Trixies, Patents, Yankees, Heinz and how to work out the Bookie's Profits!
THE SIMPLEST BET
You can bet on almost anything, but to show how the numbers work, we'll start you off with the very simplest bet. We'll toss a coin and call "heads" or "tails".
There are two possible outcomes "heads" or "tails" and an equal chance of either coming up. Therefore if you call "heads" your chance of winning is one in two, or a half. As numbers it might look like 1/2 or 0.5 or 50%.
If you wanted to bet on the outcome, you need to know the ODDS.
The odds are a fraction or a decimal which shows how much money you would win if you're right. You're going to put your bets on with Rodney, and if he was going to be totally fair he would offer odds of 1/1 on either heads or tails coming up. Odds of 1/1 are also known as EVENS because it's an even or equal chance.
Remember - the odds fraction is not the same as the chance. It represents:
To win a treble bet, all your selections must win. However, wouldn't it be nice if you still got a payment if one of them lost? You can do this with a trixie bet. This is four bets in total, comprised of three double bets and one triple bet.
As this is four separate bets and you've put $10 on each, in total you're placing $40. If any two teams win, you'll get something back, although you won't quite cover your $40 outlay. However if all three teams win, then all four bets will pay $148.85 - a profit of $108.85!
Don't forget - if only one or no teams win, you've lost $40!
The Patent bet is like a Trixie, but you also have a bet on each individual team winning, so that's three more bets making seven bets in total.
So long as at least one team wins, you'll get something back, but with these odds you won't make a profit unless all three teams win. Therefore a Patent isn't usually worth it for football where only two teams play, but horses usually offer much longer odds which make a Patent worth considering.
If you bet on four or more results (all different events), this is an accumulator. Betting on four horses all to win is known as a 4-fold accumulator. One small bet can give a very good return, but all your selections have to win!
When you're considering multiple bets on four or more horses, it's handy to know about Pascal's Triangle. There are a row of 1's down each side, and each number comes from adding the two numbers above it. (E.g. the number 10 comes from adding 4+6.)
When you looked at the Patent bet, you were considering three selections, so look along the horizontal line indicated with the 3. The red lines show us that your Patent bet had three singles, three doubles and one treble.
If you want to choose four selections, what are the options? There are four singles, six doubles, four triples and one 4-fold bet. If you wanted to bet on all these options, that would be 15 bets altogether and is known as the Lucky 15. Of course placing 15 bets gets expensive, so generally the individual bets are quite small, e.g. $1 or perhaps 10p each. You'll get something back unless every single one of your selections lets you down!
As the single bets don't pay as well as the multiple bets, people often don't bother with them. Instead they would just bet on the six doubles, four trebles and the 4-fold. This is 11 bets altogether and is known as a yankee.
The LUCKY 31 and the CANADIAN
If you want to choose five selections, there are five singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five 4-fold bets and one 5-fold bet. In total that makes 31 bets and it is known as the Lucky 31. If you don't want the five single bets, then the other 26 bets together are known as a Canadian or even a Super Yankee.
If you want to choose six selections, there are six singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-fold bets, six 5-fold bets and one six-fold bet. If you want to bet on all of them, that's a Lucky 63. If you don't want the six single bets, then you're left with 57 other bets which are rather cutely known as a Heinz.
(Heinz always advertised itself as having "57 varieties". This was never the truth, their founder Henry J. Heinz just thought it was a nice catchy number!)
Just for interest, let's look at a Heinz bet and see what you might win. We'll compare four sets of results A,B,C and D to see what happens with 2,3,4 and 6 winners.
It may look tempting to place $57 and to hope for a huge profit - but don't forget that a lot of people bet on Yankees every day and if anyone ever wins, you'd usually hear about it in the news. How often does that happen?
The SUPER HEINZNow you pick seven selections. You don't bother with the singles, but that still leaves you with 120 bets including doubles, triples, 4-folds, 5-folds, 6-folds and the 7-fold bet.
The GOLIATHWhat can you say? You pick eight selections. Forget the singles, the total number of other bets is 247!
Of course you can make as many selections as you like, so thank goodness we've got computers to work out the winnings. Imagine working out 247 bets when the odds are all different such as 5/4, 7/1, 14/1, 9/2, 13/8 and so on. Some bookmakers even let you choose each-way bets in with the multiples. The sums can be awesome.
The UNION JACKThere are hundreds of different betting variations and combinations, so we'll just look at one more.
Suppose you're going to follow nine horse races. There's a horse you like in each race, but you want a multiple bet that features your favourite horses more than the others.
Call the horses A,B,C etc, and see how we've marked them on the Union Jack. Using the crosses and diagonals on the flag, the horses are linked in sets of three with eight straight lines.
These lines give you eight treble bets.
Betting on EVERYTHING!
You have to be careful not to get carried away. The trebles in the Union Jack bet are only 8 of the possible trebles available, so if e.g. horses A,H, and F won, you'd lose. If you wanted to bet on ALL the possible trebles for nine horses, there are 84 of them!
Each way bets are also popular, but they are just a way of spreading your money to lose less and win less. There are many other ways of placing bets but of course the silliest thing to do is to bet on both teams in a match, or every horse in a race. Obviously you'll get some money back, but there's only one person who is sure to benefit...
There are more stats and facts about games here: