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flag bet

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A flag bet is a type of wager that contains 23 bets in total. We’re going to explain exactly how they work, so that you can confidently place one yourself. 

How Do You Work Out a Flag Bet 

This combination betting option features four selections and a total of 23 bets. It can be broken down as six up and down singles (which are double stakes, so 12 bets), six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold accumulator. 

The doubles, trebles and accumulator in a flag are quite self-explanatory. It is the up-and-down bet that can confuse punters. An up and down is a two-part wager, which is conditional on there being sufficient winnings from the original stake, to fund the second.

In turn, if the second bet is successful, it funds a bet on the first. This is where the phrase ‘up and down’ comes from. Here’s an example. Our four selections are priced as follows.

flag bet

  • Selection 1 = 3.0 (2/1)
  • Selection 2 = 1.5 (1/2)
  • Selection 3 = 1.3 (1/3)
  • Selection 4 = 4.0 (3/1)

A £1 flag would see a total stake of £23. If all four won you would see a total return of £152.83 and a profit of £129.83.

Different Types of Flag Bets 

With the basic flag bet explained, let’s move on to the different types of flags that are available. There are some complex betting options here, with some of these combination bets featuring a huge number of wagers. 

  • Flag – Four selections. 23 bets. Six up and down single stakes about (SSA) pairs. Six doubles. Four trebles. One four fold acca. 
  • Super Flag – Five selections. 46 bets. Ten up and down SSA pairs. Ten doubles. Ten trebles. Five four folds. One five fold acca. 
  • Heinz Flag – Six selections. 87 bets. 15 up and down SSA pairs. 15 doubles. 20 trebles. 15 four folds. Six five folds. One six fold acca. 
  • Super Heinz Flag – Seven selections. 162 bets. 21 up and down SSA pairs. 21 doubles. 35 trebles. 35 four folds. 21 five folds. Seven six folds. 1 seven fold.
  • Goliath Flag – Eight selections. 303 bets. 28 up and down SSA pairs. 28 doubles. 56 trebles. 70 four folds. 56 five folds. 28 six folds. Eight seven folds. One eight fold. 

Pros & Cons of Flat Bet Explained 

A flag has some advantages and disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons as we see them. 

  • Potential returns can be massive
  • Perfect bet to place at race meetings
  • Can be a fun bet with small stakes or taken more seriously
  • Can be used on any sport
  • Some of the more complex flags can be hugely expensive
  • Returns can be difficult to work out with this bet type

Flag Bet Calculator 

As you may have noticed, these types of bets are a reasonably complicated, especially the single stakes about bets. Working out your potential profit can be long-winded and difficult, even if you are gifted with mathematics. 

For this reason, we’d always recommend using a flag betting calculator to work out your returns. You just enter the betting odds of your selections, the unit stake and the result of the bet and you will instantly be able to see your potential payouts. Tinker with the results so that you can compare returns and gauge what you might win/lose with different scenarios. 

It just so happens that we have our own free bet calculator that you can access on site. We consider it to be one of the best betting calculators around, so make sure that you take a look at it before placing your flag racing bet. It features different odds format, so whether it’s decimal or fractional odds that you prefer, we’ve got you covered. 

Flag Betting Strategy 

Here are some tips and strategies that will give more of a chance in betting on flags. 

Let Odds Dictate Stake

Your stake should reflect the odds of your selections. If you are going to have a flag with selections that feature big odds, then it would make sense to have relatively small stake. The chances of at least a couple of your selections losing will be high, so with 23 bets to consider, just make it a fun bet. If you go for short-priced selections, which then have a bigger chance of winning, then it makes sense to go for a bigger stake. It’s a safer bet and with short odds, you will need a decent stake to get a good return. 

Always Go For a Banker

As we’ve said, short-priced selection has a statically high chance of being a winner. For that reason, even if you’re generally going for bigger odds in your other flag picks, we’d recommend having at least one banker bet in the mix. A banker is a selection in a combination or acca bet that you consider to have a very strong chance of winning. With a flag, your chances of success are given a big boost if there’s one selection that you can rely one, so look hard for a banker. 

Best Bookie for a Flag Bet 

Not all online bookies will allow you to place a flag. It’s a kind of wager that is synonymous with horse racing betting, so bookies that specialise in this area will always have it available, even though it can be used for other sports. Our recommendation for an online bookmaker to use for a flag is bet365 as it’s easy to do.


We hope that you enjoyed our guide to the flag bet. You should now be confident in being able to place one yourself. Whether it’s a fun bet to place at a horse racing event, or an option for more serious gambling at betting sites across separate events, using a flag can be a wise decision. 


What is a flag bet in horse racing?

How many horses are there in a flag bet?

Can I do flag betting on other sports?

How many winners are needed to win a flag bet?

What happens with a non-runner in flag betting?

How to place a flag bet?

Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch

A writer and editor for some of the top names in the gambling industry for nearly 20 years, Dan also works as a freelance sports journalist for publications and websites such as ESPN, FourFourTwo and LiveScore.

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