How to settle your bets, and more…
I’ve put together this helpful guide to some of the frequently used betting terms, that might need a bit of explaining.
Here there is a description of various betting phrases (each-way betting, multiple bets, dead-heat, Rule 4 deductions, forecast and ante-post bets).
There’s also a handy Conversion Table to turn betting odds into winning percentages.
And there are many more things associated to betting (all manner of official rules and guidelines, various types of bets, numerous different staking systems) which could easily be added to the list.
So if there’s still anything you’re not clear about then drop me a line… I’ll do my best to help you out.
Just send an email to email@example.com or give me a call on 01625 315654.
An each-way bet is made up of two parts… the ‘win’ and the ‘place’.
Each part is an equal stake… a £5 each-way bet will have £5 on the ‘win’ and £5 on the ‘place’.
This makes for a total stake of £10.
The ‘win’ part of your bet is on your selection to win the event, and the ‘place’ part is on your selection to finish either first or in one of the pre-determined ‘each-way places’.
In horseracing this can mean any of the first two, three or four places. In golf tournaments, it can include as many as the first five or even six places.
Motor racing is usually the first three places (i.e. the drivers who make it onto the podium) and in a tennis tournament it’s just the first two places (the two finalists).
Do check, as the number of places will vary from bookmaker to bookmaker as well as from sport to sport.
If your selection wins… you will collect on both the ‘win’ and the ‘place’ part of your bet.
(1) You will be paid out on the ‘win’ part of your bet at the full odds.
For example, if you place £5 each-way on a horse at 10/1 in a big handicap horserace, and it wins… the ‘win’ part of your bet will be settled at 10/1. And so your return will be £55 (£50 winnings plus your £5 initial stake).
(2) You will also be paid out on the ‘place’ part of your bet… as, coming first, your horse has obviously finished in the each-way places.
The ‘place’ part of your bet will be settled according to the each-way terms the bookmaker is offering. And these will vary, depending upon both the bookmaker and the sport in question.
However, the key principle of each-way betting is that for the ‘place’ returns, the bookmaker will only pay out a fraction of the win odds. Not the full odds.
For example, the each-way terms is a handicap horserace, with over 16 runners, is ¼ of the odds for the first four places. And so taking the above example of £5 at 10/1… your ‘each-way returns’ are calculated as ¼ odds of 10/1.
This works out at 5/2 or, in put in decimal, it’s 10 divided by 4 = 2.5.
And so your total winnings, for the ‘place’ part of your bet, is £17.50 (£12.50 for the place plus your £5 initial stake).
If your selection is placed… this means it hasn’t won the event but it has finished in one of the pre-determined ‘each-way places’ which means it came 2nd, 3rd or 4th etc.
In this case, the ‘win’ part of your bet is a loser. And so half of your initial stake is lost.
However, you will still be paid out on the ‘each-way places’ according to the pre-determined odds offered by the bookmaker.
Therefore, even though you haven’t backed the outright winner… you can still collect a return and make an overall profit, provided the each-way odds generate a big enough return.
If your bet loses… you lose both parts of your stake, the ‘win’ and the ‘place’.
It’s worth checking out the various different offers from the bookmakers when it comes to each-way place terms.
Below are a few common examples… but even these will vary as bookmakers try to offer concessions in order to attract more business.
In tournament play, the standard each-way terms are ½ odds for the first 2 places. This is common in a lot of knockout competitions… meaning your selection would have to reach the final to be deemed to have placed.
In league format, the general offer is ¼ odds for the first 3 places. This can be squeezed to 1/3 odds for the first 2 places if the market includes one or two very dominant (short-priced) teams.
The standard is 1/5 odds for the first 3 places.
The norm for most tournaments is ¼ odds for the first 5 places. This will vary as bookmakers offer better terms, especially at the Majors.
All depends upon the type of race you’re looking at…
2 – 4 Runners Win Only
5 – 7 Runners 1/4 the Odds 1, 2
8 or more Runners 1/5 the Odds 1, 2, 3
2 – 4 Runners Win Only
5 – 7 Runners 1/4 the Odds 1, 2
8 – 11 Runners 1/5 the Odds 1, 2, 3
12 – 15 Runners 1/4 the Odds 1, 2, 3
16 or more Runners 1/4 the Odds 1, 2, 3, 4
Each-Way bets are governed by the S.P. (Starting Price) place betting terms. This means the place terms (1/4, 1/5 and number of places paid) will be determined by the number of horses coming ‘under starters orders‘ and not by the number of declared runners when the price was taken.
In league competition it will often be 1/3 odds for the first 2 places… whilst cup competitions like the Heineken Cup, again a knockout format, will be ½ odds for the first 2 places.
