A Lucky 15 is a popular multiples bet that can be placed on just about anything but is most often used by football or horse racing fans. In this article, we will explain all there is to know about this bet, including how it works, how the winnings are calculated and how it differs from a similar bet, a Yankee. We will also look at the related Lucky 31 and Lucky 63 bets, as well as some offers and promotions that can sometimes be claimed when you make these wagers.
What Is A Lucky 15?
A Lucky 15 is a wager that rolls 15 individual bets into one larger gamble. The starting point is to pick four selections. You can opt for four horses to win four separate races, or you might try and predict the winner of four Premier League games or perhaps make an ante post Lucky 15 on who will win each of the four main divisions in English football. Basically you can add any four unrelated selections into a Lucky 15, meaning your four picks can be at any odds, from any sports, using any markets, and you can mix and match between sports, market and odds too.
The 15 bets involved each require their own stake, such that a £1 Lucky 15 will set you back £15 in total. The 15 bets mean that you have covered every possible combination of standard wagers that can be made from four selections, starting from singles and ending up with a fourfold accumulator, or acca. In total that means you will be placing the following bets:
- Singles – four singles, one on each of your selections
- Doubles – six doubles covers every possible double from the four legs
- Trebles – your Lucky 15 will include all four possible trebles
- Fourfold Acca – one of the 15 stakes will go on all legs to win as a solitary bet – an acca
Example Of A Lucky 15
The easiest way to explain the intricacies of this bet in more detail is through an example. Let us imagine you opted for a horse racing Lucky 15 on the four big races on a Saturday, all from Cheltenham. Your selections might be as follows:
A Lucky 15 combines those four selections into the following 15 bets:
|Bet No.||Bet Type||Selections|
|11||Treble||Brightside, Sunshine, Blobby|
|12||Treble||Brightside, Sunshine, Sandman|
|13||Treble||Brightside, Blobby, Sandman|
|14||Treble||Sunshine, Blobby, Sandman|
|15||Fourfold Acca||Brightside, Sunshine, Blobby and Sandman|
As we can see, from such a bet, a punter will get a return I they manage just one winning leg. At the same time, and naturally enough, to land all 15 bets, all four predictions must be correct. The list below shows how many of your 15 bets will be successful according to how many of your four picks do the business.
- 0 Winners – all 15 bets lose
- 1 Winner – one bets wins
- 2 Winners – three bets win
- 3 Winners – seven bets win
- 4 Winners – all 15 bets win
Difference Between Lucky 15 And A Yankee
If you are familiar with bets like a Yankee (or Trixie, or Super Yankee), you will no doubt feel that a Lucky 15 looks like a very similar wager. A Trixie (three selections, four bets), Yankee (four selections, 11 bets) and Super Yankee (five selections, 26 bets) are all examples of a full cover bet. The “full cover” name derives from the fact that the wagers cover every possible multiple bet that can be made from the applicable number of selections.
A Lucky 15 is classed as a full cover with singles bet which means, very simply, that it adds one single per selection to any full cover bet. We will look at Lucky 31s and Lucky 63s in more detail later in this feature but the table below shows the full cover and full cover with singles bets for a range of selections.
|Selections||Full Cover||Bets||With Singles||Total Bets|
|5||Canadian (or Super Yankee)||26||Lucky 31||31|
So in short, a Lucky 15 is a Yankee with four singles added covering each of the four selections both wagers comprise.
How Do I Calculate Returns From A Lucky 15?
Calculating winnings from a Lucky 15 is easy enough and there are two main ways you can go about it. Well, three ways. Oh, make that four ways. In short, these are:
- Check The Betting Slip – when you make the bet the bookie will show the potential returns on the slip. However, this will only be relevant should you get all four legs right as otherwise returns depend on which legs win and the respective odds of these selections.
- Use A Calculator – there are many Lucky 15 betting calculators that allow you to input the odds and which selections won to calculate the winnings. These even allow for each way bets (of which more shortly), void bets/non-runners, dead heats and even bookies’ offers.
- Calculate Manually – depending on how many of your four selections won you may have just one bet to work out, or you might have 15. If you are familiar with the basics of accas you should be able to check your returns manually easily enough.
- Check Your Returns – bookies very rarely get basics such as returns from a bet wrong and whilst it may well pay to check, you could just assume that the bookie has got it right. If you are happy to do that, you can see your returns via My Account or My Bets (settled) at most bookmakers.
