Decimal Odds to Become the Norm: Fractional Odds Out

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Decimal Odds Bookmaker

There are three primary odds used by bookmakers:  Fractional, Decimal and the so-called American Odds, which are among the most prevalently featured here at Gambling911.com.  Fractional is pretty self explanatory:  2/1.  The American odds look something like this:  +500.  Essentially, a $100 bet pays $500.  The decimal system is not widely used among American bookmakers or those US-facing online sportsbooks, but in racebooks and even bookmakers may be forced to start using the decimal system exclusively in the United Kingdom.

It's part of an initiative proposed by Racing for Change, which has been investigating ways in which racing could be made more appealing to younger punters and casual fans.   

"Anything that will help slow down or reverse the trend that has seen people moving away from racing has to be welcomed," said David Williams, a spokesman for Ladbrokes. "The only people who will object to it are people who don't want to be part of the future."


However, David Hood of William Hill said that there was no evidence that the introduction of decimal odds would have the desired effect. "The items revealed by Racing for Change do not offer the solutions we had hoped for," he told the Telegraph. "We had a trial of a decimal-odds football betting coupon two years ago and it proved to be extremely unpopular. There is no research to indicate that our customers want it."

Fractional odds date back to the days of pounds, shillings and pence. And while they should not be at all formidable for anyone with a rudimentary grasp of mathematics, the sport is keen to assume nothing in its search for fresh blood, writes Chris McGrath of the Independent.

Simon Clare, trading director of Coral, has contributed to the Racing For Change project and describes the advent of decimal odds as "inevitable". How soon, he tells the Independent, depends simply on striking a balance "so that regular customers are not alienated, while younger customers are encouraged to look at betting on horseracing".

The decimal system shows initial stake.  An example can be found at the SportsInteraction.com website, which until last month had listed the decimal system as its default.  During the month of December they switched over to American odds for Gambling911.com readers.

The Indianapolis Colts were a 3/1 favorite to win the 2010 Super Bowl.  Under the decimal system that number converts to 4.00 (3 +1).

Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com


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