Types of Bets
One of the biggest advancements that we’ve seen since the switch from high street betting to online betting in the early 2000’s, is the sheer number of bets and betting markets that you can wager on. It’s so expansive that if you are new to online betting then it could feel a little overwhelming.
To be honest, the majority of these bets are never going to be used by the average punter. Most have a go-to range of bet types that they use week in week out, and they rarely deviate too far away from them. They could be missing out, though.
It’s really important to understand what each of the bet types means so you can make educated decisions. If you aren’t aware of all the options then you could be missing out on more valuable bets, which will cost you over the long term.
Below, you are going to learn about a huge range of different bets and how they work. We’ve also included some bets that are sport specific, mainly to football and horse racing given that these are by far the most popular sports for betting in the UK.
That being said, a lot of these bet types can be used on a wide variety of sports and some are adapted to work alongside these other sports to make them a little more specifically.
Common Bet Types
The following bets can be made on most sports. Some are more popular than others, but as stated, it’s important you learn what each one means.
The most common bet of them all is simply the ‘win’ bet. For this, you are betting on the team that you want to win the event in question and nothing more. For example, if you were betting on Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, you would choose which player you think will win that match however that comes to pass.
The win market is going to have the most liquidity in it, which basically means the most money will be wagered on this market. It’s popular because it’s easy to do, easy to understand, and even if you are completely new to betting, you know what is needed for your selection to win.
The place market is when you bet on something to finish within a certain number of places from the top. For example, you might bet on Lewis Hamilton to finish within the top 3 positions of the Monaco Grand Prix. As long as he finishes within these positions then your bet will win, regardless of whether he comes first, second, or third.
This is common with horse racing and golf competition especially, but the number of ‘place will change for each event. Some races might payout out on a place bet if your horse finishes in the top 3, another race might pay out on the top 5.
The each way bet is a combination of both the win and the place market. It’s broken down into two separate bets, so half of your stake will go on the selection to win and the other half on your selection to place. This type of bet is most common with horse racing, but can be applied to lots of sports.
For example, you place a £10 each way bet on a horse priced at 10.00. As the bet is broken into two parts, your total wager will actually be £20, with £10 on the win and £10 on the place.
The place part of the bet will pay a certain number of places at a percentage of the odds. In horse racing the number of places paid is determined by the number of runners in the race. So, a race with 10 runners will pay out top 3 places; a race with 16+ horses will pay out top 4. The place price will be a fraction of the original odds, usually either 1/4 or 1/5 of the price that you took.
Let’s assume for our example the race pays top 3 places at 1/4 odds. If our horse comes 1st we win both parts of the bet. The win part would get £10 at odds of 10.00, equalling £100 including the stake – so £90 profit. The place would be ¼ odds, so 2.50 with £10 stake, making it £32.50 total return and a profit of £12.50. Our total returns for this bet, therefore, will be £132.50 including the £20 stake.
If the horse failed to win, but finishes 2nd or 3rd in this race, we would lose the win part of the bet, but still pick up the place part of the bet. It doesn’t matter if they finish 2nd or 3rd, as the payout will be the same for any place pot. So we make a £12.50 profit for a place.
If the horse finishes outside of the top 3 then the whole bet loses and you lose your stake.
Multiple bets are pretty straightforward in that they are bets that include more than one selection. The range of bets starts from as little as two selections and, theoretically, you can include as many as you like to create gargantuan bets.
You’re going to find that multiple bets are some of the most popular. They allow people to create bets with selections that have very short odds and then turn them into long odds. The knock-on effect is that the payouts can be eye popping – of course, the odds of them coming in are drastically reduced too.
The process of placing a multiple bet is very simple; the more selections you add the higher the odds will be. Each has its own name, but once you get to 4 or more selections this is known as an accumulator bet. These tend to have their own names as well though, confusingly, such as a six-fold, seven-fold, eight-fold etc. as you increase the number of selections.
These bets are all single stake bets. Unlike full cover bets – which we talk about next – you bet a single amount for the outcome of the accumulator to come in. You need all selections to win and even if just one selection loses then your whole bet is toast.
|Number of selections||Bet name|
|4 or more||Accumulator (sometimes referred to as the selection number and ‘fold’)|
Full Cover Bets
Full cover bets are where you bet on a number of selections and more than 1 unit. So, unlike an accumulator bet where you bet on a single outcome, you don’t need all selections to win in a full cover bet to get a profitable return.
