What is an alphabet bet?
An alphabet bet is one of the more complicated kinds of bets available. It is a kind of combination bet in which bettors place 26 bets at the same time. This is why it has its somewhat unusual name: there are the same number of bets as there are letters in the alphabet.
Due to the high number of bets, anyone wishing to place an alphabet bet is likely to be staking quite a high amount. This is because each and every bet that comprises the alphabet bet needs a new stake. For example, someone wishing to place a stake of £5 would in fact be placing a bet of £130, because that £5 is multiplied 26 times to cover the 26 bets.
As the stake is likely to be very high, bettors who wish to place an alphabet bet should be very knowledgeable about the sport they are placing the bet on and the participants within that sport. Those who are not may find themselves losing the bet and a considerable amount of money along the way.
As mentioned, the alphabet bet is made up of 26 different bets, from six selections. Within these bets there are other kinds of bets that make up the 26. These are: two patent bets (which contribute a total of 11 bets), one yankee bet (which contributes 11 bets) and one six-fold accumulator bet (which adds the 26th and final bet).
It is worthwhile explaining what each of these terms means to understand exactly how the alphabet bet works.
Firstly, a patent bet is one in which the bettor makes three selections, with seven bets covering the seven possible winning combinations of those three selections. For example, the bettor may believe that Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea will win during a weekend of Premier League football. The seven bets that are made within the patent bet are three singles, three doubles and a treble. The only way for this bet to be lost is if all three teams fail to win. Again, there are two of these patent bets made: selections 1 to 3 and selections 4 to 6.
Under the terms of a yankee bet, the bettor makes four selections and 11 bets. These bets are six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator comprising all four selections (selections 2 to 5 in the alphabet). If two or more of these teams won, the bettor would make some level of return.
Finally, the six-fold accumulator bet brings all six of the selections together, and only if they all win then this last bet is won.
As the bettor is not able to include all of their six selections in either patent bet or the yankee bet, they must can carefully construct their bets to put the selections they feel are most likely to win in the positions they feel will be most advantageous. To understand how this works, it is worthwhile applying the alphabet bet to a real-world scenario. Let's imagine that a bettor were placing an alphabet bet on a weekend of football and had made the following selections:
- West Ham United will beat Manchester United
- Manchester City will beat Liverpool
- Chelsea will beat Everton
- Brighton and Hove Albion will beat Bournemouth
- Cardiff City will beat Leicester City
- Newcastle United will beat Arsenal
Of these selections, the bettor may believe that West Ham United's win over Manchester United and Newcastle United's win over Arsenal are the least likely, so those selections would be placed in positions 1 and 6 in the bet. This means that they would not be included in the yankee bet. This is a good strategy because if the four selections being bet upon within the yankee win, then the bet delivers quite a strong return. Within the alphabet bet, the bets would be broken down as such:
- Patent Bet 1
This bet would include the selections 1 to 3. In this case, those are: West Ham United to beat Manchester United, Manchester City to beat Liverpool and Chelsea to beat Everton.
- Patent Bet 2
This bet would include selections 4 to 6. In this case, those are: Brighton and Hove Albion to beat Bournemouth, Cardiff City to beat Leicester City and Newcastle United to beat Arsenal.
- Yankee bet
This bet would include selections 2 to 5 made on the betting slip. In this case, those are: Manchester City to beat Liverpool, Chelsea to beat Everton, Brighton and Hove Albion to beat Bournemouth and Cardiff City to beat Leicester City. Selections 1 and 6 would not be included, which is why it makes sense for the bettor to put the selections they are least sure about in those positions.
This part of the alphabet bet is simplest of all. If all six of the selections made win, then the accumulator part of the bet wins.
The return generated in an alphabet bet will vary depending on which bet wins. If, for example, the patent bet makes a return, the money the bettor makes will smaller than if the six-fold accumulator were to win.
Alphabet bets are a kind of combination bet. These are similar in nature to multiple bets, but the major difference is the stake. Whereas multiple bets ask the bettor to place one stake across multiple selections and the winnings from the previous selection are rolled over to the next, combination bets require a new stake for every bet that is placed. Combination bets begin small, with a trixie containing just four bets, for instance, but can be very big – one of the biggest is the goliath bet, which requires bettors to make eight selections and a total of 247 bets.
With all these possible permutations and different kinds of bets in mind, the alphabet bet can be very difficult for people to understand. It is therefore very important that bettors have a clear and thorough grasp of what it entails before placing it, as well as being equally clear on the sport and the participants that are being bet upon. Those who lack this knowledge may find themselves losing out.
Plus, don't forget to check out our bet calculator, where you can calculate your winnings.