Single Bets – Your guide to easy betting

For Beginner

Single Betting Explained

A single bet is one of the simplest forms of betting and undoubtedly one of the most popular bet types too. In this guide, you can learn everything about single betting, including what it means and how to place a single bet online. 

What is a Single Bet

A single bet, as you might expect from the name, is a bet on a single outcome of an event. Instead of betting on multiple events in the same game, this is simply choosing one possible outcome. This might be for a particular team to win the game or for a certain number of points to be scored. All US sportsbooks offer single bets, as they’re the easiest type of bet to understand and the most popular too.

The opposite of the single bet is the parlay, which allows you to place wagers on multiple outcomes, increasing the overall odds. Parlays offer a fun way to potentially increase your payout, although the risk is much greater than with a single bet. Because you need each of the selections in your parlay to happen in order for your bet to win, the chance of success can be very low. Just one wrong prediction will mean you lose your stake. 
You can add multiple singles on the same bet slip and then decide how much you want to place on either of your selections.

Although the odds may not be as good, the chance of success on a single bet is usually much better, you can still find plenty of high-risk/high-rewards single bets, depending on what you’re looking to bet on. 

What is an Each Way Single Bet

A slight variation on the standard single bet is the each-way single bet. These are more commonly seen in motorsports and horse racing, where there are winners as well as podium places. You might see each-way bets offered on other sports too, but for the majority of online sportsbooks, each-way betting is reserved for race events. 

Each way bets consist of two separate bets, one to win and one to place. Because it’s technically two bets, if you place a $20 bet, you’re actually betting $10 x 2. $10 is betting that your selection will win the race, while the other $10 is betting that they’ll place on the podium. With this type of single bet, you can win both bets, one bet or neither, depending on the outcome of the race. 

Single Bet Examples

So what are some examples of single bets? Let’s say you want to bet on football, specifically that one team will beat another. If you open up your sportsbook and go to the football category, you can view the odds for upcoming and live matches. Let’s say you want to bet on the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears. You should have a few different betting options, but to bet on one team to win, you’ll want to choose the moneyline bet. This will be shown as:

  • Packers -205
  • Bears +172

In this example, picking either of these teams to win is a single bet. If you pick the Packers to win, you’d need to bet $205 to win $100, while if you bet $100 on the Bears, you’d win $172. 

Single Each Way Bet Example

Each way bets are more commonly seen in horse racing and motorsports, where selections can place on a podium. An each-way bet doubles your stake and places a bet on the race winner and the race podium, allowing you to increase your potential payout as well as protecting your bet in case your selection fails to win. As an example, let’s say you want to bet on the upcoming F1 Grand Prix. The each-way selections in your sportsbook might look something like this:

  • Verstappen +150 Each way -500
  • Hamilton +150 Each way -500
  • Bottas +650 Each way -500

Advantages of Single Betting

The main advantage of single betting over parlays is that it’s a lot simpler. You don’t need to worry about one of your selections potentially ruining your entire parlay. You just place your bet on the option you think is most likely to win. While parlays do offer the potential for higher payouts, they’re also much riskier. 

With each-way betting, you also give yourself insurance in case your selection doesn’t win the race outright. As long as your selection finished on the podium, you’ll still win one of the each-way bets. This won’t give you as big a payout as if your selection won, but it does prevent you from losing your stake completely. 

Single Betting Strategy

Now you know the ins and outs of single betting, it’s time to go over some strategy. Remember to always bet responsibly, as even with the perfect strategy, you’re always at risk of losing money. Don’t bet more than you can afford to, and if you’re often losing, take a break for a while. Here are some of our best tips for making the most of single bets:

  • Choose the best odds - Before betting on any event, you’ll want to look around for the best odds. Different sportsbooks offer different odds on most events, and you can gain extra profit by shopping around for the best odds. Remember that the odds will also change in the build-up to the event, with sportsbooks aiming to get equal money on each opposite outcome. 
  • Make the most of free bets - The vast majority of online sportsbooks offer promotions to new and current players, usually in the form of free bets. Be sure to claim these when they’re available, as they can help to give your bankroll a little boost.
  • Use live betting and cash out features - Live betting lets you place bets on the game while it’s being played. This can potentially lead to some great value, especially if you wait for the favorite to go behind on the scoreboard before placing your bet. Look out for the cash out feature. You can use this to take profits from your bets before the game is over. You can also use the cash out feature to protect your stake if you’re worried your bet might lose. 

As long as you follow these strategies, you’ll hopefully have a much more profitable time while betting. If you feel like placing a single bet, or any other kind of bet for that matter, we have some great sportsbook recommendations here on site, they're all highly reputable sportsbooks with easy deposit and withdrawal options.