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UK Bookmaker Betting Guide


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UK Bookmakers UK Betting Guide

Common Bet Types:

Win singles

This is the simplest - and most popular - of all bets. Your selection has to come first for your bet to be successful. Say for example you placed £10 to win on Shergar to win the Champion Hurdle at 2/1 against. That means your basic stake is simply £10. The odds that are offered on the horse, in this case 2/1, reflect the chance that the bookmakers think it has of winning. They are predicting that for every three times the race is run it will win one of them - a 33.3% chance. A simple example that explains the way odds work is the toss of a coin. There is obviously a 50% chance of it landing on heads and a 50% chance of it being tails - presuming of course that we are discounting the possibility it lands on its side! This is effectively a 1/1 chance which is known as even money. So going back to our 2/1 against example, let's imagine that we have placed £5 to win. If Shergar were to win you would win two times your stake and your stake is returned as your bet is a winner. That equates to 2 x £10 + £10 = £30. If Shergar were to get beaten you lose your £10 stake.

Each-way singles

This wager is effectively a split stake bet between win only and place only. It means that you can still get a return even if your selection does not win. Let's pretend you placed £10 each-way on Red Rum to win the Derby at 12/1. The first thing to realise is that your stake is now £20 with £10 on the horse winning and £10 on the horse getting a place. If Red Rum came first, your winnings would be £120 (£10 stake x 12) and your stake would be returned too. As well as that the place section of the bet is also successful (though there is no differential between the horse coming first, second or third). The fraction of the odds varies from race to race depending on how many runners there are and whether or not it is a handicap. For simplicity's sake let us imagine that in this case the place terms are a quarter the odds for first, second or third. Therefore in addition to Red Rum's £130 for a win, we get a further £40 for being placed (a quarter of 12 multiplied by the £10 stake plus the original stake). If Red Rum came either second or third the win section of this wager would lose but you would still get £40 back thanks to the place bet coming up trumps.

Multiple bets

These type of bets involve more than one selection.

Double: Using the Shergar/Red Rum examples that can be found above, if Shergar wins at 2/1 and we have placed a £10 win double we have the £30 carried forward onto Red Rum at 12/1. Therefore our total winnings are £30 multiplied by 12 plus the £10 stake which equates to a total return of £390. An each-way double works in the same way but once again it is effectively two separate bets - both need to win for the win part to be successful, both need to be placed for the place section to come to fruition.

Treble: Works in exactly the same way as a double except that three selections are chosen. If four selections or more are used, the bet is known as an accumulator.

Round-Robin: This is when three selections are combined to make ten bets. There are three doubles and a treble plus the three selections in 'Single Stakes About' bets in pairs. (NB Single Stakes About - This is similar to an any-to-come bet but it works in both directions - up and down on two selections - so making two bets.)

Trixie: A bet that involves one win treble and three win doubles - meaning you have to pick out three selections. At least two of them must win to secure a return. The bet can also be done each-way.

Patent: As with the Trixie three selections are involved in a treble and three doubles but there are also single bets on each selection meaning seven bets in total for a win Patent and 14 for an each-way Patent.

Yankee: This takes the Trixie a stage further, incorporating four selections in one four-timer, four trebles and six doubles.

Flag: This bet consists of a yankee plus four selections covered in single stakes about bets.

Canadian: Also known as a Super Yankee this is the next step after the yankee - five horses in one five timer, five four-timers, 10 trebles and 26 doubles.

Super Yankee: See Canadian

Heinz: For those that want to link up six selection in one six-timer, six five-timers, 15 four-timers, 20 trebles and 15 doubles - adding up to 57 bets as the name implies.

Goliath: The ultimate in multiple bets - with seven selections linked up in one seven-timer, seven six-timers, 21 five-timers, 35 four-timers, 35 trebles and 21 doubles making 120 bets in total - or 240 each-way.

