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A double bet is a type of bet which relies on two selections, both of which have to be successful for the bet to pay out. It is sometimes confused with an accumulator bet, which has to have at least four picks, and a double chance bet, which allows for money to be placed on two possible outcomes.
The amount paid out if a double bet is successful will be determined by the individual odds of each selection. In simple terms, a double bet increases the risk, but at the same time boosts the chances of receiving more winnings for the one initial bet. If the first bet is successful, the winnings which would have been paid are then carried forward and placed on the second bet.
If a bettor has £5 to bet and believes that both Tottenham Hotspurs, at odds of 2/1, and Swansea, at 8/1, are going to win, they could make two individual £2.50 bets. This would generate just £5.00 on the Tottenham bet and £20.00 if Swansea win, a profit of £25.00 plus the original stake.
If the bet is made as a double, on the other hand, then the £5.00 placed on Tottenham winning will generate £15.00 to bet on Swansea, £10.00 in winnings plus the original stake. If this second part of the double sees another win, then the £15 will generate winnings of £120.00. In total, a double with these odds will produce winnings of £130.00 plus, of course, the original £5.00 bet.
If the Swansea match takes place first then the bettor would run the risk of losing £40.00 winnings, plus the original stake, if Tottenham go on to draw or lose. It’s this extra risk which has to be weighed against the increased winnings on offer when deciding whether to turn two bets into a double.