When most people think of odds (prior to beginning matched betting) they think of fractional odds in the format of 2/1, 7/2, 10/1 etc. For example a horse with a good chance of winning a race might have odds of 2/1 whereas a three legged donkey would be closer to 5000/1!
When we start matched betting we will inevitably start using betting exchanges which always make use of decimal odds instead of the fractional odds we are use to seeing at the bookies. Don’t panic however – once you start using decimal odds you will see they are much easier to work with and before you know it you will love them!
To see these two different types of odds in action let’s look at an example:
In the below image we can see the first few runners in a horse race priced up using fractional odds:
“Remarkable” is the favorite with odds of 9/4, this means a £4 steak would return a £9 profit (a £13 overall return including our stake) should he win.
Switching to Decimal Odds
Almost all bookies websites use fractional odds by default however, almost all of them provide an option to switch to decimal odds once we are logged in. The settings to do this are usually hidden away under the settings menu although some sites make it easy for us and have it available at the top / bottom of each page. Below is an example of the odds settings tab on the Coral website found at the top of each page:
Now we have switched the website to decimal odds we can see the same racing coupon with the new decimal odds on it. As we can see below “Remarkable” is now priced at odds of 3.25:
So, if Remarkable wins the race at odds of 3.25 our total return from the same £4 stake used above would be £13 (4 x 3.25 = £13). Our £4 steak is included in the return with decimal odds so once removed this means a £9 profit again!
Converting Fractional to Decimal Odds
If for any reason decimal odds aren’t available the conversion of fractional odds to decimal odds is really easy. Simply divide the first part of the fraction by the second part and then add 1 to the result. For example “Remarkable” which was used in the example above was priced at 9/4 in fractional odds so 9 / 4 = 2.25 + 1 = 3.35 in decimal.