Sports bets - singles, doubles, trebles, accumulators

Place bet (UK and EU)

In addition to straight Win bets, bookies also offer a Place Bet, where you bet that a horse won't win, but will come in either second or third place (sometimes down to fourth place if the number of starters is large enough).

The payout for a Place bet is either one quarter (1/4) or one fifth (1/5) of the odds, depending on the number of horses in the race (see table below)

As an example, let's say you're betting on a handicap race with 15 runners. You bet on horse A to come home placed (ie 2nd or 3rd) at odds of 20-1. If it does, you will win 5 times your stake (20/4). If it wins, though, you win nothing!

Place bet (US)

In America, the Place bet is slightly different in that you're betting that a horse will finish either first or second. It's more like a reduced version of the Each Way bet, in that you win if the horse comes first, with the 'insurance' if it comes second. Unlike the Each Way bet, though, you get nothing if your horse comes in third.

Show bet (US)

In American sports betting, the Show is the equivalent of the UK and EU Each way bet (see below) i.e. you're betting that a horse will finish either first, second or third.

Each way bet (UK and EU)

A favourite bet with punters is an Each-way Bet. This is a combination of a Win and a Place. The stakes are doubled as you're placing two bets, but if your horse wins, you win on both bets. So, if you bet £10 each-way (ie total stake of £20) on horse B at odds of 8-1, your payout will be:

£90 for the win (8 x 10 + 10)


£30 for the place ((8 x 1/4) x 10 + 10) = total payout of £120.

If your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd or sometimes 4th, your win bet loses, but your place bet still comes up, so your return would be £30 (as above).

This is why the Each-way bet is popular - it pays well if you win, but gives you a second chance if you don't.

Each way bet payout table

Race type Runners Places Fractions
All races 2, 3 or 4 Win only n/a
All races 5, 6 or 7 1st and 2nd 1/4
All races 8, 9, 10 or 11 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1/5
Non-handicaps 12 or more 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1/5
Handicaps 12, 13, 14 or 15 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1/4
Handicaps 16 or more 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th 1/4

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Multiple bets


A double is a bet on two things happening. Both have to win.

eg you place a £10 double on two horses, X at 4-1 and Y at 7-2. If horse X wins, your payout is £50 (4 x 10 + 10) which is then bet on horse Y.

If that wins, the payout would be £225 (7 / 2 * 50 + 50).


A treble is like a double but with three bets. Again, all three must win, but the payout is much higher.

eg you place a £10 treble on three horses, X at 4-1, Y at 7-2 and Z at 2-1. If horse X wins, your payout is £50 (4 x 10 + 10) which is then bet on horse Y.

If that wins, the payout would be £225 (7 / 2 * 50 + 50).

This then goes on to horse Z and if that wins, your payout is £550 (2 * 225)


A fourfold is like a double and treble, but with four bets.

To take the above example further, if your first three horses win and your fourth comes in at 3-1, your overall winnings are £1650!


A patent is a bet where you choose three horses and place 7 bets - three single bets, 3 doubles and 1 treble.

For example a bet on horse X at 2-1, horse Y at 3-1 and horse Z at 4-1 gives the following bets:

3 single bets on horses X, Y and Z.

3 doubles on: horses X and Y, horses X and Z, horses Y and Z.

1 treble on: horses X, Y and Z.

The advantage of this type of accumulator bet is that you have separate bets so if 1 horse fails to win, you can still win on 4 other bets.

Lucky 15

A Lucky 15 is like a patent, but with four horses. The bets are therefore:

4 single bets (ABCD)

6 doubles (AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD)

4 trebles (ABC, ABD, ACD, BCD)

and 1 fourfold (ABCD)

Lucky 31

A Lucky 31 is another patent, but with five horses. This gives 31 separate bets, as follows:

5 single bets (ABCDE)

10 doubles (AB, AC, AD, AE, BC, BD, BE, CD, CE, DE)

10 trebles (ABC, ABD, ABE, ACD, ACE, ADE, BCD, BCE, BDE, CDE)

5 fourfolds (ABCD, ABCE, ABDE, ACDE, BCDE)

and 1 fivefold (ABCDE)

Lucky 63

The Lucky 63 takes the patent to another level, offering 63 bets over six selections. In a Lucky 63, the bets are:

6 single bets (ABCDEF)

15 doubles (AB, AC, AD, AE, AF, BC, BD, BE, BF, CD, CE, CF, DE, DF, EF)



and 1 sixfold (ABCDEF)


A Yankee is like a lucky 15, but without the 4 single bets, so your bets are:

6 doubles (AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD)

4 trebles (ABC, ABD, ACD, BCD)

and 1 fourfold (ABCD)

Quinella (US)

A Quinella is a bet on two horses in the same race, which have to finish first and second, but in any order. So if you bet on horse 1 and horse 4, you'll win if the result is 1-4 aor 4-1.

Exacta (US)

An Exacta is like the Quinella (above), except that you have to predict the order in which the horses will finish. So if you pick horse 1 to win and horse 4 to finish second, you will only win on that exact result i.e. 1-4. A result of 4-1 would lose.

Trifecta (US)

A Trifecta is like an Exacta, but with three horses, which you have to select in the exact order of their finish.

Superfecta (US)

A Superfecta takes things a step further than the Trifecta as you have to pick the first four horses, in the exact finishing order. It's a tough ask, but the payoff is huge!

Forecast bets

A forecast is a bet on a number of horses that predicts the eventual winner and those in runner up places.


A Forecast (also known as a 'straight forecast' or 'computer straight forecast' is a bet on two horses finishing in first and second place.

Reverse Forecast

A Reverse Forecast is two bets, predicting the first two horses in any order.

For example, a Forecast on A and B wins if the horses finish in that order, but loses if the order is reversed (1.B 2.A). A Reverse Forecast wins if the result is AB or BA. Of course, if either A or B fails to finish in the first two, all forecast bets lose.


A Tricast is like a Forecast, but with bets on three horses. To win, your selections must finish in 1-2-3 order.

Combination Tricast

A Combination Tricast is similar to the Reverse Forecast above in that your three selections can finish in any order, so long as they all finish in the first three. To cover this, a Combination Tricast is actually SIX bets (i.e. ABC, ACB, BAC, BCA, CAB, CBA)