What Does Draw No Bet Mean in Football Betting?

Football scoreboard draw

From the start of the 2020-21 football season we basically have wall to wall football for virtually an entire year. The packed domestic season will be followed almost immediately by Euro 2020 (as it will still be called despite taking place in 2021), and then we’ll have a short break before yet another season rolls round.

Football betting is big business and one market that is really popular is “Draw no bet”, or DNB as it is sometimes known. This is a variation on the most commonly placed bet, which is the match odds market. The match odds option is a simple bet on a team to win a specific game; and with DNB you win in exactly the same way (by predicting which team will win a match) but you take on slightly less risk.

That is because with draw no bet, as the name hopefully makes clear, if the game ends in a stalemate, it is deemed “no bet”. In other words, if the game is a draw, the bet is effectively voided and your stake will be returned. So, whilst you do not win, you do not lose either, and you get your stake back and thus live to bet another day.

The pay-off for this reduced risk, with DNB essentially an insurance policy on the draw, is you’re your bet will be offered at reduced odds compared to the match odds market. However, in a game where you are really confident a team won’t lose but a little less confident they can actually take all three points, backing them to win on the draw no bet market can be a really prudent move.

That said, at the time of writing, we are 28 games into the 2020-21 Premier League season and there have been just two draws. So, backing draw no bet would only have “saved” your stake on two occasions. But perhaps that is a negative way of looking at things as DNB is a market that only returns a net win when either side wins. So, in fact, maybe now is a great time to be taking a look at this alternative to the standard match odds?

What Odds Do I Get With DNB?

Draw No BetWell, one way to assess the merits of DNB is to look at the odds it offers punters. Now we have explained what draw no bet means, let us look a little more closely at the prices and how they compare to more “normal” home/draw/away, 90 minute match odds.

As with all bets, the exact prices vary from game to game and site to site. Exactly how different the DNB odds are from the match odds depends on how likely the team in question are to win and also how likely a draw is perceived to be. To give you a good idea of what to expect, let us take a look at some example odds below covering a range of different odds on the win.

Match Odds DNB Odds
1/3 1/10
3/4 2/7
7/5 8/11
3/1 7/4
8/1 6/1

As you can see, for fairly obvious reasons, backing a firm favourite in the DNB market offers very, very short odds. Few punters are likely to believe there is much value in such a bet. Whilst it may generally be very safe to back a 1/3 favourite with the insurance of getting your stake returned in the event of a draw, is it really worth it for a 1/10 pay out?

At the other end of the scale, if we consider a real outsider, priced at 8/1 to claim the win, many more people are likely to be tempted by the DNB offer of 6/1. Odds of 6/1 would still represent an excellent bet to land and having the back up of draw no bet probably seems a lot more worthwhile when you are backing an outsider to upset the odds.

Does Draw No Bet Offer Value?

To the uninitiated it might seem that we have effectively answered this question above but value is an oft-misunderstood concept. Further complicating things, it can mean subtly different things in different situations. One of the simplest ways of comparing the general value in two given markets is by looking at the overround.

The overround is the margin the bookmaker factors into odds. If we imagine the market for who will win the coin toss in cricket, both sides have an exactly equal chance. They have a 50% chance of winning and so “fair” odds with no overround would be evens because evens implies a probability of 50%.

The real odds will always be lower, implying a greater chance of success than the reality, and thus making the bet bad value. So for example if a bookie prices both sides in the coin toss at 9/10, this implies a probability of success of 52.63%. By adding the probabilities of the market’s outcomes (in this instance there are just two: Team A wins the toss or Team B does) you get the book percentage.

In this example it would be 52.63% + 52.63% so 105.26%. The amount over 100% is the overround, so in this instance the overround is 5.26%. Most bookies now use odds of 9/10 or 10/11 for the coin toss but they used to be far less generous and some would offer just 5/6, giving a bit overround of 9.29%. The higher a market’s overround, the worst value it offers.

So, how does DNB fair in this regard? How does it compare to the main match odds market? Well, once again the exact figures vary from one site to the next and from game to game but we did some general research looking at a number of Premier League games. Our analysis showed that the picture is fairly mixed and sometimes the overround on DNB is lower, whilst at other times the bookies’ margin is smaller on the match odds.

