What Are Banker Bets And How Do You Use Them?

bankerIn the world of gambling there’s obviously no such thing as a ‘banker’, which is say an absolutely sure-fire bet that you simply can’t lose. Plenty of people will promise you one, of course, having heard from their uncle’s partner’s hairdresser’s mate that a horse is going to win the 2.15pm at Cartmel. The reality, however, is that bets that are guaranteed to make you money simply don’t exist, because if they did then we’d all be placing them and making ourselves a fortune.

Yet a quick look at some betting websites will soon present the phrase ‘Banker Bet’, so what does this mean? Is it a bet that is guaranteed to succeed in the same way as the hairdresser’s mate has suggested to you? No, it’s not.

A Banker Bet is something that people can add to an accumulator bet that has to succeed or else the entire bet is busted. It’s therefore not a bet that is guaranteed to succeed, but rather one that you are convinced will be a winner and bet on it accordingly.

Banker Bets Explained

banker bet exampleThe majority of you will already know all about accumulator bets, in which you make a number of selections that you will need all to win in order to win your bet. Because of the nature of an accumulator the odds are longer, largely because so many events need to happen in order for your bet to be a winner. Many bookmakers offer insurance, which means that one or even two of your events can lose but the bet can still be a winner. That is an interesting twist on the straight accumulator.

The Banker Bet is a further twist on a similar theme, asking you to select the result, or results, that you think is most likely to be a winner(s). That will then change the look of your betting slip, moving it from one in which you can choose whether you want to bet on your selections individually or as a combination, to one in which you choose the ‘Banker’ from your options.

The best way to look at this is by looking at a made up example of Champions League games. Let’s say that you’ve decided to bet on the following:

  • Liverpool v Porto
  • Manchester City v Barcelona
  • Real Madrid v Bayern Munich

In that grouping, two of the bets are tricky to feel confident about the outcome of because they feature two strong teams against each other. In the Liverpool versus Porto match, however, we know that Liverpool have had a good set of results against the Portuguese side and therefore feel confident that the Merseyside team will stand a good chance of winning.

The Bet and Stake Changes

bet builderOnce you’ve selected Liverpool as your Banker you’ll see that the bet type changes and other options open up for the remaining selections on your slip. Online bookmakers require you to choose at least three selections, so you’ll have to do that in order to make the bet viable. By making Liverpool our Banker Bet we’ve said that they have to win their match, but we can choose how we feel the other bets can go.

We can choose to say that one of the other bets will win but that we’re not sure about the other one. That means that we’ll opt for one out of two bets to be a winner along with our Banker. We don’t need to specify the bet, just how many of the other two we think will be a winner. Clearly if our Banker Bet loses then it makes the other results irrelevant, but if Liverpool win and you’ve chosen the 1/2 option then you’ll just need one of your other bets to win.

What is important is the stake amount also changes if you select less than the total number of picks to win, as you are then placing multiple parallel bets, similar to a full cover bet (such as a Lucky 15).  In the example above if you select one banker and one out of the remaining two teams to win you are in effect placing two bets:

  • Banker + Selection 1 =  1x stake
  • Banker + Selection 2 = 1x stake 
  • Total = 2x stake 

If the banker and first selection win but not the second you will win the first bet and get 1x stake back, but will lose the second stake, likewise if the banker and second selection win but not the first you win one bet but not the other.  If however all three win then both bets win, so you get two lots of winnings and both stakes back.

For details of how this works with more selections see further down this page.

Picking Your Selections

You don’t need to limit yourself to football matches played on the same day, if for not other reason than you don’t even need to limit yourself to football matches. You can choose different sports and events taking place at completely different times, with the only important things being that you’ve got a Banker and that you’ve made at least three bets.

In fact, Banker Bets need a minimum of 3 selections and can have any maximum (unless stated by the bookie). You can also have as many Bankers as you wish, so you can pick 12 events, say that 3 of them will be Bankers and that 6/9 of the others will win, should you wish to. Making sure that your Banker is a solid bet is the most important thing, so should make sure that you do plenty of research before choose which bet your going to stake the entire process on.

Benefits Of Banker Bets

banker bet example 5 selections

The Banker Bet has numerous benefits that you might want to consider before placing it. The most important one is that you don’t need to select the specific winners of events other than the one that you’re calling your Banker.

That is to say, if you were to place an accumulator bet on 10 Premier League fixtures then you’d need to look at each match individually and decide which team will win or whether it will be a draw. You’ll then need all 10 of your selections to come home for your bet to be a winner, presuming you’re placing a straight Acca.

In a Banker Bet all you need to do is choose how many of your bets will be winners, not the specific bets. Let’s say that you’ve placed the following:

  • Liverpool to Win v Manchester United
  • Leicester to Draw v Burnley
  • Crystal Palace to Win v Everton
  • Manchester City to Win v Norwich City
  • Tottenham to Draw v Arsenal

Looking at the list, you decide that the bet on Manchester City to beat Norwich will be your Banker. At that point you’re than asked to choose how many of your other bets you think will be winners, usually in a format that looks something like this:

  • 1 banker + 1/4 (four bets = 4x unit stake)
  • 1 banker + 2/4 (six bets = 6x unit stake)
  • 1 banker + 3/4 (four bets = 4x unit stake)
  • 1 banker + 4/4 (one bet = 1x unit stake)

That means that your Banker Bet will win as will either 1, 2, 3 or 4 of your other bets. Obviously the more that you pick, the higher your odds will be. It gives you more flexibility than a standard accumulator, given that you don’t need to say which of the four other bets will be winners.  It is important to realise though you are placing several bets rather than just one as you would with an accumulator.

