What is an Alphabet bet?
In the same way as the name of the multiple bet known as a ‘Heinz’, which consists of 57 bets in total, is derived from the ’57 Varieties’ advertising slogan once used by the H.J. Heinz Company, the ‘Alphabet’ is so-called because it consists of 26 bets in total; in other words, the same number of bets as there are letters in the English alphabet.
The ‘Alphabet’ is a multiple bet on six different selections in six different events, typically horse races or football matches. Selections are combined in two patent bets, one on selections 1, 2 and 3 and another on selections 4, 5 and 6, one yankee bet, on selections 2, 3, 4 and 5 and in six-fold accumulator bet, on selections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Each patent consists of three singles, three doubles and a treble, making seven bets apiece, while the yankee consists of six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator, making 11 bets. Thus, 7 + 7 + 11 + 1 makes a total of 26 bets.
Of course, the ‘Alphabet’ is not a ‘full cover’ bet. Covering all the permutations of singles, doubles, trebles and accumulators for six selections requires 63 bets in total, and is catered for by the more expensive ‘Lucky 63’ bet. By not covering all the permutations, punters run the risk of missing out if results fall the wrong way; if, for example, selections 1, 2, 5 and 6 win, the Alphabet punter collects on four singles and two doubles, whereas – notwithstanding the increased outlay – the Lucky 63 punter collects on four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator.