Demystifying Full Cover Bets

Closeup of Hand Filling Out a Sports Betting Sheet

Many newcomers to gambling are intimidated by full cover bet terms like “Trixie” and “Accumulator” and “run for the hills.”

While full cover bets can be confusing to understand, they also offer a chance for big payouts. Unfortunately, many gamblers hear about their intricacies and never get the chance to reap the benefits of a good full cover bet.

Parlay bets can be thought of as the risky cousin to full cover bets. However, parlay bets also have a bigger payout so it’s important to know how both of the bets work.

They both operate similarly, so it’s difficult to talk about full cover bets without talking about parlay bets first. If you don’t fully understand what parlay bets are, you won’t have a chance of understanding full cover bets.

So that we can make the topic of full cover bets as simple as possible, we’ll be using small numbers as examples.

Before we get into the details of how both full cover bets and parlay bets work, we’ll briefly discuss what full cover bets are and the benefits they have compared to parlay bets.

What is the General Idea of a Full Cover Bet?

Full cover bets have 3 to 8 selections. Each selection is a wager in its own right. The selection can be any type of bet, so moneyline, over/unders, and prop bets can each be selections in a full cover bet.

An example selection of a full cover bet would be the Dallas Cowboys beating the Texans. That bet by itself may payout 4 to 1. You would make that bet on the Cowboys, in addition to 2 to 7 other bets when you make a full cover bet.

One important thing to remember is that these other bets could be different types of bets on different games and still be part of the same full cover bet.

Dallas Cowboys Players

However, there’s one big difference between full cover bets and parlay bets. Full cover bets don’t require all of your selections to win for you to receive a payout like parlay bets do.

Pros of Full Cover Bets:

Have less risk than a parlay bet because you only have to win two of the selections for a payout.

Cons of Full Cover Bets:

Have smaller payouts than parlay bets if you win on all your selections.

So now that we’ve discussed briefly what a full cover bet is, we’ll get up to speed on all parts that make up a full cover bet.

How Do Double Bets Work?

Full cover bets are made up of several parlay bets. The smallest type of bet that’s included in a full cover bet is a double bet so we’ll discuss that bet first.

A double bet is a parlay bet where 2 selections must win to gain a return. These are the simplest types of parlay bets, contain the least amount of selections, and are the easiest to understand. Once you understand double bets fully, you can apply the same idea to the more convoluted parlay bets.

Another thing to keep in mind is that double bets are called different things in America and Europe. In America, a double bet is when a bettor bets double the amount. So an American double bet would be betting $200 instead of $100 if you feel really strongly about a team’s chances.

This type of bet is NOT what we’re discussing. We’ll discuss the parlay type of doubles bets where bettors make two selections that must both win for the bettor to win any money.

If the first bet of a double bet wins, then the payout from that bet is rolled over to the second bet of the double bet. The only way to win a double bet is for both bets to win.

To learn how to calculate the return of double bets, you can look at the following soccer example:

Liverpool is playing Arsenal and has odds to win of 4/1 (oddsA).

Burnley is playing Chelsea and has odds to win of 2/1(oddsB).

If you make a $4 stake on both Liverpool and Chelsea winning, you could calculate the return like this:

  • Returns = stake * (oddsA + 1) * (oddsB + 1) = x
  • Profit = Returns – Stake = x
  • Returns = $4 * (4/1 + 1) * (2/1 + 1) =
  • Returns = $4 * (5) * (3) = $60
  • Profit = $60 – $4 = $56

As you can see, with parlay bets you can win $56 in profit from only a $4 bet. The huge amount of profit possible for a small stake is why so many gamblers are drawn to parlay bets like double bets but as the potential for profit increases so does the risk.

That’s why oddsmakers love taking parlay bets despite the potential for big payouts — gamblers are much less likely to win parlay bets.

Types of Parlay Bets

While double bets are the simplest types of parlay bets, they are similar to more complex parlay bets. If you understand how double bets work, understanding the additional types of parlay bets should be a breeze.

The same formula for calculating a double bet can be applied to trebles, accumulators, and so on. The only difference is that each successive bet adds another selection that must win in order for the whole bet to payout.

  • Double – single bet made up of 2 bets
  • Treble – single bet made up of 3 bets
  • Four-fold accumulator – single bet made up of 4 bets
  • Five-fold accumulator – single bet made up of 5 bets
  • Six-fold accumulator – single bet made up of 6 bets
  • Seven-fold accumulator – single bet made up of 7 bets
  • Eight-fold accumulator – single bet made up of 8 bets

How Do Trixie Bets Work?

Trixies are kind of like double bets in that they’re the simplest form of the full cover bet while double bets are the simplest form of parlay bets.

While a double bet consists of 2 selections that must be right for the bet to payout, a Trixie bet consists of 3 selections, 2 of which must win, for the bet to payout. If only one of your selections wins, you won’t win anything with a Trixie bet.

Liverpool Football Team Celebrating

A Trixie also consists of 4 bets, instead of 3 like you would expect based on the number of selections. Trixie bets have the 3 expected bets of each combination of two selections you made, but a 4th bet is automatically made for all 3 selections winning in a Trixie bet.

For example, we have the following three games to bet on for a Trixie bet:

  • Liverpool vs Arsenal
  • Burnley vs Chelsea
  • Manchester United vs Southampton

Let’s say you place the following Trixie bet: one bet for Liverpool to win, one bet for Burnley to win, and one bet for Manchester United to win. The Trixie would consist of 3 doubles and a treble. The three doubles would be the following:

  • Liverpool and Burnley both winning their matches.
  • Burnley and Manchester United both winning their matches.
  • Liverpool and Manchester United both winning their matches.

Basically, each of the three double bets in a Trixie bet is a different combination of two of the three teams you bet on winning.

The treble would be all three of Liverpool, Burnley, and Manchester United winning.

If you win any of the 3 doubles or the one treble, you can make some money with a Trixie bet. How much you make goes up significantly based on how many of the bets you win.

One important thing to remember is you won’t win any money on a Trixie bet if just one of the teams wins. You have to at least win one of the double bets in a Trixie bet to win any money.

Other Full Cover Bets

Full cover bets are made of combination bets of doubles, trebles, and accumulators.

The following is a list of possible full cover bets:

  • A Trixie has three selections
  • A Yankee has four selections
  • A Canadian has five selections
  • A Heinz has six selections
  • A Super Heinz has seven selections
  • A Goliath has eight selections

The goliath bet is the most complicated full cover bet and consists of a staggering 247 bets.

These are exciting bets to make if you’re a fan of sports betting and like watching several games at once.


Do you prefer parlay bets or full cover bets? Let us know in the comments.