As with most tournament-based sports, settled at ½ odds for the first 2 places… the same as darts, tennis etc.
Generally speaking the terms are ½ odds for the first 2 places. Occasionally it will be 1/3 odds for the first 2 places if there is a very short-priced favourite in the field.
As all the major sports use a play-off (knockout) format during the post season, the betting will commonly be ½ odds for the first 2 places.
Multiples and Combinations
Multiples (also known as accumulators or parlays) are bets based on a series of two or more predictions. In order for a multiple bet to be successful, and the bookmaker to pay out, all of the predictions must be correct.
In practice, the return from the first successful bet becomes the stake on the second bet which, if successful, then becomes the stake on the third… and so on.
The level of the payout is calculated by multiplying the (decimal) odds together.
It is worth noting that the bets can be on events that take place simultaneously or at different times, provided the outcomes aren’t related. They can be on different sports, on different continents on different days.
A ‘double’ is the simplest form of multiple bet and, as the name suggests, it is based on two predictions.
You might have a £10 double on Manchester United to beat Manchester City at 6/4 (2.50 in decimal odds) along with Lazio to beat AC Milan at 3/1 (4.00).
And if both Manchester United and Lazio win, you will get an overall return of £100. This is calculated…
2.50 x 4.0 = 10.0 (decimal odds)…therefore, 10.0 x £10 = £100
And your profit will be £100 – £10 = £90
Both parts of the bet must win for the ‘double’ to payout. If one team fails to win, you lose your £10 stake
Exactly the same, although one extra bet is added to make it a ‘treble’ or ‘three-fold’ bet.
So if you include Bayern Munich 1/1 (2.0) to win at Borussia Dortmund to the double above, the equation becomes…
2.50 x 4.00 x 2.00 = 20.0 (decimal)… therefore, 20.0 x £10 = £200
And your profit will be £200 – £10 = £190.
Of course, the more parts to the bet, the harder it is for your multiple bet to win… but the more you will collect if it does!
After a ‘treble’ you start to get into the more speculative type of bets with anything from four, five, six or more selections being put together into one big bet… or ‘accumulator’.
These are often refered to a ‘four-fold’ or ‘five-fold’ bets etc.
With these bets there is very high probability of failure, and you should also be aware that most bookies have a maximum payout on any single bet.
But the higher the number of selections, the bigger the potential returns for a small initial stake. Even a £5 or £10 accumulator on six bets can lead to a payout of four or maybe five figures… not bad if you can win £10,000 for just a £10 stake!
Combinations are a series of multiple bets (and sometimes singles) that are put together by your bookmaker according to the number of selections involved.
For example, a ‘trixie’ involves three selections… making for a total of four bets.
You have three ‘doubles’ (AB, AC, BC) and one ‘treble’ (ABC).
Then there is a yankee. This bet is a combination involving four selections… making for a total of 11 bets.
There are six ‘doubles’ (AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD) as well as four ‘trebles’ (ABC, ABD, ACD, BCD) and one ‘four-fold’ (ABCD).
You can even add four singles onto to this (A, B, C, D) to make a ‘Lucky 15’.
Then comes a ‘canadian’ which involves five selections (a total of 26 bets), a ‘heinz’ which includes six selections (and 57 bets in all)… and so on.
A dead heat is when two or more selections in an event tie. Which can mean two horses in the Aintree Grand National or four golfers in the US Masters.
So what are the bookmaker rules when there is a dead-heat?
In simple terms, you will be paid out at the full odds for the bet… but your stake will be adjusted, depending upon the number of competitors (golfers, teams, horses etc) which are tied in the dead-heat.
And so if there are two horses tied then it’s half (½) your stake… if it’s four golfers who are locked together then it’s a quarter (¼) of your stake… and so on.
Your returns are based upon this adjusted stake. The remaining portion of your stake is lost. Well, in effect it’s used to payout on the other bets which are included in the dead-heat… as remember, if there are four golfers tied, the bookmaker has to payout on all four.
For example, if you have £20 win bet on a horse at 4/1 and it dead-heats for first place with one other horse… you lose half your stake (£10) but get paid out on the other half at the full odds.
The calculation is £10 x 4/1 = £50 (£40 winnings plus £10 stake). A profit on the bet of £30.
PLEASE NOTE: When it comes to a dead-heat, a common misconception is that the odds are adjusted before the payout is calculated. This isn’t the case. The odds always remain the same, it’s the stake which is proportionately adjusted.
These dead-heat rules are applied in this way universally across all bookmakers and sportsbooks in fixed odds betting.
Rule 4 is an industry-standard deduction that is made on a horse (or it could be a greyhound) when there is a non-runner after the final declarations have been made.
