If you want to spice your bets up and have a few selections in mind, there are many options you can choose. The most obvious may be a simple accumulator, where all selections must win and rewards are potentially huge. However, if you want the chance of landing a bigger win but with the back-up of knowing that you can still get a return if one – or more – of your included wagers loses, a full cover bet could be the way to go.
Here we explain what a full cover bet is and how they work. We will also take a look at the different bets you can place that fall under this umbrella and also take a look at the very similar full cover with singles bets you can make. We’ll also give you some idea of how much you might win and show you how to calculate your winnings.
What Is a Full Cover Bet?
A full cover bet is a type of multiples wager that requires at least three selections. However many legs you choose to include, the bet will cover every possible accumulator that can be made from the various selections. By “accumulator”, we mean everything from a double upwards, so depending on the number of legs there may be various doubles, trebles, fourfolds, fivefolds and so on.
The “full cover” name comes because you are betting on every possible combination of the various leg you include. Each bet within the multiple will have the same stake, so your total stake is the unit cost multiplied by the number of wagers in whatever particular full cover bet you opt for.
The simplest way to explain this in a little more detail is through an example so let’s take a look at the smallest possible full cover bet. Technically some argue that a double is, in and of itself, the smallest full cover wager, featuring just two selections. However most punters feel that a Trixie, which includes three selections, is the place to start. These bets are commonly placed on horse racing so let’s imagine you pick the following three legs for your Trixie:
- 1.30 – Angry Badger at 2/1
- 2.10 – Boris The Bat at 4/1
- 2.50 – Horace The Rat at evens
With these three selections, which you may see referred to as picks, predictions, legs, selections or, somewhat confusingly, bets, we can create four separate bets: three doubles and a single treble. Based on legs 1, 2 and 3 above, the four bet of this Trixie would be as follows:
- 1-2 double
- 1-3 double
- 2-3 double
- 1-2-3 treble
In order to get any return at all from a Trixie, therefore, you must have at least two winners from your three picks. If just one wins, or none win, you would lose your entire stake. If two win, one of your four bets is successful, the double that involved those two legs, whilst should you smash it and get all three predictions right, all four of your bets will win.
Each of the four component bets has the same stake value and if you wanted to place a £10 Trixie this would be the bet on each of the four wagers. This gives you a total stake for this Trixie of £40.
The next bet up is a Yankee and it should come as no huge surprise that this includes four selections. What may be more surprising is that this one extra leg creates a further seven bets, meaning a Yankee has four selections and 11 bets in total, with a £10 Yankee now setting you back £110 in total.
If we again number the picks, this time one to four, your 11 bets would be:
- 1-2 double
- 1-3 double
- 1-4 double
- 2-3 double
- 2-4 double
- 3-4 double
- 1-2-3 treble
- 1-2-4 treble
- 1-3-4 treble
- 2-3-4 treble
- 1-2-3-4 fourfold acca
That’s six doubles, four trebles and a single fourfold using all four of your picks, be they horses, greyhounds, goalscorers in football or anything else. Once again you need at least two winners to get any return, though this time two are less likely to see you up overall because you would win one bet (the relevant double) but lose the other 10.
Of course, with one winner or none, you would lose your full stake, whilst if you got four out of four you would be looking at the handsome returns from all 11 bets. If you managed to get three out of four then you would lose on the fourfold acca and win just one of the trebles. However you would be successful with three of the doubles giving you a total of four winning bets from 11 and, depending on the odds of the winners, a pretty decent chance of taking some cash off the bookmakers.
Super Yankee (Also Known as a Canadian)
Next up, we have a full cover bet that includes, yes, you guessed it, five selections. This wager goes by the name of a Super Yankee, with Canadian another name for it. With five selections you can now make many more bets, with an array of doubles, trebles, fourfolds and a fivefold possible, as below.
- 10 doubles
- 10 trebles
- Five fourfolds
- One fivefold
- 26 bets in total
Once more each of these 26 separate bets-within-a-bet requires its own stake so a £10 Canadian would set you back a whopping £260. Naturally most punters tend to place such bets with smaller unit stakes of just a couple of quid or even pennies, with some bookies allowing very small minimums on wagers such as these.
We will look at what sort of winnings are possible with full cover bets and how to calculate your return later. However, just to give you some idea of what even a small stakes Canadian might deliver, the fivefold alone would see you get back £243 from a £1 bet if all five legs were at odds of just 2/1. This in part explains the appeal of these bets because should you manage to get all of your predictions right, the winnings really do add up.
Next up is the six-selection Heinz and its 57 bets, the name coming from the supposed number of varieties offered by the food company of the same name. Even a £1 Heinz will set you back £57 so this is certainly one wager that most punters make with only very small stakes. A Heinz includes a single sixfold, six fivefolds, 15 fourfolds, 20 trebles and 15 doubles.
As with all of these bets, the number of winners you will need to make a profit is dependent on the odds of your successful selections. Even just two winners, meaning one successful bet and 56 losers, will bring you a win overall if the two are priced at odds of 7/1 or above. That said, at shorter odds you may need five winners, with four successful legs all priced at 4/5 leading to a small loss.