The picture in other leagues may be more varied as margins on the Premier League are generally quite small. This is because it is very mainstream, so the bookies have great confidence in their odds and also they need to offer better prices to compete with rivals. None the less, our research showed the overrounds as follows:

  • Match odds average overround – 5.18%
  • Match odds overround range – 4.80% to 5.91%
  • DNB average overround – 5.11%
  • DNB overround range – 4.76% to 5.34%

Whilst our research was relatively limited in scope, it does show that there is probably not much in it and as such draw no bet offers reasonable value. That is certainly the case as compared to the main match odds, which many use it as an alternative too. However, are there other similar markets that may appeal if you are considering DNB? And might better value be found in these?

Alternative Markets

If you are a relative newcomer to betting on football you may see DNB as a good option instead of the match odds. However, there are many other similar markets that can be used as further supplementary options.

Asian Handicap

Asian HandicapsThe first and most obvious one to point out is the Asian handicap 0 option. For those unfamiliar with an Asian handicap (AH), this is a market with just two options where handicap is applied to the teams. This can be in whole goals or fractions of goals but what does a handicap of zero mean?

In terms of functionality the Asian 0 handicap market is 100% identical to DNB. A handicap of no goals means both sides start level and whoever wins the real match wins the match from the bet’s perspective. As this is an Asian handicap there are only two options, Team A to win or Team B to win and so if the game is a draw, the 0-goal handicap means it is still a draw and thus a push or void – in other words no bet.

Whilst the functionality of the bet is the same, sometimes, perhaps counterintuitively, the odds will differ between a team on the DNB market and the same team on the AH +0. This is typically because the Asian handicaps tend to be the most competitive markets around and the bookies operate on very small margins.

This is not always the case and, in fact, sometimes you may see a bookmaker offering superior odds on DNB. Either way, it is well worth being aware that these two markets mean the same but the odds may differ, so check both and make sure you take the higher price.

There are other Asian handicap markets which effectively mimic alternative markets, with the +0.5 goal option being exactly the same as the double chance that includes the team you back and the draw. And this brings us to another similar market that can be seen as an alternative to DNB: double chance betting.

Double Chance Betting

Double Chance BettingThe difference between these two bets – double chance betting and draw no bet – is very simple and relates to what happens in the event of a draw. If the team you think will win does indeed win, both bets win; whilst both bets lose if the other side prevails. In the event of a draw, DNB returns your stake, whilst with the Win/Draw double chance bet, a stalemate is also a winning bet.

The double chance odds are, of course, smaller because you have a greater chance of winning. Once again, this is a market well worth being aware of but whether you decide to opt for this or DNB really depends on how much risk you want to take on and how likely you think a draw is.

Making Your Own DNB

Build Your Own Bet

These days we think more or less every bookie offers DNB on every game but if you should ever find a game or site that doesn’t, it is relatively easy to make your own draw no bet wager. This may be useful if you are betting on a very small or obscure game for which only the main match odds are available. The more likely use of this technique, however, is a more advanced method of getting enhanced DNB odds.

If you decide that the draw no bet wager is the one for you and you have the time and inclination to do this, you may be able to increase your overall returns by creating your own DNB punt. You do this via the match odds by backing both the team you think will win and the draw as separate bets; sometimes, if there are differences in prices offered by different firms, you might choose to place your win and draw bets at separate bookies to maximise your odds.

Different bookies offer different odds and if you have accounts at a range of major bookies you give yourself a better chance of placing your wagers at higher odds. Usually the site that has the biggest odds on a team to win will not also have the best price on the draw. By combining odds from two sites you might end up with a better DNB price than would be available in any single bookmaker’s draw no bet market.

Let us assume you believe Everton will beat Manchester United and you want to back them with the insurance of getting your stake back if they only manage a draw. If you want to bet £100 on Everton DNB you need to look at the best odds for the draw and for the Toffees to win.

To calculate how much to stake on each option it is easier if you use decimal rather than fractional odds, so evens becomes 2.0, 2/1 becomes 3.0 and 11/4, for example, becomes 3.75. Returning to Everton versus Man United, let us say that the best draw odds with any bookie are 3.75 and the best Everton odds with any bookie are 1.96.

