Of the major types of odds available to bettors, the decimal format is by far the simplest. Whereas both the fractional and American systems can leave new bettors scratching their heads, decimal odds can be grasped quickly by newcomers.
How it Works
Decimal odds present a numerical value for every betting option that contains two decimal places. Quite simply, this numerical value of the odds is multiplied by the number 1 to determine the return on a successful bet of $1.
Let’s Look at an Example
To explain the way decimal betting odds works, let’s look at an example:
Line 
Total 
Money Line 

Calgary Flames 
(+1.5) 1.47 
Over 5.5 2.10 
Win 2.50 
Columbus Blue Jackets 
(1.5) 2.75 
Under 5.5 1.76 
Win 1.58 
Using these example odds, let’s say we want to place a bet on Calgary to win. The odds for this wager are 2.50.
If our wager amount in this scenario is $10, then a winning result would produce a return of $25. This outcome is determined by the equation $10 x 2.50 = $25.
For another example, if we were to wager $10 on Columbus to cover the 1.5 spread at a return rate of 2.75, the return on a successful result will be $27.50. This outcome is determined by the equation $10 x 2.75 = $27.50.
Decimal Parlay Odds
Now let’s say that we want to parlay a few wagers together on the following ticket:
Wager 
Odds 
San Antonio Spurs (3.5) 
1.90 
Toronto Raptors (5) 
2.00 
Cleveland Cavaliers (12.5) 
1.95 
In this scenario, our bet remains $10. In order to determine the total payout, we multiple the decimal odds, using the following equation ($10) x (1.90 x 2.00 x 1.95).
The combined odds therefore equal 7.41, making the simplified equation $10 x. 7.41 = $74.10. This is achieved by multiplying the odds together, then multiplying the total odds with the wager amount.
Pretty straightforward, right?
Decimal odds are usually considered the most accessible for beginners, or those who have not already come to favour American or Fractional alternatives. It, of course, comes down to personal preference, but if you're just getting started with sports betting, decimal odds are a good option to begin with.