These bets include the likes of doubles, trebles, and accumulator bets, but you will be betting on each bet as a single unit, so you need a new stake for each bet. The bet types that you use will be represented as the number of selections that you use.
The Bets in Brief
The first one in the pack is a Trixie. For this you will be required to choose 3 selections, and this will include a total of 4 separate bets: 3 doubles and 1 treble. You will need a minimum of 2 correct results from this to get a return on your money.
We will use a Trixie to highlight how full cover bets work and then you can apply the same theory to all other full cover bet types.
For a Trixie we need to make 3 selections:
- Team A
- Team B
- Team C
We know that we have 4 bets to make in total, which will be:
- Team A + Team B
- Team B + Team C
- Team A + Team C
- Team A + Team B + Team C
Let’s assume that Team A and Team B win, but Team C loses. From the above we can see that we win double number 1 but would lose double numbers 2, 3 and 4, given that Team C is involved in each of these.
In terms of your stake, you would bet per line, which means per bet. A Trixie has 4 lines as there are 4 combinations of bets. If you wagered £10 per line, your total stake for this bet would be £40. The odds that you get are what you take at the time of placing your bet.
Here are the rest:
- Yankee – The Yankee is one of the most famous of these bet types and was rumoured to have been made by legendary Betfred owner, Fred Done. This bet includes 4 selections and 11 bets in total. These are 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a 4-fold accumulator. A minimum of two selections are needed to get a return on this bet.
- Canadian or Super Yankee – The Super Yankee is one up on its older sibling, choosing 5 selections for this bet and making up 26 bets in total. These include 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds, and 1 fivefold accumulator.
- Heinz – The Heinz takes its name from the baked beans brand, as there are 57 bets in total, famously matching Heinz’ 57 product variants. These bets come from 6 selections and include 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 fivefolds and a sixfold accumulator.
- Super Heinz – Again, a step up from the Heinz, the Super Heinz includes 7 selections and makes up 120 bets, including 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, 7 sixfolds and a sevenfold accumulator.
- Goliath – The Goliath is the biggest of the full cover bets and contains a massive 8 selections which then make up 247 separate bets. These are 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfolds, 56 fivefolds, 28 sixfolds, 8 sevenfolds and an eightfold accumulator.
|No. of selections||Doubles||Trebles||4-Folds||5-Folds||6-Folds||7-Folds||8-Folds|
Looking at this table should help if you are confused, and just imagine that it is one stake per bet here, so a Goliath would cost £247 at £1 per bet. That’s why the cover bets at the top of the list are more common!
Full Cover Bets With Singles
An extension to the full cover bets is that of full cover bets with singles. The clue is in the name; the bets from the full cover selection above include single bets as well as all the multiple bets. This means that there are more chances to win given that you get paid for single winning results, but at the same time you will have to pay out more for your stake as there are more bet lines.
As you’ve now got a basic understanding of what to expect, the easiest thing to do is use a reference table rather than run through them all again individually:
|No. of selections||Singles||Doubles||Trebles||4-Folds||5-Folds||6-Folds|
Football Bet Types
Football has been a bit of a trend setter when it comes to creating new and exciting betting markets. Land on the homepage of any of the major bookies and you will see hundreds of betting markets for each game.
In reality, the number of markets is much smaller than what is presented as they include selections as well, but there is a still a good deal to get through. H
ere are some of the more popular football specific betting markets.
The most popular football market to bet on and sometimes referred to as the Match Result market. Here you can choose from 3 selections including home win, away win and the draw.
Bookies will take the most money on these markets so they are much less rewarding than some of the others in this list. You also have a one in three chance of winning the bet which is much higher than more complex bets.
Draw No Bet
For this you get two selections to choose from; either a home win or an away win. Obviously, in a football match the draw is a possibility, but with this market, if the game does end in a draw then the bet will be deemed void and you will get your stake back.
For this reason, the odds on offer are going to be lower than if you were to take either of the teams on the Win/Draw/Win market.
Both Teams To Score (BTTS)
One of the fastest growing and most popular markets of the last 10 years is the Both Teams To Score market. This one is really simple; all you need is for each team to score 1 or more goals for your bet to win. The final result doesn’t matter at all, as long as both teams have scored during the game.
It’s worth noting that an extension to this market is the Both Teams To Score ‘no’ market, where you are betting that the game will either be goalless, or only one team will manage to score.
Result and BTTS
The result and BTTS market combines both the Win/Draw/Win and the BTTS market. So you can choose home win and BTTS yes, or draw and BTTS yes.
