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All 3 Major Odds Types Explained for Canadian Punters

Sports betting is a fascinating way of spending your free time in Canada. For the longest time, the activity came with an unprecedented social stigma. But with gambling laws being updated regularly as well as various awareness campaigns, sports betting is pretty well accepted.

So, if you’re thinking about getting into this hobby, you’re right where you should be. You’re also looking for how odds work so that you understand what’s at stake. Let’s face it. The internet is riddled with explanations that don’t make any sense.

We plan to change that in this post. We’re going to explain all 3 major odds types in the world, with examples. It’s simply because when you add examples to a concept, it becomes a lot easier to understand.

What are Sports Betting Odds

Although we’ve already covered it a few times, we believe it won’t hurt to go over the definition of odds once again. Sports betting odds help you understand how much you can win from a bet as well as how likely the outcome is. The term “odds” is used in the same sense as you would use it anywhere else.

Right now, there are 3 main types of odds you can find across the world. Well, they’re more of formats than types. It’s because all of the odds are interchangeable by following a few simple formulas. The whole purpose of our guide is to not use those formulas!

The 3 Main Odds Format

Enough with the teasing. Let’s get right into the odds. You might already be familiar with the titles for them. Decimal, Fractional, and American.

Decimal Odds

The concept of decimal numbers goes back to elementary school days so there’s nothing new to explain there. Decimal odds are by far the most commonly used format in the world. It’s also known as European odds. If you haven’t guessed already, the entire European continent uses this format on their betting sites.

At the same time, decimal odds are the simplest to understand. It’s more or less a multiplier for whatever amount you’re placing for a bet. Decimal odds are represented at x.yz.

For our example here, let’s consider an ice hockey match between Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames. The odds for both teams are 1.65 and 2.39 respectively.

Now, if we were to convert these odds to probability, we can see that Toronto Maple Leafs boasts 60.6% probability while Calgary Flames boast about 41.8% probability. It goes to show that Toronto is the “favourite” team because it has a higher probability of winning. The general rule of thumb is that 2.00 odds convert to 50% probability.

At the same time, 1.65 odds mean that your payout from the bet will be 1.65x, where “x” is your bet amount. So, if you were to bet C$100 on Toronto Maple Leafs and win, you’ll take home a C$165 payout. Deducting the bet, you get a C$65 profit.

Similarly, if you were to bet the same amount on Calgary Flames and win, your payout would be C$239. The payout for the underdog team is higher simply because you’re taking a risk betting on the less likely team.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are also known as English odds because this format is widely used across the UK, Ireland, etc. countries. The purpose of the odds remains the same as the decimal format. It’s the representation of the odds that change.

As the name suggests, Fractional odds are represented in fractions. A placeholder fractional odd would be x/y. It’s a ratio between your profit and stake.

If we use the same example of the ice hockey match, the odds this time will be 0.65/1 for Toronto Maple Leafs and 1.39/1 for Calgary Flames. Now, you’re very unlikely to see decimal numbers in fractional odds because that pretty much defeats the purpose. You’re more likely to see integers, scaled using the same ratio.

What we mean by that is you may find odds like 33/20. This means you can win a C$33 profit from a C$20 bet. If you convert it back to decimal, you get 1.65. That’s all there is to it for fractional odds. We know for a fact that many Canadian punters are intimidated by this format. But there’s no reason to be.

American Odds

Now, this is Canada’s favorite odds format. Maybe it’s simply because the neighbors have been using this format for as long as we can remember. American odds are also known as Moneyline odds in many countries. This format is a little more complicated than the other 2. But worry not because we’re about to break it down.

The first thing you need to know is that American odds are based on a $100 wager or a $100 profit. “$100” is key here. You may have seen odds like -150 or +170 plenty of times. The (-) and (+) are just there to distinguish between the favourite and the underdog.

As we’re using Toronto Maple Leafs as our favourite team for the examples, let’s stick to that. It means the odds this time is -150 for this team. It simply means that you have to wager $150 to win a $100 profit. That’s all -150 odds means.

Conversely, +170 odds mean you can win a $170 profit for a $100 stake. As usual, the payout for the underdog is higher than the favourite.

Now that you know how to read American odds, you can scale it however you like. Just remember that the odds you see at an online betting site in Canada, you have to cross-reference it with $100.

Wrapping Up

Odds are pretty much the core of sports betting. If you’re not familiar with odds, even thinking of starting to bet is not good for your money. Sports betting is inherently different from casino games. You have a lot more parameters in your control when you enter the world of sports betting.

We’ve tried to explain the major odds formats as simply as possible. We’ve also included some examples. Now, it’s your job to visit an online betting site and see whether what you’ve learned here helps you or not.