Yankee Betting

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Anyone familiar with horse racing will have heard the names of many popular forms of combination bets, such as Exacta, Quinella and Trifecta. Such wagers are offered at almost all tracks. Less well known are the exotically named Alphabet, Goliath and Super Heinz bets, which are representative of a class of wagers known as “full coverage” or “full cover” bets. These consist of all possible doubles, trebles and accumulators across a specified number of selections—what in the United States may be referred to as a “Round Robin Parlay.”

One of the basic full coverage bets that covers four selections in different events is the so-called “Yankee” bet. It consists of eleven different wagers made in combination, including 6 doubles, 4 treble and a four-fold accumulator—AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD, ABC, ABD, ACD, BCD and ABCD. At least two of the selections must succeed to receive a return.

Notice that no choice appears in all eleven of the bets. Each one is backed seven times—in 3 doubles, 3 trebles and the accumulator. That means it is possible for up to two of the selections to fail without losing the entire stake, although the loss of even one can significantly impact the returns offered by this bet.

There are two ways to set up a Yankee bet. The most tedious is to calculate the amount of each of the eleven wagers manually. Fortunately, Yankee bet calculators can easily be found on the Internet and a simple search can be used to locate one that will get the job done with little effort. All that’s needed 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 four 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 eleven bets, the total payout expected with four winners and the net profit.

Take the case of a £40 stake used to create a Yankee bet for Horses A, B, C and D at decimal odds of 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0, respectively, with no each way betting. The calculator indicates that the price of each bet should be £3.63. Should all four picks succeed, the return would be £1,252.45, with a net profit of £1,212.42.

Next, some adjustments can be made to see what the financial outcome will be if Horse A loses and the other three picks win—a net profit of £348.48 on a return of £388.41. Or what if both Horses A and B fail and only two horses win—a total return of £72.60 for a net gain of £32.67. And if Horses C and D lose, but the other two prevail—a net loss of £18.15 will be sustained on a gross payout of £21.78.

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 in a couple of Bankers at short odds and then make two selections at longer odds.

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