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what is a yankee bet

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A Yankee bet is one of the combination and system wagers available to punters in the UK with six doubles, four trebles and a fourfold accumulator all on the same betslip. It is based on four selections from different sports events put together. We go into all the details here about just what is a Yankee bet and how you can use it to your advantage when you are placing one.

What is a Yankee Bet?

In short, a Yankee or “round robin” consists of six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold, and you need two wins minimum to get a return.  It is made from four selections, with 11 individual wagers on the chosen picks. With this bet type you wager on a number of selections but you do not bet on any singles. In order to return any money from such a wager, at least two of your selections will need to be winners.

So, a Yankee is a system bet, in which several selections and wagers are combined to create a ‘single’. Not all selections in a Yankee bet have to be winners but at least two of them do, and the more winners you have, the more money your Yankee bet will return.

A Yankee bet consists of four selections, and the following combined bets:

  • 6 x doubles
  • 4 x trebles
  • 1 x fourfold

It is therefore easy to see that a Yankee bet consists of eleven separate wagers. You will have noticed that it has no singles. If you want to add singles to your Yankee bet then you can place four singles yourself, separately from your Yankee. You can also place a separate wager known as a ‘Lucky 15’ which is basically a Yankee bet with four singles added.

Why is it Called a Yankee Bet?

In the 1940s there was something of a friendly US invasion of the UK, mainly to help with the war effort. After the Second World War ended, the ‘GIs’ from the states would hang around, mainly to help with clean up efforts and to maintain the peace. US soldiers used to visit racetracks, and among the wagers they placed were round robin bets. Such type of wagers were unheard of in the UK, so in the UK a round robin became known as a ‘Yankee’ bet after the informal term for an American … or at least that’s how the story goes when people explain the etymology of a Yankee bet.

Yankee Bet Explained

So, how does a Yankee bet work? To place a Yankee online, all you need to do is add four separate selections to your betting slip. When it comes to setting your stake, the option to place a Yankee bet should be available. It is important to remember that your stake will usually be per separate wager, so if you set it at £1 per selection, your overall wager will be £11. Don’t think that your stake-per-selection is your overall bet – if you add £11 as your stake and think that’s your total, your final stake will be £121!

Here we are going to place a horse racing Yankee bet on four selections at Goodwood, as follows:

  • Nonsuch Lad at 4.00 (3/1) in the 5.15
  • Concierge at 7.00 (8/1) in the 6.25
  • Al Motasim at 3.50 (5/2) in the 7.00
  • The Thunderer at 3.75 (9.4) in the 8.10

yankee bet 1

Above you can see all our selections now on our betslip, however, we don’t currently have the option for a Yankee bet, only singles or a fourfold. To see other options, here we need to hit the ‘other multiples’ button.


Now we can see all the other options that are available to us, including the Yankee bet. To place the wager, all we need to do is set our stake, which is going to be £1 per selection. This will give us a total stake of £11, as it, has eleven selections.

To set our wager, all we need to do is hit the ‘Place Bet’ button, and you are all set!

Calculating Returns

Continuing our explanation of how does a Yankee bet work, the amount of money that we get back from our wager depends upon how many horses you chose win (if we’ve placed a horse racing Yankee bet of course). To break things down, we’re now going to take a look at the potential winnings that our selections could generate, for a £1 on each separate wager.

Yankee Bet Example


  • Nonsuch Lad (4.00) x Concierge (7.00) = £28
  • Nonsuch Lad (4.00) x Al Motasim (3.50) = £14
  • Nonsuch Lad (4.00) x The Thunderer (3.75) = £15
  • Concierge (7.00) x Al Motasim (3.50) = £24.50
  • Concierge (7.00) x The Thunderer (3.75) = £26.25
  • Al Motasim (3.50) x The Thunderer (3.75) = £13.13


  • Nonsuch Lad (4.00) x Concierge (7.00) x Al Motasim (3.50) = £98
  • Nonsuch Lad (4.00) x Concierge (7.00) x The Thunderer (3.75) = £105
  • Nonsuch Lad (4.00) x Al Motasim (3.50) x The Thunderer (3.75) = £52.50
  • Concierge (7.00) x Al Motasim (3.50) x The Thunderer (3.75) = £91.88


  • Nonsuch Lad (4.00) x Concierge (7.00) x Al Motasim (3.50) x The Thunderer (3.75) = £367.50

Total Potential Return: £835.75

Naturally you are going to be impressed that an £11 bet can generate a £800+ return, but please remember that this is the return if all four of our selections win. However, as you can see if only two of our selections win, at the odds of the mounts we’ve chosen, we are still covered. You must also remember that if only one selection wins, our Yankee bet returns nothing.

