If you’re new to the world of gambling, you need to make sure that you understand the odds before you ever place a bet.

To put it simply, betting odds are a numerical representation of how likely an event is to occur. Take the example of rolling dice. Because there are six possible outcomes from one roll of the dice, there’s a 16.67% chance that you’ll be correct in your guess of which number will be rolled. That’s 100 divided by six, which equals 16.6666666667, to be exact. This translates to a coefficient 6/1 chance of any specific outcome, or 7.0 if you remove the bookie’s margin.

The same basic principle applies to flipping a coin—a coin has two sides, so you have a 50% chance of winning.

Odds can also tell you how much money you will win. Let’s say you’re betting on a team with 4/1 odds in a sporting event. If you bet £/€1 and your team wins, you’ll receive £/€4, plus your stake back for a total of £/€5.

Although it may be confusing at first, it’s pertinent that you grasp how betting odds work if you want to make a go of online gambling or sports betting.

There are basically three types of betting odds: fractional, decimal and U.S. style.

## Fractional Odds﻿

In the past, the most commonly used betting odds globally were fractional. They still remain the most commonly-used and understood in the UK, though Hong Kong and Malay odds are favored in other parts of the world.

When you see 4/1 odds, to use the example above, those are fractional odds. This means you have a one in four chance of winning, or a 20% chance. To put it another way, you also have an 80% chance of losing. That also means the winner will be paid £/€4 for every dollar or pound waged.

The same goes for 9/1 odds. You’ll win £/€9 for every dollar or pound waged, but you also have only a 10% chance of winning and a 90% chance of losing.

## Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are becoming increasingly popular among bookmakers, commonly known as bookies. Most often used in Europe and Asia, decimal odds use a number with a decimal point as opposed to the fractional format.

With 4/1 betting odds, the decimal odds are 5.0. To get this number, you take the percentage chance of winning (in this case, 20%) and see how many time it goes into 100. 100 divided by 20 is 5.

To figure out your winnings with decimal odds, you multiply the odds by your stake, and then subtract your stake from that number. For example, when the odds are 5.0 and you bet £/€10, you multiple 5 x 10 and then subtract 10, for total winnings of £/€40.

## U.S. Odds

In the United States, betting odds are expressed using the plus or minus sign. The plus sign indicates the favorite, while the minus is for the underdog. For example, the favorite team might have odds of +250, while the underdog’s odds are -150.

The numbers are calculated according to how much one must wager in order to win \$100. Using the example above, you must bet \$150 in order to win \$100 for the underdog team. If you bet \$150 on the underdog team and they win, your winnings will be \$250 (your \$150 stake + \$100 winnings). On the other hand, if you bet \$100 on the team with +250 odds, your winnings will total \$350 (your \$100 stake + \$250 winnings). That said, the more you bet, the more you win, obviously. If you bet \$150 rather than \$100, your winnings with the favorite team would be \$400 (your \$150 stake + \$250 winnings).

Now that you’ve had you know how betting odds work, you should have a better chance of winning, no matter which style of odds your bookie uses.

There are a number of online articles that can help you further understand how betting odds work. A little research can go a long way toward ensuring that you’re as successful as possible.