Most novice sports punters will start off with a single bet but soon they will place a multi bet, also known as a multi, multiple, accumulator, parlay or all-up. Multi bets are riskier than single bets but they have the potential to pay bigger dividends.
Example Using Soccer (Futbol)
Suppose one considers a hypothetical English Premier League round in which there are 10 games with the match betting markets having the following decimal odds:
1.61 Chelsea, 3.80 Draw, 5.50 Everton
1.22 Liverpool, 6.00 Draw, 13.00 Queens Park Rangers
1.33 Manchester City, 5.00 Draw, 9.00 Norwich
6.00 Newcastle, 4.20 Draw, 1.53 Arsenal
1.72 Southampton, 3.75 Draw, 4.50 Stoke
1.90 Swansea, 3.60 Draw, 4.00 Fulham
1.33 Tottenham, 5.00 Draw, 9.00 Sunderland
4.33 West Bromwich, 3.60 Draw, 1.80 Manchester United
1.61 West Ham, 3.80 Draw, 5.50 Reading
2.10 Wigan, 3.40 Draw, 3.40 Aston Villa
A punter fancies Chelsea, Swansea and Tottenham to win their games. If that punter bet $100 on each of his selections – and all three teams won – they would make individual profits of $61, $90 and $33 for a total profit of $184. If that punter bet their $300 on a multi bet featuring Chelsea, Swansea and Tottenham – and all three teams won – they would a total profit of $920.54 (($300 x 1.61 x 1.90 x 1.33) – $300). However, if Tottenham did not win, the single bet punter would be up $51, whereas the multi bet punter would be down $300. Greater risk brings greater reward.
Above is an example of a multi bet in which one incorrect selection results in disaster for the punter. However, there are boxed multi bets in which one incorrect selection does not necessarily mean that the punter loses all their money. Many boxed multi bets have nicknames, with the one featuring six selections known as the Heinz because it produces 57 bets – 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, six fivefolds and one sixfold – and Heinz 57 is the shortened form of a famous advertising slogan.
Returning to the English Premier League coupon, suppose a punter wants to back Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Southampton, Manchester United and West Ham and that he has $114 to bet. The punter could do one of these three things:
1. Bet $19 on each of the teams
2. Bet $114 in a $2 Heinz boxed multi bet
3. Bet $114 in a sixfold multi bet on the teams
If Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Southampton, Manchester United and West Ham win, the punter in the first instance would be up $60.99, the punter in the second instance would be up $385.85 and the punter in the third instance would be up $1,296.70. But if West Ham did not win, the punter in the first instance would be up $30.40, the punter in the second instance would be up $68.14 and the punter in the third instance would be down $114. Boxed multi bets with many legs are tough to work out but there are online calculators that make that job relatively easy.
Most Common Multi-Bets
Trixie (three doubles and one treble for a total of four bets)
Patent (three singles, three doubles and one treble for a total of seven bets)
Yankee (six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold for a total of 11 bets)
Super Yankee (10 doubles, 10 trebles, four fourfolds and one fivefold for a total of 26 bets)
Heinz (15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, six fivefolds and one sixfold for a total of 57 bets)
Super Heinz (21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, seven sixfolds and one sevenfold for a total of 120 bets)
Goliath (28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfolds, 56 fivefolds, 28 sixfolds, eight sevenfold and one eightfold for a total of 247 bets)
A word of warning about multi bets in general. There is a very good reason as to why bookmakers promote them and it is not because they like seeing punters win lots of money. It is because the bookmaker margin increases with every leg, making it harder and harder for punters to secure value. And consider this: backing all the favourites in the 10 English Premier League matches produces a bet which has the decimal odds of 105.73 even though there are 59,049 possible combinations.