Various Types of Odds

Bets in all forms of gambling are placed on events that have a certain (often unknown) likelihood to occur. It is very important to know the amount your bet must win, that in the long run you will brake even. Bets were you receive a higher payout will show a profit in the long run. That what it is all about in poker! In almost all forms of gambing the payout of the bets is expressed as odds.The problem is, that there many different ways, odds are expressed.

For poker players it is common to calculate odds in the form of the amount the pot offers in relation to the amount needed to call. E.g. say there is $20 in the pot and your opponent bets $10. Now you have to call $10 to win $30 ($20 initially in the pot plus the $10 bet). So the (fractional) odds are $30 / $10 or 3/1. To make this a profitable call, you have to win at least 1 game in 4 or 25% of the time. Because this type of decision occur frequently in poker, fractional odds are used in poker.
Throughout this web site fractional odds are used. The table shows various odds for certain percentages.

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ChanceOdds FixedFractionalDecimalMoneylineReturn in %


  • Odds Fixed: defined as the probability that the event will happen divided by the probability that the event will not happen. This form of odds is mainly used in theory and mathematics. The number tells you the amount needed to bet to win one unit. E.g.: event occurs in 25%. The chance that the event will not occur is 75%. Result 25%/75% = 0.333
  • Odds Fractional: The way poker players think of odds. The fractional expression shows the units won for one unit bet. E.g. odds of 3/1 tell you that you would win $3 for $1. So you would actually get $4 back (you call $1 for a $3 pot, if you win you get the $4 pot).
  • Decimal odds express the amount, including your bet, that you would win. Common in Europe
  • Moneyline: positive numbers show the amount won on a $100 wager. Negative numbers show the amount that must be wagered to win $100. This type of odds is used by american bookmakers, that is way these odds are sometimes called American Odds.
  • Return on Investment another way to look at a bet. More common for financial investments.