What is a yankee bet?

In simple terms, a ‘yankee’ is a popular form of multiple bet, which offers full cover or, in other words, covers all possible combinations of four selections in four different races. A win yankee consists of in six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator, making 11 bets is total, and an each-way yankee, naturally enough, consists of 22 bets in total.

The name is probably derived not from any connection with the United States of America, but rather from the less-familiar Australian sense of ‘yankee’, meaning ‘equivalent for all’. A yankee tournament, for example, is one in which every player or team competes against each of the others in turn, so it follows that a bet in which every horse is combined with each of the others bears the same name.

Of course, compared with a standard four-fold accumulator, which requires such a single stake, or two, if placed each-way, a yankee bet effectively ‘dilutes’ the stake across 11, or 22, bets. Thus, if all four horses win, or at least finish placed, in the case of an each-way bet, the returns on a yankee bet will be significantly lower than those on a four-fold accumulator to the equivalent total stake. A £1.10 win four-fold accumulator on four winning selections, all at 5/1, produces a total return of £1,425.60, whereas a £0.10 win yankee on the same selections produces a total return of just £237.60. That said, if one or more of the selections lose, the accumator bet is a loser, but the yankee still produces a return for two or three winners.