# What Does 5 to 1 Mean in Betting?

When you lay down a wager with a bookie or a poker player, you are usually agreeing to take on a certain amount of money. Most often than not, this number is expressed in decimal form (e.g., \$10, \$25, \$50, and \$100 bets). Truth be told, there is no exact science behind the number 5 to 1, which is frequently used in gambling. Weighing in on the subject is Chris Volk, owner of EVOLVE, a company that specializes in finding statistical patterns in sporting events:

## What is the Reason Behind the Customary 5 to 1 Ratio?

The short answer is that the gambling industry has adopted the 5 to 1 ratio because it makes people feel better about betting. It is believed that if you bet \$5 on every game, you will certainly end up winning \$1, and those \$1 wins will make you feel like you were on the right side of the bet. Another commonly used analogy is the dollar/euro exchange rate. If you think about it, the \$1 corresponds to the euro as opposed to the other way around. In other words, if you think that the dollar will increase in value against the euro, you can assume that all bets involving the two paired currencies will have a 5 to 1 ratio.

## Is There Any Formal Explanation Behind the Odds Shown On a Gaming Page?

While the 5 to 1 ratio is frequently used in conjunction with gambling, it is not always the case. Many bookmakers will express the odds for a sporting event in decimal form, and sometimes these odds are not even remotely related to the 5 to 1 figure. For example, take the New York Mets and the Texas Rangers. As of this writing, the Mets are 6.5-point underdogs. The 5 to 1 ratio would indicate that you should bet \$6.50 to win \$1. On the other hand, the oddsmakers at betonline.com claim that the true odds for this particular matchup are 11.7-to-1, indicating that you should bet \$11.70 to win \$1. Although there is no way to know for sure which one is right, it seems like the bookmaker with the 11.7-to-1 odds makes more sense.

The main reason that the oddsmakers at betonline.com are correct might be because they are taking into account the fact that the Rangers are at home. The Mets are 6.5-point underdogs, but at home, the Rangers are 6.0-point underdogs. So, essentially, you are getting a free \$0.25 for every dollar you wager. In this example, the 5 to 1 ratio would be correct, but there is still no surefire way of knowing which one is the “true” ratio.

Some bookies will even show you the exact amount that you will win or lose based on your chosen amount and the number of teams in the World Series. For example, if you bet \$100 on the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series, you will earn \$190 if the Dodgers win. If you bet \$100 on the New York Yankees to win the World Series, you will lose \$190. Exact figures like these can be found on the FAQ page of most bookmakers. It is always a good idea to do some research before gambling, especially if you are completely unfamiliar with the terms used in place of bets (e.g., juice, vigorish, etc.).

The issue of whether or not to use the 5 to 1 ratio is a subjective one. The main thing is that you must know what the ratio means, and you must be aware that the odds are not always going to be in favor of the player you root for. If you are new to betting, it might be a good idea to begin with the 5 to 1 ratio simply because it is a more common and easier way of thinking about betting rather than trying to adjust to using different odds. Once you get used to backing different teams according to the amount you wager, you will be able to determine which numbers work best for you and your preferred games. Be sure to check out our online casino reviews to see which ones are the best in 2018!