Online Betting Odds Explained

You need betting odds explained before placing a real money sports bet online in India, but – surprisingly – many top sportsbooks don’t explain how to use betting odds. Our expert guide will explain betting odds to you in a simple way that’s easy to apply to all your sports bets!

Here’s what you get on this page:

Once you understand how betting odds work, dive right in with one of our top online sports betting sites in India:

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Major Sports Restart

The world of top-class sport is beginning to restart following the outbreak of coronavirus. Even if your favourite sport isn’t quite ready, there’s loads of action you can bet on.

Major competitions in football, MMA, horse racing and esports have already restarted or are about to do so. Check out our expert guides and find the best sites for betting on these sports today.

How Do Online Betting Odds Work?

If you just want betting odds explained, it can sometimes be a frustrating process. There are more than half a dozen different formats, and a lot of misinformation out there. But don’t worry – we’re here to show you exactly how betting odds work, from live horse racing odds to betting odds on the NFL.

If you really want betting odds explained you have to look at a specific type of bet. For example, you might want to understand how decimal odds work. Online betting sites using decimal odds are a good place to start as they’re easy to understand. All you have to do is multiply the decimal odds by your stake to find out how much you can potentially win.

However, there are many other betting odds explanations for other odds types, such as fractional odds, American odds and Indonesian odds. We’ll explain how betting odds work in our expert guide.

Different Types of Sports Betting Odds

If you’ve just clicked on an online sports book and the numbers mean nothing to you, it can be quite daunting. That’s where we come in. Our experts have put together a fool-proof guide to every type of sports bet you’ll find at an online betting site.

Here’s all you need to know about different types of betting odds:

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are really easy to calculate. Your bet will be represented as a number with a decimal point. All you need to do is multiply your stake by the decimal odds and you’ll be able to work out how much you’ll receive if you win!


Bet: Manchester United to beat Liverpool @ 3.00
Stake: 10 units
Calculation: Stake x decimal odds = 10 x 3 = 30
Outcome: 30 units

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are also easy to explain. The odds consist of two numbers divided by a slash. The second number is the amount you need to wager in order to win the first number in profit. If the first number is bigger than the second – e.g. 5/1 – you’re probably betting on an underdog. If the second number is bigger than the first – e.g. 2/7 – you’re likely backing the favourite.


Bet: Manchester United to beat Liverpool @ 4/1
Stake: 20 units
Calculation: Stake x (first fractional odds number/second fractional odds number) = 20 x 4 = 80
Outcome: 80 units

American Odds (Moneyline)

If you’re ever planning a visit to Las Vegas, sports book odds should be high on your agenda. Across the U.S., American odds – also known as the moneyline – are very common. They’re always based on a 100-unit wager, which is normal for players who understand how American odds work but confusing for newbies. A positive sign shows you how much you’ll win per 100 units, and a negative sign shows you how much you need to wager to win 100 units.


Bet: Manchester United to beat Liverpool @ +325
Stake: 10 units
Calculation: (Stake/100) x American odds = 0.1 x 325 = 32.5
Outcome: 32.5 units

Hong Kong Odds

You can compare Hong Kong odds and decimal odds and you won’t find much of a difference. Primarily, the chief thing you’ll notice is that Hong Kong odds do not include your stake in the pay out. So, if you place a bet at Hong Kong odds of 1.00 – which is also known as evens – you’ll win precisely one unit for every one unit wagered. You’ll also receive your stake back, but this isn’t included in Hong Kong odds.


Bet: Manchester United to beat Liverpool @ 4.2
Stake: 15 units
Calculation: Stake x Hong Kong odds = 15 x 4.2 = 63
Outcome: 63 units (+ stake)

Indonesian Odds

You’ll begin to notice a lot of overlapping information as betting odds are explained – and Indonesian odds are no different. They’re fundamentally similar to American odds. However, instead of being based around 100 units, they’re based on a single unit. Just like the moneyline, a plus sign shows you how much you’ll win per unit wagered and a minus sign shows you how much you need to wager to win a unit.


Bet: Manchester United to beat Liverpool @ 2.80
Stake: 10 units
Calculation: Stake x Indonesian odds = 10 x 2.8 = 28
Outcome: 28 units

Malaysian Odds

Don’t let the name fool you – Malay odds are used in Malaysia and outside of it, too. So, it’s a good idea to make sure you understand how Malaysian odds work. Luckily, Malay odds are among the simplest to calculate. If the odds are 0, that is an even odds bet. Anything positive is generally a favourite, and negative is an underdog.


