If Bets and Full Cover Bets

By David Miller

An “If bet”, unlike a regular bet which has a simple answer and simple payout is a compounded bet. It takes two separate bets and conjoins them to make a single bet. It can also be considered to be a bet with a qualifier statement. In this way the odds of the bet can be manipulated well in advance of actions or new information that may influence the result of the bet. A simple example of this would be, if one is to make a straight bet that Team A is going to win the Championship in which there are a number of teams, the odds of such a bet would be lower than an If bet in which the bet says that Team A is going to win the Championship if it makes to the quarter finals. When the bet is made in this manner any uncertainty associated with whether Team A could face an upset and not even make to the quarter finals is eliminated from the bet. In case that situation comes to pass, the bet is eliminated and there is no exchange of money. The same can be done to move the odds in the other direction as well, assuming Team B is also a strong contender for the title an If Bet could be structured that Team A will win the championship if Team B makes it to the quarterfinals. This way, the odds for Team A to win are less as there is with certainty one additional strong rival in the arena when the bet becomes active as opposed to a chance that Team B could have suffered from an upset.

Given the versatile nature of the If bet, almost all the sports can be included in an If bet. Brad McFarlane is credited with the creation of the If bet and he is said to have drawn inspiration for this from his loathing of cleaning crews and a bit of luck. There are two broad categories of the If bets, namely single action and double action. The single action If bet is a conditional bet where the following selections will only have action if in the previous event the wager is a win, this is the type of If bet which was earlier illustrated with the example. The Double action If bet on the other hand is a conditional bet where the flowing selections will have action only if the previous bet results in either a win, no action, push or is cancelled.

One could argue that it would not make much sense for a conditional bet to be made and it could simply be replaced with a bet made at a later date after which the information of the if bet has already been made available. However there is a caveat here. With the passage of time, not only the information linked with the ‘If bet’ would be available but there could also be other information that is released which effects the results of the final wager. Going back to our example, if Team A had a star player Z, and the performance of Z is crucial to the winning of the championship. If Z gets injured in the earlier rounds and is unable to play anymore, but still Team A makes it to the quarter finals. In this condition the If bet would have completely different odds than a bet made after A qualifies for the quarter final thanks to the new information available about player Z.

If bet is a great bet option that the players can use to their benefit if they are playing with a restricted bankroll to begin with and want to extend their playing options to more than one game that are going off during the same time period. This allows them to manage their money better as they wager on the first game and based on its outcomes can pass on the original bet amount on to the next games when taking part in online betting. Usually the players can extend up to seven If wins in this manner. Therefore, an If bet in this manner limit a bettor’s losses even when they’re spread across various competitions, sports and team matches.

Another specific type of If bet is the Money Back Special, it is refund oriented. In money back special offers the bookmakers provide offers that are structured as “if A happens, receive B amount of money”, here ‘A’ is generally a conditional occurrence in a game and B is a refund of all the bets lost. So if A happens the player will end up being refunded. An example illustrating this is, consider if a team X in a football match wins over team Y, the bettor will get a refund for all the correct score bets he lost. So if he had bet that Y would win 1-0, whereas X ends up beating Y the bettor will end up with his original stake at the end of this game.

Money back special If bets do not have to be cashback, they also include odds enhancement or a bonus back as winnings. In the arena of football the famous and widely used bonus back include the double delight and the hat-trick heaven. Such bonuses double or treble the odds for the first goal scorer depending on whether your winning pick manages to score a brace or hat-trick of goals. The market for such bets is set up in a manner so that the bettor take small loses when the football players score none or one goal and when they hit two or three goals the bettors win large sums of money. Money back specials are also applied to penalties and red cards in the sport of football. So if the player commits a foul and gets a red card during the match, then all the losing goal scorer bets will be refunded.

Just to be clear, all of these strategies of when and when not the bets become active do come at a price, when these bets are priced the probabilities for all the events are taken into account and the price is adjusted accordingly. However for the purpose of the user of the bet the advantage is that the process is simplified. Instead of having to look for all of the components of the bets and constructing a portfolio of bets that would replicate the condition with potentially a higher transaction premium, the user can simply enter into one single bet and save on both the research and calculations as well as the transaction costs to build a portfolio of single bets. This also allows less sophisticated users to engage in ‘If bet’ conditions much more easily as well.