Note that if you struggle with bet winning calculations then you can use one of our range of handy bet calculators.

What is a Permed Yankee Bet?

You may have heard of a permed Yankee bet, and how it differs from a normal Yankee. A permed Yankee is two or more Yankee bets combined.

So, a permed Yankee bet with five selections will perm five different Yankee bets. In each of the five, one of the selections is omitted. This creates a total of 30 doubles, 20 trebles and five fourfolds. This creates a grand total of 55 wagers, with all potential doubles, trebles and fourfold covered. Some wagers will be covered more than once. For example, if we name our five selections A, B, C, D and E, then the AB double will be covered three times. The only times it won’t be covered is in the variation that omits A, and the variation that omits B.

A permed Yankee bet with six selections consists of fifteen different Yankees. If we name our selections ABCDEF, then the Yankees placed are ABCD, ABCE, ABCF, ABDE, ABDF, ABEF, ACDE, ACDF, ACEF, ADEF, BCDE, BCDF, BCEF, BDEF and CDEF. That’s 165 wagers in total, although a few bets are repeated multiple times.

What is a Super Yankee Bet?

A Super Yankee adds one further selection to bring the total number of selections up to five. It consists of 26 bets – ten doubles, 10 trebles, five fourfolds and a fivefold. The Super Yankee is also known as a Canadian, and you can get the complete lowdown on the Super Yankee on our ‘Canadian Bet Explained‘ page.

Why Do You Want to Place a Yankee Bet?

So, know you know what a Yankee is, you might be asking yourself why you would want to place one. Why not just place four singles? What are the benefits of placing a Yankee Bet? Are you more likely to win or less likely, and will your winnings be greater or smaller than alternative wagers? Here are four reasons you might want to place a Yankee bet over alternatives:

  1. Increased chances of winning

    With 11 different wagerings, a Yankee offers a higher probability of winning compared to a single wager. Even if one or two selections don’t win, you can still make a profit if the other selections are successful.
  2. Potential for larger returns

    If all four selections win, the multiple combinations in a Yankee bet can yield significant returns. The winnings from the successful wagers are combined, which means even a small stake can result in a substantial payout.
  3. Risk management

    The Yankee bet allows for some flexibility and minimises the impact of losing one or more selections. Even if one selection lets you down, you can still make a profit from the other wins, reducing the overall risk.
  4. Variety and excitement

    Placing a Yankee bet can add an extra layer of excitement to your sports betting experience. It keeps you engaged throughout multiple events or matches, as you cheer for different outcomes at the same time.

Popular Sports for Yankee Bets

The Yankee bet originates from horse racing, so you may think that this wager can only be placed on horse racing, but that is not the case at all. In fact you can not only place a Yankee on any sports, you can combine different sports and events across your entire Yankee bet, as long as all the sections are single wager with a clear outcome.

Here though are the most popular sports for Yankee bets.

Horse Racing

The number one sport for Yankee bets is horse racing. Horse racing enthusiasts often enjoy the thrill of placing multiple wagers across different races, and the Yankee bet allows them to do just that. With races taking place around the world on a regular basis, bettors can select their favourite horses across various meetings. This makes it optimal to create their Yankee bet to potentially increase their chances of winning big.


One of the other most popular sports for Yankee bets is football. With its global appeal and multitude of leagues and competitions, football offers numerous opportunities for bettors to construct their Yankee bets. From major international tournaments like the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship to domestic leagues such as the English Premier League and La Liga, football provides a wealth of matches and markets to choose from.

US Sports

The Yankee originated in the US (even though they called it something different), so it is only natural you could consider placing a Yankee best on an American sports, and indeed one of the four most popular ones – baseball, basketball, ice hockey and American football. Football (the US version) is a sport that attracts a significant amount of Yankee bets. With its widespread popularity now throughout the globe the National Football League (NFL) offers numerous betting options. From regular-season games to the Super Bowl, bettors can select different teams and outcomes to include in their Yankee bets, adding an extra layer of excitement to the sport.

