Singles betting

A single bet is a wager on a single outcome in an event. The bet is unrelated to any additional bets you may place at the same time.

Singles bettingHow single bets work

The single bet is the most basic bet there is.

All you need to do is make a selection in a betting market, choose how much you want to wager and then place your bet.

The rules for singles betting are as follows:

  • you can back only one selection per bet
  • if your selection loses, you lose your stake
  • if your selection wins, your winnings will be paid out at the odds displayed for your selection when you placed the bet.

For example, say you back Liverpool to beat Stoke City in an FA Cup match. The odds on Liverpool are 4/1 and you bet a £10 stake. You’ll win £40 if Liverpool wins. If the match ends in a draw or Stoke City wins, you'll lose your stake.

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Single bets and each-way betting

All online bookmakers offer each-way betting on relevant betting markets. An each-way bet is basically two single bets placed at the same time. One is a single bet on the selection winning, and the other is a single bet on the selection placing.

Although these two bets are placed at the same time, they're independent of each other. Your place bet will win if your selection places but does not win. Both bets will lose if your selection doesn’t place. Both will win if your selection wins.

Many bookmaker specials that apply to single bets are also valid for the win portion of each-way bets. However, these don't usually apply to the place portion of an each-way bet.

Using single bets as part of a betting strategy

Multiples betting is a good way of securing high odds, with a potentially big payout from a small stake. However, single bets are the way to go if you want to back a single outcome with a larger stake.

For example, suppose you can get good odds on a horse you think is very likely to win a Group 1 horse race. In this case, you’ll get the best return if you increase the size of your stake and if the payout doesn't depend on the outcome of any other events.

Singles bets also play an important role in more complex betting strategies like Dutching and trading, which rely on single bets on different outcomes.

Making the most of single bets

There’s no better way to make a big dent in your bankroll than to put too big a chunk of your cash into a single bet.

Single bets are best used as part of a broad betting strategy that's designed to be profitable over the long term, rather than as a one-off attempt to scoop a huge win from a high stake.

You should also consider using flat betting when placing singles bets. That is, bet the same amount for each bet. This will discourage you from making bigger bets than you can afford or from compounding that error by chasing your losses with even bigger bets.

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Related Articles

  • Have your cake and eat it – combine win and place bets into a single each-way bet.
  • Why go for singles when you could have multiples instead? Find out how to make the most of multiples.