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What is a Yankee Bet?

Ever wondered what a Yankee Bet is? Wonder no more, we've explained everything here!

What is a Yankee Bet?

In our continuing series of betting explanations, today we’re taking a look at Yankee bets. The origin of the name allegedly goes back to around WWII, when an American soldier walked into a British betting shop. Evidently a savvy gambler, the unnamed soldier made a small but complicated bet. He won, and due to the mechanics of the bet, walked away with several thousand pounds. Evidently the staff were impressed enough that the name stuck and it’s still a bet you can make today.

A Yankee bet is a variation on an accumulator bet in which you place 11 bets on 4 selections. None of the bets are single bets; it’s made of 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a 4-way accumulator. You might think that this is needlessly complicated. After all, you could just go with the 4-way accumulator bet. However, there’s a reason why a Yankee bet is a good option because it both mitigates your risk but could still win big. Let’s take a closer look at how it all works by making a hypothetical bet.

A Hypothetical Yankee

Let’s put down a Yankee bet on a horse race. The horses may not have the most imaginative names, but they do have decent odds. Horse A is 6/5 to win, Horse B is 1/4, Horse C is 29/20 and Horse D is 10/11. Since this is all hypothetical, there’s no need to go crazy, so let’s put 10p on each bet in the Yankee. That’s £1.10 (10p x 11). The bet breaks down as follows – 6 doubles on horses to win:

  • Horse A and Horse B
  • Horse A and Horse C
  • Horse A and Horse D
  • Horse B and Horse C
  • Horse B and Horse D
  • Horse C and Horse D

Then there are the trebles:

  • Horse A, Horse B and Horse C
  • Horse A, Horse B and Horse D
  • Horse B, Horse C and Horse D
  • Horse A, Horse C and Horse D

Finally, there’s the accumulator, which is Horse A, Horse B, Horse C and Horse D ALL to win.

Great, but what does it all mean?

The first thing you need to know is that you need two wins before you can win anything. So if none or only one of your four horses wins, you get nothing. If two horses win, then you’ve one of your six doubles has come in, but the other 10 bets do not work out.

If three of your horses win, this is where the Yankee bet starts to distinguish itself from the others, because now three of the doubles and one of the trebles pays out. And if all four come in then you win 11 bets. If that had happened for our hypothetical bet, you would win £6.41, a profit of £5.31. If you’d bet £1 on each (£11 total), you would be taking home £64.04, a profit of £54.04.

Introducing… the Super Yankee

If you want to go large with your Yankee, you can. A Super Yankee works just the same as a regular Yankee but with one extra selection. This changes some aspects of the bet dramatically – instead of 11, you are now making 26 bets: 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-ways and one 5-way accumulator. It also costs more, as £1 per bet would mean that it cost you £26. However, the one important aspect that does not change is that it still only takes two of the five to win for you to start getting paid.