What’s the Difference Between American, Decimal, & Fractional Odds?

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Tottenham's Dejan Kulusevski, foreground right, scores his side's third goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023.
(AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Dec 14, 2023, 8:24 AM

In the world of odds and online sports betting, there are several different languages that are used to express the same idea.

In the United States, most bettors are used to American odds. American odds revolve around the number 100. 

For instance, a big moneyline favorite might be represented as -500. That’s a favorite that bettors must wager $500 on in order to win a $100 return. 

For underdogs, a +300 moneyline underdog will return a $300 profit on a successful $100 bet.

Fractional and decimal odds can offer the exact same favorites and underdogs, but those odds will be expressed differently.

In fractional odds, that -500 American favorite will instead be 1/5. In decimal odds, it will be 1.2.

Similarly, the +300 underdog is represented as 3/1 in fractional odds and 4.0 (or just 4) in decimal odds.

Big plus-rated numbers become more prevalent in parlay betting. You can use BetMGM’s parlay calculator as a helpful tool in this area.

What Countries Use Decimal Odds?

Decimal odds are primarily used in European countries. In fact, decimal odds are sometimes referred to as European odds.

This does not include the UK or Ireland, where fractional odds are common.

Decimal odds are also the favored form of numeric representation in Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of Canada.

Visit the sportsbook for updated odds, the best sportsbook promos — including BetMGM’s welcome offer — and more.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.