What is a Union Jack bet
A Union Jack bet is a speciality bet that doesn’t fall into any other category of bets, such as full-cover bets, forecasts or ‘any to come’ bets. A Union Jack bet consists of 9 selections that form 8 separate treble bets. Normally a punter would place this bet on a specially designed bet slip to make it easy to see which of the 9 selections form each treble. How these selections are grouped on the bet slip is what gave this bet type its name, as it give the appearance of the Union Jack flag when you draw a line through each of the potentially winning trebles.
As you can see from the Ladbrokes union jack bet slip, when we put a union jack flag over the top of it the 8 trebles become a lot clearer. There are 3 horizontal trebles (1-2-3, 4-5-6 and 7-8-9), 3 vertical trebles (1-4-7, 2-5-8 and 3-6-9) and 2 diagonal trebles (1-5-9 and 3-5-7).
Needless to say, as a Union jack is made up of 8 trebles, for a punter to get a return on his wager at least 3 of the selections must win. But this doesn’t guarantee a return, in fact if you are having a very unlucky day a Union Jack bet might not give a return even if 6 of your 9 selections win. See the below images to see how having just 3 winners can give a return and how having 6 might not.
If a Union Jack bet is the one for you, you should be aware that there are ways to bet the same 9 selections in either a more risk averse way or in a more aggressive way (meaning shorter or larger odds). Looking at the grid you can see that the centre selection will be involved in 4 of the treble bets, the corner selections will be in 3 of the trebles and the other will be in only 2. Therefore if you wish to play it safe you can put your selection with the shortest odds in the centre, followed by the corners. Whereas if you want to go for the maximum win you will do the opposite.
Union Jack calculations
To calculate a Union jack bet is not complicated but it is a little long winded. This bet type is just 8 separate trebles and will be calculated the same way as a treble bet is worked out but done 8 times. To calculate a treble you simply multiple the 3 odds together and then multiple the result but the unit stake that you bet. Doing this for each of your winning lines will give you your total returns. Obviously you can eliminate this tedious task by using our Union Jack calculator.
Example of how our Union Jack calculator works
Let’s have a look at an example where you have 6 winning lines. The bet has been placed at a bookmaker that offers a 50% bonus for this many winners and the bet is a stake of £1. The grid below shows the odds on the 9 selections and highlighted yellow is the winning selections that make up the 6 winning lines.
As you can see 8 of the selections must win to have 6 good lines. Here we have 2 horizontal lines (1,2,3 and 4,5,6), 2 vertical lines (1,4,7 and 3,6,9) and 2 diagonal lines (1,5,9 and 3,5,7). Now as there is no shortcut to calculating Union Jack bets we will have to work-out each treble and then add them together.
1,2,3 = 7 x 3 x 4.5 = 94.5
4,5,6 = 6 x 2.1 x 3 = 37.8
7,8,9 = lost line = 0
1,4,7 = 7 x 6 x 4.5 = 189
2,5,8 = lost line = 0
3,6,9 = 4.5 x 3 x 5 = 67.5
1,5,9 = 7 x 2.1 x 5 = 73.5
3,5,7 = 4.5 x 2.1 x 4.5 = 42.525
Total is equal to 504.825 so a £1 bet pays out £504.83p (you’ll find nearly every bookie rounds up to the nearest penny)
As we have placed the bet with a bookie that has offered a 50% bonus we now need to add that to our final payout.
(504.83/100) x 150