A flag bet is one of the most complicated bets in horse racing and, if we’re honest, not one that we recommend. But if you’re keen to try this unusual bet, here’s our as ‘simple as possible’ explanation.
What Is A Flag Bet?
A flag bet in horse racing (or any other sport) is a multiple bet that combines 23 different bets. It can be split into two main parts, the first being a Yankee, and the second being 6 pairs of SSA bets (single stakes about bet)
The Yankee part of the bet is the standard 11 bets in a Yankee, which are six doubles, four trebles, and one 4-fold accumulator.
What Is An SSA Bet?
The second part of a flag bet is 6 SSA pairs bets. An SSA bet in horse racing is a bet consisting of two selections taking part in different horse races that combine to make one bet. A single bet is placed on each of the selections, with the winnings from these bets added to any total return from your flag bet. But the stake from any single that wins is then reinvested on the other horse in the SSA bet. That means if all your selections win in a Yankee, you’ll have a lot of winning singles.
The SSA bet combinations are the same as the double combinations in the Yankee. I.e. AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD. But you need to remember that SSA pairs work both ways, so also BA, CA, DA, CB, DB, and DC.
As an example, let’s say you place a £1 flag bet (a total of £23) and selection A wins at 4/1, selection B wins at 5/1, and selections C and D lose.
You’ll have a £1 win double at 4/1 and 5/1 – which would return £30.
You’ll also have the AB SSA pair bet to work out.
Your £1 stake goes on A at 4/1 and you get a return of £4 but your £1 stake is then reinvested on selection B at 5/1 for a return of £60 (£50 winnings + £10 stake).
As these are SSA pairs bet, you’ll also have the reverse, which will pay the same.
What Are The Advantages Of Placing A Flag Bet?
If there is an advantage of placing a flag bet over just a Yankee, it’s that you’ll win something if just one of your selections wins. For example, if selection A wins at 4/1, you’ll get back £4. But that’s a £19 loss on your original £23 stake, and you need to decide whether the £12 you staked on the SSA pairs is worth the investment.
Are There Other Types Of Flag Bets?
Yes, just like you can add more selections to turn a Yankee into a Super Yankee, Heinz, Super Heinz, or a Goliath, you can also have a Super Flag, Heinz Flag, Super Heinz Flag, or a Goliath Flag.
A Super Flag bet consists of 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five 4-folds, one 5-fold, and 10 SSA pairs.
A Heinz Flag bet consists of 5 doubles, 20 trebles, fifteen 4-folds, six 5-folds, one 6-fold, and 15 Up-And-Down SSA Pairs.
A Super Heinz Flag bet consists of 21 doubles, 35 trebles, thirty-five 4-folds, twenty-one 5-folds, seven 6-folds, one 7-fold, and 21 SSA Pairs.
A Goliath Flag bet consists of 28 doubles, 56 trebles, seventy 4-folds, fifty-six 5-folds, twenty-eight 6-folds, eight 7-folds, one 8-fold, and 28 SSA Pairs.
How Do You Calculate Flag Bets?
Our advice is don’t try and work out a flag bet using a pen and paper. Even working it out on the calculator on your phone will take you ages. But the great news is that many bookmakers offer bet calculators that you can use to work out potential returns.
If you do want to work your potential returns out for yourself, the formula is below.
As we’ve already explained, a flag bet is divided into a Yankee and 6 SSA pairs, and the easiest way to work out your potential returns is to work it out using these two separate bets and then add them together.
Yankee bet formula:
((A + 1)(B + 1)(C + 1)(D + 1) – (A + B + C + D + 1)) x stake = winnings
SSA pairs formula
((Stake x selection 1) – Stake) + (Stake x selection 2) + ((Stake x Selection 2) – Stake) + (Stake x selection 1)
(Stake x Winning selection) – (2 x Stake)
We told you flag bets where difficult, but we hope that’s answered your question, what is a flag bet in horse racing. We don’t have any tipsters who would recommend horse racing bets that are this complicated. But we do have lots of professional tipsters that provide a regular supply of profitable horse racing winners. You can also check out our free tips page.
You’ll find lots more horse racing advice on the Betting Gods blog too, so feel free to browse anything that interests you. Happy punting!