Now that we’ve discussed singles, doubles, trebles and accumulators in general, we can focus on more specific bets. A Patent involved three selections and is a bet that is comprised of 3 x single bets, 3 x double bets and 1 x Treble bet, so seven bets in total. If even one selection wins, you win that bet, though of course this has be weighed against the bets that don’t win assuming that you’re not successful across the board. Patents offer the hope of a nice sized win if your luck is in, and at least some return if you’re thereabouts in your assessment.
An accumulator bet, or acca, is a bet that combines four or more selections. If there are four selections it is sometimes also known as a four-fold accumulator, or for five selections, a five-fold, and so on. The more parts to the bet the greater the potential return as the odds are multiplied and the proceeds of each winning bet rolls over to the next. The downside is that one losing bet upends the entire bet. Accumulators can be rather speculative in nature, but there are a great many examples online of huge odds football and horse racing acca wins over the years.
A treble bet (often simply called a treble) involves three selections. If the first result is a win, the returns are then the stakes for the second bet, and if that wins it all rides on the third and final bet. The potential returns of a treble are greater than a double (due to the increased odds and rolling over of the returns), but it also comes with an increased risk due to the reduced probability of all three bets winning. As with doubles an each way treble is also possible, where half of the stake does on being placed rather than winning a bet (well suited to certain bets, such as a horse placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a race).
Even back in 2008, fifty pence was less than the price of a loaf of bread, or a pint of milk, but that was the amount staked by Fred Craggs, a fertiliser salesman from Thirsk, North Yorkshire, who would subsequently become the first ‘betting shop millionaire’. The day before his sixtieth birthday, in February, 2008, Craggs placed an eight-fold accumulator on horse races at Sandown Park, Nad Al Sheba, Warwick and Wolverhampton at his local William Hill betting shop. Fittingly, under the floodlights at Gosforth Park that evening, his eighth and final selection, A Dream Come True, won at 2/1 to land cumulative odds of nearly 2,800,000/1.
Craggs remained blissfully unaware of his good fortune until the following day, when he visited another William Hill betting shop in nearby Bedale. Having placed another five bets, each worth fifty pence, as was his custom, he asked staff to check his betting slip from the previous day. Craggs apparently visibly paled when informed that his total winnings were exactly £1,000,000 – subject to maximum payout rules, but nonetheless unprecedented in the history of British betting shops – but later said that he had experienced only a ‘dull sensation of excitement about the win’. William Hill spokesman David Hood was, thankfully, a little more upbeat, saying, ‘It is a staggering bet, and earns him a place in history as the world’s first betting shop millionaire. Even a scriptwriter couldn’t have dreamt this one up.’
A double involves two selections. If the first selection wins, what would’ve been the return in a single bet instead all goes onto the second selection as the stake. To gain a return this second selection also has to win. If the first selection in the double bet loses then the double also loses. Where the odds of one or both selections are large enough it may be worth doing an each way double. In that scenario half of the stake would be on the win bet, and half on the place component, so if both parts of the bet placed, there would at least be some return.