What is a Cover Bet: Full Cover Bets Explained

Cover Bet

At the heart of horse racing lies not just the thrill of the race but also the art of betting. Here’s something interesting: imagine placing a bet where, even if your horse doesn’t win but finishes in the top three, you still get a slice of your stake back. This is what’s known in the racing world as a ‘cover bet’.

Cover bets are a smart way to approach the uncertainty of horse racing. You’re not just pinning all your hopes on a win; instead, you’re spreading out the risk. It’s a bit like a safety net. Sure, the odds might not be as high as a straight win, but the chance of walking away with something is more comforting.

Cover bets add that extra layer of strategy to your day at the races, blending the excitement of betting with a pragmatic touch. Let’s take a closer look at how they work and why they might just be your best bet.

What’s a Cover Bet?

A cover bet in horse racing is an interesting strategy, originally meant to protect the stake of another bet in case it didn’t win. Let’s say you’ve got your eye on a favourite in a horse race, with odds of 3/1. But there’s also an underdog you think might just surprise everyone, at odds of 10/1.

Here’s where the cover bet comes into play. In addition to betting on your 3/1 favourite, you place a smaller bet on the 10/1 horse. This way, if the underdog outpaces the favourite, your cover bet cushions the blow of your primary bet not winning.

The rise of betting exchanges has made covering bets even more accessible. Unlike traditional bookies, exchanges allow you to place ‘lay’ bets – essentially betting against a horse. So, you could back a horse at a bookie and lay the same horse on an exchange, covering part or all of your stake.

Nowadays, bookmakers themselves have taken the concept further. They offer special cover bet promotions where your stake is refunded under certain conditions, like your horse finishing second. These modern cover bets have evolved from their original form, offering punters more ways to protect their bets and potentially get a return even when their main bet doesn’t come through.

How Does Cover Bet Work?

Cover bets in horse racing are a strategic tool for bettors, though they’re not universally offered for every race or on every betting platform. Bookmakers typically reserve these offers for select, high-profile races where predicting outcomes can be quite challenging.

The essence of a cover bet is that it provides a bit of a cushion for bettors. Often, if your selected horse comes in just behind the favourite, you could receive your stake back, often capped at a certain amount like £10.

In the intricate dance of racing betting, where certainty is a luxury and surprises are the norm, every advantage, no matter how small, is valuable.

Full Cover Bet Explained

A full cover bet is a type of wager in sports betting designed to cover all potential combinations of multiple selections within a single bet. It’s often referred to as a full cover accumulator or a full cover multiple. We know it sounds complicated, but we promise it’s not that hard to comprehend. 

To illustrate, imagine you’re betting on three separate football matches. You place a full cover bet predicting Manchester United to win against Liverpool, Arsenal to defeat Fulham, and a draw between Tottenham and Manchester City. In a full cover bet, you’re not just placing a single bet; you’re creating a series of doubles and a treble that cover every possible combination of these outcomes:

  • Manchester United to win & Arsenal to win (double)
  • Manchester United to win & Tottenham vs Manchester City draw (double)
  • Arsenal to win & Tottenham vs Manchester City draw (double)
  • Manchester United to win, Arsenal to win, and Tottenham vs Manchester City draw (treble)

With a full cover bet, if any of these combinations turn out to be a winning bet, you receive a payout. The amount you win depends on the specific cover bet odds for each bet. The beauty of a full cover bet is its risk management aspect. Unlike standard accumulators or doubles/trebles, where with one wrong selection in your betting slip, your bet would be lost, a full cover bet provides a safety net. You can still win something even if not all your selections are correct.

It’s also crucial to understand the different types of full cover bets available and the number of individual bets each entails, as this varies depending on the number of selections you make.

Different Types of Full Cover Bets

There are different types of cover bets available to punters, each offering its unique approach. Let’s dive into six of the most popular forms, focusing on standard cover and full cover. bets. We’ll start with the full cover options

➡️ Lucky 15

A Lucky 15 bet involves fifteen bets across four selections. For instance, if you choose Liverpool, Manchester United, Aston Villa, and Everton to win against their respective opponents – say, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Luton, and Newcastle – you could place either a standard accumulator or opt for a Lucky 15 wager. This bet is made the following way:

  • 4 Singles: Liverpool; Manchester United; Aston Villa; Everton.
  • 6 Doubles: Liverpool & Manchester United; Liverpool & Aston Villa; Liverpool & Everton; Manchester United & Aston Villa; Manchester United & Everton; Aston Villa & Everton.
  • 4 Trebles: Liverpool, Manchester United & Aston Villa; Liverpool, Manchester United & Everton; Liverpool, Aston Villa & Everton; Manchester United, Aston Villa & Everton.
  • 1 Four-Fold: Liverpool, Manchester United, Aston Villa & Everton.

The advantage of a Lucky 15 is that you only need one team to win to earn a return. Your total bet is distributed across 15 different bets, so if you typically place £1 bet, you might adjust to bet £2 for this type of bet, which works out to 13p per bet.

➡️ Lucky 31

Lucky 31 bet involves 31 bets on five selections. It includes:

  • 5 Singles
  • 10 Doubles
  • 10 Trebles
  • 5 Four-Folds
  • 1 Five-Fold

➡️ Lucky 63

The Lucky 63 steps it up with six selections, creating a total of 63 bets. That is a bet that includes:

  • 6 Singles
  • 15 Doubles
  • 20 Trebles
  • 15 Four-Folds
  • 6 Five-Folds
  • 1 Six-Fold

Different full cover bets offer different levels of coverage and potential returns, allowing punters to tailor their betting strategy to their preferences and risk tolerance. The ‘Lucky’ series of bets, like Lucky 31 and Lucky 63, in particular, are popular for their balance between risk and potential reward, giving bettors many chances to win even if not all their selections come through.

