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Best sports betting sites / What Are Combination Bets?

What Are Combination Bets?

Publish Date: 13/08/2020

Entering the World of Cosmic Combos…

In our latest journey through the gambling galaxy, we’ll help you navigate through the Combination Cosmos. Admittedly, it can seem pretty tricky to negotiate at times. However, trust us when we say, it’s not that bad! As you can probably very well guess from the name, a combination bet involves exactly what it says on the tin. That is to say, it involves combining bets. Let’s push on and find out a little more…

Is that the same as a multiple bet or an accumulator?

Yes, it’s similar, but not exactly the same. Both combinations and multiple bets involve multiple selections. However, there’s one fundamental difference between the two:

  • Multiple bets involve placing a wager on multiple selections
  • Combination bets involve placing wagers on multiple selections

Can you spot the difference? Yes, we imagine you probably can. However, we’re aware that those two sentences don’t give away any information about how either bet types work. So strap in once again and prepare to take flight, as we go through the differences of these two similar sides to the betting universe…

Multiple Bets

Multiple bets or accumulators are the slightly more straightforward option. With a multiple bet, you place a single wager on multiple selections. Effectively, this makes your multiple bets into one big bet. In the case of a multiple bet, if one of your selections loses, then your whole bet loses.

For example, let’s use the NHL. For the sake of ease let’s say you’re going to place a multibet on the following 2 games:

  1. Florida Panthers vs New York Islanders
  2. Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets

Now, let’s say you decide to back the Panthers and the Flames as winners, and they have the following odds individually:

  • Panthers – 1/1
  • Flames – 9/13

Then, if you decided to place a total combined stake of C$30, your potential total returns would be C$101.54. Thus equating to a total profit of C$71.54 if both teams win. However, if even just one of those two teams lose, then your bet is bust and your C$30 stake is gone. That is the fundamental difference between multiple bets and combinations bets.

Now, let’s take a look at how combos work…

Combination bets

A combination bet you choose multiple selections but also place multiple stakes on each selection. Ultimately what this means is that you don’t lose if just one of your teams loses. Fundamentally this is the difference between combination and multiple bets. With a multiple bet, you’re risking it all on one outcome. However, with a combination bet you’re covering your back.

Confused? Let’s take a look at how it works… 

Once again, we’ll use the same 2 NHL fixtures as an example. So above we placed C$30 on both teams to win with potential returns of C$101.54. However, if even one of the two teams lost, then we lost. Got that?

OK, so now let’s take a look at how it would work if we were to do a combination bet instead. For the sake of ease, let’s use the same C$30 stake. However, what we’ll do this time is split it into 3 x C$10 stakes for our combo bet. We’ll split our 3 stakes as follows:

  • C$10 on the Panthers at 1/1 = total return C$20 = total profit C$10
  • C$10 on the Flames at 9/13 = total return C$16.92 = total profit C$6.92
  • C$10 on the Double Win at 1/1 + 9/13 = total return C$33.84 = total profit C$23.84

So, in this case, if both teams win, you’d win all 3 bets, therefore giving you total returns of C$70.76 and a total profit of C$40.76. So, the maximum potential returns here are over C$30 less than with the multiple bet.

So then why place a combination bet over a multiple bet?

Well, the answer is simple, reduced risk. In the case of this combo bet, even if one of the teams lost, you’d still collect the winnings for the single bet on the other. For example, let’s say the Panthers win, but the Flames lose, then you still win C$20, meaning you’ve effectively only lost C$10 rather than C$30. The only way for you to completely lose your full C$30 stake here is if both teams draw or lose.

Essentially what you’ve done in the above example is reduce your risk. And that is what combination bets are for, covering your losses, or at the very least reducing your risk. However, the price for reducing your risk is a smaller payday should the full bet come up. At least you won’t see your earnings disappearing into a cloud of cosmic dust, though.

