The stake you enter will be applied per bet, so if you do have enough money in your account, don't enter a stake of say £1 thinking you're only betting £1. You aren't. You'll be betting £1 per bet, which means a £247 stake! If you want to keep things sensible, then as a marker even a 10p stake per bet results in an overall stake of £24.70.
The stake for a goliath is quite big and in covering every possible base, it goes without saying you could have a rather forgettable day or a rather memorable one. Some sports, such as Horse Racing, naturally offer higher best odds than say placing football bets on favourites and better lend themselves to a Goliath bet.
Pros and Cons of the Goliath bet
A Goliath is exactly that. It's a humongous creation that sees a bettor place 247 separate bets. Because of the sheer volume of bets that are involved in something that big, it's inevitable it's going to get costly. Betting just 10p per selection will mean a stake of £24.70. Once you're betting pennies per leg of the bet, you then have to ask yourself if a goliath is worth it.
- Pro - You literally cover every possible base but you do not need every selection to win. If you're betting on Horse Racing betting odds, just a few winners may be a money spinner.
- Pro - You could make some monumental returns here. Just imagine the winnings coming your way if had five nicely priced horses come in, for example, never mind if all eight romp home..
- Con - Your stakes could end up being pretty sizeable, especially if you make that beginners mistake of thinking entering a £1 stake means you bet £1 and not £247!
- Con - No value and gigantic margins in favour of the bookmakers.
Remember, entering a stake in the box next to 'Goliath' on your betslip will place all of these bets automatically for you within that one selection. Don't think you have to go through the tedious process of placing each of the 247 bets one by one.
There are an astounding amount of variations that could lead to big losses or big profit from betting on a Goliath, and you could right a whole book if you took the time to break it down and explain each and every possibility. We know a Goliath is made up of doubles, trebles and a selection of accumulators, and if those types of bets are new to you then it may be useful to read about each individual bet type first.
Math behind a Goliath
As you can see from the bet slip example, placing an eight-fold outright would mean staking on best odds of 634/1. If all eight selections won and were placed as a Goliath, then the total £24.70 stake shown in the example would return £1,232. Placing just £5 on an eight-fold accumulator would return £3,175. The likelihood of winning either may be slim, but it goes to show the difference it can make.
The examples betting odds quoted come as a result of decimal odds of 2.15, 2.25, 1.83, 2.87, 2.20, 2.55, 2.40 and 1.85.
People with a limited bankroll may well place eight-folds or a Goliath like this because it's seen as their only realistic chance of landing big wins and whether you're a casual bettor or a professional, everyone places speculative bets and seeks a thrill, but there's a big gap between doing that for entertainment purposes on a quiet afternoon and thinking it's a viable way to make money from sports betting. If you're aiming to be a professional bettor and if you do have a suitable sized bankroll behind you, then betting singles is still arguably the best betting strategy.
Let's suppose you decide to bet purely on singles and choose to stake £50 per bet. An outlay of £400 seems high compared to the figures mentioned for the Goliath and accumulator, but below are the implied probability of winning each respective bet.
Lowest priced single (1.83) = 54.60% Lowest priced double (3.38) = 29.60% Eight-fold accumulator (635) = 0.20%
Your chances of landing this particularly eight-fold accumulator may as well be non-existent according to implied probability, and at 29.60% you have a less than one in three chance of winning a single leg of your Goliath. Remember, there are 247, so even having several legs of your bet win isn't going to be profitable.
Whilst the financial outlay of eight singles seems like a lot more, you'd have a near 55% chance of walking away with at least one winner which in this case would return over £90 and you could afford to lose four bets and still profit from sports betting. You can't afford to lose a single bet with an accumulator and just three losses on a Goliath would leave you in a hole of -£133.78 for every £1 staked per bet, and that's based on assuming the four higher priced selections are the successful four.
As you can see there's a lot that needs to happen before you even come closer to salvaging your original stake alone, so does a Goliath really seem like a viable option if you're aiming to become a profitable, professional bettor?
Due to the combination of very high stakes, high risk and poor margins, a Goliath is not considered as a good option for a professional bettor. The sport that is most suited to this type of bet could arguably be two or three way betting markets with shorter betting odds such as on football bets, tennis or rugby match ups as they provide more cover than accumulators, but it would be an option for the casual punter seeking a thrill or two.
Just the name Goliath tells you all you need to know. This is a huge bet both in terms of stakes, requirements and payouts. Although payouts can be large, they don't seem to be a fair representation of just how much work may have gone into making this many selections and it doesn't seem the wisest investment.
Of course, if you're betting casually and you're just chasing a big win or looking for some enjoyment, then a Goliath bet is going to serve a purpose for you. Whilst it's good to have an understanding of what it is, it's even better to have an understanding of why you should probably leave it alone.
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.