For those wanting to learn about what does stake mean in betting terms, it’s simply the amount of money you put on a wager. By the time you’ve finished reading this page, you’ll understand what stakes are, how they work, and the limits in place. Our experts make sense of this gambling industry jargon, so you know all the lingo.
You can’t place bets without stakes. So, let’s just recap precisely what is a stake in betting? It’s the word used to describe the amount of money you gamble with online bookies on a wager. The stake meaning in betting is as simple as that. Once the money is down on a wager, stakes are said to have been placed.
The great thing about stakes is that you, and not the bookmakers, are in control. It’s entirely your decision how much or little you want to bet. Stake limits may apply to certain wagers of course, but we’ll get to that. So long as you have the amount of money in your account balance, then you can bet it all in one go.
It’s as much the betting odds available as the stake you place that determines how much you can win from a wager. This is because together they form a ratio. Multiply your desired stake by the price on offer at the bookies and see what you could win. This is the only the potential profit, however. For total returns you must then add the amount staked.
With the stake definition now firmly established, you must understand there are limits to what you can gamble. After all, you can only bet a maximum of the amount of money in your account balance on your next wager. While you can always make a deposit and top up funds, this is thus a soft limit. There are more rigid ones in place with certain bets, however, that can’t be got around.
Whenever the bookies provide price boosts or enhanced odds, these come with strict maximum stake limits for good reason. As they offer a bigger than normal return on such bets, there’s greater liabilities, i.e. payouts to punters, if the outcome wins. These are loss leaders for online betting sites with the theory being you and other punters will reinvest profits in subsequent wagers.
Common stake limits in the UK are £20, £10 and £5, depending on the size of the enhancement. The more generous that betting offers are in terms of boosting a price, then the less you can be at the upgraded odds. You may not be able to get all the money you want on such a wager, but this also helps in its own way to promote responsible gambling.
Moving on to what is a unit stake in betting terms, this refers to when there are multiple parts to the same wager. Take an each way bet, for example. The unit stake here doubles because your wager contains a win only element and a separate one for finishing placed. Rather than complicate things further by putting on outright win and place bets individually, it’s more convenient if you go each way. Just remember to multiply the unit stake by two for your total outlay.
There are also a series of combination and system wagers, also called full cover bets, which go much further. Depending on the number of legs and whether or not you include singles in them, these soon become high multiples of the unit stake gambled. The list below contains the most common wagers of this kind:
If you use a staking calculator, this shows you what you stand to gain off bets of different sizes and odds. Remember, unless there are limits in place, you have complete control over how much or little you put on a wager. Check out the free bet calculator here before you place your next bet if you want to see potential profits and payouts from stakes of different amounts.
The total stake meaning is however much the complete outlay is on a bet as a whole. We’ve explained above that unit stakes with full cover, combination and system wagers need multiplying by however many parts there are to them. The total betting stake meaning refers to this final sum. If, for example, you placed a Lucky 15 with a £2 unit stake, the total outlay is £30.
It’s all well and good knowing what does stake mean in betting terms, but deciding how much to wager is another matter entirely. As noted above, what you win is a ratio of the total stake to the available odds. The shorter the price on a bet, then the more money needed to turn a bigger profit. If you place a wager at Evens, for instance, then you can only double your money no matter how large the stake.
Looking behind the odds, there’s the implied probability of any bet to consider. Evens is a 50-50 chance, so anything at a shorter price than that is more likely than not to happen. Anything at odds against, meanwhile, is the opposite. There’s a greater implied risk as prices get bigger. It follows, then, that you should place a smaller total stake the greater the odds available.
There is absolutely nothing stopping you from betting on more than one outcome in the same event. This is what smart gamblers do. In order to ensure that you turn a profit no matter which results occurs, though, you need a staking plan. It’s particularly important with horse racing betting as there are multiple potential winners to events. Similar comments apply when there’s a unit stake involved too.
If you’re unsure how to budget correctly, then use a betting stake calculator to help you. This shows you what you win if you place certain amounts on respective bets. In addition to the automatic arithmetic done by these, you will also need to subtract your losing stake from the other wager from total returns and profits. Before placing the bets, you should adjust the stakes accordingly so it doesn’t matter which selection wins and you receive a similar amount back.
Here’s an example of what we mean. Let’s say that there are two horses that you think are all in with a chance of winning a big race. Your total budget is £20 and the prices on offer are 100/30 for Horse A and 9/2 for Horse B. If you just bet £10 on each, then you would receive more back from the bigger priced runner, Horse B. Adjusting the stakes to reflect the odds, an £11.50 bet on Horse A at 100/30 returns £38.30. Meanwhile, an £8.50 stake on Horse B at 9/2 returns £38.25. There’s just 5p difference in the returns.
As part of the Social Responsibility Code for combating problem gambling laid out by the UK Gambling Commission, all bookies that want to keep their license must offer a minimum stake for bets. This will in all likelihood be a few pence. It also helps promote responsible gambling. There is absolutely nothing wrong with low stakes betting, especially if it ensure that you wager within your means.
Stake in a betting sense has its origins in on-course wagers placed at a racetrack. The betting post denoted where the betting ring was when enclosures started springing up on racecourses during the Victorian era. An even earlier etymology suggests stake comes from the phrase “at stake” that dates back to the late Elizabethan period.
Unless the wager you have place was with free bets, then you receive you stake back in full on a bet. If you haven’t used your cash balance, however, bonus funds aren’t returned with any winnings.
The difference between odds and stakes is that the former is the price available for an outcome, while the latter is the amount of money placed on a wager.
It depends on the performance of your selection in the bet. Should they win the event, then you receive both the win and place parts, i.e. the total stake back as well as winnings. If your wager finishes placed, then only the unit stake on that part of the wager and ratio of placed odds to the amount on that outcome gambled in winnings.
The difference between bet and stake is that the former refers to the entire wager, i.e. what you have gambled on at certain odds for a set amount. The latter is simply what you’ve put on the bet in question.
This depends when the wager was struck. If, for example, you have backed the horse in question in the ante post betting, then you won’t get your stake back. This is because non-runner no bet terms don’t apply to such wagers unless specified. Conversely, if you placed the bet on the horse after final declarations have been made and it’s then declared a non-runner, you receive your stake back in full.
This is just an abbreviation for “including stake”. When showing you total returns, some bookmakers like to make it clear to you that the amount displayed is potential profit, plus the total stake wagered.
That’s the general idea. You win money off a stake if the bet in question it relates to is successful.