If you are planning to start betting, or if you are already an avid placer or bets, then it is important to understand the odds. Understanding how odds work is crucial to placing bets as it will allow you to accurately interpret the odds and then make as informed a decision as possible before placing your bets.

When it comes to sports betting, there are typically three main types of betting odds. These include fractional odds, which are also known as British odds. There are also decimal odds, which are often referred to as European odds. Finally, there are moneyline odds, which are also called American odds. These different kinds of odds are simply different ways of presenting the same thing and hold no bearing on any differences in terms of payouts. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of odds below.

**British odds**

British, or fractional, odds are most popular throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Typically, these are written with a slash or hyphen. These odds are used by the biggest bookmakers in the world, which is why they appear to be the most preferred odds to use across the world. British odds put the first figure as the ratio of the amount of profit won to the initial bet. For example, a fractional odd of 4/1 would mean that one could win $4 against every wager.

**European odds**

European, or decimal odds, are popular throughout continental Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. These are a fair bit easier to understand than the other two kinds of odds, as favourites and underdogs can both be spotted simultaneously by looking at the numbers.

The European odds number is representative of the total payout as opposed to the profit. Essentially, what this means is that your stake is already included in the decimal number, which makes it much easier to calculate the total payout. This can be done using the following formula: *total payout = stake x decimal odd number. *

**American odds**

Also known as the moneyline odds, American odds are generally used across the United States. The odds for favourites are accompanied by a minus symbol, while the odds for the underdogs are accompanied by a plus symbol. The difference between the odds for favourites and underdogs widen as the probability of winning for the favourite increases.

**Why are odds important?**

It is incredibly important to understand and to be able to interpret odds if you are placing NZ sports betting bets. Once you fully understand how odds work, you empower yourself to be able to look at the numbers, no matter what format they might be in, and make a decision that is as informed as possible about where you place your money or which team or player you wager your bet on. This will help you maximise your use of the money that you put in, which will in turn, hopefully maximise the amount of money you could potentially get from placing your bet.