You might secretly be thinking that Arsenal and Tottenham are guaranteed to draw, for example, and that you think Palace will beat Everton, but you’re not sure about your bets on Liverpool or Leicester so you choose 1B + 2/4. In the end Arsenal beat Spurs, Everton draw with Palace and Liverpool beat United with Leicester and Burnley drawing, plus City beat Norwich.

Your bet will have been a winner, but the results that you thought would go your way actually don’t. It doesn’t matter, however, as you still made the right number of choices.  In this scenario, however, not all of the individual bets have won so you will not get the whole stake back and there is a chance, depending on the prices of the picks that do win, that you might not make a profit.

Best Way To Use A Banker

A quick aside at this point to talk about what the best way to use a banker actually is. How many wins in addition to your Banker you think you’re going to get will dictate what sort of bet you’re actually placing. Here’s what we mean:

  • 1B + 1/4 is the same as saying you’re placing four Doubles as the bet is you’re Banker + Team 1 / Banker + Team 2 / Banker + Team 3 / Banker + Team 4 (hence 4x stake)
  • 1B + 2/4 is six Treble bets: Banker + Team 1 + Team 2 / Banker + Team 2 + Team 3 / Banker + Team 3 + Team 4 / Banker + Team 1 + Team 3 / Banker Plus Team 1 + Team 4 and so on (hence 6x unit stake)
  • 1B + 3/4 is four Quadruples along the same logic (hence 4x unit stake)
  • 1B + 4/4 is simply a standard accumulator in which all four teams need to win in addition to your Banker (hence 1x unit stake)

Disadvantages Of Banker Bets

crossObviously there are also disadvantages to placing Banker Bets. For starters, and rather obviously, you’ll have to pay more money for a Banker bet than you would for straight accumulator because you’re actually placing a series of different bets.  Even if one of the bets wins it doesn't necessarily guarantee you will make a profit, similar again to how full cover bets work.

There’s also the fact that you’re putting a huge amount of stock into your one selection being victorious. You could make 14 selections and have 13 of them come home, but if the one that doesn’t is the selection that you declared to be your Banker then you won’t win a penny. That can be devastating if it happens.

You also still need to think about how many of the bets will be winners. It might feel tempting to be somewhat blasé about Banker Bets, picking your dead cert and then just picking a random number of bets you think will win from the other selections on your slip, but that’s a dangerous road to go down. Whilst you might not need to be specific when it comes to your other winners, you do still need to do the sums about which ones will be likely to split your way.

How Much Banker Bets Cost

banker bet example with 10 selections

One of the most important things you’ll likely want to know is how much a Banker Bet will cost you. The answer, as you might imagine, is a complicated one. In essence it depends on how many selections you’ve added to your betting slip as well as how many Bankers you have.

The more selections you have the more expensive your bet will be, but the more Bankers you’ve chosen the more that that amount will be reduced. Let’s put it another way. If you’ve chosen 10 selections on your slip and 1 banker, every time you select a number of other bets that you think will also win with your Banker you’re placing more multiple wagers and will have to pay for them.

If you choose, say, 3 Bankers and 2 other winners then you’re making those Bankers 1 part of the bet rather than 3 individual parts. So you’re essentially going for a Treble - the 3 Bankers have to win and then you need 2 more winning bets from the other 10 selections, therefore, a five-fold.  This is however 21 bets in total as there are 21 possible 5-folds from the 10 selections and obviously this is 21x the unit stake, so bear that in mind.

Are They Value For Money?

best valueThat’s a question that you’ll have to figure out the answer for yourself. If you’re great at choosing your Banker Bet then you’ll be in a situation where it’s decidedly cheaper to back all the possible outcomes than if you were placing standard bets.

On a normal betting slip with 4 selections you can place a 4-fold Acca, 4 Trebles and 6 Doubles. If you choose to do that then it would cost you £110 for a £10 stake. Going for 1 banker and 3 other selections on a Banker Bet would cost you £70 for a £10 stake and offer the same level of protection - providing that your Banker wins.

When Should You Use A Banker?

live sports bettingThe last thing that you’ll want to consider is when, exactly, you should opt to go for a Banker Bet. After all, if it’s that easy then why isn’t everyone doing it all of the time? The truth is that Banker Bets are best placed when the odds are in your favour. If the odds on your selections are all fairly even then there’s not a lot of point opting for the Banker.

Instead, choose to go for a Banker when you’re really confident in the result of one match and have good odds in other ones. The odds of your Banker will likely be very low, given that bookmakers are just as likely as you to see the chance of the team you’ve selected winning as being high. But those low odds are made up for thanks to the fact that there’ll be an increased chance of your bet being a winner.

In essence, Banker Bets can seem quite complex, so the best way to get to grips with what you’re doing is by heading to your sportsbook of choice, adding a few selections to your betting slip and experimenting with the Banker option to see what you get.