Drawbacks of Yankee Bets

When it comes to what is a Yankee bet and if it is worth placing one, there is only one real drawback, and that’s the fact that it contains no singles. This means that at least two of your selections need to win in order for you to get any return. This is a classic example of risk v reward, though – you are accepting a greater risk, as the rewards will be greater if the risk comes off. If you are confident that at least two of your selections will win, then a Yankee bet is always worth considering.

Yankee Bet vs. Lucky 15

The main alternative to the Yankee bet is the Lucky 15. As previously explained, the Lucky 15 is a bet which has four separate selections. The difference between the two is that the Lucky 15 contains the four singles missing from the Yankee.

If you want to lower the risk of your bet returning zero, then choose a Lucky 15. If you were considering a £1 Yankee though (total stake £11), you’d have to up your stake to £15 to cover those four singles, or lower your stake-per-selection so that your overall Lucky 15 stake is £11. This will diminish all potential winnings though, so in some ways it’s a tough one to call.

Can I Place an Each Way Yankee Bet?

Yes you can, but only in horse racing or greyhounds. An each way is two bets in one – a win and a place . A place bet wins if your horse or hound places (finishes in the top four in a horse race depending on the number of runners, or the top two in greyhounds) but pays at one quarter of the odds.

An each way Yankee will double your overall stake, or halve your stake-per-selection if you want to keep the overall stake the same. It is two Yankees in one, a win, and a place.

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Peter Addison
Top Yankee Bet Tip

Place Your First Yankee Bet Using Bonus Money

One of the best things about being a sports betting enthusiast in the UK is that there are so many bookies to choose from! This means that gaining free bets from bookmaker betting sites and apps is super easy – just sign up with a new bookie (or an existing bookie that offers ongoing promos to regulars) and grab your free bet.

If you are new to the Yankee bet then why not try placing your first Yankee Bet using free bet money, if the terms & conditions of the betting offer allow you to? That way, you can see how the Yankee Bet truly works, and whether it’s going to be the right bet for you … plus you might win some free cash!

All bets within your each way Yankee are calculated as normal each way bets. So, if for one of the doubles one selection wins and the other selection places, then the win double will not pay out, but the place double will. The same logic applies to all parts of the bet.

Note that if all four of your selections place but none win, then the place half of your Yankee will pay out the maximum return, but the win half will not pay out anything.

Yankee Bets – How to Maximise Their Value

If you want to get the most out of your use of Yankee bets, then here are three top tips that should enable you to do just that:

1. Research and Select Wisely

Before placing a Yankee bet, it’s crucial to research and select your outcomes carefully. Analyse the form, statistics, and any relevant factors that can influence the performance of the teams, horses, or athletes. Making informed decisions will increase your chances of success.

2. Consider Each Way Betting

If you’re placing a Yankee bet in horse racing, it’s worth considering each way betting. By placing an each way, you cover both the win and place positions, giving you a higher chance of securing a return even if your selection doesn’t win but places.

3. Manage Your Bankroll

Proper bankroll management is essential when placing any type of bets. Set a budget for your wagers and avoid placing bets that exceed your limits. It’s also recommended to allocate your bankroll across multiple bets rather than putting all your funds into a single wager, as it diversifies your risk and potential returns.

All UK Bookmakers Offer Yankee Bets

How can we say so surely that UK online bookmakers offer Yankee bets? If you do find one that doesn’t, then you can simply create it yourself. This by adding all the necessary doubles, trebles and a fourfold. This is one of the reasons it has become such a popular bet type in the UK.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have had Yankee bets explained thoroughly, with examples and variations – you are virtually an expert. It is indeed a bit of a puzzle to get a good setup but that is quite the charm with Yankee bets. And the returns are not bad either.

We wish you good luck on your betting, and keep reading up on the different variations and combinations available for punters to keep it fun.


What is a Super Yankee bet

What is a Yankee bet in horse racing?

What is a permed Yankee Bet?

What is an each way Yankee bet?

What is a Yankee bet in football?

Peter Addison
Peter Addison
Peter Addison

Peter joined the team in 2023, having previously worked for many high-profile gambling-related sites such as RightCasino, JustSlots, WhichBingo and An experienced head when it comes to all aspects of iGaming, Peter is a fanatic fan of sport, including football and US sports such as baseball and American football. He is also a multi-published fiction writer, although sadly, not a wealthy one.