Understanding Odds What the numbers mean There are two ways odds – or prices – are displayed at racecourses in Britain: the traditional fractional system or the more recently introduced decimal system. Fractional odds: These are usually displayed in this format: 4/1. In spoken form this is “Four-to-one” and sometimes this can be written as: 4-1. Odds are just maths. To illustrate some examples, let’s call each number a unit. So: 4/1: For every 1 unit you stake, you will receive 4 units if you win (plus your stake). 7/2: For every 2 units you stake, you will receive 7 units if you win (plus your stake). 9/4: For every 4 units you stake, you will receive 9 units if you win (plus your stake). If you see fractional odds the other way round – such as 1/4 – this is called odds-on and means the horse in question is a hot favourite to win the race.