Multiple bets offer the opportunity for big winnings from small stakes and they are therefore one of the most popular bets. Professionals, however, often warn against them. This article looks into the pros and cons of multiple betting. Read on to find out how to use multiple bets smart in order to maximize your winnings.
The pre-internet days of betting on football was a very different experience compared to the vast variety of bets currently available to wager on. Bets were shop based and in the case of football many minimum restrictions applied.
If you wished to bet on a home win, for example, it was not uncommon for a minimum requirement of five matches to be included in a multiple before the wager was accepted.
Away wins had a minimum restriction requiring trebles and single bets were only usually available on televised matches. The reason cited for these restrictions often included fears of match fixing.
Finding value odds
Value betting is at the heart of profitable betting and the concept is readily illustrated by a coin toss.
Unlike sporting contests, where a multitude of factors combine to determine the odds for a particular outcome, the odds of say Heads appearing in a fair coin toss is accurately known in advance.
The odds include the bookmaker’s margin, which in the case of a multiple, is compounded and works in favour of the bettor.
The probability of tossing a head is 0.5 and over time the proportion of Heads or Tails will tend towards 50%. Pricing such a simple contest requires little skill and the fair price for calling a Head correctly is 2.0 in decimal odds.
However, as illustrated in the article How do betting odds work, bookmakers will include a margin in their price by offering a slightly inferior pay out to ensure their long term profit. The price offered for a Head to be tossed using a fair coin will always by slightly less than 2.0 depending upon the size of the bookmaker’s applied margin.
Whilst the true odds for a coin toss are known and a margin can be applied to ensure profitability for the bookmaker, there is no similar degree of certainty when estimating the correct prices for a football match.
In a football match for example, a true even money chance may be priced at 2.1 and consistently spotting these opportunities guarantees a long-term profit for the bettor. However, betting on singles has only a limited profit potential.
You can bet $10 to win $10 and you may well win 50% of the time, but what about betting to $10 to win $1,000 or $10,000?
The pros of multiple betting
The key advantage of mutliples over singles is the large returns that can be made from a relatively small stake.
Combining three selections at odds of 2.00, for example, in a single treble and staking $10, returns $80, which includes the stake, if all selections are successful and this rises to $320, if five selections are similarly combined.
Increase the number of selections or their respective odds and much larger wins are possible, if combined in a multiple bet.
As explained above, the odds include the bookmaker’s margin. In the case of a multiple, the in-built margin is compounded and works in favour of the bettor.
Three true even money events, for example, combined in a treble and priced at 2.1 have a 12.5% chance of occurring with a pay-out of $93 for a stake of $10.
So assuming such value wagers can be regularly sourced, the use of multiples can enhance returns significantly.
A word of caution
It is important to remember though that a single defeat leads to a losing multiple.
Carolina Panthers, for example, were greatly favoured on the money line to continue their unbeaten season when travelling to Atlanta with a 14-0 record last season, but it was their less fancied divisional rivals who took the win, 20-13.
Due to natural variation, these true even money chances cannot be guaranteed to arrive and combine with metronomic regularity, even though 12.5% of such wagers will be successful in the long term.
Even when a bettor is confident in their judgement, using multiples to enhance their edge will be an uneven journey, with frequent small losses and sparse but large wins.
For those bettors enticed by the potential of larger gains for a small stake when betting in multiples, the advice is clear.
Use a bookmaker who operates to small margins and make sure you keep up to date with latest news and information, as late injury or adverse weather can result in significant odds movements.
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