... the Yankee placed at bookie SP had the lowest net profit

Betfair Multiples vs. Bookie Multiples - Which is Better?

27th Oct 2010
betting / betfair / multiples
Article is over 3 years old. Stats may have changed since.

In a previous article on the Betfair SP it was found that SP bets placed on Betfair returned 14% more than a similar bet placed with the bookies. But what about multiple bets such as Yankees and Lucky 15 bets? Will a Betfair multiple pay more than a bookie multiple?

The answer is yes but the advantage is not so great, and in some cases it can return less than at the bookies.

I ran tests in the summer, placing bets on Betfair and with the bookies and compared the returns. I found that the Betfair multiple did pay more on some occasions but that the fact that commission was taken out on each stage of the bet tended to make the returns not so generous.

Betfair Accumulator Bet on four Horses

  • Horse A wins. Betfair pay SP - 5% commission. Return rolls onto Horse B
  • Horse B wins. Betfair pay SP - 5% commission. Return rolls onto Horse C
  • Horse C wins. Betfair pay SP - 5% commission. Return rolls onto Horse D
  • Horse D wins. Betfair pay SP - 5% commission.

Betfair take commission on each leg of the bet, and this figure is compounded as more legs of the bet are won. This has the effect of slightly negating any advantage the Betfair SP has over the bookie SP.

Taking Prices and Best Odds Guarantee

Betfair multiples are settled at the Betfair SP and this can sometimes be disadvantageous too. The reason being that if you fancy a horse to win, and it is available at a certain price you should take that price as it may shorten in the market. You cannot do this with a Betfair multiple but you can with the bookies.

Of course, you can take a price and the horse may drift! Thus you have lost out compared to an SP placed bet. But some bookies now offer Best Odds Guarantee on some if not all races.

Best odds guarantee is where you take a price on a horse and if the SP ends up higher the bookie will pay you out on the higher price. In this instance you may find that your bet returns more if your horses drift, but to be fair to Betfair drifting horses tend to pay a lot more than the resulting bookie SP.

Take a look at the following ticket. This was a Yankee bet placed on four decent FlatStats ratings and systems selections! The prices are not great but it demonstrates that sometimes taking prices will give you a better return than relying on a Betfair multiple at SP.

Yankee with Four Winners

Yankee with Four Winners

This bet was placed in Ladbrokes, as they were going higher on two of the four horses. All prices were taken and all four had shortened in the market such that the SPs were lower than the prices, which were taken. The following table shows the various prices which this bet could have been settled at:

HorseSPBF SPEP
Swansea Jack 11/10 1.24 11/8
Twice Bitten 4/5 0.86 10/11
Flag Officer 5/4 1.37 13/8
Wallis 4/6 0.66 5/6

The first three horses paid higher at Betfair SP than SP whilst Wallis paid around 6% less on Betfair after commission was taken off. But none of the prices were comparable to the early prices taken. The following table shows the different net profits for each set of prices:

Price TakenNet Profit
Bookie SP £221.54
Betfair SP £251.74
Early Price £320.39

The table shows that the Yankee placed at bookie SP had the lowest net profit. Betfair was next but the bet placed at early prices returned substantially more.

Pittsburgh Phil's Advice

Punters who back horses in win singles shop around for the best prices and so should multiple bet punters. If you spend a bit of time checking the prices from all of the major bookies on sites such as Oddschecker you should find that your returns are increased.

Try and determine if the prices of your selections are likely to shorten and then take the price that is available. If you think that none or few will shorten then just stick with a Betfair multiple as it should beat the bookie SP in the long run.

Look out for bookies that offer crazy bonuses for all correct tickets, such as Betfred, who will pay a minimum of 15% if you manage to get all four winners up. Sometimes this 15% bonus will wipe the floor with Betfair multiples but getting four winners up on a Yankee is rare and not that easy to do!

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Article created 27-Oct-10. Stats may have changed since.

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