No matter what you’d like to bet on, the first thing you’ll notice on online bookmakers are the odds. These come in different formats — decimal, fractional, and money line — and serve as the main mathematical mean of figuring out what's what at first glance.

In this article, we’ll be guiding you through all three odds formats. Additionally, we’ll show you how to change odds formats on several bookmakers, and even how to manually convert formats without using a calculator.

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What Are Odds Formats in Online Esports Betting?

In online esports betting, there are several ways esports betting sites present the implied probability of an outcome. This is basically reflected in the odds, which tell gamblers how much they have to bet to win a certain amount.

In short, there are three main odds formats you will find on online betting sites:

  • Money Line odds (American)
  • Decimal odds (European)
  • Fractional odds (British)

How Do Fractional Odds Work?

Fractional odds enjoy the most popularity across the UK, and as the name suggests, come in the form of fractions. The following formula is used for calculating the total payout of bets with fractional odds:

Total payout = (stake(fractional odds)) + stake

Here are a few examples:

  • (£50(7/2)) + £50 = £225 total payout for a £5 bet at 7/2
  • (£100(9/2) + £100 = £550

How Do Decimal Odds Work?

Decimal odds are most popular in Europe. If you understand how decimal odds work, you’ll never have to use anything other than them. So, how do they work?

It’s super simple. Decimal works are represented by a single decimal number. Those numbers represent the return for a €1 stake. If you stake more than that, let’s say €10, simply multiply the decimal odds with your stake.

Here are a few examples:

  • For 1.5 odds – €1 stake would get you €1.5 total return – €5 stake would get you €7.5 total return
  • For 3.2 odds – €2 stake would get you €6.4 total return – €5 stake would get you €16 total return

How Money Line Odds Work

As previously mentioned, the second name for money line odds is American; naturally, that’s because they enjoy the most popularity across the Atlantic Pond.

Money line odds might be too difficult to understand at first, but they’re not that complex. All you have to understand is that there are two variations of money line odds: negative and positive. They are represented by the corresponding symbols, – or +.

Negative money line odds represent the amount of stake you have to invest to earn $100.

  • For example, -170 odds mean you have to wager $170 to earn $100 profit. That bet would yield $270 total return, $170 of which was the stake.

Positive money line odds represent the amount of profit you’d get after investing $100.

  • For instance, +180 means you’d get $180 profit for a $100 bet. That bet would yield $280 total return, $100 of which was the stake.

How To Change Odds Formats on Esports Betting Sites

For beginners, changing the odds formats on their esports betting site should be the primary concern. Luckily, the biggest online sportsbooks allow this to be done with just a couple of clicks. Here’s what the processes of changing odds formats on Betfair, 888sport, and 1xBet look like:

1xBet Change Odds Format Guide

1xBet takes a different approach to changing the odds format. On the main menu right at the top of the home page, you have to click on the settings icon. It’s located right of the registration/login buttons. Once you click on it, you’ll get a new popup that lets you change the format for odds.

1xBet Odds Format Screenshot
(Source: 1xBet)

Betfair Change Odds Format Guide

On Betfair, open up any sports or esports betting category then scroll down to the footer. Just outside the footer, right above the responsible gaming tab, you’ll find the option to switch to other odds formats. Betfair offers fractional and decimal — there are no American AKA money line odds on Betfair, at least for the moment.

Betfair Odds Format Screenshot
(Source: Betfair)

888sport Change Odds Format Guide

As for 888sport, changing to a different format for odds is even simpler. Right from the main page, simply open the main menu on the left and you’ll see the “Odds” tab. Clock on it and it will offer the three types of odds to choose from.

888sport Odds Format Screenshot
(Source: 888sport)

Which Odds Format Should You Use?

If you already have years of experience on esports betting apps, then you’re certainly best off just sticking with the odds you’ve been using so far. Even if you’re using an inferior odds format, the experience you have with it will outweigh any potential benefits of switching to another (read superior) format.

Realistically though, the decimal format brings forth the biggest advantage. For starters, decimal odds give bettors a straightforward and easy-to-understand number that represents the total bet payout. Decimal odds make things easy for beginners, allowing singles’ calculations in a matter of seconds, even without a calculator.

American odds are straightforward too, but take getting used to. As for fractional odds, they give bettors the ratio of potential profit to the actual stake, which makes it easier for them to calculate potential returns.

It all comes down to the region of the bettor, really. No matter which game we’re talking about — be it CS:GO, Dota 2, or something else entirely, the odds format used is solely dependent on the bettor. That’s because all major real-money esports betting sites allow users to change between different odds formats quickly and effortlessly.

Regionally speaking, most European esports betting enthusiasts are used to dealing with decimal odds. Fractional odds are most popular in the UK, whereas US bettors prefer the money line format.

How Are Esports Betting Odds Calculated?

Ever wondered how bookmakers come up with the odds for their betting lines? First, you must understand that betting odds basically represent the likelihood of an outcome of any given contest. Betting odds are calculated by taking into account several factors that affect the probability.

What are the factors accounted for in these algorithmic calculations? Some of them are as follows:

  • Recent results
  • Historical data
  • Tournament format
  • Individual players
  • Teamwork and cohesion
  • Team morale
  • Ongoing injuries
  • Weather conditions
  • Event location

A general rule of thumb is as follows: the lower the odds, the heavier the favourite that team is. The same goes for the other side of the deal — the higher the odds, the less likely that team will win the match.

Which Esports Betting Sites Have the Best Odds?

There’s no one-size-fits-all kind of answer here — that’s not how things work in the online sports betting industry.

You will always find certain bookmakers having better odds for some esports and worse coverage for other betting markets. At the end of the day, a lot of this comes down to the bookies’ cut, which is basically a percentage of each bet that the bookie keeps for itself.

Long story short, it’s on bettors to figure out which bookmaker offers the best odds for their particular selection of matches. There’s not a chance in this world you’ll be able to find a bookie that packs better odds than its competitors across the entirety of its esports betting markets.

Summary

That would be all for our piece on odds formats explained. There’s no clear winner, so you’re best off using the odds format you’re used to. For beginners who’ve had no prior touch with online betting, we recommend going with the decimal system. Why? The decimal system allows you to quickly compare returns across numerous bookies, while also automatically letting you know your potential return.


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FAQ

Odds Format FAQs

When it comes to any form of online betting, there are three main types of odds formats you should know about: decimal, fractional, and American.

This answer is pretty straightforward — you should use the format for odds you’re already used to. If you’re just starting out and aren’t used to any odds formats, then opt for the decimal format because it offers the easiest odds comparisons between websites.

For negative American odds, the formula is 1-(100/odds). For example, 1-(100/-140) equals to 1.71.

For positive American odds, the formula is 1+(odds/100). For example, 1+(140/100) equals to 2.40.

The vast majority of online bookmakers allow users to change the odds formats on their platforms. Changing the odds back and forth between decimal, fractional, and American is typically done by a single click. This option is normally located somewhere on the platform’s top toolbar or in the footer.

It’s difficult to say without complex comparative analysis. How come? Well, most of the time, some esports bookmakers will have great odds for a specific list of matches/esports, and their competitors will have the same for a different list. In short, there’s no such thing as a single esports betting site with the best odds.

Through our in-depth guides and reviews, we are focused on providing the best insights into esports betting.

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