Betting odds are used by bookmakers and exchanges to display how much a specific outcome will return if a bet wins.

Bookmakers will usually display their odds in 3 categories. These are fractional, decimal and European. Understanding fractional odds can be a bit of a struggle if you’ve never placed a bet before but are the main default set by bookmakers.

If you walked into any high street bookmaker to place a bet the odds would be displayed in fractions and they look a little something like this: 9/1 (9 to 1), 9/4 (9 to 4) or 7/4 (7 to 4). For somebody that had been betting in bookmakers for years they would know how much each would return from a £10 stake, but do you?

Decimal odds are much easier to understand which is why, as a matched bettor it is important to use decimal odds as our prefix. Not only is it a lot clearer to understand our returns from a stake, exchanges also use decimal odds as their prefix.

Lets have a look as some examples:

We need to place a qualifying bet at the exchange. The offer is simple, bet £10 to receive a £10 free bet. Our chosen selection is laying at 2.8 and the bookmaker currently has odds of 7/4.

To work this out we must use the equation ((Stake / Demoninator) x Numerator) + Stake. In this case ((£10/4) x 7) + £10 = £27.50. Pretty confusing.

However, if we were working in decimals we would immediately see our odds displayed as 2.75. Our equation just became a lot simpler – Stake x Odds. £10 x 2.75 = £27.50.

We can clearly see that the odds of 2.75 at the bookmaker with the lay odds of 2.8 are much closer than the 7/4 / 2.8.

For the reasons above, working in decimals is the quickest and most reliable option when matched betting.

That was easy wasn't it?

Let's move on to learn the whole process of matched betting. Our matched betting guide is simple and easy to follow.
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