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Betting odds systems in different countries [Explainer]

American betting odds system, UK betting odds system and other odds systems explained.

Betting Odds systems in different countries

The way betting odds are written vary from country to country, it is important to know how to identify and convert them.

What many do not know, are not aware of, or are privy to its existence but lack any other concrete knowledge about reason, conversion, scaling and interpretation is the difference in which odds are written from country to country.

Localised betting companies are becoming more and more accessible over the internet, and many times interesting picks are found, but are written for consumers in a particular region, using odds peculiar to said region, creating a sort of barrier.

What this article hopes to do is break that language barrier.


Decimal odds are the most straightforward way with which outcome probabilities are expressed in betting.

It would also be the benchmark for explaining other odds and how they are expressed in this article.

The base unit for the decimal odds system is one and the odds are directly multiplied with the stake to give payout.

1.5 odds in the decimal odds system means the stake multiplied by 1.5 with the value being the payout, and so on.


This is the preferred type of odds used in the UK and instead of betting odds written as decimals, they are written as a fraction.

To know what the odds would be expressed as decimals, one has to divide the number on top of the fraction by the one below it. To know what the payout would be, one has to multiply the odds by the stake then go on to add the stake, as the odds only account for profit.

For example, say you are scrolling through twitter and you see an option from paddy power with odds written as 3/1, this means if you bet 100 of whatever currency you spend, the payout would be like this


Stake: 100

Odds: 3 divided by 1 = 3.00

Profit: 3.0 x 100 = 300

Return: Stake (100) + Profit (300) = 400.

This basically means a decimal odd expressed as 4.00 odds, would be written as 3/1 in the fraction odds system.


Just like the academic protest against the metric system, using pounds instead of kilogrammes, yards instead of metres and so on.

Americans do not not write odds using decimals instead they use something that has come to be known as 'American odds'.

This might be a little complicated to grasp, but it's very simple once understood.

The first thing to understand is American odds are written as favourites or underdogs, i.e the odds are expressed with the likelihood of outcome.


Outcomes with a higher likelihood of happening I.e having a chance of more than 50% are written with a negative value in front of them, and the higher the value the higher the likelihood of the outcome e.g Manchester city to beat Burnley is at -600

Outcomes that have lower possibility of happening are written with a positive value in front of them e.g Nottingham forest to win the premier league at +40000 odds.

American odds always have a base value of $100 and the odds are written to express how much would be won based on that $100


Odds with (+) in front of them express how much money you would win with every 100 dollar bet [remember (+) is used to express odds for outcomes that are not very likely], odds with (+) on them start from 2.00 odds in the decimal odds system.

That means a +100 odds would give you $100 profit for every $100 staked, meaning you receive a payout of $200 if you bet $100 on it. A +250 odds would give you $250 profit for every $100 staked, so a $200 stake should get you $700, which is the equivalent of 3.50 odds decimal odds.

Odds with (-) In Front of them indicate how much you have to stake to get a $100 dollar profit. To paint a clear picture of this, you know those tickets you see where a punter stakes a million on a return that has a profit of only 20,000.

You would do well to remember that those stakes are usually on 'sure' games, flash your mind back to earlier in the article where the use of (-) is used for the favourites, exactly it is just like that.

So imagine 1,000,000 Is the base, if a stake of a million only gets you 20k how much do you have to stake to get a million, that is the idea of (-) odds.


$100 is the base and the odds would be written in the amount of money one has to bet to reach that $100. A -1000 odds would mean a bettor has to stake $1000 to make a profit of $100 and get a payout of $1100, that is an equivalent of 1.10 odds in the decimal odds system, and a -350 odds would mean $100 is won on every stake of $350, if the stake is less than 350 dollars on a -350 odds, the profit would be less than $100.

Honk Kong odds are used by most Asian bookmakers, and they are a cross between decimal odds and fractional odds.

Hong Kong odds are expressed as decimals Just like decimal odds, but only express the odds in terms of profits like fractional odds i.e just like fractional odds one would have to add the stake after multiplying the odds and stake to get the payout value.


The 1.0 in 1.2 odds in the decimal odds system is the value of the stake, because the value of the stake is not factored into Hong kong odds, 1.2 decimal system odds would be written as 0.2 Hong Kong odds.

If a stake of ¥100 is made on 0.5 Hong Kong odds

Stake: ¥100

Odds: 0.5

Profit: 0.5 x 100 = 50


Return: Stake (100) + Profit (50) = ¥150.

Indonesia odds are like American odds however instead of the base value being 100, it is 1.

Every other thing is the same.

Malaysian odds are also like American odds however unlike American odds, (+) is used to indicate favourites, and (-) is used for underdogs , and instead of the base value being hundred, it is 1.


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