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Traditionally a bet slip was a piece of paper which a bettor would fill in when placing a bet at a bookmakers. It acted as a receipt for the bet which was placed, and, if the bet was successful, the slip would be returned and the teller would use the details on it to calculate how much winnings to pay out. In the age of online bookmakers, a bet slip is an electronic document which, as well as recording the details of a bet, automatically calculates the possible pay out from a successful bet.
The precise details of a bet slip will vary slightly from bookmaker to bookmaker, but they all include certain basic characteristics:
A list of the selections which it is possible to place a bet on
A space in which the amount of the stake should be entered, in a currency of the bettors choice
A box which should be checked if the bet is an each way bet. This means that the bet pays something out for placing as well as winning, which means finishing in the top four or five. Placing an each way bet increases the chances of getting something back, but doubles the stake which has to be placed.
The amount which will be paid out if the bet is a winner
The total amount of stake to be deducted from the bettor’s account when the bet is placed
A ‘Clear bet’ button which can be used to clear an individual bet
A ‘Clear bet slip’ button which can be used to clear the entire bet slip
A ‘Place bet’ button which submits the bet and deducts the relevant amount from the account
A number of single bets can be made on the same bet slip, and when more than one selection has been chosen, the bet slip will automatically display all of the multiple bet options available. If a sufficient number of selections have been made, the bet slip might also offer combination bets. Bettors should be careful not to choose these by accident, as they greatly increase the size of the stake.