An alphabet bet is rather unusual. It consists of twenty-six bets, in all and it is a combination bet made on six different races.
There are two patent bets in an alphabet wager. One patent is on races one, two and three. The second patent is on races four, five and six.
There is one yankee bet, which is placed on races two, three, four and five. There is also one accumulator bet. This is a six-timer placed on all of the six races.
This makes it all rather complicated. To simplify things, we will make up a fictional example, when all of the horses are priced at even money, or 2.0 (decimal odds – equal to an even-money bet).
If we were to place a £1 alphabet bet, it would cost us £26 in total. Let’s take a look at the first patent bet, first.
We would have three winning single bets (returning £2 each). We would also have three winning double bets (these pay £4 each). There is one winning treble bet and this pays £8. If you add all that up, you can see that the patent pays £26.
However, we have two patents, not just one. If all horses won, we would be getting back £52 , just from the two patent bets.
Now let’s look at the yankee bet, for races 2-5. We would have six winning doubles (two £2 each), four winning trebles (£8 each) and one winning fourfold (paying £16). The total yankee payout is £60.
Don’t forget that we still have to add the accumulator! That would pay £64. To get our final total we need to add the two patents (combined return is £52), our yankee (returns £60) and the sixfold accumulator (£64).
A Smart Bet?
So we bet £26 and our return is £176. We have made a profit of £153. Is that a good return for picking six winners out of six? What would have happened if we had just put the twenty-six pounds on a sixfold accumulator?
The difference would be massive. Now, all of our stake is going on the most difficult part of the bet. The bet would now return £1638! The downside to just doing this is that if we got five winners (or four, or three, or two, or even just one) we would get no return. The alphabet bet guarantees us some kind of winnings, even if only one horse wins. This is the reason some punters prefer combination bets. They don’t want to risk coming close and leaving with nothing.