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Types of Sports Betting

All betting options from the bookmakers’ lines can be combined with each other, thus forming different types of bets. They differ from others by the number of possible outcomes and by the way they are calculated. Ordinary, express and system are the most common types of bets. We will tell you more about each of them. Including what they are and what rules the bookmakers usually set for them.


Ordinary (or single)

This is the most common type of wagering among sports bettors. This is simply a single bet, placed on the estimated outcome of only one event. The player selects an event in the line with certain odds, makes a bet and, if the choice is successful, gets their winnings. The winnings will be equal to the amount and coefficient. 

An example of an ordinary calculation: 

Take for example, in a game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins you decide to bet $1000 on a Patriots win. The bookmaker has accompanied this option with a factor of 2.0. If the Patriots end up winning the game, you will receive a payout of $2000, as the amount you bet is multiplied by the coefficient (1000 x 2 = 2000). If the Dolphins win, then your bet is lost on their victory. The advantage of this type of bet is considered to be its simplicity and relative reliability because unlike other types of bets, it is only necessary to predict one outcome in a single match. The disadvantage of the ordinary is the use of a smaller factor compared to the express or system bets.


The “express” bet is a combination of ordinary bets: it includes several outcomes predicted by the player (there may be two or more). Customers of bookmakers like express bets primarily for the high odds, as when calculating the express odds of all outcomes multiply. 

An example of express calculation

Let’s say, for your express, you predict the outcome of three soccer matches: 

  • Barcelona 2.0 win in Barcelona vs Real Madrid; Arsenal’s 2.0 win in Arsenal vs Tottenham; 
  • Juventus 2.0 win in Juventus vs AC Milan.

The total rate of such an express train would be 8.0 (2 x 2 x 2 = 8). If every event in this express bet is successful, you will get a win at odds of eight (the size of the bet will be multiplied by eight). However, if even one outcome in the express loses, the entire express bet will be lost.

Obviously, with each event added to the express, the overall coefficient is increased, but the likelihood that all selected events will be successful is reduced.

A lot of novice players create express bets from the so-called “vernacular”, that is, from a large number of events with very low odds: it seems almost certain that they will all win, and the overall coefficient is quite enticing. However, low odds are not a guarantee of winning and clear favorites can lose as well. And more often than not this will signify a novice bettor to a bookmaker, someone who has not yet learned a full analysis of the events. Accordingly, compiling huge express trains in the vast majority of cases is a quick path to numerous and regular loses. 

Express bets can be used in a variety of game strategies. For example, one of the rather popular strategies in betting on soccer is called “27 Express”. It is designed to make an express from bets on exact scores in several matches. It is believed that 27 express trains cover all of the most likely variants of actual scores, and even if 26 express trains should lose with only one winning, that one will justify the entire train as the odds on the exact score bet are quite high separately and even more so in the express. 

Please note that bookmakers can impose a limit on the number of possible events in the express or limit the maximum possible winning ratio. The express is generally not allowed to include interdependent events. 

What’s better: ordinary or express? There is no definite answer to this question. Of course, a longer express is a higher ratio, and if you do not make a mistake with any of your predicted outcomes, the winnings will also be much larger than the same outcomes in an ordinary bet, or separately. However, experienced players in most cases will prefer the ordinary. In a pinch, choose an express from 2-3 events, because the fewer outcomes in the express, the more likely it is that they will all be winners. 


What does a system bet look like? This type of bet may appeal to those who are worried that one of the events in the express “will not reach” and because of this will lose the entire express bet. A system bet is a combination of express trains of a given size from a predetermined number of events. Each combination in the system is calculated as a separate express. You bet on a few events included in the express and specify the dimension of the system (for example, play 2 out of 3, 3 out of 4, etc.). If all of the events you chose win, you will win with multiplied (by special formula) odds. The overall coefficient here is much lower than in the express. However, if one or more bets lose, you still have the chance to stay in the plus or at least return part of the bet. 

Depending on the type of system and the number of events that make up the express, the number of combinations required will change. So, if we put 2/3 (2 out of 3) into the system, we will have to put only three combinations of express trains. If we choose a system, for example, 3/8 (three out of eight), the required number of combinations will already be 56, and the total amount of the bet should be much higher.

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