What is a Roundabout bet?

In betting parlance, a ‘Roundabout’ is a type of multiple bet involving three selections. The bet consists of three single bets and three conditional, or ‘any-to-come’, doubles to twice the original stake. For example, a £1 Roundabout on three selections, A, B and C, consists of £1 win A, any-to-come £2 win double B and C, £1 win B, any-to-come £2 win double A and C, and £1 win C, any-to-come £2 win double A and B.

Of course, if one of your selections is odds-on, the win single will generate a return less than twice your original stake, in which case the full return will be staked on the any-to-come double on the other two selections. Consequently, if one of the other two selections loses, you will lose your whole stake, despite having backed a winner.

Nevertheless, proponents of the Roundabout argue, with some justification, that the possibility of losing your whole stake is a price worth paying for the ‘leverage’ the bet provides, if successful. In the above example, the amount staked is £3, for three £1 win singles, but the potential payout is for three £1 win singles, less £2 from the return on each one, plus three £2 win doubles. If you back three winners, all at even money, your return from three standard £1 win singles will be £6, but your return from a Roundabout, for the same unit stake, will be £24.