What is a ‘Bookies’ Nightmare’ bet?

The so-called ‘Bookies’ Nightmare’ is a horse racing bet involving nine selections, in nine different races, which are combined in a series of smaller multiple bets and one nine-fold accumulator. The smaller multiple are two Patents, one on selections 1, 2 and 3 and another on selections 7, 8 and 9, two Yankees, one on selections 1, 2, 3 and 4 and another on selections 5, 6, 7 and 8, and one Round Robin, on selections 4, 5 and 6. All told, a Bookies’ Nightmare constitutes 47 individual bets.

The Patents are simple enough, insofar as they involve three singles, three doubles and one treble on each group of three selections. The same is true of the Yankees, which involve six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold accumulator on each group of four selections. However, the Round Robin is a little more complicated, because it not only involves three doubles and one treble on the remaining three selections, but also three pairs of singles stakes about, or ‘up and down’, bets, which are worthy of further explanation.

Assuming the unit stake is £1, for selections 4, 5 and 6, the single stakes about bets are £1 win 4, any-to-come £1 win 5, £1 win 5, any-to-come £1 win 4, and so on for selections 4 and 6, and 5 and 6, making six bets in all. In each case, the second part of the bet is only of any consequence if the first part of the bet wins. For example, if selection 4 wins, the stake on selection 5 will be doubled, but if selection 4 loses there is nothing to come, so the stake on selection 5 will remain the same; if selection 5 then wins, £1 will be deducted from the returns for the any-to-come bet on selection 4, which has already lost.