Guide to the odds format in the EU

Guide to the odds format in the EU
  • Learn what are decimal odds
  • How to use them to calculate probability
  • What to look for when looking for the best odds

When it comes to online gambling, understanding the odds is one of the most important first steps. Odds are the method you use in order to find out how much you can win when you take the bet that is advertised. It’s therefore very important that you learn how to interpret the odds, especially if you are actually looking to make some real money when you go on these betting sites. But we do understand that things can be a little confusing. Different sites have varying odds formats and if you’re not familiar with that method, it can be hard to know what they mean.

The online betting world is becoming an increasingly global endeavour with betting sites offering a range of different odds in order to cater to the wider range of bettors visiting their sites. The UK works with fractional odds, the US with money lines, but European countries have something else, once again. In Europe, you will find decimal odds and it is on these odds that we will focus throughout this overview. So, if you are ready to take that plunge, join us now as we explore all you need to know to understand decimal odds and make the best betting decisions.

Understanding decimal odds

Decimal odds are the most commonly used method of displaying odds in Europe, but for UK players can be a little confusing when first faced with them. When you see decimal odds, it is the number that you see that will be the total return you get on a bet if you are lucky enough to win it. This will include the original bet value that you made. Decimal odds are based on just a single unit. In order to calculate your total return you will have to multiply the decimal odd with the amount that you plan on placing as a bet.

Here’s an example of decimal odds in action: odds of 6.00 with a £3 bet will give you £18 in total (£15 profit and your £3 bet). As you get to grips with decimal odds, it is very important to remind yourself that the odds are the full value of what you will get in return – it’s not just showing you the profit. Therefore, when making your bets, you need to factor this into the bet amount that you place. It’s actually not that hard to understand, once you have practised it a few times, converting back and forth to a method you know well.

Top European sports

It will come as no surprise to hear that the top sport in Europe is football. Almost every country has a team and there are numerous small tournaments and championships within each country to keep everyone excited, without even counting the international events. Needless to say, football has a huge betting market with an inordinate number of betting options and events where players can place wagers on. Other popular sports do vary by country but they all have a large number of betting options and markets to partake in, meaning the European bettors never miss a sporting event. Some of the top sports include:

  • Football
  • Rugby Union
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • F1
  • Basketball

Advantages of decimal odds

Decimal odds have, for a long time, been the most popular method of showing odds in most of Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. But why is this? Well, it’s simple really. Fractional odds can actually be confusing as calculations can create rather large numbers. For instance, if the decimal odds are 1.46 the fractional match would be 23/50, which is really rather confusing! Figuring out what the return on a £1 bet would be, using the decimal odds, is going to be much easier than trying to figure it out with that rather massive set of fractions.

Why use decimal odds?

It may seem strange to use decimal odds when fractional odds are available. This point is particularly pertinent when it becomes apparent that you can’t actually calculate the probability of an event occurring when using decimal odds. However, there are a number of reasons why using them is helpful. For most people, they are actually clearer and easier to understand as they don’t have fractions. They’re also easier to use at a betting exchange, for example, as they can be compared more easily. It’s also simpler to calculate overall odds from multiple bets using decimals, as you can just multiply the odds for the individual bet.

Finding the best odds

When it comes to finding the best odds, this will take a little bit of time. It will require that you have a look at a number of different betting sites and compare the odds offered for a specific event and particular bet type. Most of the time these are very similar, as bookies are highly competitive. In this instance, choosing where to play comes down to other details about the sports betting site specifically, such as licensing, bonus options, payment methods, customer service and the betting market available for your preferred sport. The final decision must be made by you!

Final thoughts

Even if you have grown up accustomed to one set of betting odds, it’s hard to argue against how easy it is to use and understand decimal odds. Okay, so for some of us it might take a while getting used to, but once you’ve convert between fractions and decimal odds a few times, it will become a lot easier. Generally, most betting sites will offer the option to switch between the two types, so if you’re really stuck, simply switch over to the format that you prefer! At the end of the day, the profit will be exactly the same, you’ll just understand it better!

Take a look at other odds formats

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Author: Josh Slaiter
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