What are Fractional Odds in Betting? How to Read Fractional Betting Odds

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OddsJam StaffJune 1, 2022, 06:17 PM

What are Fractional Odds in Betting?

Fractional odds is a way of listing odds that’s popular with futures in sports betting, but mainly seen in horse racing. Fractional odds are easy to understand if the lines are simple and/or the fraction can easily be reduced. 

How to Read Fractional Odds:

Fractional odds are listed and read as (potential winnings)/(stake). This is a common format that odds are talked about among casual gamblers. For example, someone might say: “The Yankees are ten to one to win the World Series.” That is a spoken example of fractional odds. Potential winnings (10) in the numerator of the fraction, and stake (1) in the denominator. For every one dollar risked on the Yankees to win the World Series, ten dollars are won. 

In a sportsbook that displays fractional odds for futures, the listing will look like “Yankees 10/1”. 

How to Identify the Favorite and Underdog in Fractional Odds:

If the numerator and the denominator are identical (simplified to 1/1), it would be equivalent to +100 in American odds.

If the numerator is greater than the denominator, that means the bettor receives more potential winnings than stake, so it would fit the description of an underdog

On the other hand if the denominator is greater than the numerator, it’s a favorite

For example a top seed in March Madness may be -2000 on the American odds moneyline which would equate to 1/20 fractional odds. 

Converting fractional odds is simple because you can just multiply your stake by the fraction to find out the exact payout of your potential bet. 

Popular Sports/Places that Fractional Odds are Used:

Fractional odds are commonly used verbally in conversation, and are very popular at horse races and when betting on distant futures. Fractional odds are commonly found in the United Kingdom and Ireland and are one of the oldest forms of odds, easily predating American odds. 

In horse racing when the denominator is higher than the numerator meaning the horse is more likely than not to win the race, it’s referred to as the “odds-on favorite.”