Different Types of Bets Explained

Explore various types of sports bets, from simple singles and place bets to complex multi-leg accumulators and advanced wagers like Trixies and Yankees. Learn about live betting, prop bets, handicaps, and more to enhance your betting strategy.

James Pacheco
James Pacheco

Last Updated: 2024-06-11

A. Tzamantanis

6 minutes read

Never has there been a better time to be a sports punter. Not only are there more sports to bet on than ever before, including emerging ones like eSports and 10-over cricket, but there are more competitions within those sports than previously and a far greater choice of betting markets and bet types than we’ve seen in the past.

Navigate the best sites for bets and you’ll be amazed at just how many types of bets you’ll find. And that’s precisely what we’re going to tell you about right now. 

Simple Bets 

Single (to win)

Let’s start with the most obvious bet of all. Whether you’re betting on a football team to win a game, placing a darts bet on a player to win a match, or a horse to win a race, it doesn’t get any simpler than this: your selection either wins or it doesn’t, at fixed odds. When betting on US Sports such as NFL or basketball, it’s known as the moneyline.

To Place 

It’s not all about the win. Placing a bet on a horse to Place means you’re betting on it to finish in the Top 3 or Top 4 in the race; it doesn’t matter in which exact position as the payout will be the same.

The same goes for golfers. Betting Top 6, 7 or 8 means you just need your player to finish within that range. It goes without saying that betting on a golfer for a Top 6 finish would be at higher odds than a Top 7.

Futures/Winner market 

Here you’re betting on a team or player to win a tournament rather than an individual match. So Rory McIlroy to win the British Open, England to win Euro 2024 or the Miami Dolphins to win the Super Bowl, are all future bets.

Live Betting

Live betting doesn’t refer to a type of bet as such but rather to any bet placed after the event is in progress.

Multi-leg Bets 


With these acca/multiple bets, you’re putting together two (double), three (treble), four (four-fold) or more selections in the same bet. The odds on each selection are multiplied by each other to get the odds for the acca as a whole. So if your selections were Everton (odds of 2.0), Liverpool (2.5) and Chelsea (3.0) all to win, the odds on the treble would be: 2.0 x 2.5 x 3.0 = 15.

The problem with acca bets is that you need all selections to win for the acca to win though some Sportsbooks these days offer acca betting insurance, which means that if just one selection lets you down, you can get your stake back as a free bet.

Bet Builders 

Other bet types include Bet Builders, also known as a same-game parlay. A Bet Builder works the same way as a normal acca but rather than the bets being from different events, they all apply to the same one. Like a football, NFL or basketball match. So you could have Chelsea to win, for there to be over 2.5 goals and under 11.5 corners in the match. 

Other Common Bets 

Each-Way Bets 

These are a sort of mix between win and place bets. Half of your stake goes on a selection to win, the other half on the selection to place.

Say you back golfer Rory McIlroy each-way at odds of 15/1, where each-way place terms are 1/5 of the odds for a Top 6 finish. You bet it each-way for 5 Units, which means 5 units are placed on him to win, and 5 units on him to place, for a total of 10 units. 


Also known as point spreads when betting on US Sports, an example of handicap betting would be an NFL team being given a +5.5 point start on the handicap, a tennis player who isn’t the favourite being given a 1.5 set start on the handicap or a football team being given a +0.5 goal handicap as outsiders, which when it comes to football, is known as an Asian Handicap.

Of course, in any sport, you don’t have to bet on the outsider to win with the help of a handicap. If you prefer, you can instead bet on the favourite to overcome the handicap.

Over/Under bets

Here you’re betting on whether the total goals or points for a particular team or across both teams will be over or under a certain amount. For example: over/under 2.5 goals in a football match or whether the LA Lakers will score more or less than 120.5 points in the basketball match.

Prop Bets

Also known as player bets, these revolve around the performance of particular players within the match. For example, that Phil Foden will score a goal, that Kylian Mbappe will provide an assist, that Harry Maguire will get a yellow or red card or that Cole Palmer will have two or more shots on target. 
In a sport like (NBA) basketball the prop bets could revolve around a particular player scoring a certain number of points, providing a number of assists or even securing a certain amount of rebounds. 


Specials generally means betting on non-sporting events like political elections, Miss World, X-Factor or the Oscars though occasionally it can also refer to sports-related markets. Like who will be the Next Manager of a named football team or which club a named player will move to next. 

Exotic Single Bets

Mostly used on horseracing, this involves betting on different horses finishing in a specific position  in a race, as a single bet. 

Advanced Bets 


Multiples are pretty straightforward in that however many selections are in one, you need them all to win. But there are other types of bets that involve multiple selections in the same bet but don’t require all selections to win for you to win.

In the case of a Trixie, you’re placing bets on three selections which will then make up: three doubles and a treble, so four bets in total.

Patent Bet

Similar to a Trixie, it also contains three selections and those selections are used to make three doubles and a treble. But additionally, the three selections are also included as singles, bringing it up to seven in total. 
With a Yankee, you have four selections making up a total of 11 bets: six doubles, four trebles and a quadruple.

Lucky 15

It works the same way as the Yankee in terms of how those four selections become 11 bets as doubles, trebles and quadruples. But like with the Patent Bet, those four selections are also placed as singles, bringing the total number of bets up to 15, hence the name.

Flag Bets 

A flag bet is made up of four selections and used to place the same 11 bets as you would on a Yankee: 6x doubles, 4x trebles, 1x four-fold.

The difference here is that there are an additional 12 bets in play (taking the total up to 23) because there’s the potential for six pairs of Up and Down bets to be placed. ‘Potential’ because though you pay for the Up and Down bets in advance, they’ll only come into play if the first of those four selections wins as a single.  

If the first single wins, the stake of it is used to fund a bet on the second selection. If that one wins, the stake is then used for the third bet and so on.

Spread bets

Not to be confused with points spread, spread betting is very different to fixed odds betting where you know in advance how much you can win, or lose.

With spread betting, a spread (line) is set, such as how many goals will be scored in a football match. For example 2.7. Punters then choose whether they want to buy (think there will be more) or sell (think there will be less) than the number on the spread.

Each unit (a goal, corner, card, point, cricket run etc) is bet on for a particular stake. The more ‘right’ you are, the more you win. The more ‘wrong’ you are the more it will cost you.  

You only know how much you’ll win or lose at the very end, making it one of the most volatile and risky types of bets.  

James Pacheco
James Pacheco Sports Betting Editor

James has been writing about cricket, football and tennis betting for the best part of 20 years for some of the biggest operators, websites and publications in the industry. Heroes and heroines include Paul Scholes, Chris DiMarco, Anastasia Myskina, Richard Gasquet, Nat-Sciver Brunt and Kumar Sangakarra.