What's the difference between American and Decimal Odds?

What's the difference between American and Decimal Odds?
Matthieu Van Der Poel and John Degenkolb - Paris Roubaix 2023

If you're new to sports you may open one of the betting apps only to be confronted by a variety of scary numbers and terms. You may be overwhelmed, confused, and head for the hills. We certainly did when we first started betting.

We mean, c'mon, how does -175 make any sense when placing a bet? Doesn't that mean I'm going to lose money? In our opinion, betting houses are losing customers due to their convoluted apps and legacy adherence to how they display their odds.

Thankfully, you can make it slightly easier on yourself, in our opinion, by switching to Decimal odds from the default "American" odds that are initially displayed when you load the app.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are always positive, and indicative of how much money you'd win (including your initial bet) as a multiple of the amount you have staked. You don't have to worry about net/gross amount based on your initial amount when dealing with decimal odds. All you have to know is your bank balance would go up by X if you won.

So for example if you see a decimal odds of 1.25, you'd win back your initial stake + (1.25 - 1) multiplied by that initial stake amount.

  • Let's say you start with $25 in your wallet
  • If you bet $1 @ 1.25 Odds and won -> you'd win $1 (your initial bet) + $1*(1.25 - 1)-> $1.25 (your winnings) and so $2.25 in total.
  • Your wallet would end with $26.25

You can switch the odds format in all bettings apps under settings. Setting can generally be found under your profile (usually in the top right there's a "user" icon).

Switching to Decimal from American odds on theScore

American Odds

If for some reason you want to make your life difficult, or want to seem cool and in with the nuances of sports betting you can keep the American Odds setting. We've given our most ELI5 (Explain Like I'm 5) description of the odds below:

  • Let's say you see -135. The '-' indicates you're betting on a favourite. But you can kinda ignore that. It's just a good heuristic. In essence it boils down that you must risk $135 to win $100 from the betting house. $135 is your initial bet. $100 is your winnings. With decimal odds -135 would become (100 / 135) + 1-> 1.74.
  • A +350 underdog ('+' indicates underdog) means if you risk $100, you win $350. $100 is your initial bet and you'd win $350 on top of that. With decimal odds +350 would become (350 / 100) + 1 -> 4.50.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to hit us up on our socials!