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A pair – as the term suggests – is two different bets that can combine to make a multiple bet. In the broader sense it really just means two of something – from a couple of aces in a hand of poker to predicting both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal to win in separate bets.
Not only that but in cricket, a batsman who was dismissed without scoring, and then comes in to bat in the second innings, is said to be on a pair. If the batter is dismissed by the first ball faced both times, then it is a king pair.
This term is more regularly heard of when talking about betting on cards and is used in a number of different games. But pairs can also be referred to in sports betting – especially when there are multiple selections and events.
One example of a pair in sports betting would be if a bettor were putting together a system bet. This is similar to a multiple bet, or accumulator, in which a number of selections are made in one bet. Those selections all need to be winners to get returns.
But in a system bet the bettor is making a number of individual bets on all the combinations possible with their selections. This can mean that they are betting on a number of pairs at once knowing that some of the combinations (in this case pairs) can be unsuccessful and they will still get some winning returns as long as they get a specific number of pairs correct.
One punter tried their luck on a pair of political bets in 2014. The first was a huge £900,000 stake on a ‘no’ vote in the Scottish independence vote that returned £193,000 in winnings. Obviously feeling like their luck was in they placed a second bet of £200,000 – consisting of all the winnings from the first wager – on a hung parliament in the General Election, but the second of the pair did not fare quite as well.