What Is A Single Bet? Explained

What Is A Single Bet Explained

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A single bet, often referred to simply as a "win" or a "straight" bet, is the simplest form of sports betting. You are predicting the outcome of a single event or game. It also is the most popular bet type in any sport. Discover why bettors favour it, what markets it works best for, and tips on how to use it to turn a profit.

How Do Single Bets Work?

A single bet involves picking one selection in a betting market. It is widely used across many sports. In football, for instance, you might use it to bet on the Match Winner, Correct Score, or Over/Under markets. Similarly, in horse racing, it means backing one horse to win a race. If any outcome other than your chosen selection occurs, the bet is lost.

Single Bet Example

Consider a golf tournament, let us say the US Masters. You decide to place a single bet on Rory McIlroy to be leading at the end of day one. 

You wager £50 on him to be leading at odds of 2.00. If he is top at the end of day one, you will receive a payout of £100 (£50 x 2.00). However, if any other player is leading at that point, your bet will lose.

You are placing a bet on one specific outcome, if that fails, your bet is a loser.

Check out the Gambling Zone list of recommended betting sites to try Single Bets.

Single Bet on Horse Racing

In horse racing, single bets are the most commonly placed, along with each-way bets which are also popular. Here is how a single bet on horse racing may look.

You have done a bit of research on a horse called Speedy Gal with odds of 5/1 in the 2:30 pm race at Cheltenham. Feeling confident, you decide to bet £25 on Speedy Gal to win.

If Speedy Gal finishes first, the bookmaker pays you £150 in return—£125 profit plus your initial £25 stake.

Sounds great, but here is the thing: picking the right horse and understanding the odds takes practice. Horse racing odds might seem more attractive than those in football, or golf, but knowing how to bet on horse racing is not that easy.

Before you dive into more complicated bets like accumulators or handicaps, it is smart to start with single bets. Begin with small amounts to get the hang of it.

Single Bet on Football

It might not be surprising to hear that single bets are also common in football. They are also used regulalry for in-play betting, where you can place bets as the action unfolds.

In-play betting on football allows you to quickly bet on events during the flow of a live match. To get an idea of how this may look in practice, here are a couple of examples:

  • Mohamed Salah comes on in the 60th minute and you bet he will score a goal. If Salah scores anytime after entering the match, the bet wins.
  • In a World Cup quarterfinal match between England and France in the 75th minute, you bet that there will be over 4.5 yellow cards shown in the game. Since three yellows were already shown, the bet wins if two or more additional yellow cards are shown in the final 15 minutes.

Compared to accumulator bets that require multiple results, single bets enable football fans to selectively target bets.

Multiple Sports Betting

Multiple Sports Betting

Advantages of Single Bets

Simplicity is the name of the game with single bets. The chances of you winning with singles are typically better than accumulators since you only have to predict one result correctly which also makes them lower risk. 

On top of that, if you lose a single bet, you only lose the amount wagered on that one result. With accumulators, a single losing leg can eliminate your whole accumulator bet.

Winning payouts are smaller but more consistent with the odds in your favour. We also consider the fact that in-play singles are quick and easy for live betting as an advantage too. Overall, singles provide simplicity, control, and better chances of winning.

Disadvantages of Single Bets

The major downside is that payouts on winning single bets are smaller than accumulators, where odds multiply for multiple correct predictions. 

Some bettors also find winning a single bet less exciting than a successful accumulator bet too as the jackpot potential is lost. 

In our experience, you may also burn through your bankroll faster placing many singles versus fewer accumulator bets. This can cause some players to ‘chase’ losses. At Gambling Zone we take responsible gambling seriously and never recommend that you do that. Betting should always remain fun, and if the fun stops - seek help.

Mobile Live Betting

Mobile Live Betting

What is a Single Bet Calculator and how does it work?

A single bet calculator is a tool found on betting websites that allows you to easily calculate how much money you could win from a single bet. Here is how it works:

Enter the details of your bet - which team or player you are betting on and how much money you are betting. Next, enter the odds being offered for that bet. 

The calculator will then tell you your potential payout if your bet wins. It computes this automatically based on the amount you are betting and the odds.

Using a calculator makes it quick and easy to see how the payout changes for different bets and odds. This helps you compare bets to make a good decision before you place your real bet.


Single bets offer a simple and focused approach to gambling. By betting on just one outcome per game or event, you can more easily calculate odds, manage your stakes, and analyse each wager on its own merits. Gambling Zone promotes responsible gambling so remember to bet within your means, set limits on deposits, stakes, and avoid chasing losses.

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