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union jack bet

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A Union Jack bet is a type of combination bet that features nine selections, that is named after the famous British flag. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the Union Jack, so that you know exactly how they work, plus tips for when you try this type of wager yourself.

How Does a Union Jack Bet Work?

A Union Jack has nine selections, which can combine to produce anywhere between eight and 80 separate wagers, depending on the type. It’s called a Union Jack, because the selections are laid out in a 3×3 grid, that match the red stripes of the famous flag. One of the selections goes in the middle, with the other eight spread around the grid.

With the selections placed on the Union Jack grid, they can then be grouped together, in horizontal, vertical and diagonal combinations. In a standard Union Jack, eight different trebles are formed.

Example of a Union Jack Bet

Just so you fully understand this type of bet, we have an example which will better show you how a Union Jack works. This is a standard wager of its kind featuring eight Union Jack trebles.

The grid features three rows, which each have three selections. Each is assigned a letter.

  • The top row is A, B, C
  • The middle row is D, E, F
  • The bottom row is G, H, I

Using vertical and horizontal combinations, along with diagonal trebles, eight different treble bets are formed, which are as follows.

  • ABC
  • DEF
  • GHI
  • CEG
  • ADG
  • CFI
  • AEI
  • BEH

You may notice that the selection marked ‘E’, which is in the centre of the Union Jack, features in the most combinations. In total, it is present in four of the eight trebles. It is therefore an effective betting strategy for E to be a selection that is something of a banker bet, which you think has the strongest chance of winning from your nine selections.

Different Types of Union Jack Bet

Union Jack bet

As we mentioned previously, there are different types of Union Jacks available at online betting sites in the UK.

  • Standard Union Jack – As discussed in our example, a standard wager of this type features eight Union Jack treble bets.
  • Each-Way Union Jack – When you take the each-way betting option for a Union Jack, you double the amount of trebles from eight to 16. You have the regular eight trebles, plus eight more place trebles.
  • Union Jack Trixie – A Union Jack trixie bet has 32 bets in total. As well as the eight trebles, it also features 24 double bets in it.
  • Union Jack Patent – A Union Jack patent bet has 56 separate wagers. There are eight trebles, 24 doubles and 24 single bets, with the latter featuring some duplicate bets.
  • Union Jack Round Robin Bet – With this type of flag bet there are 80 different wagers. It’s comprised of the 32 bets from a Union Jack trixie, along with 24 Up and Downs. Each Up and Down is two bets, so it comes to 48 bets to be added to the 32 of the Union Jack trixie.

Pros & Cons of a Union Jack Bet Explained

There are pros and cons to this type of sports bet. We think that the benefits far outweigh the negatives, but in order to present some balance, here are the pros and cons as we see them.

  • Good choice if you have a banker that you expect to win
  • Union Jacks can work nicely around major horse racing events like Royal Ascot
  • Can be utilised with a wide range of sports betting markets
  • Lots of of varieties of Union Jacks featuring different bet types
  • Doesn’t cover all the possible permutations like other combination bets
  • Confusing for the casual punter
  • Can be expensive depending on your unit stakes

Union Jack Bet Calculator

As you will have seen, there can be a lot of different bets within a Union Jack. Even in its simplest form, there are eight different trebles, which can be complicated to work out.

For this reason, we would recommend using our free bet calculator to make life simpler for yourself. You can add the various betting odds and stake, to see how much you might win, while also playing around with the results, to test out different scenarios.

Best Union Jack Betting Strategy

A Union Jack can be a fun bet for some entertainment purposes, but if you’re looking to get serious, these betting strategies could help. Follow these tips to increase your profitability.

Identify a Banker

We mentioned earlier that the central bet selection on the grid, features in four of the eight trebles in a Union Jack. It therefore makes sense for that pick to be a banker. The selection which you most expect to win. Get that one pick right and it gives you a good shot of getting some trebles land. In terms of finding a banker, we would suggest doing research and reading the advice of tipsters. If you can find a horse racing expert who consistently produces profits over time, then you will be able to trust their advice and follow their horse racing selections.

You Can Win With Losers

Betting exchanges such as Betfair let you place lay bets, which is where you are predicting that a selection will lose. Many exchange veterans place lay Union Jacks, where they pick out nine selections that they think will lose. It might seem like an unusual betting style, but it’s one that can reap rewards, as it’s often easier to identify picks that won’t win, over ones that will. Alternatively, if you place a traditional Union Jack with nine selections to win, you may choose to place lay bets on one or two, as a form of insurance.

Be Careful With Staking

As we’ve said, the amount of bets in a Union Jack can range from eight to 80, depending on the type. Eight is not a huge figure, but with some of the more elaborate Union Jacks, there are a huge amount of bets, so you will need to be careful with your initial stake. With each-way selections and Up and Downs you have double stakes to consider. It is important to balance your staking level with the odds when there are lots of bets involved. The potential returns have to be worth the investment.

Online Bookies That Accept Union Jack Bets

Union Jacks are especially popular amongst fans of horse races, so you’ll find that any bookie that takes the sport of kings seriously, will have the facility to place Union Jacks, with some having special betting slips available for this option. Our recommendation is Betfred, because of the customisable way in which you change this wager before placing it.


The question of what is a Union Jack bet has been comprehensively answered. It is a form of betting that is both fun and provides a strategic element that can bring in big profits. You should now be ready to place one of your own, so what are you waiting for?


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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.