The American, British, and European odds formats are three different ways of representing the same information. While odds are not only used in betting but also in investment, gambling, statistics, and calculating probability, avid sports enthusiasts are most familiar with them from the world of sports betting.
Unlike the online casinos such as SpinFever.io which rely on Random Number Generators, determining the odds for a sports event is a more delicate dance that requires some thinking. Experts rely on algorithms, rankings, historical data, and many other factors, distilled into two simple numbers for each game. And even though all formats have the same purpose, there are some key differences. Interestingly enough, many bettors are not even aware that different countries use different formats. Adding to the confusion is the fact that they can be easily misinterpreted by novice bettors due to a completely different approach. Here’s what you should know about American, British and European odds formats so you don’t end up betting on the wrong horse.
American Odds Format Explained: What’s the Deal With Pluses and Minuses?
Also known as Moneyline odds or US odds, this one is the most commonly used in the USA. This type of odds format is based on a $100 bet and uses positive and negative signs to indicate underdogs and favorites, respectively. The underdog has a plus sign next to their number (e.g. +200), while the favorite has a minus sign (e.g. -200). That’s different from the European format, where the favorite team is represented by a positive number. Some argue that American odds are unnecessarily complicated, while others argue they give a clearer overview. For example, if the odds are +110, you receive $110 for a $100 bet.
British Odds Format Explained: Straightforward Fractions
The British odds format, also referred to as fractional odds or traditional odds, is widely used in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Unlike the American odds format, this type of odds format does not use a base number and instead uses fractions to represent the potential payout. For example, if the odds are 5/1, it means that for every $1 you bet, you will receive $5 in return. On the other hand, if the odds are 1/4, it means that for every $4 you bet, you will only receive $1 in return if your bet is successful. This format is fairly straightforward to understand even for novices.
European Odds Format Explained: Most User-Friendly
The European odds format, also known as decimal odds, is the most widely used in Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This type of odds format represents the potential payout as a simple decimal number. For example, if you see odds of 2.50 on a team, it means that if you were to bet $100, you would receive a total of $250 back (including your original bet) if the team wins. Unlike the American and British formats, there is no need to perform any calculations with decimal odds as the potential payout is already factored into the displayed number. Thanks to this, European odds are especially suitable for parlay betting and are regarded as the most user-friendly of all formats.
Here are Some More Exotic Odd Formats
Yes, there are more odd formats! While the previously mentioned ones are the most widely used, some parts of the world have developed their own formats. In essence, they are localized versions of American, British, and European formats. These are most commonly used in Asia, so if you happen to travel there, this might come in handy. We have Hong Kong odds, Indonesian odds, and Malaysian odds.
Hong Kong odds are similar to the European format, although they are a combination of decimal and fractional odds, without including the original stake. For example, 3.00 in European odds would be 2.00 in Hong Kong odds.
Indonesian odds work as American odds but are represented as decimals. Therefore, a -3.00 in Indonesian odds is the same as -300 in American odds.
Lastly, Malaysian odds also use plus and minus signs, but they work the opposite of American odds. This means that -3.00 shows a favorite and not an underdog.
With this in mind, we can wrap things up. We hope you will close this article better informed about different odd formats. While differences do exist, it’s just a matter of reading the numbers correctly. And in case you end up in a heated argument with foreign bettors, or you find yourself placing a bet while on a vacation, remember that odds can easily be converted with the help of a simple odds converter.