What Is a Patent Bet and How Does It Work?

Written By:  Will Rosen
Last Updated:  Jul 12, 2023

Horse Racing

The patent bet is a betting market offered by all UK bookmakers. Patent bets are generally offered on horse racing events but can also be available on greyhound racing, football matches, and other sporting events. Due to it being such an important part of online betting nowadays, we’re going to show you exactly how it works and give some tips on how best to use patent bets and what pitfalls you should avoid along the way.

What Is a Patent Bet?

A Patent bet is a type of systems bet; other examples include Trixie bets, Yankee bets, and Heinz bets. If the system bet has singles in the combination of wagers (as a Patent bet does), it is known as a full cover bet.

The Patent bet consists of three selections in three different events. You place a wager on the three selections that consist of seven bets – three single bets, three doubles, and a treble. As you are placing seven separate bets in total, you need to multiply every single unit stake by that amount, so for instance, if you were placing £2 for each bet, your total initial stake would be £14.

Many bettors like to place a patent bet because even if one of their single bet selections win and they only pick one winner, they will still get a small return on their initial stake. Of course, if all three different selections win, you stand to win a significant return.

Win Only Patent Bet or Each Way Patent Bet

As we have discussed, a win-only patent bet consists of seven bets in total, each with the same unit stake. However, there’s nothing to prevent you from placing an each-way patent bet, especially when it comes to horse racing.

You might ask, how does an each-way patent bet work? It’s pretty simple really, to begin with, you will be required to double your initial stake. So if we take our previous example of £2 a bet totalling £14, you would need to double this amount for a total cost of £28. However, even though you have a higher stake with an each-way bet, you have more opportunities of winning.

Essentially the choice is yours with an each-way patent bet you are betting on the horses either finishing first or placing, giving you more chances of picking winning selections.

Place odds payout at a fraction of the win odds, typically 1/4 or ⅕, as you stand much more chance of placing a horse than it has of getting first place.

Patent Bet Calculator

You don’t need to be any sort of maths genius to calculate the potential money you can win when placing a patent bet. While in the good old days of high street bookies, you’d have to work out your potential payout on your pocket calculator now there are online Patent bet calculators to make the task even more straightforward. You’ll find them at most of the big Online UK bookmakers, such as sites like William Hill and 888 Sports.

To calculate the returns from a patent manually, you need to add 2 to the odds of each winning selection, multiply them together and multiply by the stake, and subtract the unit stake.
If you prefer to manually calculate the return for a patent bet, start by adding two to the odds of your winning selections. Then multiply them together and then by the stake; finally, you need to subtract the initial unit stake.

Let’s look at an example, assuming you have placed seven bets at £2 per unit on a selection of three horses. To keep the calculation simple, we will say the odds for the three horses are all 5/1. Imagine your luck is in, and all three win their races, so you add two, so they now total 7.

Next we multiply those together 7 x 7 x 7 = 343

This is then multiplied by the unit stake 343 x 2 = 686

Subtract the unit stake 686 – 2 = 684.

So your total return will be £684 minus your £14 stake.

But let’s take a look if one of the three horses you selected wins.

The calculations would be thus for one winning selection: 7 x 2 = 14

Subtract the stake 14 – 2 = 12

This gives you a £12 return, but if you take the stake of £14 into account, you end up losing £2 on your patent bet.

Patent Bet Example

A patent bet is made up of the following:

Part Picks Number of Bets
Three Singles 1, 2, 3 3
Three Doubles 1+2, 1+3, 2+3 3
One Treble 1+2+3 1


A straightforward example of a patent bet would be a wager on Premier League Football

First of you would pick three single bets, for instance:

Leeds United to win, Manchester United to win and Chelsea to Win

The three doubles would then be: Leeds and Chelsea to both win, Leeds and Manchester to both win, and Man U and Chelsea to both win.

The treble would be for Leeds, Man U and Chelsea to all win.

Benefits of Placing a Patent Bet

If we want to look at the main advantages of Patent betting, we should compare it against your typical accumulator. With an accumulator bet, it only takes one of your selections to lose, and all bets are void. With a patent bet, you just need one single winner out of your three selections to see some sort of return, though you likely won’t be in profit. But if you have two winners or even better three, then profits are pretty much guaranteed. As with all system bets, you are spreading the risk increasing your odds of a win.

Downsides to Placing a Patent Bet

As betting options go, there are limited downsides to a Patent bet. The main drawback is that you must place equal amounts on each of the seven bets. So you can’t have £1 each on the single bets and a higher stake of £2, for instance, on the doubles or treble. Another disadvantage is that you will need to stake more money than a regular wager as you are placing seven bets, not just one.

Patent Bets In Summary

When betting on sports, it makes sense to spread your risk; a Patent bet allows you to do exactly that. Even if just one of your selections wins, you still get a return. If you are new to system bets, patent bets are a great place to start, you have more chance of winning than placing a Trixie bet, and it is not as complex as a Lucky 15 or Yankee bet.


We’ve answered the question ‘what is a Patent bet and how does it work’? But here are a few more questions answered that bettors often ask about Patent bets.

Where can I place a Patent bet?

Pretty much any online bookmaker will allow you to place a patent bet, and we’d suggest sticking with well-known bookmakers such as Paddy Power, William Hill, Bet Victor, etc. Placing the bet is simple just fill in your online bet slip with your winning selection, enter your total stake, and if you want to place an each-way bet or not.

What’s the difference between Patent bets and Yankee bets?

A Yankee bet is a little more complex than a patent. While a Patent has seven bets in total, a Yankee has eleven, six doubles, four trebles, and a four-fold accumulator. The rewards are higher for the Yankee bet, but at least two winning selections are needed to achieve a return.

What’s better: Trixie or Patent betting?

The wager that a Patent is most often compared to is a Trixie bet because it also consists of three selections. However, a Trixie consists of four bets, three doubles, and a treble. Both are solid betting options, but the main advantage of patent betting is that it has three singles, which means that if just one selection comes in, you can get a return. The key difference with the Trixie bet is that a minimum of two selections is needed for a return on your winnings.

What’s the difference between a Lucky 15 and a Patent Bet?

No prizes for guessing that this bet consists of a combination of 15 wagers! The Lucky 15 is a wager on four selections and combines four single bets, six doubles, four trebles, and a four-fold accumulator. As with patent bets, even if one selection wins, a small return is guaranteed.

Can Patent bets only be placed on horse racing events?

For the most part, punters tend to place patent bets on horse races, and our guide on SP meaning can help there. They can be used for plenty of other sports events like Football and greyhound racing. It should be noted depending on the sport, you can’t always place each way patent bets on them.

What is a permutation Patent bet?

Once you’ve got to grips with patent bets, you might want to take a look at a permutation patent bet. Essentially, it works the same way, but permed patents can include 28 bets in total with more selections. It is still a combination of single, double, and treble bets, so if just one selection wins, you will get a return on your stake.