What is a Double bet in sports betting?

Double bets can transform your profit potential when betting on more than one event

double bet

Placing a double bet is one of the first steps punters take away from traditional single bets and towards more complicated forms of wagering.

Double bets are a great way to maximise your profit potential on two outcomes that you would have probably wagered on anyway. In combining your two single bets, you increase your risk but also your odds.

In this guide we’ll explain what is a double bet and show you how they work. We’ll look at the best sports for double bets and why they are becoming increasingly popular among new punters.


What does doubles mean in betting?

Doubles in betting refers to double bets, where you combine two selections into one wager. A double bet requires you to back two outcomes and merge them together. Both outcomes must win in order for you to win your double. If one fails then the entire bet falls apart.

As this is the case, you might rightly wonder what the point of a double bet is. Well, the reason why double bets in sport are popular is because they pay out more than if you bet on two single bets.

Bookmakers factor in the extra risk of both bets needing to win for the entire thing to pay out. Therefore your odds are far bigger for a double compared to two singles in silo.

This is not to be confused with a double chance in betting, which is very different.

Work out a double bet

Working out a double bet is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is multiple the odds of both single bets together.

Here’s an example. You want to bet on two races at Dundalk. You choose:

  • Cuban Confusion at 3.00 in the 15:55
  • Little Keilee at 6.00 in the 16:25

To work out the double simple multiply 3.0 by 6.5 to get your double odds. In this instance, your odds are now 19.50.

double bet example

Whereas two £5 bets one each individual selection would earn you a maximum of £47.50 return, a £10 double bet earns £195 return. The risk, though, is that both selections need to win in order for you to earn any return at all.

Still need help? Use Paddy’s double bet calculator and work it out the easy way!

Best sports for double bets

Here are some of the best sports for double bets to get you started:

  • Horse racing – This is where double bets originated and is often the go-to bet choice for racing punters. If you’re planning to bet on a string of races and are confident with your selections then it makes sense to create doubles and boost your odds. Many horse racing betting fans go further than double bets, and create trebles, yankees, and all sorts of complicated bet structures.
  • Football – A classic football bet, the double is ideal if you want to back two teams. Punters often use doubles at tournaments like the World Cup or on Champions League nights when games are being played at the same time.
  • Tennis – Double bets in tennis are an ideal way to bet on favourites and squeeze greater profit from the odds. If you know the top two seeds are going to progress in the first round at Wimbledon, for example, then lumping them together in a double bet means you can earn bigger profits without much of a risk increase.
  • Golf – Double bets in golf require you to bet on more than one tournament. You can’t bet on two people to win a competition, so your double bet looks at other outcomes. You might select two different players to win two different tournaments. Or you might bet on two players to each place in the top 10 at different events. Golf double bets are wide-ranging and a great way to follow more than one player around the course.

Can I cash out a double bet?

You can cash out double bets at Paddy Power, just as you can with any other combination or accumulator bet. Cashing out allows punters to lock in a profit or minimise their losses before an event is over. With a double bet, it might be the case that one of your selections hasn’t even started yet.

This can happen in horse racing when you bet on two individual races. In this instance, Paddy Power reserves the right to cancel the cash out if, for example, your selection for the second race is a non-runner.

> Want to know more? Read our bet types explained guide for an overview of all different types of bet!