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The Colour of Money

Last Updated: Monday 27th April 2009, 11:39 am

The Colour of Money The colour of money is a phrase that is often used in the betting world, but what exactly does the colour of money mean? And why is the term ‘the colour of money’ used more frequently by those who participate in betting than it is in other areas of life? In this article we answer both of those questions.

If you were to ask a member of the general public what the colour of money means, they might tell you that it is the title of The Colour of Money movie that starred Paul Newman and Tom Cruise, and was something of a sequel to Newman’s earlier film The Hustler.

Another person might tell you that the term refers to the title of The Colour of Money novel by Walter Tevis, on which The Colour of Money movie was based. Still another person might tell you that the colour of money depends on the kind of money you’re talking about. For example, that dollars are generally green, fifty pound notes are red and twenty pound notes are purple.

The same responses might well be given by those participate in betting (on the National Lottery or anything else), but in the betting world the colour of money has a more precise meaning. In this case, to see the colour of someone’s money means to see proof that the person has money to bet with.

For example, if there were two men in a bar and one invited the other to bet £50 on a game of pool, the person being invited to bet might respond: “Show me the colour of your money first,” which basically means, “Let me see that you have £50 on you to bet with.” If the bettor can demonstrate that he has the cash on him to bet with, the wager might be accepted, but if the bettor can’t show the colour of his money, it would probably be rejected.

The colour of money phrase can also be used as an invitation to wager on something. For example, if one man watching a football match in a bar were to say, “That team has no chance of scoring against the opposition,” and another disagreed, the other man might respond, “Why don’t you show us the colour of your money if you’re so sure?” In other words, why don’t we have a wager on your opinion?

So there you have it. The next time you hear someone talk about the colour of money, you'll be able to put the phrase in context and know exactly what they are referring to.

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