Resources / Esports News
Jan 9, 2018

Betting odds and payouts can be confusing and intimidating. We get it. We've all been there. Being confused by all the numbers floating around is one of the biggest reasons people stay clear of betting on matches. But worry no more, this quick read will teach you all of the basics and give you a complete understanding of the odds and payouts.

Understanding Odds

The first basic concept you will have to learn before betting on esports is understanding how to interpret all the different numbers laid out on the site, the odds. Odds are what bookmakers use to represent the likelihood of a certain outcome occurring, such as a team winning a match. Odds are also used to calculate the payout on a winning bet.

  • The larger the odds, the larger the payout.
  • The smaller the odds, the smaller the payout.
Understanding odds

How Odds Are Displayed

There are three primary ways you will find odds displayed around the industry::

  • Decimal Odds (e.g. 2.5)
  • American Odds (e.g. +140)
  • Fractional Odds (e.g. 9/4)

Decimal Odds are the way odds are listed on Rivalry and are the most popular format used around the world because they are the simplest to understand. The given odds multiplied by your original bet is what you’ll get back if you win. An even money bet in decimal odds would be 2.00. On a 2.00 bet, you get back your original bet plus profit equal to what you bet. Example 1: Odds for Virtus.Pro are set at 1.65. Their opponent, Navi, is at 2.1.

Example 1: Odds for Virtus.Pro are set at 1.65. Their opponent, Navi, is at 2.1

  • $10 bet on Virtus.Pro would return $16.50 to you (your $10 bet + $6.5 profit)
  • $10 bet on Navi would return $21.00 to you (your $10 bet + $11 profit)

Example 2: A Match between TSM and CLG has listed odds of TSM (1.645) and CLG (2.270)

  • $10 bet on TSM would return $16.45 to you (your $10 bet + $6.45 profit)
  • $10 bet on CLG would return $22.70 to you (your $10 bet + $12.70 profit)

American Odds are very popular at sportsbooks in the United States and sometimes are also referred to as money line odds. Unlike decimal odds which calculate the total payout, American odds calculate only the profit you would earn if you win the bet. To determine your total payout you must always add your profit to the amount you initially wagered. American odds are often confusing for beginners because the odds are expressed differently for favorites and underdogs. The favorite will have odds expressed by how much you would have to risk to win $100 and the underdog side will be expressed by how much you would stand to win if you bet $100.

How to calculate total payouts with American Odds:

  • Positive odds (underdog): [Odds * (Stake/100)] + Stake
  • Negative odds (favourite): [(100/Odds) * Stake] + Stake

Example: Fnatic (-180) are playing G2 (+147)

  • Betting $10 on Fnatic would yield a payout of $15.56
    [(100/180) * 10] + 10 = 5.56 + 10 = $15.56
  • Betting $10 on G2 would pay $24.70
    [147 * (10/100)] + 10 = $24.70

Fractional Odds are most popular in the UK and can also be referred to as Traditional Odds, British Odds or UK Odds. Fractional odds are most often seen in horse racing and, similar to American odds, they calculate how much profit you stand to earn should your side be the winner. An even money bet in fractional odds would have both sides listed as 1/1. To calculate your profit you multiply the fraction by your original stake and to calculate total payout you add your stake amount to the profit.

Example: A match has given odds of Team Liquid (1/2) vs Virtus Pro (6/4)

  • $10 bet on Team Liquid would pay $15
  • $10 bet on Virtus Pro would pay $25

Here’s a comparison of what the three formats would look like in one match:

Comparison of Odds Formats for Esports Betting

Decimal Odds

American Odds

Fractional Odds

SK Gaming

1.53

-189

8/15

Gambit Esports

2.60

+160

8/5

Now that you have an idea of how odds work and what they mean, it’s time to learn how to convert between them. That way if the site you're using doesn't allow you to switch formats, you can do it on your own. The table below outlines the formulas used to convert between different odds.

Converting Between Odds

Conversion

Formula

Example

Decimal to Fraction

Subtract 1 from the decimal and convert to the nearest whole fraction

(4.5): 4.5-1 = 3.5 = 7/2

Fractional to Decimal

Divide the fraction that is given into a decimal and add 1

(3/1): 3/1 + 1 = 3 + 1 = 4:1

(1/6): 1/6 + 1 = 0.16 + 1 = 1.16:1

American to Decimal

If the line is positive, divide by 100 and add 1.

If it is negative, divide 100 by the odds (without the minus sign) and add 1

(+150): 150/100 = 1.5, 1.5+1 = 2.5

(-300): 100/300 = 0.33, 0.31+1 = 1.33

Decimal to American

If the decimal is over 2.0 subtract 1 and multiply by 100.

If it’s under 2.0, subtract 1 and divide into -100

(3.75): 3.75-1=2.75, 2.75*100 = +275

(1.57): 1.57-1=0.57, -100/0.57 = -175

Fractional to American

If the fraction is Over 1/1 convert the fraction to a decimal and multiply by 100.

If it’s under 1/1 divide -100 by the fraction as a decimal

(3.5/1): 3.5/1=+350

(1/4): 1/4=0.25,-100/0.25 = -400

American to Fractional

For underdogs (or ‘+’ numbers) divide the line by 100 and reduce to simplest form

For favorites (or ‘-’ numbers) divide 100 by the line and reduce to simplest form

(+250): 250/100=2.5=5/2

(-450): 100/450=0.22=2/9

If you don’t want to do the math yourself there are lots of free odds converters online that will do the work for you. Hmm, perhaps we should make one! 🤔

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