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A system bet is a bet which allows the bettor to bet on several different outcomes as part of a single wager. Unlike other types of bets, a system bet doesn’t require every different aspect of the bet to be successful in order for the bet as a whole to succeed.
Although system bets can be applied across virtually any sports, they offer particular value when betting on football matches, especially if a bettor can include selections in which an underdog is more likely to achieve a result. The smallest number of picks in a system bet is three, and a 2/3 system bet would consist of three small double bets, meaning that only two of the selections need to win to guarantee a return.
An example of a 2/3 system bet:
If a bettor selects Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, a 2/3 system bet would come out as follows –
In this scenario, if any two of the teams win then two of the bets will pay off, as opposed to an accumulator bet, which will fail to pay out if just one part of the bet fails. The difference, of course, is that a separate stake has to be placed on each part of a system bet, meaning that the outlay is larger even though the chances of winning are higher. The other aspect to bear in mind is that the three teams chosen for this particular bet would generally be regarded as safe options, thus offering lower odds. For a higher return an outsider could be selected alongside the two safer choices, without running the risk of causing the entire bet to fail.
System bets are also known as perm (permutation) bets, and can involve up to six selections, combined as a range of double bets, treble bets and accumulators. The complexity of bets like this might make them seem like the preserve of experienced bettors, but the good news is that most online bookmakers have an automated system which will offer a selection of system bets once a user has made their picks.