Bet: Manchester United to beat Liverpool @ -0.25
Stake: 15 units
Calculation: (1/Malay odds) x Stake = 4 x 15 = 60
Outcome: 60 units (+ stake)

How to Read Betting Odds

If you really want betting odds explained, you need to learn how to read odds – but this is different depending on which betting odds you’re looking at. For instance, reading fractional odds is completely different to reading Malay odds.

A smart approach is to nail down decimal odds. If you learn to read decimal odds, you can make some small tweaks to understand other odds such as Indonesian odds and Hong Kong odds.

Straightforward Decimal Odds

It’s easy to explain decimal odds as they’re so straightforward. You’ll see a number with a decimal point, but no second number like you’d find in fractional odds. Instead, to understand how decimal odds work, you should remember that the outcome is always based on one unit of currency.

As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that the bigger the number, the better the odds. If it’s below one – think 0.25, for instance – this isn’t going to be the bet that changes your life. However, it may well come in!

If you see a bigger number, such as 8.00, you should instantly recognise that this is an outside bet and unlikely to land. However, if you understand how decimal odds work, you’ll see the pay out is much more appealing. This is why many players prefer these types of bets using decimal odds.

How It Works

Here are some examples of how to read betting odds for decimal odds specifically:

3.00 = 3 times your wager
8.00 = 8 times your wager
0.25 = A quarter of your wager

Once you’ve mastered an understanding of how decimal odds work, you can apply this to other odds.

Take Note of Fractional Odds

The only other betting odds with a major difference are fractional odds. With fractional odds, you’ll see two numbers. The first is how much you’ll win when you wager the second. So, 2/1 means you’ll win two units for every single unit wagered.

Calculating Payments from Betting Odds

Online sports betting odds will usually pop up in a payslip before you confirm your bet but it’s much better to have betting odds explained. If you understand how betting odds work, you’ll be able to make more informed bets and not rely on the bookmaker to show you how much you’ll win.

Usually, all you have to do is multiply your stake by the odds in order to calculate your potential pay out. You can see a full breakdown in the ‘Different Types of Sports Betting Odds’ section.

When calculating your odds, its vital that you remember whether or not your stake is included. You can refer to this in two ways:

Don’t forget to include your stake when calculating your betting odds winnings, or you could make a major mistake.

What Are Parlays and Accumulators?

If you’re used to betting odds on the NFL and enjoy checking out World Cup soccer odds, you’ve probably heard the terms ‘parlays’ and ‘accumulators’ thrown around. In some places, you’ll even hear ‘accas’. Confused? There’s no need to be – all of these are precisely the same thing!

The difference between accumulators and parlays just comes down to where you’re from. You’re more likely to hear parlay in the U.S., for instance.

A parlay is a bet which involves multiple outcomes in a single wager. Each aspect of the bet needs to work out in order for your bet to come in. Even a slight mishap usually means you win nothing.

Pros and Cons of Accumulators

The upside or betting on an accumulator is that you can potentially win big from a relatively small wager. However, their frequently long sports betting odds indicate that these bets are tough to win. There is no room for error.

For example, you could place an accumulator on four outcomes in one day:

The combined odds for this accumulator would be just over 116/1, which is a fine return for a small bet. But you could get three results correct, and one incorrect, and win nothing. For example, if Manchester United won, Chelsea drew, and Norwich beat West Ham – but Manchester City drew with West Ham – you’d walk away with a loss.

Parlays are popular with casual online sports bettors who are familiar with how betting odds work and they can be good fun, but they’re also difficult to win.

Understanding Sports Betting and Odds

Of course, there’s more to betting than just understanding how betting odds work. You also need to make smart wagers.

The best tool at your disposal is research. Don’t bet using your heart or on a whim – try to make sure the bets you make are practical and based in solid predictions. Research is the best way to achieve this. You can read up on the recent history of teams, check weather reports, search for updates on key injuries and so on. This will help give you an edge when placing real money sports bets.

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Ready for the Best Sport Betting Odds?

And that’s betting odds explained! Now that you know how to read sports odds, it’s time to give those bookmakers a run for their money. Sign up at any of our top online sports betting sites in India to enjoy the best betting odds and grab a huge welcome bonus right now!

Frequently Asked Questions

In American odds at an online sportsbook, +200 means you’ll receive 200 units of profit for every 100 units wagered.

9/4 in fractional odds means you’ll win nine units of profit for every four units wagered. Note that this doesn’t mean you have to bet four units precisely – it’s just a way to measure your winnings.

Betting on the favourite generally increases your chances of winning. Once betting odds are explained to you, it’s easy to spot the favourite in any match or sports as they’ll have slimmer odds than the underdog.

When betting on the money line, the point spread doesn’t matter. The betting odds explain how much you’ll win for every 100 units wagered.

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