This has proved to be a popular market these days and generally offers much better odds than simply betting on the WDW or the BTTS markets on their own, since you are adding an extra element to the bet.
This is where the odds improve. It’s another that is pretty straight forward; just predict the correct score for the match.
It’s a tough market to call, but since the odds are generally pretty high, the bet and the extra risk associated with it are more worthwhile.
Extra tip: Statistically, the most common results in football are 1-0, 1-1 and 2-1, respectively.
Double chance allows you to choose two outcomes from the WDW market, and thus increase your chances of a successful bet.
So, this might be home win and away win, home win and draw, or away win and draw. Basically, it gives you two chances of winning the bet.
The odds for this are typically much lower than the WDW market though, as you have a 2 in 3 chance of getting it right.
If you are new to betting or just very cautious with your money, this might be a good one to start with to build up your confidence.
There are a number of goalscorer markets on offer with most bookies these days. These can range quite dramatically, but expect to see first goalscorer, anytime scorer, and last goalscorer as a bare minimum.
One thing to take note of with this market is that with most bookies, if an own goal is scored, this market won’t be settled unless own goal was a selection in your market. So, all three of these goalscorer markets will remain live should an own goal be scored.
There are also some bookmakers that offer up additional gains if the player goes on to score multiple goals. For example, past promotions have doubled the odds if your first goalscorer selection scores two, and trebled the odds if they get a hat-trick.
The handicap bet is where the bookmaker gives a theoretical advantage to one team over the over. This comes in the form of either adding or removing goals from kick-off to create an adjusted handicap score line.
There are two forms of handicap bets; regular handicap and Asian handicap.
Regular handicap bets work in whole numbers, so +1, +2, -1 and -2 goals. This is then added or removed from the final real life score line to reveal the result as far as the bet is concerned. With whole numbers the draw can still be a result, and if this happens, then most bookies will give you your stake back.
The Asian Handicap works in fractions so a draw is no longer a possibility. A common bet would be -1.5 goals, meaning that 1.5 goals would be removed from the team that you have backed. This means that there is always a winning result (you cannot score half a goal) and is much more popular with a lot of punters for this exact reason.
There are now a plethora of over\under markets. For these, the bookmaker is setting a line for something to happen and then you choose the over or under of that line. It’s a bet that is very popular in the US for sports such as American football, basketball, and baseball, but is now equally as popular in football.
The most popular markets that you can bet on are:
For example, let’s say you were betting on the goals market. The most common line is 2.5 goals, with over 2.5 goals being a popular bet. This basically means that you need 3 or more goals to be scored during the game for this bet to win. The fraction has the same effect as an Asian bet, so the result will always be definitive; 2 goals is less than 2.5 so the bet would lose, whereas 3 goals is more than 2.5, so the bet would win.
You can do with anything; under 10.5 corners in a game, over 3 cards given by the ref, etc.
Horse Racing Bets
Compared to football, horse racing doesn’t have nearly as many betting markets to choose from. The most common come in form of the outright winner and the each way market, both of which we have explained above.
You will also find that the full cover bets and the accumulator bets work well with horse racing and can be massively lucrative as well.
Aside from that, the number of markets is small, but there are a few that we wanted to highlight and quickly run you through.
- Forecasts – The forecast bet is a bet type that requires the punter to select multiple horses to finish within certain positions of that race, but there are a few different ways of betting on this.
- Straight Forecasts – The straight forecast is one of the most popular, where the punter needs to choose two horses to finish in 1st and 2nd in the correct order. The bet is a 1 unit bet, so you need the result to be completely correct; so not only do you need your two selected horses to finish first and second, but you need to predict which will be which.
- Reverse Forecast – The Reverse Forecast is similar to the Straight Forecast in that you need to choose two horses to come first and second, but the horses can finish in either order and your bet still wins, so it’s a bit easier. If you do happen to get them in the right order as well you won’t win any more money though, sadly.
- Combination Forecast – The Combination Forecast increases the number of selections that you can include from two to three, and then requires two of these selections to finish 1st and 2nd and in the correct order.
- Tricast – The Tricast is the expansion of the Forecast bet, but instead of two selections you need to choose three. You then need all three to be in the correct order for the bet to win. This bet can only be placed on races that includes 8 or more horses.
- Reverse Tricast – The Reverse Tricast, like the Reverse Forecast, is where you choose three horses that need to finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in any combination for your bet to be a winner.