Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are the most common form of betting odds used by European bookmakers.  This style of odds is probably the easiest to understand for beginners and the easiest to calculate for all levels of bettors.  It is important to note that decimal odds output the wagers total payout, as opposed to American odds and fractional odds which output the wagers winnings.  First I will explain payout vs winnings, and then provide two examples using decimal odds to help with your understanding.

Calculating Bet Payout

The payout is the amount returned to you from a winning bet. It includes the wager amount and the winnings. With decimal odds you can calculate the payout simply by multiplying the wager amount by the decimal odds. For example, if the LA Lakers have odds of 1.50 to win the game you can calculate the payout of a $100 wager by multiplying $100 x 1.50 to find a payout of $150.

Calculating Bet Winnings

The winnings are the amount you win from the bet, not including the amount you wager. With decimal odds you will have to subtract your wager amount from your potential payout to find your winnings.

Continuing with the above example of a $100 bet on the Lakers at odds of 1.50 that resulted in a payout of $150. You would simply subtract your $100 bet to find your winnings of $50 on that wager.


  • Baltimore Orioles 2.32
  • Cleveland Indians 1.70

Decimal odds are extremely easy to understand.  You simply multiply the amount of your wager by the decimal odds displayed for your desired outcome and this generates the total payout for that wager.

Let’s look at a $150 wager on the Baltimore Orioles.

$150 x 2.32 = $348

So a $150 wager on the Orioles pays out $348, which means you would win $198 ($348-$150) on this wager.

Now say you placed a $130 wager on the Indians instead.

$130 x 1.70 = $221

Therefore, a $130 wager on the Indians pays out $221, which indicates a winnings of $91 ($221-$130).

Example #2

Here is another example. These odds are from

  • New York Jets 1.43
  • Denver Broncos 2.95

Let’s say you want to wager $250 on the Denver Broncos.  Simply multiply $250 by 2.95 and you find the total payout of $737.50, which equals a winnings of $487.50 on that wager.

If you place the same $250 wager on the Jets, then you’d multiply $250 by 1.43 to find a total payout of $357.50.  Subtracting the $250 wager you can clearly see that a $250 wager on the Jets would potentially win you $107.50.

Calculating payouts from any wager amount is done with the most ease when using decimal odds.  Every online sportsbook will give you the option of displaying odds in the decimal odds format and this may be a good idea for beginning sports bettors who are having a difficult time understanding American style odds.