A Super Heinz adds a seventh leg into the equation and sees the total component wagers jump to a massive 120. That consists of 21 doubles, 35 trebles and the same number of fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, seven sixfold accas and a single sevenfold. Returns from a bet like this can be huge, even with a small unit stake (bear in mind that a 50p Super Heinz will set you back £60!) but the downside is that if things go pear-shaped you could lose a lot.
Depending on your odds, it is not at all implausible that you fail to get any winners, or just one, and in truth, even if you opt for seven odds-on bankers there is still a chance of such an outcome. Being more positive, if you could manage to get five of your seven picks correct you would be looking at a large number of winners and almost certainly a tidy outcome.
The last of the named full cover bets is a Goliath and whilst in theory you can keep on adding selections to create larger ones, this is where most bookies – and indeed we here – draw the line. Fittingly named after the almost-eight-foot-tall Biblical giant, a Goliath bet has eight selections and will require 247 separate stakes. Those will be placed on 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfold accumulators and a further 56 fivefolds, plus 28 sixfolds, eight sevenfolds and one massive eightfold acca.
Summary of Full Cover Bets
The table below shows you how each of the major full cover bets is made up and how many bets in total each of them has.
|Bet||Selections||Total Bets||Made Up Of|
|Trixie||3||4||3 doubles, 1 treble|
|Yankee||4||11||6 doubles, 4 trebles, 1 fourfold|
|Canadian/Super Yankee||5||26||10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds, 1 fivefold|
|Heinz||6||57||15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 fivefolds, 1 sixfold|
|Super Heinz||7||120||21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, 7 sixfolds, 1 sevenfold|
|Goliath||8||247||28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfolds, 56 fivefolds, 28 sixfolds, 8 sevenfolds and 1 eightfold|
What Can I Include in a Full Cover Bet?
When it comes to all of these full cover bets you can basically include any selections that are combinable as a double (or any other acca). In short, that generally means virtually anything apart from related selections. Related contingencies is the bookmaking term for selections that cannot be combined because their probabilities are intertwined. Typically the best online betting sites will not allow such bets to be added to any of these bets and you will receive some form of error message.
As long as the picks are not related, however, which often means on the same game or event, you are fine to include most things in any of these wagers. Whilst they tend to be popular with fans of betting on the horses, you can also use these multiples to bet on football, cricket, rugby, politics, TV or anything else.
You can make all of your selections from the same sport or use a range of different selections and the same applies when it comes to markets within sports. Moreover, you can back selections at very short prices, cram your multiple with long-odds outsiders and hope to win really big, or do a mixture.
You can also place any of these wagers as each way bets too. As long as all of the selections are eligible for each way punts, this is no problem, but it will, as with any each way bet, double your stake. As such, a £1 each way Goliath will cost not £247 but £494! Each way full cover bets are most likely to be placed on racing but could, in theory, be made on golf, outright winner markets, specials such as TV shows or anything where you can place an each way bet.
The each way terms are applied on a selection by selection basis in terms of the number of places and the fraction of the odds paid. Any legs that are successful can form win and each way doubles, trebles and so on with any other winning selections; any that place can do likewise with others that hit the required places.
How Do I Place a Full Cover Bet?
Placing these bets online is really easy. The exact process may vary from site to site but typically adding your selections to the betting slip is the starting point. Just do this in the way that you normally would, whether that is online, on mobile or via a betting app. Some sites may present all possible options via the same betting slip, whereas others may have separate tabs from the slip to access more complex bets.
Let’s assume you add five selections to your slip. In the case of the former you should see all five listed and available to back separately as singles, then underneath that a range of multiples bets, including, among others, a Canadian, the fivefold acca and Lucky 31 (see below). If the slip instead uses sub-tabs, at the top you may have options for singles, multiples and possibly a third for the all-encompassing fivefold acca.
In this second scenario, click on the multiples tab, where you will then find a host of options, including that for a Canadian (remembering of course that some sites may well call this a Super Yankee, much to the chagrin of, err, Celine Dion, Drake and Justin Bieber). Alongside the different multiples that are shown will be an indication of the number of bets that each entails, so alongside the Canadian it may have 26 in brackets, or simply say “26 stakes”, or “26 bets”.
Enter your unit stake into this box, for example £1, and at the bottom of the slip you should see a total stake of £26. From here you just place the bet as you would any other, making sure you have clicked on any supplementary confirmation buttons, that the stake leaves your account balance and that you get a bet confirmation number.
Full Cover Bets: Calculating Winnings
At most, and quite possibly all, betting sites, when you place a multiple such as this, you should see confirmation of the total potential winnings, or maximum return. When you place a single, or an acca, this figure will be what you stand to win as the bet will be a binary outcome – you win, or you lose. However, with a full cover bet there are degrees of winning. The maximum return shown at bet placement is just that – the most you can win should you get all of your picks correct.
Should any of your selections fail to win then your return will be less and will depend on the odds of the ones that were successful. Of course, the returns will be automatically calculated and paid by the bookie, so you do not need to worry about this. However, if you want to check you have been paid correctly, or want to work out what you might stand to win if one final leg wins, with one or more having already lost, this is easy enough to do.