If you are using an online calculator then things are easy enough and most are designed in an intuitive way. To calculate manually you need to first work out which of your 15 bets won by looking at the results of each of the four legs. Then it is simply a case of calculating the winnings from each successful bet and adding them together.
The singles are straightforward but for doubles, trebles and hopefully a fourfold, things are a little more complex. The easiest way to work out your winnings for such bets is to multiply the decimal odds together. In our hypothetical racing Lucky 15, let’s imagine that the first two horses won and the third and fourth lost.
So Brightside and Sunshine won at odds of 8/1 (9.0 in decimal) and 4/1 (5.0 in decimal) respectively. As we can see from the various tables and lists above, or work out if we understand how a Lucky 15 works, that means we have three winners: the singles on each horse, plus the double that combines them both.
If we placed a £1 Lucky 15 (total stake £15), our returns from the singles are £9 and £5 respectively, decimal odds including the stake. To calculate the return for the double we can simply multiply the decimal odds together, nine multiplied by five being 45, for a return of £45 from that winning double. That gives us total returns of £59 (£9 + £5 + £45) and therefore a total profit of £44 (after our £15 stake is deducted).
As you can see, a very decent profit was delivered by just two winners. As with any bet, the profit is determined by the odds. One winner at big enough odds will deliver a handsome win, whilst you could have three winners at very, very short odds and still make a loss. However, to land a really big win you will almost certainly need to hit four out of four. But just how much might you win?
Big Wins On Lucky 15s
A hypothetical Lucky 15 that came in with winners at 25/1, 8/1, 12/1 and 20/1 would yield a really rather impressive return. With a fairly standard 10% all-right bonus (see below) and a stake of £5 (so a total stake £75, so not exactly a tiny wager), you would be looking at a return of more than £450k! Even a £1 stake would see you land over £91,000!
However, when it comes to some epic Lucky 15 wins, we do not need to reside in the hypothetical realm. There have been plenty of massive winners landed by skilful (or lucky, or crazy if you prefer) punters over the years.
One Scunthorpe man won over £200,000 on a Lucky 15 that cost less than a fiver in total! He picked four long shots spread over two race meetings back in December 2019 and watched in amazement as they all came in at massive odds of 40/1, 25/1, 20/1 and 10/1.
More recently, in 2013, another punter wagered rather more, backing his Lucky 15 for £6 per line (total £90)… but he was certainly glad he did. Without even getting all four picks right, the anonymous punter landed over £70,000, thanks to winners at a Best Odds Guaranteed price of 40/1 (boosted from an earlier price of 25/1), 16/1 and 14/1.
Over in Ireland another Lucky 15 fan scooped more than €144,000 from an each way Lucky 15 that cost just €15 in total! In less than two hours the punter, John McGilloway, landed winners at 16/1, 22/1, 28/1 and 22/1 to change his afternoon pretty quickly!
And for any older punters out there looking for a bit of gambling inspiration, how about 87 year old Michael O’Connor, who scooped almost £45,000 from another each way Lucky 15? The former miner from County Durham struck gold with another four-horse Lucky 15, a £2 each way bet that also got a very nice Best Odds Guaranteed boost in 2021.
What Can I Bet On… And What Can’t I?
As we have said, you can pretty much bet on anything when it comes to Lucky 15 bets. The big winners above do illustrate the truism that these bets tend to be favoured by racing punters but there is absolutely no reason at all why you couldn’t create such a bet on football, rugby, tennis, golf, reality TV, the Oscars or anything else.
The only real exception to the “anything goes” rule is that the selections must not be what bookmakers call related contingencies. In short, these are selections where the probabilities of each outcome are linked. In racing, for example, this means that backing one horse to win and another to finish second in the same race cannot be a double but is a standalone single (a forecast) with its own odds.
In football, another simple example is that you cannot back a team to win at half time, and win at full time, using the standard odds for those related markets, combined into a double. If a team is ahead at half time, they are more likely to win the game. A side might be priced at 21/20 to win a game and 8/5 to be ahead at half time. Backing this as a double would equate to odds of well over 4/1. In contrast, however, such a bet would have to be backed on the existing half time/full time market, where an identical outcome is priced at the much shorter odds of 23/10.