After all, if the favourite is pulled out of a race at the last minute, the bookmaker is potentially liable for a lot of big-priced bets for other runners… which would have been at much shorter odds had the favourite not been in the original betting market.
To allow for that, there is a deduction from the returns of other runners… a Rule 4.
For example, if you have a £20 bet on a horse and take 10/1 (11.0 in decimal odds) and the 5/4 (2.25) favourite is withdrawn… you’ve gained an unfair advantage over the bookmaker.
After all, had the 5/4 favourite never been in the race, your horse would have been, say, 6/1.
Those punters who backed the withdrawn favourite (a non-runner) would get their stakes returned.
Rule 4 does not apply to any ante-post market. And so if you back a non-runner in an ante-post market you do not get your money back… likewise no Rule 4 is applied to the people who have placed bets on horses that benefit from this non-runner.
The size of the ‘Tattersalls Rule 4 deduction’ to give this practice its official title is dependent upon the odds of the withdrawn runner.
For example, if the horse was priced at around 1/1 (2.0) then you would be deducted approximately 50% of your winnings.
If the horse was between 3/1 (4.0) and 4/1 (5.0) it would be just 20%… at 9/1 (10.0) that figure has fallen to 5%… and for any runner over 14/1 (15.0) there is no R4 deduction at all.
PLEASE NOTE: Such a Rule 4 deduction is not applied to your stake… but only to your winnings.
This can be called a ‘forecast’ or ‘straight forecast’ or a ‘computer straight forecast’… abbreviated to SF or CSF
This is a bet where you pick two selections in the same event, and they need to finish 1st and 2nd (in that order) for you to win.
This can be in a horserace, most often, but can also apply to other markets e.g. in season-long football bets where you might have Chelsea to come 1st and Manchester United to finish 2nd in the English Premier League.
A forecast is usually shown/returned to a level, one unit stake. As such a forecast return of 9.50 would pay out at 9.50 times your initial stake… a £10 forecast paying £95. That’s £85 winnings plus your £10 stake.
In horseracing the returns for a correct forecast (FC) are based upon the official industry forecast return. This is based upon an equation taking into account the odds of the horses involved, the number of runners in the race and several other factors.
In sports betting, bookmakers often quote on finishing positions e.g. in a Formula 1 Grand Prix or, as above, in the Premier League. These bets will be offered with a set price (fixed odds) payout for the correct prediction of the 1-2 result.
There is also a ‘reverse forecast’ which is effectively two forecast bets, including the same two teams/horses. For example, the Premier League to finish with a 1-2 of Chelsea-Manchester United or Manchester United-Chelsea.
This involves double the stake but, of course, only one of the forecasts can win.
It’s also possible to bet on the 1-2-3 in horseraces. This is known as a ‘tricast’. And for an even more speculative bet you can back a ‘combination forecast’.
This bet includes all the selections in a variety of potential finishing positions… so if you had three teams, they could finish in any one of six possible forecasts (A-B-C, A-C-B, B-A-C, B-C-A, C-A-B, C-B-A).
Ante-post betting (can be refered to as ‘futures’ betting) is when a bookmaker offers a set of fixed odds about a future event i.e. one not taking place on the day the bet is placed.
Hence you might bet on the winner of the next soccer World Cup or the winner of the Epsom Derby. Which team will win the baseball World Series.
Different rules apply in horseracing (and greyhound racing) where ante-post betting concerns the fixed odds market prior to the final declaration stage of a race. This is usually 24 hours before a race, although it can sometimes be more.
The main attraction of ante-post betting is that you can often back selections at big odds, well ahead of the match, race or tournament… because, come the day of the competition, they could well start at a very much shorter price.
However… there are no Rule 4 deductions in ante-post betting markets. So if you place your bet and your selection becomes a non-runner (or fails to qualify) you will lose your stake.
In the table below you will see three columns.
The middle columns show the fixed odds price (at fraction and decimal odds). The odds you will commonly see offered by the bookmaker.
The two columns on either side show the percentage chance of success of a bet at any given price.
On the left, if the bet is odds-on (i.e. less than even money) and on the right if the bet is odds against (i.e. bigger than even money).
For example, a horse that is ‘2/1 on’ (otherwise shown as 1/2 or 1.50) it has a 66.67% chance of winning.
|Odds On||Fraction||Decimal||Odds Against|
Whereas a horse which is ‘2/1 against’ (or 3.0) only has a 33.33% chance of winning.
The shorter the price, the higher the percentage chance of success… the longer (or bigger) the odds, the lower the chance.
|Odds On||Fraction||Decimal||Odds Against|
Hope that all makes sense!
If you’ve got any further questions about settling bets, working out your returns or checking if you’ve been paid out the right amount… no problem.