A full cover bet, although similar to an If bet when it comes to having multiple conditions, is significantly different from it when you look at the details. A full cover bet despite having multiple conditions wins when one or any two of the underlying conditions are met based on which type of Full Cover bet we are talking about. The simplest form of a full cover bet is a double. A double is also at the same time a bet that falls in the category of Multiple bets. To better understand a Full Cover Bet it is wise to first understand what a Multiple bet means.

There are three basic names for a multiple bet. The names are double, treble and accumulator. A double, as the name indicates is a bet involving two conditions. Now to win a double, the bettor needs to win both underlying conditions. In case the bettor wins the first and not the second, or the second and not the first, as far as the double is concerned the bettor has lost the whole bet.

Moving on further there is the Treble, in the treble there is a bet made on three conditions and all three conditions must be won for the Treble to be won. This is in contrast to the Full Cover bet with three underlying conditions in which even if two conditions were met the gambler would have won the complete bet. In the same manner, an Accumulator is for four or more conditions underlying the multiple bet and is accompanied by a suffix such as fourfold or fivefold to indicate the number of underlying bets.

Heading back to a Full cover bet, for all Full Cover bets of the basic variety a minimum of two underlying conditions need to be met for the bet to be won. However, the number of underlying conditions can be different and therefore the underlying multiple bets would also be different. The name of the bet indicates the number of underlying conditions. For example, a Trixie, the next most simple Full cover bet after a double, has three underlying conditions. As a consequence of having three underlying conditions, it is composed of 4 separate underlying multiple bets, three doubles and a treble. The same logic applies as we move further to Yankee, Super Yankee, Heinz, Super Heinz, or Goliath as illustrated in the table below. Super Yankee bet is also known as Canadian and the Heinz bet interestingly derives its name from the baked bean manufacturer company Heinz as the company used to advertise all its 57 variant products and the bet also comprises of 57 multiple bets.

Full Cover Bet Underlying Conditions Number of Multiple Bets Number of Doubles Number of Trebles Number of Fourfold Accumulators Other higher order Accumulators
Double 2 1 1 0 0 0
Trixie 3 4 3 1 0 0
Yankee 4 11 6 4 1 0
Super Yankee 5 26 10 10 5 1
Heinz 6 57 15 20 15 7
Super Heinz 7 120 21 35 35 29
Goliath 8 247 28 56 70 93


A special variation of a Full Cover bet is one in which singles are also included. There is a complete series for this kind as well. The complete series based on the number of underlying conditions starting with three are Patent, Lucky 15, Lucky 31, Lucky 63 and Alphabet. As the name suggests the Alphabet bet has a total of 26 bets. Lucky 15 consists of 4 single, 6 double, 4 treble and 1 fourfold accumulator bet summing up to 15 bets. Lucky 31 includes 5 single, 10 double, 10 treble, 5 fourfold accumulator bets and 1 fivefold accumulation bet summing up to a total of 31 bets. Similarly, Lucky 63 is made up of 6 single, 15 double, 20 treble, 15 fourfold accumulators, 6 fivefold accumulators and 1 six fold accumulator bet summing up to 61 bets. Unlike the regular Full cover, only one underlying condition needs to fulfilled for the bet to be won thereby also creating a rationale for the name to be ‘Lucky’.

Accumulators in the United States are often referred to as “parlays” and a combination of Full cover bets comprising of doubles, trebles and accumulators across a predetermined number of selections is also known as a “Round Robin Parlay”.

In a Full cover bet the bettor splits the bet up. This allows the bettor to achieve a much higher chance of getting a return. What happens is that even if part of the bet is correct, the bettor can win and earn a profit. However there is a drawback to Full cover bets, even if the bettor does manage to win all of the specified selections, he/she will win less than what could have been won if he/she had wagered a single bet on the selected events. This is the natural consequence of the fact that the risk of the bet is lower and therefore the reward associated with it is lower too. Furthermore, similar to the way an If bet can be constructed by the user as a portfolio of bets, a Full Cover bet can also be constructed in a similar fashion. However adding up the transaction costs makes it less attractive than looking for a dealer who simply would allow the user to engage directly in a Full Cover bet.


“Betting Types If Win.” Sports Betting Types If Win. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2014.

“Dictionary of Gambling and Betting Terminology.” The Gambling Times RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2014.

“If Bets.” Matched Betting Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2014.

“Full Cover Bets with Singles.” Sportsbetting RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.

“Full Cover Bet Explained.” Full Cover Bet Explained. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.

“Elitebet Kenya    International Sports Betting.” Kenya Sports Betting. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.

“Bets and Combinations of All Types.” Article –. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.