Utilising double chance

A Double Chance betting market that offers a greater chance of success as it covers two of the three outcomes in a three way market. Most common in football, the double chance market covers a team winning and drawing, which means you cover ⅔ of the outcomes available. This is reflected in the odds which will be shorter than both the win or draw outcome prices, but it should also mean a lower risk, higher success method of betting in the long run. The conundrum with the double chance market can be finding the odds that are worth betting on, but by developing an understanding of what makes a good double chance selection, then you’ll get there. Finding value may be an important contributing factor to using the market and making a good profit in the long term, as far too many underdogs are given too little a chance against short priced teams.

Pros & Cons

  • Pro - You are covering two out of the three possible outcomes when using the double chance bet, which should increase your win rate.
  • Pro - Double chance market poses a much lower risk to your betting bank than picking one outcome of three.
  • Con - Home favorites will be a very short price in the double chance market, so you’ll need to work hard to make profits.
  • Con - Being successful with the double chance market will likely involve betting on underdogs, which may be outside of many people's comfort zones.

The double chance is possibly one of the lesser used betting markets by a large portion of bettors and there’s a reason for that. Firstly, for those that aren’t clear still, the double chance market involves backing two of the three match market outcomes. You may either bet on the home side to win or draw or the away side to win or draw.

The two main issues are that when a team is considered a likely winner or a game is deemed even, there is little appeal in the odds. Typical odds on a favorite or a team in an evenly matched game when using the double chance market can be anywhere from 1.10 to 1.50. You could still work out that they are value, but are those odds going to appeal? Most of the time they won’t.

The second big issue is where the value lies. Some basic research into form alone is usually enough to reveal the underdog are a more backable side in the double chance market, but that usually involves betting on a team that are expected to lose… at least if you allow yourself to believe the bookmakers odds. Below is an example.

Home Team (Top Five)

Draw

Away Team (Bottom Half)

1/2 (1.50)

21/5 (4.20)

4/1 (5.00)

And here are some common mistakes. By covering and acknowledging these mistakes, you’ll know when you’re utilising the market incorrectly as well how to go and apply it correctly.

Assess Overall Form:

It can be misleading. Overall form considers how that team performs as a whole, but these two teams are not competing in perform circumstances, on a level playing field. They never will be. Don’t get drawn into league positioning or necessarily even overall form.

Follow the bookmakers odds: 

When the bookmakers suggest a team are a 1/2, that converts to 66.67% as implied probability. Surely it’s a good bet because that means a team will win at least 66 out of 100 meetings, and we don’t want to bet against that, right? Wrong.

  1. Bookmakers Lie. Do you really believe the bookmakers will ever share a totally honest assessment of a game with you through their odds, or are they more likely to try and misinform you into losing money? 
  2. There isn’t any value. We cannot believe that the bookmakers probability is correct, but we do know even a good bettor might struggle to win 55% of bets over time. 55% strike rate at such odds? -1 unit through every 100 bets when flat staking 1 unit per bet.

So what can we do?

There are a number of things that you can do to utilise the double chance market that also make sure you avoid falling into the bookmakers’ trap. Some people avoid favorites, make themselves aware of the bookmakers’ margins, and also know what to focus on when assessing the market.

Be brave, leave your comfort zone! This is the first step for any potentially successful bettor on any market. If you stay in your comfort zone just betting on whatever the bookmaker leads you to bet on, you won’t be profitable overall.

It’s mentioned above that looking at overall form and league position alone is a bad idea. Ultimately, a casual bettor will pick out the stats that make them feel most comfortable and allow them to bet what their mindset wanted to bet on in the first place.

An example of why you shouldn’t jump the gun…

The home side who are in the top five remember, are unbeaten in five. They’re hosting a bottom half side who have lost three of their last five. But let’s say you break the game down more and you learn the following things… The bigger picture could be home side are unbeaten in five and higher in the table, but they’ve actually dropped a couple of places recently. Perhaps the home side won two of those five unbeaten, but they also drew three. Four of those recent games were away where the side are usually much stronger than at home. At home they struggle.

The away side were inconsistent. They’ve lost three of the last five and they’re way lower down in the table. They’ve even dropped a couple more places recently. But actually, they’ve faced sides all in the top half. They’ve been awful at home all season and that’s where their three losses came. They just drew their last two away games against sides on the edge of the playoff places.

The bookmakers have written this team off already and will certainly want you to bet the side that on the face of the league and form table look better, but you shouldn’t jump the gun. It’s a perfect example to illustrate a point because it is of course fabricated, but there is a noticeable disparity in home/away form for most sides up and down the country, and it’s such a huge factor to note with this betting market.

There is plenty to consider that gives you a better chance of utilising the double chance market.

Here are a few quick keys to consider and research…

  • Break down form: Look at a team's respective home and away form. Look past the league table and form table, and maybe even try and get a feel for the direction a team is trending.
  • Don’t trust the bookmakers: Don’t trust the odds. Very few prices that you ever bet on will be a true reflection. We know that, the bookmakers know that.
  • Understand margins: The bookmakers have a built in 3% to 7% margin that takes away from the odds we receive. Understanding that margin is important, as it lets you adjust for some truer probability.
  • Understand and calculate value: By doing this, you may be able to create your own quick and basic probability. Understanding that a team has only lost once in 10 away games can easily allow you to create some rough odds and probability to compare to the bookmakers. There’s an overlap with seeking value and utilising this market correctly.
  • Have a long-term view: Backing underdogs means bigger wins. The more you make per bet, the less percentage of bets you’ll feel the pressure to win long-term.

The double chance can be found in a couple of sports, but it has little use or value outside of football. Football is the sport most commonly associated with the use of double chance betting, because it’s a three way market that holds enough value to profit from. Both casual punters and professional bettors often use the double chance market, although their use may vary. A more casual bettor may be content with using short odds to build doubles, trebles and accumulators, whilst a professional bettor will stick to singles and see the value in backing the draw/win outcome for underdogs in particular.

It’s important to understand that the market gives you an edge, as it covers two of the three outcomes in any given match. We know most games are evenly balanced enough that you’re giving yourself a 66% chance as such, but when you think about how many games are drawn just because a far superior side cannot break down the lesser favoured side on the day, there’s money to be made. There’s also using the market and applying it to your perception of true value, rather than fearing betting on one side just because the bookmakers tell you there chances of winning are 25%. The double chance betting market is a useful weapon in the arsenal of any bettor.