Three different factors will generally determine the type of odds you use when placing your bets. The first is where you are in the world, the second is where you place your bets, online or in person, and the third is how long you have been betting.
Fractional odds are the most commonly used odds in the UK, and despite the fact that they are a little more complex to work out and understand than decimal odds, many new punters go with fractional odds. This is because they sometimes bet in person, at a racetrack, greyhound track or in a betting shop, where fractional odds are the only ones you can use.
Many people use fractional odds because they make a lot of sense, and they have been brought up using them after talking with other punters. However, comparing odds very quickly, you need to fully understand them, especially when looking at odds under 4/1, to be easier for those who are new.
What Are Fractional Odds?
As the name suggests, fractional odds are given as a fraction, with two numbers that are separated with a slash. For example, 2/1, 13/8, 6/4 and 11/2 are all examples of fractional odds. The key to note here is that the two numbers can both be different. One doesn’t always have to remain the same.
In very basic terms, the two numbers on fractional odds stand for your stake and the profit you will win if your selection is a winner. The number on the right is the amount you put on, and the number on the left is your profit. As you receive your stake back when placing a bet, you will receive both numbers from the fraction to give your returns.
Fractional odds are seen as the most traditional betting odds that are available to use. Every bookmaker will use fractional odds if you place bets in a betting shop or visit live racing events. For this reason, many people instantly choose to use them because they place bets elsewhere, not just online, but that does mean the working out of a bet is a little more complicated because fractional odds are sometimes not easy to work out.
How to Work Out Fractional Odds?
In many ways, working out fractional odds will be either easy or very hard, depending on the stake you place and the odds you take.
Here is an example of something very simple and easy to work out.
£1 bet at fractional odds of 3/1.
The £1 stake is placed, and the profit for the bet is £3, so the total returns for you are £4.
However, here is something that is a lot more complicated to work out, involving short odds, which is where fractions can become very complex.
£10 bet at fractional odds of 13/8
The £10 stake is placed, but the profit of £13 is based on the stake of £8, so you need first to work out how much the profit is for £1, then times that by your stake, to get the true returns.
A bet of £8 will have total returns of £21. This should then be divided by the stake shown in the odds, eight in this case, to give you the returns for a £1 bet. This is £2.62. Then from here, you times the bet stake you placed, which in this case is £10, to give you the full returns for that bet, which is £26.25.
As you can see here, when you are trying to work out your returns from a bet using fractional odds, the difficulty is all down to the odds you receive. For simple odds, this is a straightforward format to work out, but for shorter odds, the calculation you have to do has a few more parts to it, making it trickier.
Advantages of Using Fractional Odds
The biggest advantage of fractional odds is that you can use these elsewhere when you are not betting online. For example, if you decide to use decimal odds online, then go to a betting shop or visit a racecourse, you will have no option to use fractional odds, which can be confusing if you don’t know how to use them. This makes fractional odds the ones you can use on and offline for your betting.
Being the most popular type of odds used in the UK, if you are learning about gambling and odds, then you should be able to speak to friends and family who also place a bet, and they will likely use the same odds.
Finally, despite other odds being available, if you listen to TV pundits talking about betting, they will always use fractional odds. This is across any sport, football, horse racing and more. Therefore, if you want to listen and learn, by choosing fractional odds, you will understand what they are talking about, which may not be the case if you are learning decimal odds yourself.
What Makes Fractional Odds Difficult to Use?
The most difficult element of fractional odds is working out your returns when smaller odds are being used. Odds such as 11/8, 6/5 and 5/4 are all tough to work out to a £1 stake without a bigger calculation to get to the bottom of the returns, many people will find that tough to do.
On top of this, the odds above are all slightly different but can be tough to compare if you are looking to find the best odds. Experienced punters will know that 11/8 is bigger than 5/4 and that 5/4 is bigger than 6/5, but for newcomers to sports betting, this is not an easy calculation to work out. This means these people will either not go looking for the best odds or, worse, try and find them but choose to take the wrong odds because the calculations are complex.
If you are going with fractional odds, understanding them and how they rank is going to be critical to your betting success.