Betting Terminology


A flag bet is a yankee bet in disguise with the added addition of a few up and down singles. Up and down singles are where you pair together bets and if one wins, the winnings roll over onto the other.

You'll only find up and down singles in system bets that contain an even amount of selections as as each selection needs a pair. Up and down singles will seem complicated at first but they'll be explained shortly.

In full a flag bet involves making four betting selections which are arranged into a total of 23 bets which are six doubles, four trebles, one four-fold accumulator and six up and down singles. The six up and down singles account for 12 bets in total.

Pros and Cons of the flag bet

Once you have identified the four selections you are happy with, put them in your betslip. Once there, you'll be able to place your flag bet. A flag bet is a system bet that involves making six selections which are assorted into 23 bets. The 23 bets are six doubles, four trebles, one four-fold accumulator and six up and down singles.

  • Pro - If you do manage to win only two or three of your selections, you may still profit, as opposed to placing an accumulator where one loss would cost you.
  • Pro - You may be maximising your profits if you do identify two winning singles.
  • Con - With so many bets within this system bet, a £10 stake per line would results in a whopping £230 stake with no guarantee of profit unless at least three selections win.
  • Con - Up and down singles are a complicated method of placing double stakes on a single bet. You could argue it may be easier to just place a yankee bet, then place separate singles yourself as a precaution.

You don't need to place this range of bets manually as selecting the flag bet option on your betting slip will do that for you. Once the six selections are in your betting slip, simply scroll down until you find your stake boxes. When you enter your stake to bet on a system bet, it's important to know that you are betting on each bet within the system bet separately.

That means that six doubles are six separate stakes, four trebles are four separate stakes and so on. This adds up quickly with system bets and in this case means you would be betting on 23 separate bets. If you chose to bet just £10 per bet, that would be an overall stake of £230. That's a considerable amount of money and not one you want to place accidentally!

Bets within a flag bet

The main bulk of a flag bet is made up with six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold accumulator. Below is some extra reading about doubles, trebles and accumulators that may further your understanding of system bets such as the flag bet.

  • You can read about double bets here
  • You can read about treble bets here
  • You can read about accumulators here

To win just one double you will need at least two selections to win and to win just one treble you will need at least three selections to win. Betting at example odds of 2.00 for each of the four selections, two wins out of four would return £140 for a loss of £90. You would need to win a minimum of three out of four selections, which at £10 stakes (total stake £230) would return £410 for a handsome profit of £180.

Breakdown of bets in a flag bet

Below is a breakdown of all the bets within a flag bet with odds of 2.00 (1/1) used as an example. There are six doubles in a flag bet because that's the maximum amount of doubles you can make from four selections when using each selection and equally.

Six doubles 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4 = 6 bets @ £10 = £60

Three trebles 1-2-3, 1-2-4, 2-3-4, 1-3-4 = 4 bets @ £10 = £40

Four-fold accumulator 1-2-3-4 = £10

The equation for working out any multiple is:

Stake (£10) x Odds (2.00) x Odds (2.00) = Returns including stake (£40)

This equation remains the same for trebles, four-folds and bigger multiples. To work out a treble you will need to ensure that all three sets of odds are in there, all four odds for a four-fold and so on.

Implied Probability

The risk of any multiple is that your chances of winning decrease as you group bets together. One bet priced at 2.00 (1/1) has a 50% chance of winning according to implied probability, which you can read more about here. When you put two bets together to form odds of 4.00 (3/1) the implied probability changes to 25%, so your chances decrease. Throw in odds of 2.00 again to create a treble at odds of 8.00 (7/1) and implied probability suggests you have a 12.5% of success.

The chances of implied probability can't always be taken literally, as after all, these three selections as singles have a completely even chance of winning, so does putting them in a multiple make them more likely to lose individually? No it doesn't, but the change in implied probability reflects that you now have to rely on a lot more going you way that if you were to place singles.

The most confusing part of this type of system bet is the six up and down singles account for 12 bets in total. The up and down singles are no doubt the most confusing part of this system bet, as many seasoned bettors may not have even heard of or used this type of bet before.

What is an up and down single?

An up and down single is still a single bet, but it is a term used to refer to a single that is paired with another. Imagine you've bet on Real Madrid to win their match and Roger Federer to win his game. These are two singles, but in an up and down single, they will affect each other as they are paired together.

Essentially, four bets are placed instead of two. You will initially place one bet on Real Madrid to win and one bet on Roger Federer to win. An up and down single is a way of doubling up and increasing your winnings. If Real Madrid wins, then a further stake is bet on Roger Federer. If Roger Federer wins, then a further stake is put on Real Madrid.

The end result is you've placed four single stakes worth of money on these two bets. If you are betting £10 a time, you will bet £20, which is £10 on each. Now the way this type of bet works does mean that Real Madrid must win before you bet a further £10 on Roger Federer, and vice versa. That doesn't mean that you bet manually. The system bet will automatically take care of these scenarios for you.

Any system bet that involves placing a large number of stakes for a smaller amount of selections is less likely to attract the attention of professionals than casuals. However the way in which this system bet plays out, and especially with the inclusion of singles, it may only take three winning selections to be very profitable. The increased margins, arguably lack of value and the increased risks and stakes won't always seem worthwhile and if a professional feels they have four good bets lined up then they may just place four singles instead.

The flag bet is compatible with any sports including team sports such as football and tennis, but the odds cannot be too low if you give yourself the best possible chance of profits. You should aim for odds around 2.00 and greater to reduce your losses on two wins and ensure a three figure profit on three winners. Horse racing is the more naturally suited sport to this type of system bet and casual punters may be the more likely group drawn to this type of bet as the returns can be handsome, although they still aren't as rewarding as placing an accumulator or separate multiple bets.

Staking £230 over 23 separate bets is riskier and less likely to return profits than just splitting that stake up and betting on the four selections individually.

A flag bet doesn't contain the same level of risk as system bets that usually require you to stake this much as there are four selections in a flag bet. Winning just two isn't that damaging a loss at the right odds and for horse racing punters could even mean profit. Winning three out of four selections is a pretty achievable feat on any half decent day's betting, and three winners in a flag bet is a guaranteed handsome profit.

Overall, it still seems wiser to just work out your own more moderate combination of multiples and singles than to place a flag bet, but it does give good equal coverage to all selections involved and it isn't asking that much to return a good profit.

If you're feeling comfortable with terminology, it might be the right time to learn about the different bet types and how to use them to your advantage.

See tipstrr guide to bet types markets

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