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Dan Fitch
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A Lucky 31 is a type of full cover bet that gives you every possible permutation of wagers from five selections, resulting in 31 bets from singles up to a full accumulator. We’re going to explore what is a Lucky 31 bet, showing you exactly how they work.

How Does a Lucky 31 Bet Work?

what is a Lucky 31 bet

As we said in our introduction, a Lucky 31 is one of the full cover bet types with five selections. Every possible permutation of these five selections is covered, including singles, doubles, trebles, four-folds and finally a five-fold accumulator.

Here’s the breakdown of how many different types of bet are in a Lucky 31.

  • 5 singles
  • 10 doubles
  • 10 trebles
  • 5 four-fold accumulators
  • 1 five-fold accumulators

We’re now going to give you an example of a Lucky 31, featuring real odds and go through a couple of different scenarios, that demonstrates how much you can win from this combination bet.

What is a Lucky 31 Bet Example?

To keep things simple in this example, we’re going to have a unit stake of £1. As there are 31 bets in a Lucky 31, this works out as 31 x £1 = £31.

Our five selections have the following betting odds – 1/1 (2.0), 6/4 (2.5), 2/1 (3.0), 5/2 (3.5) and 3/1 (4.0).

Let’s imagine that only a couple of the selections are winners. If they were the two with shortest odds, these would be your returns.

  • 2 winning singles = £1 x 1/1 = £2 return + £1 x 6/4 = £2.50 = £4.50 returns
  • 1 winning doubles = £1 x 1/1 x 6/4 = £5 returns

So of the 31 bets, three were winners and 28 were losers. The total returns were £9.50 from a £31 stake, which means that you have had a £21.50 loss.

If the two biggest priced selections of 5/2 and 3/1 were the winners, the total return would be £21.50, resulting in a £9.50 loss. So you can see that you either need some bigger priced selections than the ones from our example, to break into any sort of profit when you only have two winners.

Were there to be three winners, at say 1/1, 2/1 and 3/1, the total return would be £59, giving you a £28 profit.

If we had four winners at 1/1, 6/4, 2/1 and 5/2, with only the 3/1 shot losing, the return would be £188, which would give you a £157 profit.

You are probably wondering what happens if all five selections are winners. The return would be £1132.80, with a profit of £1101.80. As you will have noticed there are big leaps between the sort of profit that you can make, from three correct picks upwards.

Lucky 31 Football Bet

Football is the sport which betting sites really push to their users. Out of all bet types, punters particularly like to place multiple and acca bets, so Lucky 31 betting is a popular choice for those wagering on the beautiful game.

As you will have seen from our example, you need reasonably large odds or a high percentage of winners, to generate a profit with a Lucky 31. Picking five teams that are favourites, to win their respective matches, would therefore be a high-risk strategy.

Ideally, you would want at least some selections to feature larger odds. Goalscorer markets and correct scores are a couple of examples of football betting markets that tend to feature big prices. With football a sport that has a packed schedule, there are constant opportunities to place a Lucky 31, giving you extra interest in the afternoon or evening results.

What is a Lucky 31 Bet in Horse Racing?

The sport where a Lucky 31 is most commonly placed is horse racing. Unlike in football, even a hot favourite in horse racing, tends to be odds-against, making the sport extremely suitable for this type of full cover bet.

Every day there is a full schedule of horse racing meetings from the UK, Ireland and across the world. You can place a Lucky 31 racing bet with selections from just one meeting, which really adds to the fun if you’re attending the races.

A Lucky 31 comes into its own for big horse racing events such as the Grand National at Aintree, Royal Ascot or the Cheltenham Festival. The quality of the races in these events are top notch and feature the best horses and jockeys around. There are exactly five non-handicaps on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival and on the first, second and fifth days of Royal Ascot.

What is a Lucky 31 Each Way Bet?

An each way bet is essentially two wagers. One bet goes on the selection to win, while the other goes on it to place.