Now you need to take your total stake (£100) and divide by the draw odds in order to calculate how much you should bet on a draw. In this instance, 100/3.75 = £26.67. To figure out how much to bet on Everton, subtract the draw figure from your total stake value, in this case £100 minus £26.67 = £73.33. You then bet £73.33 on the Toffees at odds of 1.96. The possible outcomes can be seen below.

  • Man United win – lose £26.67 on draw and £73.33 on Everton so £100 in total
  • Draw – £26.67 on draw at 3.75 gives a net win of £73.34, £73.33 bet on Everton loses so overall outcome is a 1p net win
  • Everton win £73.33 at odds of 1.96 makes a net win of £70.40 minus £26.67 lost bet on draw = £43.73 net win

So, to reiterate, if the game is a draw, you break even; if United win you lose £100; and if Everton win you make £43.73 from a total stake of £100. The key question is, how does that compare to what you could have got from simply backing DNB?

We used real, live odds for this example (though not from an Everton versus Man United game) and the results should prove interesting for fans of DNB. Creating your own draw no bet wager using two sites delivered a return at decimal odds of 1.4373. The best DNB odds on the game in question were 1.43. As such, finessing the bet in this way using multiple sites can deliver very slightly longer odds. For comparison, on the particular game in question the Asian handicap +0 option was also 1.43.

Once again, the odds will vary from game to game and our research was limited in scope, not considering multiple games across various leagues and nor checking every single UK bookmaker. You may feel that the extra effort is not worth it for a small increase in odds but if you are looking to eke out every last drop of value this little trick is certainly worth being aware of, especially if you like betting on more obscure football leagues and games.

How Does Drawn No Bet Affect Free Bets And Offers?

One last thing to consider is how this market works in relation to free bets and offers. Different bookmakers have different terms and conditions when it comes to their welcome free bet or bonus and various ongoing promotions they may run. It is always important to be aware of the major rules regarding free bets before you try to claim or use them as, whilst there are no tricks, there are often restrictions or terms that may cost you your free bet if you ignore them.

Some sites may expressly state that the draw no bet market is not eligible for the free bet offered when you first join. More typically though, the market will not be barred but there will be a term regarding void bets and a draw in DNB will fall under this.

If your qualifying stake ends up being a void bet, you may lose the right to qualify for a free bet. Equally if you place a free bet which is subsequently a void, many sites will not replace the free bet stake. Given a stalemate will typically be classed as a void bet in the DNB market, generally speaking it is probably best to avoid draw no bet when it comes to claiming or utilising a free bet.

That said, should you be reading this too late, or have decided to ignore our advice, and you have missed out on a freebie due to a DNB void, it is always worth contacting the bookie’s customer support team. If you ask nicely enough they may be able to manually re-credit the free bet but with so many markets to choose from we reiterate our point: where possible avoid DNB with free bets.

DNB And Accas

Many football punters love an accumulator and due to the reasonably low odds that are typical, they work well with wagers on the draw no bet market. But, of course, the question ought to be asked: what happens to an acca when one or more of the selections is a draw?

Well, as with accumulators and void selections for other reasons (such as bad weather causing a postponement), any draws are simply disregarded for the rest of the bet. So, for example, if you place a DNB fivefold accumulator and four legs win whilst one is a draw, that leg will simply be disregarded and your wager settled as if it was a fourfold.

The only time things may be slightly different is where you were hoping to take advantage of an acca-related bonus or insurance. Some sites, for example, may offer boosted odds on fivefolds and upwards. In this instance as your bet is effectively a fourfold, you would not get the enhanced prices but simply be paid at the bookie’s normal odds.

When it comes to insurance, the situation may be slightly different. If we stick to our example of a fivefold but say there are just three, not four, winning selections and one draw, what would happen if the bookie offered acca insurance on fivefolds and upwards with just one losing selection? The most likely scenario is that, regrettably, you would miss out. The draw is treated as a void, meaning your acca becomes a fourfold, and thus it is insufficient to qualify for the insurance.