractional, decimal, and moneyline odds.

Image: paffy (Shutterstock)

Unfortunately, this is misleading and mathematically speaking, incorrect. There are only two types of odds, which are unrelated to their displays as fractions, decimals or, as in America, whole numbers.

Just remember those long ago school days (for some of us!)… A fraction, such as 6/5, converts into a decimal 1.2, or vice versa. Both numbers are the same, only written using different formats.

Here are the two main types of odds, including their formulas…

### (1) Single-tier – (Net) Return Odds:

Fractional and Hong Kong odds are actually exchangeable. The only difference is that the UK odds are presented as a fractional notation (e.g. 6/5) whilst the Hong Kong odds are decimal (e.g. 1.2). Both exhibit the net return.

The European odds also represent the potential winnings (net returns), but in addition they factor in the stake (e.g. 6/5 or 1.2 plus 1 = 2.2).

### (2) Two-tiered – Moneyline Odds: highlighting the amount of money risked, or the amount of money won:

Odds commonly referred to as ‘moneyline’ are mainly US bookmakers odds and also known as American odds. Moneyline means the money wagered either to win 100 units (e.g. -400), or money which will be won from a 100 units wager (e.g. +120).

However, both Indonesian and Malaysian odds, although displayed as decimals are, strictly speaking, ‘moneyline’ odds but their basis is 1 unit and not 100. Whilst the Indonesian odds closely resemble the American moneyline odds, Malaysian odds are a kind of “inverted” Indonesian style, combined with Hong Kong odds.

Although this may all sound pretty confusing, and the odds certainly look very different at first glance (see table below), just have a closer look at the above formulas – all odds are calculated using their net returns (formula for net return: 1/probability – 1) and change their formula at 50% probability (this is what is actually understood under by term ‘money-line’).

### SINGLE-TIER – (Net) Return Odds

#### Fractional Odds (also known as Traditional or British/UK)

Fractional odds are favoured by bookmakers in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Fractional odds quote the net return that will be paid out to the bettor, should he win, relative to his stake. Odds of 6/5 (“six-to-five”) imply that the bettor will cash £120 from a £100 stake. Should the punter win, he always receives his original stake back, plus the winnings.

So, if the odds are 6/5 and the stake is £100, then the total return is £220 (£120 winnings plus the original £100 stake).

Odds of 1/1 are known as ‘evens’ or ‘even money’. Not all fractional odds traditionally show the lowest common denominator. Perhaps most unusually, odds of 10/3 are read as “one-hundred-to-thirty”.

#### Hong Kong Odds (also known as HK Odds)

Image: Scott Maxwell (Shutterstock)

Hong Kong Odds are mainly used by people living in Hong Kong. Until 1997, Hong Kong was under British rule and therefore it should not be a surprise that HK odds closely resemble traditional British odds. The only difference is that HK odds are written in a decimal notation whilst the UK odds use fractions.

Hong Kong odds, as well as their UK counterparts, both quote the net return that will be paid out to the bettor should he win, relative to his stake. Odds of 1.2 in Hong Kong are the same as 6/5 (“six-to-five”) in the UK and both imply that the bettor will earn a net profit of £120 from a £100 stake. Should the punter win, he always receives his original stake back, plus the profit.

It follows that if the HK odds are 1.2 and the stake is £100 then the total return is £220 (£120 winnings plus the original £100 stake).

#### Decimal Odds (also known as European or Continental)

Decimal odds are standard on betting exchanges and they are favoured in continental Europe, Australia, and Canada.

Decimal odds are equivalent to the decimal value of the fractional odds, plus one. Because decimal odds are simply 1 divided by probability (= 1/probability) they are easier to use in calculations and we therefore favour them for our articles and explanations.

Thus, ‘even odds’ 1/1 are quoted in decimal notation as 2.0; the 6/5 fractional odds (1.2 HK odds) discussed above are quoted as 2.2. Decimal odds quote the net return paid out to the bettor PLUS the original stake.

So if the odds are 2.2 and the stake is €100 then the total return is €220 (€120 winnings including the original €100 stake).

### TWO-TIERED – MONEYLINE ODDS Highlighting the Amount of Money Risked, or the Amount of Money Won Change of Formula at 50% Probability

Odds commonly referred to as ‘moneyline’ are the odds which are mainly used by US bookmakers. These odds mean the money wagered either to win 100 units, or the money which will be won from a 100 unit wager.

Please note that both Indonesian and Malaysian odds are also ‘moneyline’ odds although often wrongly referred to just as ‘decimal odds’, probably due to their decimal notation, whilst US moneyline odds are shown in whole numbers.

However, both Indonesian as well as Malaysian odds have the same underlying formulas as the US moneyline odds, only that their basis is 1 unit and not 100.

Last Update: 15 February 2018

### 2 Responses to “Understanding Betting Odds – Moneyline, Fractional Odds, Decimal Odds, Hong Kong Odds, IN Odds, MA Odds”

1. 22 October 2021 at 12:18 am #

Helped me with odds /fixed

2. 21 September 2018 at 3:27 am #

Betting odds are expressed in three popular formats: fractional (British), decimal (European) and American (moneyline). These formats hold no difference in terms of final payoffs. Fractional odds are the ratio of the amount (profit) won to the stake; Decimal odds represent the amount one wins for every \$1 wagered; and American odds, depending on the negative or positive sign, either indicate the amount one needs to wager to win \$100 or the amount one would win for every \$100 staked.

So, if you are planning to enter the betting or the gambling world, it is important to understand and interpret these types of odds well.