Other types of bets

Any-to-come: This is where the backer decides that if the first bet in his series produces a return a set sum is to be carried forward to finance one or more further bets. (Tends to be most popular in racing)

Handicap betting: This is a very common form of betting (particularly in rugby and American football). The bookmakers attempt to give the perceived weaker selection a start that effectively should make the two selection level. So, to use a rugby example, if England are playing Ireland in a Six Nations match at Twickenham the Irish may be 'awarded' a 20 points start on the handicap by the bookmakers. If you felt the Irish had been underestimated and would either actually win the match or lose by less than 20 points you would back them on the handicap. The prices available would generally be around 5/6 each team with 14/1 or 16/1 offered on the tie (ie if England beat Ireland by exactly 20 points). However if you felt confident that the Irish would actually win the match you may simply want to back them on the match betting odds without a handicap. That means you wouldn't get the 20 point start but the price would be more attractive - they may be 5/1 against to win the game with England long odds-on favourites at around 1/7. The draw (in this case an actual draw/tie in the match) would again be around the 14/1/16/1 mark.

Computer Straight Forecast (CSF): A horse racing bet that requires you to predict the first and second in the correct order. You do not pay tax on it. The dividend, as the name implies, is worked out by computer.

Placepot: A popular bet in which you need to select a horse in each race to be placed. Whether a horse needs to win the race, come in the first two, three or four is calculated as follows:
Races of 2-4 - needs to win
Races of 5-7 - 1-2
Races of 8 or more - 1-2-3
Handicap races of 12-15 runners - 1-2-3
Handicap races of 16 or more runners - 1-2-3-4

Jackpot: A pool bet like the Placepot where the winner in each race has to be selected.

Scoop6: The Tote/Totalbet's showpiece pool bet where you have to predict the winner of six major races (on a Saturday) for the chance of winning a bumper pay-out.

Tricast: Similar to the forecast but the customer needs to predict the first three home, again in the correct order.

Correct score betting

This involves predicting what the actual score of a match or series will be and is most commonly used in football. The odds are dependent on the actual match odds between the two teams. For example Liverpool, if quoted at 1-3 to beat Bradford at home, would be in the region of 6/1 to win the game 1-0. In contrast, Derby, 7/2 to beat Manchester United at home, would be around 8/1 to win 1-0. Derby are perceived as having a much smaller chance of gaining the home win than Liverpool and therefore their odds to win 1-0, or indeed by any score, are greater.

Double result betting

This involves predicting the outcome of a match at both half-time and full-time. Again most commonly used in football betting, it can also For example if Chelsea were playing West Ham at home, three of the possible nine double-result bets are Chelsea-Chelsea 11/8, Draw-Chelsea 4/1 and Chelsea-West Ham 28/1. Backing Chelsea-Chelsea means you want the Blues to be winning at both half-time and full-time. This is a popular alternative to simply backing an outright Chelsea victory which would be odds-on. Obviously the risk is greater as if Chelsea are not winning at the interval then the bet is lost regardless of whether they win the match, say 5-1. If you fancy Chelsea to start slowly but come on strong in the second half you would back Draw-Chelsea. And if you think Chelsea will make a fast start but then collapse in the second half then you would back Chelsea-West Ham. Obviously the likelihood of this is much less and hence the quote of 28/1.

First/last scorer betting

This is a bet on which player will score the first (or last) goal/try in a game. The bookies normally quote any player they expect to take part in the match with the odds related to their ability to find the net. These bets are highly popular, especially in live matches. It is worth remembering that if your chosen player has been left out of the team or is still on the bench when the first goal goes in then bets will be refunded on that player. Odds are also available for a player to score at anytime.

First scorer/correct score double

As the name implies this bet combines the first scorer (of a football match) with the correct score. Often known as a `scorecast'.


Proving more and more popular, this is similar to spread betting but with a fixed odds slant. For example in a live football match, a firm may quote 11/4 about there being under two goals, 7/2 exactly two and 8/13 over two. It enables punters to have a `spreads-type' bet but with a fixed stake

Bookies Winning margins

This works on exactly the same principle for both rugby union and league matches. The bookmakers offer prices on how many points one of the teams will win by. So let's say for example that in a particular Super League game Wigan are playing Bradford with Wigan rated around the 10 points favourites on the handicap. The bookies split the various possible winning margins into sections - so Wigan to win by 1-5 points, 6-10 points, 11-15 points and so on up to around 46-50 points. The bands offered for Bradford (given that they are the underdogs) will probably only go up to around 21-25 points. With Wigan the 10 points favourites it will come as no surprise that the shortest priced bands in this case are Wigan to win by 6-10 points (around a 5/1 chance) and Wigan to win by 11-15 points (around a 9/2 chance). A price is also offered on the draw (ie if the two teams finish level at full-time) of around 16/1. Any injury time counts but not extra time for the purposes of these bets