So if you place an each way Lucky 31, that means that the number of bets are doubled. Instead of the regular 31 bets, there are actually 62. There’s a regular Lucky 31 based on the winners and then another, based on the place markets.

As you will have noticed from our earlier example, if the odds are too low for a Lucky 31, you need a lot of winners to turn a profit. It’s therefore important to check the place terms against the odds of your selections, to ensure that the odds on the place side of the each way Lucky 31, are not too slim.

With betting on horse racing, where the odds of runners can be pretty big, an each way Lucky 31 can make a lot of sense. Pick your selections carefully and both sides of this full cover bet can make you a profit and if things don’t quite go as planned, the place side could at least see you break even.

Pros & Cons of the Lucky 31 Bet Explained

As is the case with most things in life, there are pros and cons of a Lucky 31. Here are the benefits and potential drawbacks, as we see them.

Pros

  • More chance of a return than a straight acca
  • Can turn a profit with two or three winners
  • Unit stake can be just a few pence
  • Each way Lucky 31 a great option for horse racing

Cons

  • 31 bets can be expensive
  • Short priced selections are a risk

Lucky 31 Bet Calculator

With the results of 31 different bets to consider, a Lucky 31 is not the sort of wager that you want to be working out in your head. No matter how good you are at maths.

Fortunately, our Lucky 31 free bet calculator is available, which makes calculating your potential returns a breeze. With the staking and the odds of the selections being an important consideration, you can play around with different combinations and see what you stand to win, or lose, with different scenarios.

Alternative Markets to Lucky 31 Betting

Five selections is the magic number when it comes to a Lucky 31 bet meaning that it won’t always be the best choice for you. Here are some alternative types of full cover and system bets.

  • Trixie – 3 selections, 4 wagers: 3 doubles and a treble.
  • Patent – 3 selections, 7 wagers: 3 singles, 3 doubles and a treble.
  • Yankee – 4 selections, 11 wagers: 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a fourfold accumulator.
  • Lucky 15 – 4 selections, 15 wagers: 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a four-fold.
  • Canadian – 5 selections, 26 wagers: 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds and a fivefold accumulator.
  • Heinz – 6 selections, 57 wagers: 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and a six-fold.
  • Lucky 63 – 6 selections, 63 wagers: 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and a six-fold.
  • Super Heinz – 7 selections, 120 wagers 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and a seven-fold.
  • Goliath – 8 selections, 247 wagers: 28 wagers, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 28 six-folds, 8 seven-folds and an eight-fold.

Effective Lucky 31 Bet Strategy

Now that we’ve explored the topic of what is a Lucky 31 bet, you may be looking to place one of your own. Follow these strategies to increase your profitability.

Be Careful With Your Unit Stake

A golden rule of betting is to not bet more than you can comfortably afford to lose. With 31 bets involved, a Lucky 31 can soon get expensive if you go too high with your unit stake. Placing £10 per bet, would result in a total stake of £310, for example, which would be a lot of money for many people. Try to balance the level of staking with the odds of your selections, so that you don’t lose too much if things go totally wrong, can break even if a couple are winners and can hit profitability with three winning selections.

Include a Banker or Two

We’ve talked a little about being careful about the odds of your selections, is an important factor with a Lucky 31. Yet while it might be a bad idea to pick five odds-on favourites, where you would need a high-percentage to win to turn a profit, having a banker or two within your selections, can be useful. They may not contribute much to the singles within a Lucky 31, but it’s doubles, trebles and the bigger accas that you really need to form to get the money coming in. One or two choices which you have reason to believe are nailed on to deliver, can form the foundation of your Lucky 31, alongside riskier bets at bigger odds.

Where Can I Place a Lucky 31 Bet in the UK?

With UK bookmakers often having a focus on horse racing betting and football, you are spoilt for choice as to where to place a Lucky 31 bet. Of all our recommended betting sites, we think that Betfred are a good choice for a Lucky 31, as it offers in-depth coverage of horse racing, football and many other sports.

FAQs

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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.