Types of Bets

If you’re new to betting then some of the terminology can be a little confusing at times but in reality, everything is really very simple. That’s certainly the case when it comes to the type of bets you can place with an online bookmaker so if you are unsure, here is a quick and easy guide.

Betting to Win

This is where we all started when we placed our first bet: will our selection win, whether it’s a horse, a tennis player or a team in a football match? The concept is very simple, you bet on your pick to win at a set price and if it lands then you collect a profit but if it fails then your stake is lost.

There can be a slight twist to this in a format that is offered by the Betting Exchanges. This is called a ‘lay’ and you are effectively backing a selection to lose. That’s a little more advanced but as far as the traditional ‘win’ punt is concerned, things couldn’t be simpler.

The Place

A place bet is best explained by using a horse race as an example. Here, you don’t expect the pick to win a race but you do expect it to have enough quality to finish either second or third. Stake on that basis and the bookie in question will pay a fraction of the odds – either a quarter or sometimes a fifth of the win price.

A place bet is fairly rare among the betting community and as such, not all outlets offer this so if it sounds interesting, check with your chosen bookmaker first.

A traditional Each Way

Far more commonplace is the Each Way bet which comes in two parts – a win and a place. Once again, it’s over to horse racing to explain this in better detail. Let’s say you find a horse priced at 10/1 and you think it stands a chance of coming home first but you don’t want to risk it all on a win bet.

With Each Way, you are betting on the win portion while your second bet comes in the form of the ‘place’ which is explained above. With two sections to the bet there are also two stakes so if you’re looking at gambling with £10.00, your total outlay is 2 x £10.00 = £20.00.

If your horse wins then you also collect twice: For the win portion, you receive £10.00 @ 10/1 = £110.00 including your returned stake. Then you will also receive a fraction of the odds for the place bet – the amount of which will depend on whether your pick comes in second or third.

If, however, you don’t win but your horse finishes second or third, the win part is lost but you still collect on a place.

Bookmakers who cover horse racing should all offer this bet and a point to remember is that for some big races such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup or the Grand National, payouts can extend to four places and beyond.


Multiple, or accumulator bets are popular because, although they increase your exposure, the potential profits are much bigger. You can start with a double bet and here’s how it works.

You pick two selections at 2/1 each and stake a win double at £10.00.

Both picks win so double that 2/1 price making 4/1 and your profit is £40.00 plus you get your stake back.

You can take as many bets as you like but remember, in a straight line multiple, every selection has to win otherwise your entire stake is lost.

An alternative is a formula such as a Lucky 15: here you pick four selections and you have fifteen bets (15 x your stake) which are as follows.

  • 4 x Singles
  • 4 x Doubles
  • 6 x Trebles
  • 1 x Four Fold

With this type of bet you don’t need all four picks to come in but the more you win, the higher your profit and if you just end up with a single winner, you will finish with a loss.

Other formulas include a Union Jack and a Heinz and these can be interesting ways to mix up your betting strategy.

Like all betting ‘jargon’, the terms relating to types of bet are very easy to understand so it’s up to you whether you want to focus on just one, or if you want to try a combination of them all.