American odds explained

A dollar bill and two sport items

A dollar bill and two sport itemsWith sports betting being so popular around the world, it’s no surprise that there are a wide array of ways to read sports betting odds. Just like the world has different systems of measurement, there are plenty of ways for betting odds to be read. The most common forms of betting odds, though, are those that are deemed the European systems and the American betting odds. These mean the same thing in the end, but present different ways of reading the odds. These odds end up being found in the same place, and mean the same things, but it can’t be stressed enough how different they are when you look at them. This is because each system of odds uses different sets of numbers to convey the same message, each of which take a little bit of getting used to. Here is a look at the differences between each form of odds.

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European odds

European betting odds have two different ways of being presented. There is the fractional system of odds, and the decimal system of odds. The fractional system, unsurprisingly, uses fractions to get its point across. Meanwhile, the decimal system uses numbers with decimals attached to them to show bettors what their payoffs will be should they win a bet.

For example, a bet with 3/1 odds in the fractional system will have odds of 4.00 in the decimal system. Both of those numbers tell bettors that for every $1 they wager, they will get $3 in profit should their bet win. For bets that are heavier favorites, you might see something like ⅕ odds, which state that a bettor would have to bet $5 to win $1. In decimal, these odds would be expressed as 1.20, to say that a bettor would get back $0.20 for each $1 wagered.

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American odds

The American system can be easier or more difficult to understand depending on a player’s perspective. Instead of having two sets of values, American odds just use a plus or minus system to convey who is the favorite and who is the underdog. If a betting option has odds preceded by a plus, it means that betting $100 would win you that amount listed. For example, +300 odds would mean that a $100 bet would yield $300 in profit. Odds of -300 meanwhile, signify that a bettor would need to risk $300 for the chance at $100 in profit.

There are easy ways for bettors to figure out how their odds translate to their preferred format. There are online calculators that will do this work for you, and there are also sites that will allow bettors to choose which format they want to use as their default setting. Whichever type of odds are chosen, it is important to remember that they all have an equivalent value at the end of the day.

There are big differences in the way that American and European odds are presented, but the most important thing is that bettors know what they need to risk to win what they want to.

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