Some related contingencies are very obvious, to the extent that if one leg wins, the other must, by definition win. For example, one punter tried to combine two related bets at the US Open (tennis). The punter was refused a full pay out when he had bet on Emma Radacanu to win a match and also to win the tournament, which had been wrongly accepted as a double. It was impossible for her to win the tournament and not the match and so combining the legs like this artificially and unfairly inflated the odds.
However, some related contingencies are less clear-cut. There can be grey areas so if in any doubt, just check with the bookie (either in a shop or online, though in the case of the latter the betting software will not usually allow you to make ineligible bets). One example of bets that could be seen to be related but are not, are when you back a jockey/trainer combo for multiple races throughout a card. If they win, say, the first two races, it suggests the yard and rider are in great form and the odds would typically be shorter for any subsequent rides.
However, if you wanted to back the same jockey to win all his races on a certain day, as many of course did with Frankie Dettori’s Magnificent Seven at Ascot, that is fine. In contrast, you cannot normally back a tennis player or golfer to win more than one major using the standard outright winner odds for each event. These cannot be combined as a double, treble or fourfold and instead must be backed through a specials market with prices calculated using more complex algorithms (and offering shorter odds than the acca would!).
Which Sites Offer A Lucky 15 And How Do I Place The Bet?
It is said that Betfred owner Fred Done invented the Lucky 15 and whilst it is old Fred himself who actually says that, we believe it to be true. True or not, Lucky 15s are now offered by all of the best horse racing betting sites around, whether you are backing four horses or anything else. That makes it really easy to place a Lucky 15 and certainly all of the bookies we feature here offer this exciting wager.
The mechanics of placing the bet are also very simple and you will normally see the option to make a Lucky 15 anytime you add four eligible selections to an online slip. Just make your four predictions for the big meeting, be it the four championship races at the Cheltenham Festival, four races from the live Saturday racing or anything else and then head to the betting slip.
You will be presented with a range of bets at this stage. They will probably include backing all four as an acca, backing them individually as singles, backing the four possible trebles, the six doubles, or the Yankee, as well as the Lucky 15. The number of bets/stakes needed will be shown next to the option, for example, “Lucky 15 (x15)”. Tick the bet you want to make, in this case the Lucky 15, and then add your stake (noting that it will be multiplied by 15 for the total stake).
Check that your four picks are correct and that the total stake shown at the bottom tallies with what you intended to risk. Then away you go – just confirm the bet and cross your fingers.
Lucky 15 Offers
Crossing your fingers, it is the sad truth, will do nothing more than possibly lead to arthritis down the line. Placing your bet with a bookie that has offers on Lucky 15s, on the other hand, will guarantee you have a better overall outcome in the long term. There are two main offers that you will find with Lucky 15s and if you can find a bookie that you like, that offers both of these, as well as Best Odds Guaranteed (now standard with most of the best horse racing betting sites) and good prices in general, you’re onto a winner so to speak.
One-Winner Lucky 15 Bonus
Both of the available bonuses are from the “does-what-it-says-on-the-tin” school of betting promotions. So hopefully you have at least some idea what the one-right bonus is all about. This is a nice consolation that enhances the odds of your winning selection if you only manage to get one of your four Lucky 15 selections over the line.
This varies from site to site but normally is double the odds, which is a huge boost. This means that if you back four horses at odds of 7/1 and only one wins, you will actually break even despite three of your four selections, and 14 of the 15 bets, losing. The 7/1 is doubled to 14/1 and along with your returned stake sees you walk away unscathed. If your winner is priced at odds higher than 7/1 then you will make a profit, no matter what the result of the other three of your picks, nor their odds.
That really is an excellent offer for horse racing fans who like a Lucky 15. In reality, your winner may be priced at shorter than 7/1, so you may well still lose. But come what may, those losses will be far smaller than had your winning odds not been doubled.
All-Winners Lucky 15 Bonus
Another fairly self-explanatory offer, the all-right Lucky 15 turns a big win when you land all four legs into an even bigger win. This adds extra value to the bet and whilst getting four out of four is no mean feat, and you’re are pretty much assured of a tidy sum anyway, it’s always nice to get a little boost to your winnings!
Once again, the precise nature of the offer may vary from site to site, with this promotion probably harder to come by than the one-winner deal. However, where your bookie does have this promo, it typically gives a 10% boost on any winnings, paid as cash rather than a free bet or bonus. Note that such offers may well only apply to horse or dog racing Lucky 15s rather than any such wagers on other sports or events.
