Sports betting

How To Do Patent and Formula Betting

2 years ago

As bettors become more advanced in their strategies, many will progress from single and each way stakes and enter the world of multiples. At a very basic level, a straight line multi requires four or more selections and each of those need to win if the bet is to deliver a profit.

There are alternatives which are generally known as patents or formulas and these offer a form of safety net which will see a return paid out even if one, or possibly more, of your legs lets you down. So, if you’ve ever wanted to delve into the world of trixies, Lucky 15s, Lucky 31s, Heinzs and Goliaths, please read on. You can also learn more Betting terminology in our glossary of terms

Trixies Explained

A Trixie bet is, as the name suggests, a stake that involves three selections but unlike a straight treble, it doesn’t need all three to win for a profit to be paid. Like all the the formulas that we will round up in this review, there are many bets within each overall stake and in this instance, a trixie carries all of the following:

1x Treble

3x Doubles

Let’s say you pick three teams to win their respective football matches on a certain Premier League weekend – Burnley, Chelsea and Everton. In terms of staking, you simply pick a sum – let’s say £1.00 for simplicity and multiply by four as follows.

1x Treble = £1.00

3x Doubles at £1.00 = £3.00

Therefore, your total stake in this instance is £4.00.

Under a Trixie, you will see no return if only one of those teams win but if two out of the three selections come away with all three points, you have one winning double and you will receive a payout on this basis.

If all three of those teams win, all your bets come in and you would stand to make a generous profit. While it’s unlikely that one winning double will cover your outlay, there is a small return which provides something of a consolation and that’s one of the reasons why bets such as these retain popularity among many members of the betting community.

Feeling Lucky

While a Trixie is seen as an ‘entry level’ formula, that simple four-bet option remains popular but from there, things can get more advanced. Other combined multiples carry the common prefix ‘Lucky’ and the main difference here is that single bets are used in the overall staking.

We’ll start with a Lucky 15 where the following 15 bets are involved:

4 Singles

6 Doubles

4 Trebles

1 Four-Fold

Staking works in a similar way to Trixie Betting so, if you take an initial stake of £1.00, you simply multiply that amount by the 15 bets involved and you now have a total outlay of £15.00.

In terms of selections, let’s take our three original football teams – Burnley, Chelsea, Everton – and we’ll throw Liverpool into the mix. If none of those teams win their games, you lose your entire stake so the whole of your £15.00 outlay will be forfeited.

However, it will only take one winner for a return to be paid out although you will only see a profit if the odds in question are higher than 15/1. Lucky 15s do have the potential to offer a return if one treble lands but once again, there is a very generous payout available if all four of those teams win and the 15 bets in question drop in.

Beyond the Lucky 15, the next level up is the Lucky 31. The clue lies in the numbers so with this scenario, there are 31 bets involving five selections as follows:

5 Singles

10 Doubles

10 Trebles

5 Four-Folds

1 Five-Folds

By now, readers should be used to the way the system works so, in this instance, you would have five outcomes and 31 possible bets. A starter stake of £1.00 is multiplied by 31 so your overall outlay here is £31.00. If all selections fail, your entire stake is lost but payouts are made in the event of at least one winning leg.

From here, punters can move to Lucky 63s and beyond, using the same principles and similar calculations.

Betting with the Big Boys

One formula that is frequently heard on any of the horse racing channels is a Heinz. This involves six selections and 57 bets and it essentially works along the lines of a Lucky 63 except this time, the six singles are removed, leaving you with:

15 Doubles

20 Trebles

15 Four-Folds

6  Five-Folds

1 Six-Fold

Moving on and in a bet for the brave, a Goliath has no fewer than 247 selections which are:

28 Doubles

56 Trebles

70 Four-Folds

56 Five-Folds

28 Six-Folds

8 Seven-Folds

1 Eight-Fold

The exposure and stakes are higher here so neither of these bets should really be attempted by the novice punter.

How to Bet

If you log in to an account at any sportsbook such as Bet365, BetFred, Sun Bets or others, it should be easy to opt for a formula bet. Once you have made three or more selections, there will be the option to make a straight line multiple or, you can tick the box that refers to Trixies, Lucky 15s and beyond.

The bookmaker will also highlight your total outlay before you tick the betslip and confirm so you will be able to clearly see the total stake before you submit.


Formulas and Patents tend to be used for two reasons: Firstly, there is the potential for a higher profit than the one that would be generated by a straight line accumulator. Secondly, even if all of the selections fail to win, a return can still land in a player’s account. This may not cover the whole of the outlay but at the very least it’s a useful consolation which can give a punter a second chance.

The overall stake is higher than a standard multi so it is important that formulas are fully understood before they are undertaken and hopefully this guide has armed you with some useful information in this respect.

Matt Harris

Written by Matt Harris

Matt Harris is a freelance sports writer with over 25 years of experience that dates back to the days of Teletext. He is a Tottenham fan who still retains hope of Spurs lifting the title in his lifetime.