Full Cover Betting Explained

full-coverStriking gold with a winning bet is always a very welcome experience, but having a really lucky day and picking a few successful selections on the trot can be even better.

Unless you’re a seasoned gambler or you manage to get lucky with a really big priced accumulator, winning huge amounts of cash isn’t easy. The problem with accumulators is there are almost always one or two picks who let you down.  This is where full cover betting comes in.

Placing bets such as Lucky 15’s or Yankees gives you a chance to cover more options from a given number of selections.  This means you can win even if all of your selections don’t.  It’s not all rosy, however, as these are package bets, and that means multiple stakes and a larger initial outlay.

What Is A Full Cover Bet

Arrows Different Directions Cover BettingFull cover bets basically do what they say on the tin.  They cover all possible multiple combinations from a given number of selections.

What do I mean by multiple combinations?  If you have three selections you want to back you could place a treble.  You could also place three different double bets and of course, you could bet on each individually.

All full cover bets do is combine all of these individual bets into one package to save you the time and hassle of having to place each bet on its own.

There are two main types of full cover bets, those with singles and those without.  Again it is easy from the names to guess what they are.  Full cover bets with singles cover all possible multiple combinations including individual single bets.  Full cover bets without singles cover every possible bet from doubles upwards.

Selections Without Singles (Number of Bets) With Singles (Number of Bets)
3 Trixie (4) Patent (7)
4 Yankee (11) Lucky 15 (15)
5 Canadian (26) Lucky 31 (31)
6 Heinz (57) Lucky 63 (63)
7 Super Heinx (120)
8 Goliath (247)

Of course, as these are packages of individual bets this means that you still need a stake for each individual market.  A lucky 15 for example – a full cover bet with singles on 4 selections – is made up of 15 separate bets and therefore the unit stake is multiplied by 15 to give the final stake, something to bear in mind so you don’t have a heart attack when you enter your stake.

Major Full Cover Bet Types

Trixie  – 3 Selections Without Singles


In theory you could have a full cover bet with 2 selections, this would be one double and two singles.  There isn’t one though, probably because it is just as easy to place three separate bets.  Full cover bets, therefore, start with the Trixie.

The package consists of four bets; one treble, and three doubles which cost 4x the unit stake.

Patent – 3 Selections With Singles


The patent is identical to the Trixie except it also covers the single bets in addition to the treble and three doubles in a Trixie; therefore, in a Patent we have 3 singles.  This makes seven bets costing 7x unit stake.

Yankee – 4 Selections Without Singles


A Yankee covers four selections and comprises 11 bets in all.  There are no single bets involved here though so we end up with six doubles, four trebles, and a four-fold bet.

It’s not the easiest of bets because you generally need to get more than one correct pick to get any sort of decent return, depending on the odds of your individual picks of course.

The origins of the name are a mystery.  One story goes that an American won a lot of money while over in the UK by placing his own version of a full cover bet, so punters named the bet using the British slang term for an American – a yank or a yankee.

Lucky 15 – 4 Selections With Singles

lucky 15

A Lucky 15 again covers four selections and in exactly the same way as Yankee, except that instead of 11 bets there are 15 because this also covers the 4 single bets.

The Lucky 15 is the oldest and most well known of the full cover bets, it is also the one that attracts the most offers.  The bet was named by Fred Done, an original founder of Betfred, who devised the first full cover bet.  You can therefore rely on Betfred to be the best bookmaker for full cover betting offers by far, such as enhanced win bonuses and enhanced odds if only one selection wins.

Super Yankee / Canadian – 5 Selections Without Singles

Canadian or super Yankee

The Super Yankee gives a clanger of a clue with the name; it is a Yankee with extra lines to cover an additional fifth selection.  The bet is made up of 26 individual betting lines covering a five-fold, five four-fold bets, ten trebles, and ten doubles.

The Canadian alternative name is also commonly used, but it is exactly the same bet.

Lucky 31 – 5 Selections With Singles

lucky 31

The Lucky 31 is just an upgrade of the Super Yankee with five additional single bets, making 31 bets in the total package.

Most offers that apply to Lucky 15’s also apply to Lucky 31’s.  Lucky bets can often be better overall value than those without singles due to the added value of the offers available.

Heinz – 6 Selections Without Singles


The name of this package bet is not immediately obvious but becomes apparent when you learn that there are 57 bets in a Heinz.  The same number as there are Heinz food varieties.

This bet comprises of one six-fold, six five-folds, fifteen four-folds, twenty trebles, and fifteen doubles.

Lucky 63 – 6 Selections With Singles

lucky 63

A Lucky 63 is a Heinz but also covers the six possible single bets; add 6 to 57 and what do you get? Yep, 63.

This bet is the highest full cover bet that you can expect to find an offer for. That stake will really start to climb now unless you are betting pennies.

 Super Heinz – 7 Selections Without Singles


Perhaps, similarly to the Super Yankee, there were not enough name ideas when it came to the Super Heinz.

This bet is similar to a Heinz (which does justify its name by having 57 bets) but the name bears no relation to the number of bets included. It covers seven selections and consists of 120 individual bets: one seven-fold, seven six-folds, twenty one five-folds, thirty five four-folds, thirty five trebles, and twenty five doubles.

Goliath – 8 Selections Without Singles


If you want to cover 8 selections in a package bet you could go for a Goliath, which certainly does justify its name with no less than 247 bets.  You’ll need decent funds to make this bet worthwhile, though.

The Goliath is made up of one eight-fold, eight seven-folds, twenty eight six-folds, fifty six five-folds, seventy four-folds, fifty six trebles, and twenty eight doubles.

7 and 8 Selections With Singles

You may have noticed there is no full cover bet for 7 or 8 selections with singles.  Fear not, this does not mean you need to go and place 127 or 255 separate betting lines.

