System Bet Explained

With this detailed guide on a system bet, you will have the question of “what is a system bet?” answered fully in a way that is both understandable and practical. You will begin to see just why a system bet can bring value to your betting experience through safer betting but also through profitable wagers. We will take you through how the bet works, how it plays out in a real bet, what betting strategies can be used with it and what the pros and cons are. By going through these differences we should have a system bet explained in enough detail for you to wholly understand it. So with that in mind, let’s get straight into the guide.

What is a System Bet?

A system bet is similar to a combination bet but is developed a little further. In order to place system bet you need to wager at least three different picks, it is predominantly made up of a series of combination bets and single bets. All of the events you wager on will be played in different combinations that correspond to the number of predictions in the system itself. Furthermore, system betting can help you to mitigate losses and risk while still being able to achieve very decent profits from your wagers. It is its inherent safety in wagering that is a big draw for a lot of different punters because should one of your combinations fail you wouldn’t lose the entire wager.

This is a betting strategy that is largely used by more experienced punters who likely even gamble as a profession. However, this does not mean that you cannot learn it as a less experienced punter and benefit from the potential success if could bring you with your future wagering. With the basics of a system bet explained, let’s take a look at some real world examples to help you come to grips with the nuances of a system bet.

A System Bet in Football

An example of a system bet can be easily explained with a simple system bet in football. For example, you could bet on a 3 combination of matches for Manchester United (2.5), Arsenal (2.2) and Sheffield United (3.5) with those odds. Your combination of matches would then appear like this:

  • 1st Bet: Manchester United (2.5) & Arsenal (2.2)
  • 2nd Bet: Arsenal (2.2) & Sheffield United (3.5)
  • 3rd Bet: Manchester United (2.5) & Sheffield United (3.5)

For the sake of this example let’s assume that Manchester United lost their fixture and Arsenal and Sheffield United won their fixtures. The results of your system bet slip would look like this:

  • 1st Bet: Arsenal (2.2) & Sheffield United (3.5) – Won. 
  • 2nd Bet: Manchester United (2.5) & Arsenal (2.2) – Lost.
  • 3rd Bet: Sheffield United (3.5) & Manchester United (2.5) – Lost.

So if your initial wager on each combination of matches was let’s say £30, then your winnings would have been £171 (2.2 x £30) + (3.5 x £30). However, you would have lost £60 on the other two bets so your total would have been (winnings – stake) = £111.

As you can see, should you make a quality call on your combination bets and you are successful, there are top notch profits to be made. And because you are able to lose a bet, you are not tied into all of your bets having to be successful for you to at the very least see a return on your bet.

Different Betting Strategies to Use With A System Bet

There are a few types of betting strategies you can employ when going for a system bet. We will explain these different strategies for you in a simple manner so that you have all the knowledge of system bet explained to you;

The X-Factor: in essence, this betting strategy looks to capitalise on the likelihood that several teams might draw their fixture. You are more likely going to use this strategy in football as opposed to rugby or basketball, as football generally has a higher chance for teams to draw the match. Furthermore, you will generally find that the odds for a draw are a good value. So should you pick the right fixtures that you think have a fair chance of ending in draws you stand to make a good profit from this type of strategy.

The Yankee-Up: if you are always betting on the favourites you are less likely to take home any considerable winnings. This is not to say you shouldn’t wager wisely but it is a good idea to, on occasion, place one or two bets on a few underdogs with your standard bets on the favourites. This is of course a slightly riskier strategy but, in a system bet you are more likely to cover your losses then you are in a single bet placed on an underdog.

There are many ways you can go about placing your system bet but these two are the most notable and the easiest to grasp for a newer punter.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of a System Bet

In answering the question “what is a system bet?” we will need to understand what makes a system bet both positive and negative in order to gauge if it will be an effective betting strategy for you. A system bet can be very appealing and rightly so, but it is important to remember that not all bets are perfect and there is always something to be mindful of when trying out a new form of wagering. As such, let’s take a look at some of the factors that make a system bet both an advantage and a disadvantage to your betting experience.

Advantages of a System Bet

There are several advantages to using a system bet which is why it has been steadily growing in popularity of late. First and foremost, the big draw for a system bet is the natural safety that it offers a punter. Should one of your combinations fail in your overall selections you don’t lose your entire stake in the wager. This is a major advantage over other types of combined betting where you would lose the whole wager with one incorrect prediction.

Another great advantage to the system bet is the chance for higher profits. As a result of betting on several different odds based on your selections, the total value of the odds can potentially net you significant winnings. Of course, this is dependent on the success of your overall predictions. Should you fail in one of your predictions you could still earn a profit but are more likely to simply earn your initial stake in the bet back. Furthermore, if you lose all your predictions then naturally you would win zero profit.

Disadvantages of a System Bet

Firstly, this type of betting strategy can appear overwhelming to a new punter. The bigger betting slips will appear confusing with multiple predictions on them and at times the calculation you need to do to understand what your potential profits and losses might appear difficult. The system bet has a natural safety net to it, this can spark a reckless form of betting on too many underdogs or going over the top with your bet on certain fixtures or events. It is absolutely imperative that you always stay on top of your knowledge of the game and try not to be lulled into a false sense of security.

While the system bet is great for mitigating losses and risk, it is like any other bet in that when you lose all your predictions you lose your entire stake. Lastly, when betting on many different combinations that make up your system betting slip, it does require arguably more funds than your average single bet because you are spreading a wager over more than one bet so to speak.

What Other Betting Guides and Strategies are Available?

Having had the system bet explained, it would be in your best interest as a newer or more experienced punter to take a look at some of our different guides to cultivate a better understanding of the environment of betting. For example, you may want to improve your knowledge on how a draw no bet and a free bet work. Furthermore, understanding how a betting exchange works will in turn help you to better understand how it corresponds to lay betting. This can be very profitable when used correctly but of course no bet is ever guaranteed.

Lastly, take a look at our detailed guide on what a classic handicap is and how you could use it to your advantage when taking on any future wagers.


There are many betting strategies out there to try and add to your arsenal of betting knowledge and having had the system bet explained you can now use it to your advantage in the future. It is a strategy with many upsides and very few downsides. However, at the end of the day it is entirely up to you as the punter to decide whether or not you think it will serve you in an effective way for your potential wagers. We hope this guide has helped you to answer the question “what is a system bet?”

We can also help you by providing recommendations of our trusted bookmakers, as well as advice on the payment options available – such as our latest sports betting with Skrill guide.

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