What is an ‘If’ Bet in Sports Betting?

Today, we’ll explain everything you need to know about if bets, including a step-by-step guide on how to place an if bet, as well as the best sports for if betting.

Alyx Tzamantanis.
A. Tzamantanis

Last Updated: 2024-06-21

Jon Young

6 minutes read

What is an ‘If’ Bet in Sports Betting?

If you love betting on sports at the top online bookmakers, you need to know about ‘if’ bets. This exciting type of wager gives you flexibility and the chance for some pretty big returns but with lower risk than other types of bet, such as a parlay

Today, we’ll explain everything you need to know about if bets, including a step-by-step guide on how to place an if bet, as well as the best sports for if betting. 

Ready to learn more? Let’s get down to business!

If Bet Meaning

An 'if' bet is a type of wager commonly used in sports betting that allows you to link two or more individual bets together. 

The key feature of an 'if' bet is that the success of the second bet (and any subsequent bets) depends on the success of the first one.

How Do If Bets Work?

Here's a step-by-step process of placing if bets, so you can understand how if bets work better.

 ● Choose your first bet: Start by selecting your first wager, also known as the ‘trigger bet’. This could be a bet on a specific team to win, cover the spread, or a particular outcome
Determine the wager amount: Decide how much money you want to stake on this first bet
Select subsequent bets: Choose additional bets that you want to link to your initial wager. These subsequent bets will only be placed if your first bet wins. You can link multiple bets in sequence
Decide the order of bets: The order in which you place your bets matters. The second bet depends on the outcome of the first, the third bet depends on the outcome of the second, and so on
Place the bet: After selecting and ordering your bets, place your 'if' bet. The sportsbook will handle the rest, ensuring that each subsequent bet is only placed if the previous one wins
Winnings roll over: If your first bet wins, the amount you wagered plus the winnings from that bet will roll over to place the second bet. If the second bet wins, those winnings will then roll over to the third bet, and so forth. This process continues until a bet loses or you have no more linked bets

Outcome scenarios

● First bet wins: The second bet is placed using the winnings from the first bet
● First bet loses: The 'if' bet ends, and no further bets are placed
● Second bet wins: The third bet is placed using the combined stake and winnings from the first and second bets
● Second bet loses: The 'if' bet ends, and no further bets are placed

For example, if you place an 'if' bet starting with $100 on Team A to win (at odds of 2.0), and Team A wins, you'll have $200. This $200 is then placed on your second bet, say on Team B (also at odds of 2.0). If Team B wins, you'll have $400, which then rolls over to your third bet, and so on.

If Bets vs. Parlays

While both 'if' bets and parlays allow you to link multiple wagers, they differ significantly in terms of structure and risk management.

 Here’s a brief comparison highlighting the key differences.

If Bets

Conditional wagers: In an 'if' bet, each subsequent wager is only placed if the
preceding bet wins. This conditional nature provides a safety net, as losing one bet stops the chain, preventing further potential losses
Sequential payouts: Winnings from each bet roll over to the next, meaning you only risk the initial stake for the first bet. If the first bet wins, its winnings fund the second bet, and so forth
Flexible structure: Bettors can structure 'if' bets to include multiple conditions and
outcomes, making it a versatile betting option


All-or-nothing wagers: In a parlay, all selected bets must win for you to get a payout. If any single bet loses, the entire parlay loses
Single stake: You place one stake on a parlay, and the potential payout is significantly higher due to the increased risk. The odds of each individual bet are multiplied together, offering the chance for large returns
High risk, high reward: Parlays are attractive because of their high potential payouts, but the risk is considerably higher since one loss results in the entire bet failing

Best Sports for If Bets

'If' bets can be placed on a variety of sports, but certain sports are particularly well-suited for this style of betting due to their structure and the availability of multiple betting options. Here are some of the best sports for 'if' bets and why they are a good match:

Football (American and Soccer):

Multiple betting options: Football games offer a wide range of betting markets,
including moneylines, point spreads, totals, and props
Frequent games: With many games played each week, you can create 'if' bets across different matches and leagues
Predictability: The structured nature of football, with set game durations and
predictable schedules, makes it easier to plan sequential bets


High number of games: Basketball seasons feature numerous games, providing ample opportunities for 'if' bets
Diverse betting markets: Choose from moneylines, point spreads, totals, and player props
Statistical analysis: Basketball's rich statistical data helps in making informed betting decisions, improving the chances of sequential wins


Individual sport: Betting on individual players rather than teams can simplify decision- making and improve predictability
Frequent tournaments: With tournaments happening regularly throughout the year, there are constant opportunities for 'if' bets
Head-to-head matchups: Focus on specific matchups and player performance trends 

For more information about if betting, make sure you always come and visit us here at SportsBoom. We keep you in the know with our up-to-date news, reviews and guides.

Alyx Tzamantanis.
Alyx TzamantanisSports Betting Editor

With 10 years of experience in content writing, Alyx has produced countess guides, reviews and articles covering a wide range of topics in the iGaming industry. She loves anything to do with online casinos, as well as UK and international sports betting.