What are fixed odds?

Fixed odds betting is just a fancy name for the type of betting you see everyday. Typically you have an event on which a bookmaker offers odds. These odds are considered fixed (or the live price) because they don’t change after you have bet on them. Once you have placed a bet you stand to win your stake multiplied by the odds that you received at the time of betting. It’s as simple as that, and this simplicity makes fixed odds betting the most popular type of betting in the world.

Types of fixed odds betting

Because fixed odds betting is the most common type of betting, there are odds available for almost anything you can think of. Fixed odds football betting is the most popular, but markets aren’t just available for sports. Fixed odds financial betting as well as political betting are both gaining popularity.

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The odds of fixed odds betting

There are 3 main types of odds that you will see. These vary depending on what country you are in.

Fractional odds

Fractional odds are commonly seen in the UK and Ireland and as you can probably guess, they are odds expressed as a fraction. An example of fractional odds is 1/4, pronounced as 1 to 4. You work out a potential profit from your bet by dividing the numbers (1 divided by 4) then multiplying it by your stake. The answer you get will be your profit, and you will also receive your stake back.

Decimal odds

These are the odds that you will see in most continental European bookmakers. The majority of online bookmakers also either work in decimal or offer the option to view prices in decimal.

For fixed odds betting, decimal odds are considered easier to work with as it is easier to work out you profit at a glance. An example of decimal odds is 1.25. You work out how much you stand to gain by multiplying the decimal odds price by your stake.

Decimal odds include the profit you stand to make as well as your original stake, so when you see a price that is the total money you will receive back if you win.

From fractional to decimal odds

To work from fractional odds to decimal odds you divide the fraction and add 1. For example, 1/4 = 0.25 (+1) = 1.25

The reason decimal odds are favoured is because they take out the step of dividing the numbers that has to be done with fractional odds, which sometimes can’t be done without a calculator.



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Moneyline odds

Moneyline odds are commonly used in United States fixed odds betting. Often also referred to as American odds, these type of odds will be quoted as a positive or negative value. E.g. +400 or -400.

When you see a positive number, this is quoting how much you will win from a $100 stake. So +400 is the same as saying 4/1 or 5.0.

When you see a negative number, this is quoting how much you have to bet to win $100. So -400 is the same as saying 1/4 or 1.25.

To convert positive moneyline odds to decimal, you simply divide by 100 and then add 1. To convert negative moneyline odds to decimal you have to divide 100 by the moneyline odds (without the minus sign) and then add one.

From moneyline odds to decimal

For a moneyline of +400, 400/100 = 4 (+1) = 5.0
For a moneyline of -400, 100/400 = 0.25 (+1) = 1.25

So now you know about fixed odds betting and the 3 main formats in which odds are displayed. Hopefully this will help you in your betting success.

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