Patent Betting

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Especially in the realm of horse racing, many types of combination bets have become popular, from the Exacta, Quinella and Trifecta offered at almost all tracks to the less familiar ones with exotic names like Alphabet, Goliath and Super Heinz. Among these many combinations is a class of wagers known as “full coverage” or “full cover” bets, consisting of all possible doubles, trebles and accumulators across a specified number of selections. In the United States, these are also referred to as a “Round Robin Parlay.”

One of the most basic full coverage bets that every horseracing fan should know is the patent bet. It consists of seven wagers—3 singles, 3 doubles and a treble. It fully cover three selections in different events, similar to the so-called “trixie,” but with single bets placed on each selection—A, B, C—in addition to all possible combinations of the three—AB, AC, BC and ABC.

The beauty of this wager, and its advantage over a trixie, is that it requires only one successful selection to yield a return. However, notice that each choice appears four times—in 1 single, 2 doubles and a treble. That means loosing on a single selection can significantly impact the returns offered by this bet.

There are two ways to set up a patent bet. The most labourious is to calculate the amount of each of the seven wagers manually. Fortunately, patent bet calculators are readily available on the Internet and a simple search can be used to turn up one that gets the job done with little effort. All that is required is for the bettor to input a few variables, starting with the size of the stake, whether the bets are to be each way or not and what type of odds are quoted—decimal, fractional or American.

Next, the data for the three selections must be input. This requires knowing the odds to win for each selection and also, if each way is selected, the place odds. From this point, the calculator will display the amount to wager on each of the seven bets, the total payout expected with three winners and the net profit.

Take the case of a £20 stake used to create a patent bet for Horses A, B and C at decimal odds of 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0, respectively, and no each way betting. The calculator indicates that the price of each bet should be £2.85. Should all three picks succeed, the return would be £339.15, with a net profit of £319.20.

Next, some adjustments can be made to see what the financial outcome will be if Horse A loses and the other two picks win—a net profit of £62.70 on a return of £82.65. Or what if both Horses A and B fail and only Horse C wins—a total return of £14.25 for a net loss of £5.70. And if Horse C loses, but the other two prevail—a net gain of £32.20 on a gross payout of £54.15.

The calculator makes it easy to see how small adjustments in any variable will affect the result, from adding in each way bets to what happens when there is a non-runner or a dead-heat finish. And by working backward, the calculator can also be used to determine optimum amounts to wager when a certain profit is desired. It is often a good idea to create a cornerstone for the bet, too, by slipping a Banker in at short odds and then make two selections at longer odds.

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