Lucky 31s And Lucky 63s
We have already touched on Lucky 31s and Lucky 63s and these are simply identical in structure to a Lucky 15 but feature more selections. A Lucky 31 requires five legs and has, surprise surprise, 31 bets, with a Lucky 63 featuring 63 bets made using six selections. A Lucky 31 includes five singles and a solitary fivefold acca, as well as 10 doubles, 10 trebles and five fourfolds. A Lucky 63 has six singles and one sixfold, plus six fivefold accas, 15 doubles and the same number of fourfolds, and 20 trebles.
They are placed in exactly the same way, you have all the same options in terms of what bets to include and what you can’t include, and winnings are calculated in the same fashion. You just have more selections to decide on and more stakes to cover.
The only other difference is in terms of promotions for these bets. Offers, be they for getting one winner only or for landing all of your picks, increase the more selections your bet includes. So in general if a bookie offers triple odds for one winner on a Lucky 15 they may give you four times the normal price on a Lucky 31 and five times the odds or a Lucky 63. Equally, get all right and that payout boost might rise from 10% to 20% and then up to 25%, with some sites going even higher.
Last of all it is worth pointing out that in theory, you can keep adding selections beyond the six of a Lucky 63 and covering all possible multiples plus the relevant singles. In this way you can create Lucky bets with seven, eight, or even more selections.
However, as well as this not being something pushed by bookies, it is not something that will typically come up as an option on a betting slip should you add seven (or more) selections. Full cover bets with singles only tend to go up to a Lucky 63. However, full cover bets without singles included generally go higher, often up to a whopping Goliath (eight selections, 247 bets). You can then simply pick the relevant full cover bet and manually back all the singles.
Each Way Lucky Bets
Another option with all these bets, including of course a Lucky 15, is to back them each way. This will double your stake, so a 50p each way Lucky 15 will cost you £15. It is only possible where all of your legs are available to back each way.
The each way terms are specific to each race, so for example if the first leg is a small field affair, each way for that might be just the first two places and pay at a quarter of the full odds. In contrast one of the other legs might be a cavalry charge with 20 horses and see each way paid down to four places. Should you decide to venture away from horse racing for your Lucky 15 and include a golf bet, you may see each way terms down to six or more places, especially in big events, perhaps paying out at a fifth of the odds.
To win both parts of the bet, as with any each way bet, your selections must win. In equally unequivocal terms, if any of the four (or more legs) lose, which is to say finish outside the places, all bets that included that particular leg will lose. Any of the 15 bets that are made up entirely of winning selections will be a full win, whilst any that is just a place, or combine a place, will only pay out on the each way part of the bet.
Void And Dead Heat Selections In A Lucky 15
We mentioned earlier that some very clever online calculators make working out your winnings simple and that such calculators also cover void selections. Before we look at how bookies handle voids and non-runners within a Lucky 15, let’s look at another computation the best calculators can do for you, that of a dead heat.
With the advent and improvement of photo-finish technology, dead heats are relatively rare. Even so, if you bet on horse racing long enough, the chances are that you will bet on one at some point. Standard dead heat rules apply and whilst this would require some quite elongated manual checking and maths… you can just use an online calculator instead.
The dead heat reduction will be to the stake on any leg that includes the horse that tied, be that for the win, or the place if you made an each way Lucky 15. When it comes to void selections, such as a non-runner, all bookies again use common rules and once again you can double-check your winnings easily with one of the available online tools.
Any non-runner is simply discounted from each bet of which it is a part. So in a Lucky 15 where one horse is a non-runner or the bet is void for any other reason (such as a meeting being cancelled, the following will apply:
- The fourfold acca becomes a treble
- One treble remains unchanged, the other three become doubles
- Three doubles become singles, the other three (that didn’t include the void selection anyway) remain unchanged
- Three singles are unaffected and the other is discounted entirely
So of the 15 bets, seven, that did not include the non-runner, go ahead in entirely the same fashion as they would normally. One, the single on that selection, is a true void bet and for this leg your stake is returned. The final seven bets, one fourfold, three trebles and three doubles, are reduced by one leg.
These same rules apply no matter whether your Lucky 15 is on the horses, dogs, football or anything else. In truth though, most Lucky 15 bets will go ahead with all four legs live… so all you need to do now is try and find four winners!