Instead, place a Super Heinz or Goliath and then cover the remaining 7 or 8 individual singles separately. It might take a little time but it’s quicker than doing every single one individually.

Permed Bets

It is possible to place permed versions of full cover bets.  A permed bet is basically multiple combinations of full cover bets.

Permed bets are not just full cover but in many ways over-cover, as you are covering some single and multiple bets several times within the same package.

Let’s look at a few examples:

  • Permed Trixie – With 4 selections this is made up of 4 separate trixies, making 16 bets.  With 5 selections we have ten possible trixies and 40 bets total.  6 selections would be 20 trixies and 80 bets.
  • Permed Patent – 4 patents covering four selections would be 28 bets, with five selections there are ten possible patents and 70 bets, and with six picks there would be 20 patents and 140 bets.
  • Permed Yankee – Five Yankees covering five selections would create 55 bets, covering 6 selections you would need 15 Yankees and 165 bets.
  • Permed Lucky – 5 selections and 5 Lucky 15’s would be 75 bets, covering 6 selections would be 225 bets.

Of course you can carry on creating perm bets with more and more selections but the above examples should give you enough of an idea.

You will not find many places that offer permed bets as standard so you may need to contact your bookie first if you want to place one.

How to Place a Full Cover Bet

full cover bet example, lucky 15 and a yankee

There is really no difficulty in placing a full cover bet, simply pick your selections as you would for a normal accumulator, go to your betslip and scroll down until you find the relevant full cover betting option, select your unit stake and place your bet.

You may need to click a drop-down menu or something similar to access all of the bet types, they might not be immediately in view.  If your betting website doesn’t offer the options described on this page then frankly that is not good enough and you should go get another bookmaker.

Each Way Lucky & Full Cover Betting

full cover bet example of an each way lucky 15 and yankee

If the selections you pick are valid for each-way bets then you can also have an each-way full cover bet.  The only thing to bear in mind here is, as with single each way bets, the number of wagers is doubled.

This may be OK for smaller full cover bets. An each way Trixie would be 8 bets instead of four, an each-way patent would be 14 instead of 7 bets. Not too bad. When you get into the bigger options though the number of lines can grow huge.  An each way Lucky 63 would be 126 bets, an each-way Goliath would be 494 bets!

When each-way betting you should bear in mind that you are placing two parallel full cover bets, one containing all the win only bets and another containing the place bets.

Calculating Lucky 15 and Other Full Cover Bet Returns

Unless you are a maths genius you are probably not going to want to sit down and work out every possible permutation that is possible from a full cover bet, especially the larger ones.

Luckily, there are lots of betting calculators around that you can plug your selections into and it will tell you how much you could win based on how many of your selections come in.

My personal favourite is the one from BetVictor. Not only is this a good place for offering full cover bets in general but their bet calculator is by far the best looking and most functional.

Create Your Own Cover Bet

There is nothing to say you need to cover every possible variation with a number of selections.  You could choose to place your own individual lines covering just the multiples you want.  This is more hassle as you will need to enter stakes multiple times, but it is a cheaper way of doing things.

Let’s say you have five selections, you are very confident for three of them but the other two are riskier.  Now you could cover every possibility with a Lucky 63 or Heinz, but at £1 each line this will cost you £63 or £57.  Alternatively, you could back every market containing those three selections, which would now consist of a far fewer bets and cost a lot less money.

Lucky and Full Cover Offers

lucky one winner bonus example

It’s a competitive market out there and bookmakers will do whatever they can to attract your custom. That means use of that magical sounding word ‘Bonus.’  Bookmakers such as Betfred offer lucrative bonuses to customers for placing some full cover bets.

Many bookmakers often offer double the odds if you only get one winner in, for example, a Lucky 15. Betfred gives even more, regularly offering three times the odds of a single winner in a Lucky 15, four times in a Lucky 31 and five times the odds for a single winner on a Lucky 63 bet.  That can really soften the blow of a poor run of results and perhaps even see you in profit.

If your full cover bet is lucky enough to see all the selections win then some tasty bonuses are offered. At Betfred this can be 10% for an all-correct Lucky 15,  20% for a Lucky 31 and 25% for a successful Lucky 63. Kerching.

lucky all correct bonus example

Bookmakers also choose certain races for their customers to place full cover bets on, for example  Betfred have their ‘Super Bonus Races.’ They might not be the easiest races on the card and most likely not the ones that you would be thinking of when trying to work out a Lucky 15. However, the bonuses are well worth receiving.

An all-correct Lucky 15, for example, would see a 15% bonus, get all five winners in a Lucky 31 and get a 50% bonus, and if your luck is in and you get all six winners on your Lucky 63 you get a 100% bonus.  All these bonuses are cash and not limited.

Why Bookies Don’t Like You Placing Full Cover Bets

full cover betting
You will have noticed that, apart from a few exceptions like Betfred, most bookmakers don’t exactly push full cover bets. Why is that?

It comes down to the fact that they would rather you place accumulator bets.  Bookmakers margins are inflated in multiple bets and with straight accas your chance of losing is quite high.  With a full cover bet however there is far more mitigation of risk, and although not all of your picks many come in, it is more likely that some of them will.  This means you are more likely to at least get something back.

You may only need one or two selections to win in a full cover bet to cover your whole initial stake and this generally means the bookie doesn’t make as much money from you.

Take a look at the promotions section of most betting websites and you will see that many offers will not be applicable for lucky or full cover bets. This tells you something about the attitude bookies have to these bet types.

Many seasoned bettors place full cover bets over accumulators, ignoring the flashy acca insurance or bonus offers in favour of more reliable long term returns.