Matched Betting & Odds Basics

  • Odds are an important aspect of matched betting. They define how much is returned on any bet that you make. The Yesbets software takes care of most calculations for you, however it is good to familiarise yourself with how they work and how we calculate them.

    In the UK, odds are presented in two different formats: fractional odds and decimal odds. We want to use decimal odds for our calculations and this means that you will need to change the odds shown on most bookmakers´ sites from fractional to decimal.

    We´ll show you how both are fractional and decimal odds are calculated in this tutorial and then how to convert fractional odds to decimal.

    Note - For many matched betting offers you will be required to make bets that are within specified ranges of odds in order to qualify for bonuses or meet wagering requirements. For example, some offers might require you to place your bets at odds above 1.5 or at odds below 10.0. We will tell you what the requirements are for each offer that you complete.

  • What Are Fractional Odds

    Fractional odds are the most commonly used odds by bookmakers in the UK. They are shown as a fraction and will look like this:

    10/1       5/7         2/1         1/2        

    Top heavy odds like 10/1 mean that you will receive a multiple of your stake back (more than the amount that you stake) if you win. In the example above, if you bet £10 at 10/1 your return would be £100 plus your original stake of £10.

    Bottom Heavy odds are the exact opposite, meaning you will receive a portion of your stake back (less than the amount you stake) if you win. So if you were to bet £10 at 1/10 your return would be £1 plus your original stake of £10.

    In most cases the higher the odds the less chance the bet has of winning, thus the bookmaker offers the punter higher odds and the lower the odds the greater the chance the bet has of winning.

    If fractional odds are bottom heavy they are known as odds on.

    How to Calculate Fractional Odds

    To calculate your potential returns from fractional odds, perform the following:

    ((Stake/denominator) X numerator)

    Top Heavy Example

    £10 staked at 5/2

    ((£10/2) X 5) = £25 Profit

    Bottom Heavy Example

    £10 Staked at 2/5

    (£10/5) X 2) = £4 Profit

    How to Calculate Fractional Odds To Include Original Stake

    If you want to calculate your return from a bet to include your stake, you simply need to add your stake on after calculating your return.

    ((Stake/denominator) X numerator) + Stake

    £10 staked at 5/2

    ((£10/2) X 5) + £10 = £35 Return 

  • What Are Decimal Odds?

    Decimal Odds are most commonly used at betting exchanges like betfair. As the name suggests, they use decimals to represent the odds and automatically include your stake when working out your returns.

    In our opinion it´s much easier to calculate your potential returns with decimal odds and it´s much easier to see which odds represent better value.

    Decimal odds will look like this:

    10.0        6.5          3.7          2.0          1.4

    Any odds that are above 2.0 mean you will receive a multiple of your stake back (more than the amount you stake) if you win. In the example above, if you bet £10 at 10.0 your return would be £90 plus your original stake of £10

    Odds below 2.0 mean you will receive a portion of your stake back if you win, so if you bet £10 at odds of 1.5 your return would be £5 plus your original stake of £10.

    Like fractional odds, the higher the odds, the less chance your bet has of winning, but the potential return is greater.

    If decimal odds are below 2.0 then they are known as odds on.

    How to Calculate Decimal Odds

    Unlike fractional odds, decimal odds include your original stake when you calculate the return.  So in the following calculation:

    £10 staked at 7.0

    £10 x 7 = £70 Return

    How to Calculate Decimal Odds without the Original Stake

    With a lot of matched betting, the bonuses offered are quite often known as stake not returned. This means that you don´t receive the stake back (the bonus amount) if the bet wins. If this is the case, then if you bet £10 at 7.0 you wouldn´t receive £70 because this includes the stake (the bonus).

    Therefore to calculate a stake not returned profit you would perform the following:

    (Odds – 1) X stake

    (7.0 -1) X £10

    = £60 Profit 

  • How to Convert Fractional Odds to Decimal Odd?

    Converting fractional odds to decimal odds is fairly simple to do. However speed is the aim of the game in matched betting and the fewer manual calculations you have to do the better. That´s why we recommend that you change the settings at bookmakers to only show decimal odds doing away with the need to convert odds at all. However if you need to convert the odds, you can use our handy  fractional to decimal odds converter.  Failing that you can perform the following calculation:

    Bottom part of the fraction / total of the top and bottom part of the fraction.

    1/ above total.


    10/1 converted to decimal odds.

    1/ (10+1) = 1/11 = 0.0909090909090909



    How to Convert Decimal Odds to Fractional Odds

     To convert decimal odds you need to subtract 1 from the decimal odds to give you the top part of the fraction.

    For example odds of 2.8 will become

    2.8 -1 = 1.8/1

    Then multiply up so that this is /100


    The divide the top and bottom by the highest number that can divide into itself exactly


  • Getting Close Odds at Bookmakers and the Betting Exchanges

    To extract the maximum profit from matched betting, we want to find odds that are as close to the bookmaker odds as possible and if possible lower odds at the exchange. The closer the odds the more we make, or the less of the bonus that we lose.  Even if the odds match at the bookmaker and the exchange we will lose a small amount of the bonus because the exchanges charge a commission between winning bets of between 2-5%.

  • How to Change Bookmakers to Decimal Odds 

    The simplest way to do matched betting is to ensure that the bookmakers that you use display their odds in decimal format. You can normally change this in the settings once you have created your account. Betting exchanges like betfair display their odds in decimal format by default so you don´t need to change anything with them .

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