Multiple Bets Explained

Types Of Bet 2

Trebles and accumulators These work in the same way as doubles. Anything above a treble is known as an accumulator (frequently abbreviated to acca, although bets involving four runners are known as four-folds, five-folds and so on).

There is no limit to how many runners you can put together, although you should be aware that bookmakers have maximum payout limits.

These can range from as little as £10,000 with smaller companies on sports like evening greyhound racing, on which they feel vulnerable to being hit by an orchestrated coup, to £1 million with the main high-street organisations.

You may, of course, be unconcerned about busting a payout limit on the grounds that you would be so happy to win that much that it wouldn't matter if you had to miss out on a few thousand more.

But it would be a shame to be left feeling that your monster win could have been even more spectacular.

Take the story of Ian Cattermole, a Kent bank worker who won £100,000 with a 2002 World Cup wonder wager that should have netted him and his friends even more.

Cattermole had an inspired £10 straight-forecast group double with Stan James on Denmark to beat Senegal and South Korea to beat the United States. Both forecasts obliged but the bet bust the firm's maximum football bet payout.

Cattermole reflected: "The £10 double on 125-1 and 100-1 winners pays £127,250, so I am not too gutted that the Stan James's maximum is £100,000. "But my friends had the bet for a tenner each and because one of them placed it on behalf of both of them, they are each more than £75,000 worse off.

"Sure, we probably should have checked the limit when we placed the bets. But, silly though it may sound, you don't really think that sort of thing will ever affect one of your bets. Clearly, though, it is well worth checking these things out."

Other multiples There are ways of backing more than one selection so that you win even if one or more of them lets you down.

They are widely derided as offering poor value, but are nonetheless popular with punters whose aspiration is a big win for a small outlay and some insurance if the majority of his fancies are successful.

The betting snobs may scorn those who bet in this way but the truth of the matter is that a bad-value multiple is as damaging to your pocket as a bad-value single provided you stake sensibly and a good-value yankee is as fiscally beneficial as a good-value single. It is all about ensuring the prices are right.

If you identify four decent-value football teams, all kicking-off at 3pm, nobody should look down on you because you opt to include them in a yankee rather than have four singles.

If the prices are evens, 6-4, 2-1 and 3-1 and you have four £10 singles, your maximum possible return is £115 (for a profit of £75) if they are all successful.

A £4 yankee (costing £4 more) returns £790 (for a profit of £746) if the quartet are all victorious.

Your maximum loss is £24 if only two win and a decent profit is ensured if three do the business.

If the odds are on your side, there is an argument that betting in multiples is actually to be encouraged, and, besides, who is to say that the man whose aim is to win big for a small outlay is wrong? It all boils down to what you want from your betting.

As I have said before, if you are driven simply by the goal of showing a profit, however small, the easiest way to guarantee one is to calculate how many hours you spend working out your bets and watching them win or lose and then working that many hours behind the counter of your local pub or burger bar.

Pick and mix Bear in mind that you do not have to choose entirely from the multiple menu listed opposite. You can tailor your betting to suit your requirements.

For instance, if you fancy six football teams, there is no obligation to perm them together in a £1 Heinz. Rather than have every combination of doubles, trebles, four-folds, five-folds and the six-fold (57 bets in all, total stake £57), you could, for example, go for 20 £2 trebles, six £2 five-folds and a £5 six-fold. You total outlay is the same and your return is greater if you manage three, four or six winners.

While multiples are not derided in these pages as being the preferred option of the mug punter, it must be stressed that there are few more annoying experiences in betting than when you strongly fancy something which duly wins but you fail to make it pay because, instead of sticking to a single, you opted to be greedy and based a potentially more lucrative multiple bet around it and all the other elements were unsuccessful.

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