# Union Jack bets

The Union Jack bet is a specialty bet that involves a total of eight treble bets placed on nine selections, which are lined up in a 3x3 grid on a specially designed betting slip.

For example, say you have nine selections picked for a series of nine horse races – H1 through to H9. They’d be arranged as follows in a 3x3 grid:

 H1 H2 H3 H4 H5 H6 H7 H8 H9

In this example, your eight trebles include three vertical combinations, three horizontal combinations and two diagonal combinations, as follows:

• H1, H2 and H3 (first horizontal row)
• H4, H5 and H6 (second horizontal row)
• H7, H8 and H9 (third horizontal row)
• H1, H4 and H7 (leftmost vertical row)
• H2, H5 and H8 (middle vertical row)
• H3, H6 and H9 (rightmost vertical row)
• H1, H5 and H6 (diagonally from top left to bottom right)
• H7, H8 and H9 (diagonally from bottom left to top right).

For any treble to give a return, all three of the selections it includes must win.

## Pros and cons of Union Jack bets

Aside from the fact that it’s a fun bet to place, a Union Jack bet lets you win a return even if you win just one or two of the trebles it includes. This means Union Jack bets are useful for betting on a set of underdogs – even if the majority of selections lose, you may still make a profit.

For example, say that only the first treble in the grid shown above (H1, H2 and H3) wins, and all the other trebles lose. Given reasonably favourable odds for the three winning selections, you’d still make a good profit on the bet.

However, note that may fail to get any return at all on a Union Jack bet even if five or six of your nine selections win, based on how they’re lined up in the grid. For example, consider the grid shown above. Even if selections H1, H2, H4, H6, H8 and H9 all win, you won’t get any return on your bet because none of the trebles has won.

## How a Union Jack bet works in practice

When you place a £1 Union Jack bet, you’ll actually be staking £8. That’s because the bet involves a total of eight trebles.

Something important to note about how a Union Jack bet works is that some of the selections in the 3x3 grid appear in more trebles than others, as follows:

• the selection in the centre of the grid (H4 above) appears most often, in a total of four trebles
• selections in the corner positions (H1, H3, H7 and H9 above) each appear in a total of three trebles
• the remaining selections (H2, H5, H6 and H8) each appear in only two trebles.

In other words, the placement of the selections isn’t random and requires careful thought. Once you get the hang of how Union Jack bets work, you’ll be able to position your selections based on factors like their odds and what you know about their recent form.