Combination Bets vs Multiple Bets: The Fundamental differences

The lottery of the Multi Bet

Multiple bets require a no risk, no gain approach. Effectively it’s winner takes all. Placing a large combination bet can be likened to playing the lottery. That is to say, the potential payday is big, but the chances of it happening are very small. Generally speaking, the more shrewd or strategic bettor, which we’re aspiring for you to be, would view multiple bets or accumulators as a “fool’s bet”.

That’s not to say that multiple bets don’t have their place, however. If you use them as a low stakes bit of fun on game day, then they can add a little bit of extra interest to games you ordinarily wouldn’t care about. For example, let’s take English soccer, where multiple matches on a Saturday kick-off at the same time. You bet C$5 on 10 different teams to win on matches that all kick-off at 3pm GMT. The chances you win are extremely low, however, your stake is small, and the potential winnings are high. Additionally, you’ve made some otherwise uninteresting matches at least a little amusing.

The security of the combination bet

The combination bet is the tool of the more level headed and calculated bettor. By covering your losses with bets or reducing your risk, you’re thinking about your overall budget and bankroll. Generally speaking, if you’re placing combo bets over multi bets, then you’re playing it smart. Effectively, what you’re doing is playing the long game rather than chasing an unrealistic bumper payday. With the above example, we only reduced our potential losses. However, with larger selections, you have more opportunities to cover your losses. We’ll take a look at how in a moment.

Right now, however, let’s take a look at an easy way to remember that fundamental difference between multiple bets and combinations:

  • A multiple bet = multiple selections for a single bet.
  • A Combination bet = combining multiple bets over multiple selections.

In the above example, we looked at the simplest form of combination bet. With just 2 selections, you only have 3 possible outcomes to back, namely the  2 single winners & the double. Therefore, using 2 selections provides us with the easiest example. However, as we saw, it doesn’t even cover all losses. Completely covering your losses becomes more possible, the more teams you bet on. How? Let us explain below…

Combination bets: 4 selections

When you have 4 selections, things get a little bit more complicated. However, this is because you have more options and therefore more chances to cover your losses. How, you ask? Well, let’s start off by adding 2 new fixtures to our example from before…

  1. Florida Panthers vs New York Islanders
  2. Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets
  3. Columbus Blue Jacket vs Toronto Maple Leafs
  4. Arizona Coyotes vs Nashville Predators

Now, we won’t go into as much mathematical detail as before. Instead, what we’ll do is highlight the multiple bet opportunities you’re now presented with. With just 2 selections the only possibilities were the 2 winners and the double bet as a whole. Now, however, you have the option of placing singles, doubles and trebles as well as the full fourfold accumulator.

For example, You could now place the following bets with your C$30 stake:

  • C$5 on the Panthers & Flames double
  • C$5 on the Maple Leafs & Predators double
  • C$5 on the Predators & Panthers double
  • C$5 on  the Flames & Maple Leafs double
  • C$5 on the Panthers, Flames & Maple Leafs treble
  • C$5 on the fourfold accumulator

Get the idea? You can make any number of singles, doubles and trebles as well as the accumulator to reduce your risk and potentially cover your losses.

How do I know which cosmic combos to place?

Well, that’s where you need to make maths your friend. Or at least find a good online odds calculator. Take some time to play around with various combinations that fit your budget. Then,  find the combo that strikes the balance between the potential maximum win and the best risk reduction. Ideally, you want to increase the chances of completely covering your losses, but also leaving open the possibility of a decent win. Easy, right?

From the space academy to the gambling galaxy…

Before you head out on your travels across the gambling galaxy, let us leave you with our combo bet summary. Combination bets are fantastic for reducing risk, increasing your chances of winning, and hedging your bets. The only downside is that the maximum potential payout is smaller than it would be with other betting strategies, such as a multiple bet.

Now you’re equipped with this information, we hope you can take your betting strategies to the stars. Take care out there in the gambling galaxy my friends, and remember: we’re always here if you need us!

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