3-Way Betting in Football

Discover the basics and benefits of 3-way betting in football. Learn how to bet on home wins, draws, and away wins, and explore tips for maximizing your returns with this popular betting format.

Jon Young
Jon Young

Last Updated: 2024-06-10

A. Tzamantanis

5 minutes read

Football champions – football 3-way bet

The football 3-way bet is the simplest form of wager at online bookmakers. You can bet singles or multiples on the 3-way at the best online betting sites and enjoy competitive odds every time. 

While the 3-way football bet is easy to understand, you must be able to make the most of bookie bonuses and avoid the vig where possible. In this guide, we’ll show you the advantages and disadvantages of the 3-way bet in football. 

What is a Football 3-Way Bet?

So, what is a 3-way bet in football? It’s a wager on one of three outcomes in a football match:
•    1 (Home win)
•    X (Draw)
•    2 (Away win)

The top football betting sites let you gamble on single 1X2 bets on football games, or combine multiple legs in an accumulator. You can also Cash Out bets early if the service is available. 

How Does a 3-Way Football Bet Work?

Let’s examine how a football 3-way bet works. It’s a fixed odds wager on the outcome of a football match, usually after normal time (90 minutes). 

The bookmaker will price up a favourite (Team A) and an underdog (Team B), with odds on the draw too. Of course, the bookmaker also factors in its vigorish to ensure you can’t bet on all three outcomes and come out in profit. 

Here’s an example when we ask ‘what does 3-way mean in football betting?’: 


Liverpool v West Ham (English Premier League)Odds to WinImplied Probability (%)
Liverpool 4/763.6%
West Ham11/531.2%
Sportsboom Event Table Logo

In our example, a home win bet is odds-on at 4/7. That means we’d win £40 for a £70 stake. A draw bet would win us £120 for a £10 stake. However, the true odds of a draw are more like 15/1 in this scenario. 

Advantages of 3-Way Betting in Football

There are several benefits to the football 3-way bet:

•    Widely Available at Online Bookmakers: The 1X2 3-way football bet is among the most common football wagers. You can find odds for 3-way betting on football on 1000s of games across 25+ global leagues, cup competitions, and major tournaments. 
•    Cash Out 3-Way Bets Early: The Cash Out function lets you settle a fixed-odds 1X2 bet early to secure a tidy profit or cut losses. You can also make a Partial Cash Out for a portion of your wager. 
•    Claim Enhanced Odds for Big Matches: Many online bookmakers offer odds boosts on 1X2 football markets, especially in the big televised games. 
•    Combine Multiple 3-Way Bets in Accas: You can add multiple 3-way bet picks to an acca and increase the total odds and payouts. Plus, you can take out acca insurance to guarantee a return, even if one of your 3-way bet legs loses. 
•    Make a 3-Way Football Bet In-Play: You can also place 3-way bets in-play as the game happens. Odds on the home win, away win, or draw change in real time depending on the score and match stats. 

Disadvantages of 3-Way Betting in Football

Here are one or two downsides to the 3-way bet in football:

•    Smaller Options Than a 2-Way Bet: Some online bookmakers offer a 2-way bet. That is, a wager on either side to win the game. If the game is tied, the draw option is removed and classed as a void bet (Draw No-Bet). However, the odds are lower in a 2-way than a football 3-way bet. 
•    Fixed Odds Plays: Most 1X2 3-way football bets are fixed odds. That means once you place the bet, you can’t edit the bet unless you settle early with a Cash Out.
•    Bookmakers Include an Edge: A ‘vig’ is always incorporated into a 3-way football bet. The bookmaker’s edge ensures it wins long-term, regardless of what you bet on. 

Top 5 Tips for a 3-Way Bet in Football

Here are some ways to improve your experience of 3-way betting on football. 

#1: Research Your Bets First

Picking the right football 3-way bet comes down to research. Choose a league and team you understand, and avoid exotic bets that don’t offer value. Plus, you can research the probability of home wins, away wins, and draws. Compare it to the bookmakers’ odds to find value. 

#2: Use Accumulator Systems & Multiples

We recommend combining multiple 3-way bets in a single accumulator to increase the odds. An acca is a good way to incorporate many odds-on favourites on the same betting slip. Plus, you can secure an acca boost that increases depending on how many legs your acca contains. 

#3: Compare Multiple Online Football Betting Sites 

3-way betting odds in football vary hugely from one bookmaker to another. We always recommend opening an account at multiple online betting sites to take advantage of competitive odds. 
You can also bag enhanced odds for selected football 3-way markets. Find the price boosts in the football betting lobby. Alternatively, filter your markets to jump straight to every odds boost listed on the same page.  

#4: Claim Free Bets

Free bets are a good way to make money with zero risk to your football betting budget. You can claim free bet tokens as part of a welcome bonus. Alternatively, good bookmakers offer free bets pre-season or at the start of a major football tournament.  

#5: Use the Cash Out Bet and Settle Early

You can, and should, utilize the Cash-Out function on your 3-way bets. This feature allows you to settle wagers before a match ends. This ensures an early profit and frees up money for you to put on in-play bets – often in the same game.  

Jon Young
Jon Young Sports Betting Writer

Jon is an experienced journalist and editor working in the gambling industry for over 17 years. He started life as a football betting blogger before being bitten by the online poker bug, eventually becoming editor of some of the largest gambling and poker publications around, including Gambling Magazine and WPT (World Poker Tour) Poker Magazine.