As more and more sports and markets open up, the odds get even more complicated. Odds of 1/5 are right up there as quite popular but also tricky to work out in your head. That’s why we’ve put this handy guide together!

First off, odds of 1/5 are known as ‘Odds ON’. This means that you have to bet far more than you will get back if you place a winning bet. In the easiest terms to understand, you will receive £1 for every £5 that you stake on a successful bet. So no matter how much you decide to spend, the most you can ever expect back is 20% of what you bet.

These are clearly not favourable odds. And you need to stake a lot of money to make any real money. That said, often 1/5 odds means there is a very clear favourite which does increase your chances of a win. Just remember that nothing is guaranteed. A horse can fall, a winning football team can concede a goal in the last minute and a golfer can have an off day. So no matter how ‘sure’ the ‘sure thing’ is, upsets happen.

A lot of the time you will see odds of 1/5 available on ‘In Play’ markets. That is when the game/race/competition is already underway but not over. So in the middle of a football game, if one team is winning 2-0 they could easily go to 1/5 to win the game. The bookmakers want to pay out as little as possible so the odds shorten with every passing minute or goal that goes in.

So now we get to the working out of the odds. This is actually a very simple maths formula.

The first number (1) is the amount you’ll win from wagering the second number (5). So for every £5 that you bet, you will get back £1 if your bet wins. You basically get back a lot less than you bet, plus your stake back.

For instance, a £10 winning bet at 1/5 will payout £2 (plus your £10 stake is returned). If you increase the stake to £50 you’ll get £10 back (plus £50 stake). The maths formula for a win only bet is:

(amount staked x 1) / 5 = win returns + stake back = total amount of returns.

For example: (£30 x 1) = £30 divided by 5 = £6 win + £30 stake back = £36 returned in total.

There is an option to bet each-way in most markets. However, it is generally advised not to do this unless the odds are over 6/1. The reason is that you can’t win any money if your bet loses the win but takes a place instead.

Most bookmakers payout 1/4 odds on each-way places. And when you are already betting on such short odds, it is almost impossible to get any money back on an each-way bet. For example, if you placed £10 each-way (£20) on odds of 1/5 you would get back £10.50 in TOTAL.

You would lose the win part of your stake, leaving you with the each-way winnings of just 50p plus that part of the stake back. It really isn’t worth it.

So there you have it, 1/5 explained in simple terms. There’s a payout guide below for some common bets placed at those odds. However, you can also use our online bet calculator to work out other odds and stake combinations.


£1 @ 1/5 = 20p
£2 @ 1/5 = 40p
£5 @ 1/5 = £1
£10 @ 1/5 = £2
£25 @ 1/5 = £5
£50 @ 1/5 = £10
£100 @ 1/5 = £20

The amounts quoted above are based on Win bets only. The returns do not include the original amount staked. If you place an each-way bet and it wins, you get back the win and the place winnings, plus your original stake.

If you’re interested in placing bets online with a reputable bookmaker then Betfair has a great welcome offer for new customers.


Place 5 bets of £10 or more and get a £20 free bet. You can do this 5 times to receive £100 in total.

New customer offer. Place 5 x €/£10 or more bets to receive €/£20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum €/£100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply. 18+ Please bet responsibly.