We use least squares support vector machine (LS-SVM) utilizing a binary decision tree for classification of cardiotocogram to determine the fetal state. The parameters of LS-SVM are optimized by particle swarm optimization. The robustness of the method is examined by running 10-fold cross-validation. The performance of the method is evaluated in terms of overall classification accuracy. Additionally, receiver operation characteristic analysis and cobweb representation are presented in order to analyze and visualize the performance of the method. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method achieves a remarkable classification accuracy rate of 91.62%.