The format for betting odds can vary depending on which part of the world you live in. The two most common options used are Decimal and American odds. But what is the difference, how do you calculate returns for each format and convert from one to the other? Read on to find out.
Before we delve into examples on how to calculate bet returns that have been presented in different odds formats, it is important to note that, irrespective of which odds format you use, the potential profit is the same, the presentation just differs.
Odds expression indicating return relative to 100 unit base figure. With money odds, whenever there is a minus (-) you lay that amount to win a hundred dollars, where there is a plus (+) you win that amount for every hundred dollars you bet.
Calculating profits with Decimal odds
Decimal odds are predominantly used in continental Europe, Australia and Canada. The format is a simple numerical representation of the potential return of a bet, which includes the stake amount.
The potential return on a bet quoted in Decimal odds is extremely easy to calculate by simply multiplying the amount you wish to bet by the Decimal odds offered – just remember that the return includes your stake. Here is an example of Decimal odds in a 1X2 soccer market from Pinnacle:
Calculating the potential return for a $100 Bet on Chelsea at 2.270:
Odds x Stake = 2.270 X 100 = 227
As this includes your original $100 stake amount, the potential profit is $127.
Calculating the potential return for a $100 bet on Liverpool at 3.390:
Odds x Stake = 3.390 x 100 = 339
Calculating profits with American odds
American odds are unsurprisingly the default format used in America. They start either with a positive or a negative sign, e.g. -110, or +120. A negative number indicates the amount you must stake to make $100 profit (or the equivalent in your chosen currency) and a positive number indicates how much you might profit if you bet $100 (again, this would be the equivalent in your chosen currency).
Using the example above, if you bet $124 on the Washington Redskins -2.5 handicap with American odds of -124 and they cover the spread, you will make $100 profit (plus your original $124 stake). If you bet $100 on the Dallas Cowboys +2.5 handicap with odds of +112 and they cover the spread, it will return $112 profit (plus the original $100 stake).
As with any odds format, the potential return and profit from a bet is relevant to the stake amount. Using a $100 bet example is the easiest way to calculate profits with American odds, but below is a simple formula to work out potential returns for any stake.
Negative American odds calculation:
(100/Odds) x stake
Positive American odds calculation:
Odds x (stake/100)
If we use the odds from the above example, you could bet $13.75 on the White Sox at -129 and your potential profit is $10.66:
(100/Odds) x Stake = (100/129) x 13.75 = 10.66
Using the same example for positive odds, you could bet $15 on the Royals at +119 and your potential profit is $17.85:
Odds x (Stake/100) = 119 x (15/100) = 17.85
Odds conversion table
This table can be used to convert one type of odds format into another. If you have a specific bet or odds you wish to convert, use Pinnacle's Odds Converter.
Whether you use the Decimal or American format, you’ll get the best betting odds with Pinnacle, the ultimate bookmaker with the highest limits and lowest margins.
Decimal odds video explainer
Found this article useful? Why not check out our video that details Decimal and American odds.
American odds video explainer
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