What is a multiple bet?

In the context of horse racing, a multiple bet is a bet in which a single stake is placed on two or more selections, win or each-way, in two or more different races. Any returns from the first selection are staked on the second selection – in the case of an each-way multiple bet, on a win-to-win and place-to-place basis – and so on.

A multiple bet involving two selections in two different events is known as a ‘double’, a multiple bet involving three selections in three different events is known as a ‘treble’ and a multiple bet involving four, or more, selections in four, or more, different events is known as an ‘accumulator’. In each case, all of the selections must win – or, in the case of an each-way multiple bet, at least be placed – in order to generate a return.

However, it is also possible to place a ‘full cover’ combination or permutation bet which, as the name suggests, combines all the multiple bets – that is, doubles, trebles and accumulators – for a certain number of selections. Popular bets of this type include the ‘Yankee’, which combines four selections in six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold accumulator, making 11 bets in total, and the ‘Super Yankee’, or ‘Canadian’, which combines five selections in ten doubles, ten trebles, five fourfold accumulators and one fivefold accumulator, making 26 bets in total.

What are different types of bets?

The simplest type of bet is a single win bet, in which you wager a certain amount, known as your ‘stake’, on a single selection, which must win for you to make a profit. If horse wins, you receive winnings equal to your stake multiplied by the winning odds, plus your stake back. If the horse does not win, you lose your stake in its entirety.

Alternatively, an each-way bet is, in effect, two bets, one on a selection to win and another on the same selection to finish placed or, in other words, second, third or fourth, depending on the ‘place terms’ offered on the race in question. Standard place terms are, for handicaps with 16 or more runners, one-quarter the odds for the first four places, for handicaps with 12-15 runners, one-quarter the odds for the first three places, for all other races with 8 or more runners, one-fifth the odds for the first three places and, for all races with 5-7 runners, one-quarter the odds for the first two places. If your horse wins, both your ‘win’ and ‘place’ bets are winners, if the horse does not win, but is placed, your ‘place’ bet is a winner and if the horse is unplaced, both bets are losers.

If you want to bet on more than one horse in more than one race, you can combine your selections in win, or each-way, doubles, trebles and accumulators. In the case of a double, both selections must win, or be placed, to guarantee a return, in the case of a treble, all three selections must win, or be placed, and so on. Combination, or multiple, bets of this type are inherently more risky than win or each-way single bets, but do offer the potential of a huge return for a small initial outlay.

Aside from these basic types of bet, bookmakers also offer a whole host of ‘exotic’ bets, such as forecast and tricast bets, which invite you to attempt to predict the first two, or the first three, horses home in certain races. Once again, these bets offer the potential for a huge return, but involve betting at multiple odds, so the bookmakers are giving nothing away.