In many experiments, participants play for currency: either real money, or points. oTree supports both; you can switch from points to real money by setting USE_POINTS = False in your settings.

You can write cu(42) to represent “42 currency units”. It works just like a number (e.g. cu(0.1) + cu(0.2) == cu(0.3)). The advantage is that when it’s displayed to users, it will automatically be formatted as $0.30 or 0,30 , etc., depending on your REAL_WORLD_CURRENCY_CODE and LANGUAGE_CODE settings.


cu() is new in oTree 5. Previously, c() was used to denote currencies. Code that already uses c() will continue to work. More info here.

Use CurrencyField to store currencies in the database. For example:

class Player(BasePlayer):
    random_bonus = models.CurrencyField()

To make a list of currency amounts, use currency_range:

currency_range(0, 0.10, 0.02)
# this gives:
# [$0.00, $0.02, $0.04, $0.06, $0.08, $0.10]

In templates, instead of using the cu() function, you should use the |cu filter. For example, {{ 20|cu }} displays as 20 points.


Each player has a payoff field. If your player makes money, you should store it in this field. participant.payoff automatically stores the sum of payoffs from all subsessions. You can modify participant.payoff directly, e.g. to round the final payoff to a whole number.

At the end of the experiment, a participant’s total profit can be accessed by participant.payoff_plus_participation_fee(); it is calculated by converting participant.payoff to real-world currency (if USE_POINTS is True), and then adding session.config['participation_fee'].

Points (i.e. “experimental currency”)

If you set USE_POINTS = True, then currency amounts will be points instead of dollars/euros/etc. For example, cu(10) is displayed as 10 points (or 10 puntos, etc.)

You can decide the conversion rate to real money by adding a real_world_currency_per_point entry to your session config.

Converting points to real world currency

You can convert a points amount to money using the method .to_real_world_currency. For example:


(The session is necessary because different sessions can have different conversion rates).

Decimal places

Money amounts are displayed with 2 decimal places.

On the other hand, points are integers. This means amounts will get rounded to whole numbers, like 10 divided by 3 is 3. So, we recommend using point magnitudes high enough that you don’t care about rounding error. For example, set the endowment of a game to 1000 points, rather than 100.