What Is A Single Bet?

The Single Bet Explained

Neal Merchant

The single bet is the most straightforward of all bet types for punters. It represents sports betting at its purest. The player versus the bookie. There are many players who make a very decent living with single bets.

While simple to make, the single bet is not always an easy wager. It demands that the punter have an understanding of odds and how they affect profit when making a bet.


What Is It and How Does a Single Bet Work?

The single bet is sometimes referred to as the straight bet. It involves one betting event and one betting selection. Here are some common examples of single bets:

A player bets £5 on a horse to win
A player bets £20 on a football team to win by a specified number of points
A player bets £10 on the final outcome of a tennis match

In order to win a single bet the punter’s selection must win the event or otherwise satisfy the conditions of the wager. For example, a place bet in horse racing would be considered a single bet even though the conditions of the bet require the horse to finish first or second. Place bets are very popular in horse racing.


How To Calculate Winnings

The payout on a single bet are calculated according to the odds given by the bookmaker. Here is a basic example:

The punter wagers £10 on a horse at odds of 2-1. If the horse wins the player will receive £30 in total return for a £20 total profit.

Most players today use a single bet calculator. This type of calculator can help the player determine potential returns in advance of making the wager. There are also fields in a single bet calculator which provide for Rule 4 deductions.


Betting Tips: Potential Results Prediction

Here is another example that will help players understand how single bets can be profitable. Again, we will use horse racing as an example.

Many smart players only make single bets on horses when they are offered odds of 3-1 or better. The reason for this is simple. Favorites in horse racing win one-third of all races. The punter expects to do as well when making single bets. Therefore, if a punter only makes a straight bet on horses at 3-1 or better, the player needs to win just one out of every three bets to break even.

Those who play single bets spend much of their time looking for advantageous bets. They do not bet on a whim. They wait for the odds that will justify a single bet.


Why Make A Single Bet?

Many punters choose to only make single bets. There can be many reasons for this. The chief advantage of a single bet is it’s simplicity. The player only needs to make one selection in one event. Trebles or a Trixie are far more complicated and involve more bet details.

Single bets can be more favourable to those with betting knowledge and skill. For example, the person who bets on football can become familiar with specific teams and how well they match up with opponents. Likewise, it may be easier for some punters to identify the superior boxer in a contest between two fighters.

The single bet can also offer decent profit potential for the risk that is being taken. This depends upon the odds that a bettor is willing to accept from a bookie on a selection.


What’s the Difference Between a Single Bet and Another?

The main difference between single bets and other online sports bets is simplicity. These bets are much easier to make than a Yankee or Tricast. There is another difference that matters. This is the cost of the bet.

Single bets are much more affordable than the combination wagers that are popular in sports betting. A £5 total stake or less may be wagered with a straight bet. For combination bets the cost can rise to well over £50 depending on the type of bet that is made.

Finally, all sports that can be bet online with a bookmaker can accommodate a single bet. It is the bread and butter of an online bookmaker.


What Sports Work Well With a Single Bet?

There are some sports that are more suitable than others for single bets. These are sports that feature head-to-head contests such as a football match or basketball game. Horse racing is also an event that works well with a straight wager.

Boxing often comes to mind when speaking of single bets. The punter has a clear choice. One boxer is picked to win over another. The odds offered by a sportsbook on a single bet will be a direct reflection of a selection’s chance of winning. The underdog in a boxing match will be offered at generous odds when facing a world champion. Make sure to check out our boxing betting offers page.


Best Sites To Place a Single Bet

Punters have many choices when it comes to online bookmakers. It only makes sense for players to choose the most advantageous ones. Always look for bookies that offer free bets or another promo for new customers. It is also good to choose a bookie that offers a large betting menu. Here are three online bookmakers to consider.

Ladbrokes is a grandfather of UK sports betting. The company can trace its history to 1886. Ladbrokes was originally a bookmaker for horse racing, but today the company offers betting on many events. Ladbrokes maintains a strong online presence in addition to retail betting shops throughout the UK.

Bet365 is a modern betting sites that appeals to the punter of today. This bookie provides football betting in addition to wagering on other professional sports. Bet365 has a convenient app for those who wish to create a betslip with a mobile device.

Betfair helped to create the betting exchange as it is known today. The company made it possible for individuals to essentially become their own bookie. Betfair owns television networks that are exclusively devoted to horse racing, and it has a large market that includes sports of all kinds.



If you want to keep it simple when sports betting, stick with the single bet. For many years the single bet was the only type of wager available for horse racing. Today, it can still be used by the smart player to reap large profits from sports betting. Single bets are less complicated and less expensive to make.