➡️ Patent

A Patent is a type of bet that includes three horses and seven bets in total:

  • 3 Singles.
  • 3 Doubles.
  • 1 Treble.

➡️ Trixie Bet

Trixie bet type is quite straightforward, involving three selections and four bets in total. These consist of three doubles and a treble.

➡️ Yankee

Moving up from a Trixie, a Yankee bet involves four selections, resulting in eleven separate bets – 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 four-fold accumulator.

➡️ Super Yankee (or Canadian)

This is an extension of the Yankee, involving five selections and 26 bets in total. This includes 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds, and 1 five-fold.

➡️ Heinz

Named after the famous ’57 varieties’ slogan, a Heinz bet involves six selections, totalling 57 bets. These include 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds, and 1 six-fold.

For those looking for even larger cover bets, there are options like the Super Heinz, with seven selections, and the Goliath, with eight. These bets follow a similar pattern, increasing the number of selections, and, so, the total number of bets. 

Each type of cover bet offers a different approach to managing risk and potential reward, allowing bettors to find a cover bet strategy that suits their style and preferences.

➕ / ➖ Pros and Cons of Cover Bets

Full cover betting brings with it a mix of advantages and disadvantages. It’s crucial to weigh these before deciding to place bets. While the pros often outweigh the cons, it’s important to consider both sides so to have a more balanced perspective.

➕ Pros of Full Cover Betting

Partial Win Returns

One of the biggest draws is the ability to earn a return, even if not all your selections win. This reduces the pressure of needing every bet to succeed, making it a more forgiving option compared to traditional accumulators.

Potential for High Returns

If all your selections do win, the returns can be significantly higher compared to other types of bets. This high-reward aspect appeals to those looking for significant gains from their betting endeavours.

Flexibility with Each-Way Bets

You can place each way bets, adding an extra layer of flexibility to your betting strategy. It allows for a more subtle approach, giving bettors the chance to earn returns even if their selections don’t outright win but instead place in the top positions.

Often Better Than Acca Insurance

Often, full cover bets offer better returns than accumulator insurance options. This makes them an attractive choice for bettors seeking more lucrative outcomes.

➖ Cons of Full Cover Betting

Higher Overall Cost

The total outlay for full cover bets will cost more since you’re placing multiple bets. This increased financial commitment can be a block for those with a limited betting budget.

Need for Strategic Selection

It’s crucial to carefully select picks with suitable odds to make the most of the bet. So, your basic knowledge might not be enough, and you’ll have to learn more betting strategies.

Do All Bookmakers Offer Cover Bets?

When it comes to horse racing, you’ll find that just about all betting sites worth their salt offers cover bets. Bookmakers might roll these out as part of regular promotions or sprinkle them in from time to time, especially during big racing events.

As for full cover bets, they’re even more of a mainstay with bookies. And it’s not just the horse racing crowd that loves them. Fans of football, tennis, and other sports are all over these bets, too. Full cover bets allow you to mix and match your wagers across different games and outcomes, making the whole experience way more exciting. So, whether you’re placing bets on the races or your favourite football team, chances are you’ll find plenty of full cover bet options with most bookmakers.

Full Cover Bet vs Accumulator Bets

When you’re trying to decide between a full cover bet, like a Lucky 15, and a regular accumulator, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each.

A regular accumulator’s main drawback is its high-risk nature. If just one selection fails, the entire bet falls through. It’s an all-or-nothing deal. In contrast, full cover bets are more forgiving. 

For standard types, like a Trixie, you start getting returns with at least two winning selections. And for types that include singles, like a Patent, you can get returns with just one winner.

However, full cover bets do have their own drawback. Since they involve multiple bets, the overall returns can be quite modest unless several of your selections win. In some cases, you might find that your winnings don’t even cover the total cost of placing all parts of the bet.

Accumulators, while riskier, can give you bigger wins in comparison to your total stake. So, it really boils down to what you’re comfortable with the potential for higher returns with more risk (accumulators) or a more forgiving bet that might yield smaller returns (full cover bets).

Final Words

Cover betting in online betting is fantastic for those who like to play it smart. It’s choosing the reliable path over the risky shortcut. But remember, it’s not a guarantee – just a more cautious way to enjoy the game.


How to place a Cover Bet?

Bookmakers offer cover betting on select events only. To place a cover bet, choose a race included in this option and decide on your selection. Cover bets can be placed across a variety of sports, allowing for diverse combinations in a single wager. For instance, in a Heinz bet, you could back two horses, two football teams, and two tennis players all within the same bet.

Which sports have Cover Bets available?

Cover betting is primarily available in horse racing. It’s not common to use cover bets in team sports, although you can place a cover bet on football, as well.

Is a Ful Cover Bet different from a Cover Bet?

Yes. A full cover bet includes a range of bets on all combinations, like a full cover bet with Singles, Doubles, and Trebles, based on your choices from various events. On the other hand, a regular cover bet is more about getting your stake back if your horse finishes in one of the top three places, like second or third, in a race.

Do Full Cover Bets include Singles?

Yes, full cover bets do include singles, along with doubles, trebles, and so on, depending on the number of selections you’ve chosen.

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