There is a range of excellent betting calculators that allow you to input the results and odds of your selections for all the different full cover bets. The best even include the option to cover each way bets, dead heats, voids and more, as well as allowing you to enter the unit stake or total. These are simple and intuitive to use but if, for some particular reason we can’t really think of, you don’t want to use them, the alternative is to calculate which of your bets won and then manually work out the winning for each leg. Calculator it is then!
What Is Full Cover with Singles?
We have mentioned a bet called a Lucky 31 and this is an example of a full cover with singles. The founder of Betfred, Fred Done, is said (admittedly said by Fred himself) to have invented the Lucky 15 but quite simply, a full cover with singles punt just tacks on singles to the bets we have listed above.
Whilst a full cover Trixie has three selections and four bets, the full cover with singles equivalent, called a Patent, uses the same three selections but entails seven wagers in total. It uses the same three doubles and a treble but adds on a separate single on each of your three picks. On the downside, these wagers are more expensive, as a £10 Patent will cost £70, compared to £40 for the Trixie. On the other hand, if you only get one winner with these bets you will still get a return because the single itself will be successful.
These bets work in exactly the same way as the full cover bets but no matter which one we are talking about, there are extra singles involved. The number of singles is the same as the number of selections in each case, and we can see the different full cover with singles bets below:
|Name||Full cover equivalent||Selections||Total Bets|
|Lucky 31||Canadian/Super Yankee||5||31|
|“Lucky 127”||Super Heinz||7||127|
We have listed the last two in quotation marks because these are not formally recognised or named bets. You are unlikely to hear a punter talking about them, or see a bookie promoting them, but in theory you can place such wagers.
Special Offers for These Bets
If you like the sound of any of the bets we have mentioned so far, we would probably suggest that opting for a full cover with singles may be the way to go. This is because these bets, or at least the Lucky 15, Lucky 31 and Lucky 63, can often be backed with one of two special offers attached and sometimes both.
The two promotions to look out for are the one-winner consolation, and the all-winners bonus. These promos give you a very nice boost at opposite ends of the success scale and are reasonably self-explanatory.
If you place want to place this type of bet then make sure you make your Lucky 15, 31 or 63 with a bookie that offers at least one and ideally both of these promotions. The exact terms of the offers may vary slightly between betting sites but the basis is the same. If you get just one of your picks right, you will get a boost on your payment, whilst if you get all of them right you will also be paid more than you would normally.
Bookies tend to give bigger rewards the more selections you include, so the boost will be biggest on a Lucky 63 and smallest on a Lucky 15, rewarding you for your bravery in opting for more risk. The offers are usually structured as a boost to your odds if you only get one winner and a percentage boost to your winnings if you get all of them. The table below is just an indication of how such promos might be structured but, as said, this can vary from site to site.
|Bet||One-Winner Consolation||All-Winner Boost|
|Lucky 15||Double odds||10%|
|Lucky 31||Triple odds||15%|
|Lucky 63||Quadruple odds||20%|
If you manage to get all of your picks right then you will be in line for a sizeable payout no matter what. As such, the extra boost to your winnings, be it just 5% or as much as 50%, is just the icing on the cake really. The consolation if you get just one pick right is a little different though. This can turn a bad loss into a decent win, or at the very least greatly reduce your overall losses.
A Lucky 15 consists of 15 bets, as we know and if you get just one selection right, the only winning bet will be the associated single. One winner and 14 losers is a situation that is likely to leave you down but if that sole winner is paid out at double odds, suddenly any winner at 7/1 or more now means you are up overall.
There have, of course, been countless huge wins on these types of bets over the years, most of which do not make the news. If you are looking for a bit of inspiration then there are, however, a number of wins that have received publicity, because of their size, the punter that landed them, or both. Here is a small selection to whet your full cover appetitive!
One punter from Liverpool won well over £400,000 with a fantastic each way Lucky 15. He landed £417,331 after his 60,000+/1 acca hit. The winnings were boosted to that total thanks to an extra 10% all-right bonus worth a massive £37,000!
Another successful Lucky 15 saw a man from Scunthorpe win over £200,000 from less than a fiver. He had winners at 40/1, 10/1, 25/1 and 20/1, a truly incredible win. It isn’t just Lucky 15s, with one punter sticking an extra pick in to win £163,000 from a 50p bet. This was another horse racing wager and came at Goodwood in 2017, partly thanks to the surprise 50/1 winner of the Lennox Stakes, Breton Rock. The wager was 50p per line, so £15.50 in total and included another winner at 20/1 hat was only awarded after a stewards’ enquiry!
Our last win isn’t the biggest but is notable because the winner was golfer Lee Westwood. Thanks to his exploits on the new LIV tour we can be sure he likes a bob or two so he will have been thrilled when he won £48,000 at the Cheltenham Festival on a £240 Super Heinz. Mind you, considering the golfer “earned” $240,000 (around £202,000) for finishing 16th in the LIV event in Portland in 2022, we suspect he wasn’t really that excited by a mere £48k!