Understanding the Odds: Decimal vs Fractional Formats in NZ

decimal vs fractional odds
Decimal vs. fractional Odds

Playing online pokies has become a favourite pastime for Kiwis in New Zealand.

But just playing isn’t the only important thing; we must also understand the game. Knowing how to win both the game and the game itself is crucial.

To learn how to win, we must understand the game’s odds. Pokies is a game of luck, but understanding the odds can give you an edge for winning.

Knowing the difference between decimal and fractional odds can enhance your gaming strategy.

I have brought you this article to help you understand the odds of pokies and which is better: Decimal vs. fractional Odds.

Highlights of this section

  • Understanding and increasing the chances of winning depends upon learning factors like paylines, reels, payouts, and odds of winning.
  • The three main betting odds types are fractional odds, decimal odds, and moneyline odds.
  • Decimal Odds – Popular in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
  • Fractional Odds – Popular in Ireland and the UK.
  • Moneyline Odds – Also called American Odds.
  • Decimal Odds are preferred and can be easily understandable.
  • Understanding these will improve your chances of making informed bets.

Basics of Pokies

Pokie odds are all about probability, not predicting the future. Here’s the gist:

Each symbol on a reel has a chance of landing. The pokie’s software sets this chance, and you cannot influence it.

The odds of landing a winning combination depend on the number of reels, symbols, and paylines. More options generally mean lower odds of winning a specific combination.

As mentioned before, pokies are designed to give the casino an edge. This means the odds of winning are always slightly in favour of the house (casino).

Return to Player is the flip side of the house edge. It tells you the percentage of money a pokie pays back to players over a long time (think thousands or millions of spins).

For example, a 96% RTP means the casino keeps 4% and returns 96% to players over time.

Understanding the Betting Odds

Betting odds are like a guide that tells you how much money you can win from a bet.

Different types, such as fractional, decimal, and American odds, help calculate your potential winnings differently.

Bookmakers use these odds to make sure they make money, but sometimes smart bettors can use them to their advantage.

When you place a bet online, the website usually calculates how much you could win based on the odds you choose and how much money you bet.

Understanding how these odds work can help you decide if a bet is worth it and how much you might win if you’re right.

Betting odds typically come in different formats. Let’s learn about them one by one.

Decimal Betting Odds

Decimal odds show how likely something will happen in betting, like in sports or games.

They’re used in places like Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Instead of just showing how much money you could win, decimal odds show you the total amount you would get back if you win your bet.

For example, if the odds are 2.50 and you bet ten units, you’d get back 25 units if your bet wins.

With a simple formula, it becomes easy for anyone to understand how the odds are actually calculated. So, find the formula below:

Potential Payout = Stake × Decimal Odds

For example, if you place a bet of 10 units on a game with decimal odds of 2.50:

Potential Payout = 10 × 2.50 = 25 units

If your bet wins, you will receive 25 units back (which includes your original 10 units plus 15 units in profit).

Decimal odds make it straightforward: whatever you multiply your stake by, that’s your total potential payout if you win!

Decimal odds are commonly used in various types of betting, such as on sports teams or in casino games.

Fraction Betting Odds

Fractional betting odds, a format expressed in fractions, are used in Ireland and the UK.

In Fractional betting Odds, numbers are represented in two numbers separated by a slash (/), like 10/1 or 9/2.

The first number represents the profit you will make if you win, and the second number represents the bet amount.

Fractional Odds of betting can be calculated using the following formula:

Fractional Odds = Net Profit/Stake.


  • Net Profit: The amount of money you earn if your bet is successful (including your stake).
  • Stake: The amount of money you wager on the bet.

Suppose you place a bet with fractional odds of 3/1 (spoken as “three to one”). This means for every $1 you bet, you could win $3 in profit if your bet is successful.

So, if you bet $10 on these odds:

Net Profit=Fractional Odds×Stake

Net Profit = 3 times 10 = $30

If your bet wins, you will receive $30 in total ($20 profit + $10 stake).

Which is Better: Decimal vs. Fractional Odds?

decimal & fractional odds
Decimal & Fractional Odds
CriteriaDecimal OddsIt may be confusing for beginners
FormatSingle number (e.g., 3.00)Ratio (e.g., 2/1)
Ease of UnderstandingEasier for beginners to understandIt may require additional steps to convert
CalculationIncludes total returnShows profit only
PopularityMore commonly used in Europe, Canada, New Zealand and AustraliaMore commonly used in the UK and Ireland
ConversionEasy to convert to implied probabilityMay require additional steps to convert
UsagePreferred in online betting platformsTraditional in some physical sportsbooks
Impact on Betting StrategyDirectly shows how much you get back for every unit wageredShows the potential profit relative to the stake

In summary, Decimal Odds are considered easy to understand and are preferred in most online betting platforms in New Zealand.

Suppose, in a game, India had odds of 2/1 (fractional) or 3.00 (decimal) to win the match, and Australia had odds of 1/3 (fractional) or 1.33 (decimal) to win.

So, now it will work this way.

Fractional Odds

TeamOddsCalculationExample BetTotal Return
India2/1Profit = Stake × (Odds)$10$10 × 2 + $10 = $30
Australia1/3Profit = Stake × (1/Odds)$30$30 × (1/3) + $30 = $40
  • India: For every $1 bet, you win $2 profit. A $10 bet returns $30 in total ($20 profit + $10 original bet).
  • Australia: For every $3 bet, you win $1 profit. A $30 bet returns $40 in total ($10 profit + $30 original bet).

Decimal Odds

TeamOddsCalculationExample BetTotal Return
India3.00Total Return = Stake × Odds$10$10 × 3.00 = $30
Australia1.33Total Return = Stake × Odds$30$30 × 1.33 = $40
  • India: For every $1 bet, you receive $3 in total. A $10 bet returns $30 in total.
  • Australia: For every $1 bet, you receive $1.33 in total. A $30 bet returns $40 in total.

Editor’s Verdict

It does not matter how the betting odds are expressed. There are three main formats: Fractional, decimal, and money line.

However, of all these types, Decimal Odds are preferred in all online casinos in New Zealand and other popular casino countries.

Decimal is an easy and beginner-friendly format. Ultimately, all the formats convey the same information but in different ways.

Decimal odds directly show the total return, making calculations straightforward, while fractional odds show the profit relative to the stake, which can be more intuitive for some bettors.

Ultimately, the choice depends on personal preference and the context in which the odds are used.


Can betting odds be negative?

Yes, betting odds can be negative. This is typically seen in American odds (indicated by a minus sign “-“) and signifies the favourite in a matchup. The negative number tells you how much you need to wager to win $100. For example, “-110” means you’d bet $110 to win $100.

Does betting odds impact payouts?

Absolutely, betting odds directly impact payouts.
Negative odds: Lower payout, but a higher chance of winning (since you’re betting on the favourite).
Positive odds: Higher potential payout but lower chance of winning (since you’re betting on the underdog).

Are higher decimal odds better?

Not necessarily. This depends on the odds format.
American odds (negative numbers): Higher absolute value (farther from zero) means lower payout.
Decimal odds: A higher number signifies a bigger potential payout.
Fractional odds: These are more complex, but generally, a higher fraction indicates a larger payout.

About the author

Bhumika Mishra

Bhumika Mishra

Bhumika, a spirited and youthful author from Auckland, offers a unique viewpoint on the contemporary digital world. Merging her enthusiasm for narrative crafting with a keen interest in advanced technology, she creates engaging and informative content that both enthralls and educates her audience.