A roundabout bet is the way to go if you want to leverage small stake amounts. That’s because a roundabout bet massively increases the amount you stand to win from the stake you wager. The price you pay for potentially higher returns is that you may lose your whole stake even if you have a winner.
How a roundabout bet works
If you place a roundabout bet of £1, it means you’re actually staking £3, or £1 on each of three selections in different events.
For any selection that wins, £2 will be placed on a double consisting of the two other selections, as follows:
- if selection 1 wins, £2 is placed on a double on selections 2 and 3
- if selection 2 wins, £2 is placed on a double on selections 1 and 3
- if selection 3 wins, £2 is placed on a double on selections 1 and 2.
Essentially, you pay just for three single £1 bets but stand to be paid out as if you’d placed three double £2 bets. When you think about it this way, it’s easy to understand why bets like the roundabout are so popular.
Note that depending on the odds, a single winning bet might fail to generate a big enough return to fund twice the original stake on the relevant double. When this happens, however much is available from the single will be placed on the double.
Example of a roundabout bet
As a roundabout bet, say you put a stake of £1 on each of three selections in three different horse races (a total stake of £3). You bet on horse A at odds of 3/2, horse B at odds of 5/7 and horse C at odds of 4/1.
The following occurs:
- if horse A wins, £1.50 is staked on a double that includes horse B (odds 5/7) and horse C (odds 4/1) – and if the double wins, you’ll get a total return of £22.50
- if horse B wins, £1.71 is staked on a double that includes horse A (odds 3/2) and horse C (odds 4/1) – and if the double wins, you’ll be paid out £21.38
- if horse C wins its race, £2 is staked on a double that includes horse A (odds 3/2) and horse B (odds 5/7) – and if this double wins, you’ll be paid out £15.
This means that if your luck holds and all three of your selections in the roundabout bet win their races, your original stake will earn you a total return of £58.88 (overall winnings of £55.88) – more than healthy for a stake of just £3!