A Union Jack bet is a novelty bet or special bet in which nine selections are laid out in the shape of the Union Jack Flag to form eight trebles, with one selection in the middle and eight selections around it.
If you’re not sure what a treble is, read our what is a treble bet article before continuing.
What is a Union Jack Bet?
A Union Jack is formed using nine selections that are set out on a betting form that looks like the Union Jack flag. The best way to picture it is to create a 3×3 grid. In the first row you have A, B, C. In the second row you have D, E, F. In the final row you have G, H, I.
Formation of a Union Jack Bet
The nine selections in the bet form eight trebles. There are three horizontal trebles, three vertical trebles, and two diagonal trebles.
The three horizontal trebles are made up of selections A, B, and C, and D, E, and F, and G, H, and I.
The three vertical trebles are made up of selections A, D, and G, and B, E, and H, and C, F, and I.
The two diagonal trebles are made up of selections A, E, and I, and G, E, and C.
Tactics for a Union Jack Bet
Because selection E features in half of the eight trebles in the full bet, it is normally a good idea to save this place for the selection you fancy the most.
Alternatively, you could pick the selection that is priced up at the shortest odds in the belief it has the best chance of winning according to the markets. Or you could pick the selection with the biggest odds in the hope it wins and gives you the best chance of winning the most amount of money.
Cost of a Union Jack Bet
In total, the bet is in fact eight bets and you can stake the same amount on each bet, for example, £1, £5, or £10. Your bets would then cost you 8 x £1 = £8, 8 x £5 = £40, or 8 x £10 = £80.
However, you can also place each-way versions of the bets. To work out how much one of these costs, simply double the stake of your win bet.
If you simply have a sum of money you want to stake on a Union Jack, you can work out how much to stake on each bet by dividing that sum by 8 for a win Union Jack bet or 16 for an each-way Union Jack bet. For example, if you have £20, you could have a £2.50 win bet or a £1.25 each-way bet.
Winnings from a Union Jack Bet
A Union Jack is simply eight trebles. It’s unlikely all your selections will be the same price but, for the purpose of showing you how to work out your winnings from each treble, we’ll say each selection is 2/1.
So, if selections A, B, and C all win, that means you’ve landed the first horizontal treble of your Union Jack Bet. If you’ve staked £1 on each treble, you’ll have £1 on selection A at 2/1, returning £3. You’ll then have £3 on selection B at 2/1, returning £9. You’ll then have £9 on selection C at 2/1, returning £27. That’s a 26/1 treble. If all nine selections win at 2/1, you would then get back 8 x £27 = £216.
Advantages of a Union Jack Bet
A Union Jack Bet is a fun way of combining nine selections into eight manageable bets and three winners could give you a nice return, whilst you could get a big return if all nine win.
Disadvantages of a Union Jack Bet
The problem with placing a Union Jack Bet is it’s possible that quite a few of your nine selections could win and you won’t get any sort of return.
If just one or two win you won’t get anything, whilst it’s possible you could have up to five winning selections without any three of them forming a winning treble line.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of placing a Union Jack bet is if all nine selections win. Sure, you’ll win all nine of the bets you placed, but you won’t be paid out on anything bigger than a treble. That’s why many punters prefer to place combo bets such as Super Yankees and other bets that combine lots of selections into doubles, trebles, four-folds, five-folds, and accas etc.
Just to put that into context, if you had a £1 accumulator on nine selections all priced at 2/1 – that would pay £19,683.
Union Jack Bet Calculator
As with most bet types of this nature, it’s far easier to use a calculator to determine your bets and winnings. We highly recommend this one from AceOdds:
Sports for a Union Jack Bet
You’ll need to double-check with your bookmaker to determine whether selections from certain sports can be used in a Union Jack bet. But many bookies will allow you to pick horse racing selections, football selections, and selections from many other sports. Some may even allow you to combine selections from different sports into a Union Jack bet.
Summary of a Union Jack Bet
• A Union Jack Bet is nine selections formed into eight trebles
• You’ll only get paid out if all three selections on a line win or place (if it’s an each-way Union Jack bet.
• A Union Jack bet costs 8x your stake or 16x if it’s an each-way Union Jack.