Example of a combination bet
Say you’ve got £30 to wager at the racetrack during a day of flat racing that includes six separate horse races. You could use the full £30 to back a single horse in one of the races. If the horse wins and the odds were favourable, your payout is likely to be big – but if the horse loses, you’ll lose your full £30 in one go.
Instead you might choose to place three separate bets of £10 each on which horse will win each of three races. You can think of this as a combination bet that consists of three singles. If any one of the horses you’ve backed wins at odds higher than 3/1, you’ll make a profit.
Of course if two or even all three of your selections win, the payout will be much greater.
You could also choose to split your £30 into a £5 bet on the winner of each of the six races. If just one of your selections wins at odds of 6/1, you’ll break even – and if the odds are higher or more than one of your selections wins, you’ll make a profit.
In practice, combination bets don’t consist just of singles. Instead they combine two or more types of multiple bets, or a multiple bet plus a number of singles. This increases the number of ways you can win.
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Combination versus multiple bets - what’s the difference?
In a multiple bet, you place just one stake. If your first selection wins, that stake and your winnings are used to back the second selection, and so on. If any of the selections you’ve backed loses, the multiple bet as a whole loses.
In a combination bet, you place a separate stake on each selection.
The combination bet may still be profitable even if one of the selections you’ve backed loses. Some of the bets within a combination bet typically take the form of multiple bets, such as doubles, trebles or accumulators.
Pros and cons of combination bets
Combination bets cover a number of possible outcomes, enabling you to hedge your bets – reducing the amount you stand to lose if you’re unlucky and making it more likely that you’ll earn an overall profit from your sports betting.
The trade-off is that because you’ve divided your bankroll over a greater number of bets, the potential payout will be smaller than if you’d risked a greater amount on a single bet. A large payout is likely only if two or more of your selections win.
Types of combination bets
Combination bets can include both singles and various types of multiple bets, including doubles, trebles and accumulators, which consist of four or more bets. In addition, many bookmakers offer combination bets that cover all the possible double, treble and accumulator combinations for a given set of selections. These are known as full cover bets.
There are several types of full cover bets, each with its own nickname:
- Trixie: a combination bet placed on three different selections, featuring four separate bets – three doubles and a treble
- Yankee: a combination bet on four different selections, featuring 11 separate bets – six doubles, four trebles and a fourfold accumulator
- Heinz: A combination bet on six different selections, featuring 57 separate bets – 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 fivefolds and a sixfold accumulator
- Super Heinz: A combination bet on seven different selections, featuring 120 separate bets – 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, 7 sixfolds and a sevenfold accumulator
- Goliath: A combination bet on eight different selections, featuring 247 separate bets – 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfolds, 56 fivefolds, 28 sixfolds, 8 sevenfolds and an eightfold accumulator.
Combination bets plus singles
Full cover bets are also offered with singles. There are four common examples:
- the Patent, which is equivalent to a Trixie plus three singles
- Lucky 15, which is equivalent to a Yankee plus four singles
- Lucky 31, which is equivalent to a Yankee plus five singles
- Lucky 63, which is equivalent to a Heinz with six singles.
Placing a combination bet
The different types of combination bets and the bets they include can be bewildering. However, these bets are very easy to place using an online sportsbook, or bookmaker. As you add additional selections to a betting slip, combination betting options will become available.
The minimum stake and maximum payout for each multiple bet is calculated automatically and will appear on your betting slip. Once you’ve submitted the betting slip, you can easily track the progress of all the bets using your online account.