# How Do Fractional Odds Work? Fractional Odds Explained

#### UNIT 2.4 – FRACTIONAL ODDS

## Introduction To Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are one of the most common ways to express betting odds in the United Kingdom. While they may seem confusing to beginners, they are actually quite straightforward once you understand how they work.

**Fractional odds simply represent the ratio of your stake to your winnings. **

Similarly to American odds, Fractional odds demonstrate how much you can potentially profit as opposed to your total return. Like all forms of odds, Fractional odds do more than help you calculate your profit, but indicate the level of risk you may be taking on as a bettor.

In this section of the course, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of fractional odds, explaining how to read them and how to use them for betting effectively. While fractional odds are not essential to every betting journey, particularly for individuals located in North America, it’s useful to understand how they work so you can quickly understand this type of odds format, should you see them along the way. In all, this article will cover:

*This article is part of The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting, a course by **Canada Sports Betting.*

## How To Read Fractional Odds In Sports Betting

Fractional odds are also known as British odds or traditional odds, and they are typically used in the United Kingdom and Ireland. These odds are represented as fractions, such as 5/1, 2/3, or 9/4. Similarly to American odds, Fractional odds show the amount of profit you stand to make, not the total return like with decimal odds. The two numbers in the fraction have specific meanings:

- The numerator (the number on the left or top) represents the potential profit you can make from a bet.
- The denominator (the number on the right or bottom) represents the stake or the amount of money you need to wager.

**In essence, fractional odds show the ratio of your stake to potential profit, or Profit / Stake**. Let’s break it down with some examples.

Say you encounter odds of ⅔. This means that for every $3 you wager, you stand to make a profit of $2. In other words, you’ll make ⅔ of your stake in winnings. If you bet $30 at 2/3 odds and win, you would receive $20 in profit, plus your original $30 stake, for a total return of $50.

Odds of 1/1 indicate that for every $1 you wager, you stand to make a profit of $1 – also known as even money. Betting $90 at 1/1 odds and winning would result in a profit of $90, plus your original $90 stake, for a total return of $180.

If you see odds of 5/2, it means that for every $2 you wager, you could make a profit of $5 if your bet is successful. So, if you bet $10 at 5/2 odds and win, you would receive $25 in profit, plus your original $10 stake, for a total return of $35.

## Identifying The Favourite and Underdog in Fractional Odds

Now that you understand how fractional odds work, it’s essential to know how to interpret them in the context of a betting market. Like all of other forms of odds, fractional odds will have a favourite, underdog, and even money markets.

**The favourite:** When the numerator is smaller than the denominator (e.g., 1/3, 2/5), it means that the outcome is considered likely by bookmakers. We would consider these fractions the favourite. In such cases, you would need to wager a larger amount to win a smaller profit. For example, with odds of 1/3, you’d have to bet $30 to win $10 in profit.

**Even Money:** Even money odds are represented as 1/1. In this case, your potential profit is equal to your stake. If you bet $50 at even money odds and win, you’d receive $50 in profit, plus your original $50 stake, for a total return of $100. Even money odds usually occur with two very closely matched competitors.

**The underdog**: When the numerator is larger than the denominator (e.g., 5/2, 7/4), it means that the outcome is considered less likely by bookmakers, and is therefore the underdog. Here, you could make a larger profit than your stake. For instance, with odds of 5/2, a $20 bet would yield a profit of $50, plus your original $20 stake, for a total return of $70.

## How To Calculate Fractional Odds

To calculate your potential profit with fractional odds, you can use the following formula:

**Profit = Stake * (Numerator / Denominator)**

Let’s apply this formula to the examples we used earlier:

Here’s a simple example. We know that even money odds of 2 translate to even money American odds of +100. Let’s check this is true with our formula.

Let’s say you’re given 2/3 odds and you’d like to bet a $30 stake:

**Profit = $30 * (2/3) **

**Profit = $30 * (0.67)**

**Profit = $20**

Let’s say you’re given even odds and you’d like to bet a $90 stake:

**Profit = $90 * (1/1)**

**Profit = $90 / 1 **

**Profit = $90**

Let’s say you’re given 5/1 odds and you’d like to bet a $10 stake:

**Profit = $10 * (5/2)**

**Profit = $10 * (2.5)**

**Profit = $25**

In essence, to calculate your payout in every instance, all you have to do is convert your fraction to a decimal and multiply that decimal by your stake.

## How To Convert Fractional Odds to American

Converting fractional odds to American odds is relatively straightforward once you understand the process. American odds are similar to fractional odds in that they represent how much profit you can make on a bet, and are therefore fairly straightforward to convert. Here’s how you can convert fractional odds to American odds:

First, determine if the fractional odds are the favourite or the underdog. If the numerator is smaller than the denominator, it’s considered the favourite. For example, 1/2 or 3/5 would be allotted to the favourite. If the numerator is larger than the denominator, it’s considered the underdog.

Next, if the odds are for a favourite, use the following formula:

**American Odds = -100 / (Numerator / Denominator)**

Here’s a simple example. We know that even money odds of 2 translate to even money American odds of +100. Let’s check this is true with our formula.

For example, if you have fractional odds of 1/2:

**American Odds = -100 / 0.5**

**American Odds = -200**

So, 1/2 fractional odds are equivalent to -200 American odds. This means that to make a $100 profit, you need to wager $200. This makes sense if you think about it both ways: fractional odds of ½ tells us that for every $2 wagered you’ll win back $1. American odds of -200 tells us that we need to wager $200 to win back $100. Proportionally, wagering $200 and winning back $100 is equivalent to wagering $2 and winning back $1.

If the odds are for an underdog, use the following formula:

**American Odds = (Numerator / Denominator) * 100**

Here’s a simple example. We know that even money odds of 2 translate to even money American odds of +100. Let’s check this is true with our formula.

For example, if you have fractional odds of 3/1:

**American Odds = (3/1) * 100**

**American Odds = 300**

So, 3/1 fractional odds are equivalent to +300 American odds. This means that if you bet $100, you stand to make a $300 profit. If you bet less than $100, your profit will be proportionally smaller.