Learning To Bet Online: Different Types Of Odds

There aren't really different 'types' of odds, just different representations of the same odds depending on what format they're presented in. Here in the UK we generally use and prefer fractional odds, but in other countries decimals are popular, and America uses what's called "Moneyline" odds (though since it's pretty much just them using it, many people call the Moneyline "American Odds").

Fractional (aka "UK Odds"):
These are commonly used in Ireland as well as the UK, and show how much the bettor stands to win with his/her wager. For example, fractional odds of 3/1 would mean that a £10 bet won would yield a profit of £30 (three times the original bet), with the original stake returned as well (for a total back of £40). Fractional odds of 1/4 would mean that a £10 bet won would yield a profit of £2.50 (one quarter of the original bet, for a total of £12.50 returned with the stake included).

Decimal (aka "European Odds"):
In Australia, Canada and much of Europe outside the UK, decimal odds are the standard. These are represented as positive numbers with two decimal points defined, and are the total amount that the bettor will receive back for every unit bet. For example, a winning £10 bet placed with odds of 1.50 would return £15 in total. (£10 x 1.50). The original stake is not added back on top of that number with decimal odds when calculating the return.

Moneyline (aka "American Odds"):
These are shown either as a negative or positive number.

If the number is negative (-) it represents how much money must be wagered to win $100.
For example; if Team A has a moneyline of -130, you would have to wager $130 on them to win $100 (for a total back of $230).

If the number is positive, it represents how much you stand to win on a stake of $100.
For example, if Team B has a moneyline of +140, you would win $140 on a $100 stake (for a total back of $240).

Each of the odds can be interchanged with one another, and most sportsbooks will allow you to choose which format you'd like your betting slips to come in. If not, check out our Odds Conversion utility for an easy way to convert without having to do the math.

Choosing The Right Bookmaker:

Now that you know about the different types of bets you can make and how the odds are represented, you're pretty much ready to get started making real bets online. Of course, in order to do that, you'll first have to find a bookmaker (or bookmakers) to place your bet(s) with.

There's a number of things you should take into consideration when looking at where to wager. We'll start with the most important one:

Make Sure Your Bookmaker is "Solid":
It's not hard to find fly-by-night operations that are all too good at taking money in, but not so good at paying it out. Be sure to find a sportsbook or exchange that has a good reputation, proper licensing, and a solid overall history with bettors. There's nothing worse than getting stiffed on a winning bet.

Some of the ways less-than-reputable sportsbooks will try to entice players include offering lines that are way off the mark when compared to other bookmakers, as well as offering new player promotions that sound too good to be true (and probably are). If you're unsure where to turn, We suggest you check out our top online sportsbooks for a quick list of safe and reliable places to bet.

Make Sure They Having Banking Facilities You Can Use:
Each sportsbook should have details on their site about banking; how you can make deposits and withdrawals from your account. Depending on where you live and what you use - some may be more accommodating than others. Make sure there are both deposit and withdrawal options that are available to you.

Make Sure They Offer The Bets You Want:
If you're making straight bets on football you shouldn't have a hard time finding action at pretty much any sportsbook or exchange, but not all will offer the same games, and not all will offer every type of bet. Check out the betting slips before signing up to make sure they've got what you're looking for.

Check Out Their Current Promotions:
Don't be shy about taking some of these places up on the bonuses they offer to new players. There's lots of free bets and other promos out there to be taken advantage of. Decide how much you'll be depositing and wagering, try to find reputable sportsbooks with the best offers for that money, then enjoy the promotions. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions attached to any bonus first so you know all the rules beforehand.

You can find our list of the top 10 promotions listed here.

Have Accounts With Multiple Books to Get The Best Odds:
Bookmakers set their own odds which normally start off pretty close to one-another - but depending on who's betting on what and where, the lines can constantly shift before an event. This means you'll often find better odds with one sportsbook at any given time than another, and all other things equal - you should naturally try to bet where you'll get the best odds.

Having multiple accounts open and at the ready with a variety of sportsbooks and exchanges allows you to compare the odds beforehand and take advantage of the best bet, wherever it might be at the time.

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