04/21/2011 8:44PM

Playing percentages


The low-takeout (14 percent) pick five that made its debut Thursday at Hollywood Park attracted a modest $103,291 pool.

Three winning favorites made it simple for 236 winning tickets. The 50-cent bet returned $263.55; there were 3,870 consolation payoffs (four winners) that returned $6.85.

Is it a good bet? You be the judge.

California recently hiked takeout to 23.86 percent for exotic wagers with three or more horses.

Under the standard takeout, the winning pick five Thursday would have paid only $233, compared to $263.

Under standard takeout, the amount removed from the pool (the takeout) would have been $24,459 compared to just $14,460. Bettors on Thursday received a "bonus" of nearly $10,000.

The new pick five is not perfect. For example, we can do without a consolation. (Without a consolation, the pick five Thursday would have paid more than $376.)

But the new wager is a forward move.

Thursday at Hollywood Park, the difference between a 14 percent takeout and the 23.86 percent California standard amounted to a payoff “increase” of nearly $30.

A bet that would have paid off at 466-1 odds, instead paid 526-1.

Signficant? You bet.