The help topics on this page explain how the Free Bet Calculator can be used to calculate the potential profit for a sports bet. The topics are listed in the order they might typically be encountered when calculating your first bet. This page can therefore be used as a comprehensive tutorial by reading through each topic in sequence, but please note that not all topics apply to every bet calculator.


Before using the Free Bet Calculator for the first time, it may be necessary to adjust the default settings. You can do this via the Settings button, located in the top right corner of the bet calculator. Any changes to the default settings are automatically saved in a cookie, so that they can be shared between the various bet calculators, and re-used each time you visit the site. If cookies are disabled in your browser, then you can still adjust the settings, but any changes will be lost as soon as you leave the bet calculator’s web page.

If the Odds Format or Stake options are changed, the bet calculator’s form will be adjusted as necessary, and if the Each Way options or Bonuses are changed, the new settings will be used in any subsequent calculations.

Odds Format

The Odds Format allows you to specify win odds in either Fraction, Decimal or American format, according to your own preference (default: Fraction).


You can supply either a Unit Stake, Maximum Total Stake, or Exact Total Stake, when entering your bet details (default: Unit Stake).

The Max. Total option allows you to specify the maximum amount that you wish to spend on your bet. The maximum whole unit stake is then calculated, along with the corresponding actual total stake that will allow you to remain within your spending limit for that particular bet.

The Exact Total stake option enables the calculation of under-staked and over-staked bets, by allowing you to enter the total amount that has actually been staked. A high precision unit stake value is then derived from the total stake and used in the calculations. In the bet calculator’s Calculated Amounts section, the unit stake is displayed to a maximum of 8 decimal places (due to limited space on smaller screens), but where necessary, a much higher level of precision is actually used in the calculations in order to maximise accuracy.

Note: Some bookmakers have a rule of returning the excess stake on over-staked bets, rather than settling in proportion to the amount paid.

Each Way Multiples & Any To Come

The each way Multiples & Any To Come options, allow you to change the way in which each way bets are settled, in order to match the rules used by your bookmaker. Some high street bookmakers may also allow you to request the settlement method used, but this must be clearly specified on your bet slip.

The most common settling methods are ‘Win-to-Win, Place-to Place’ for each way Multiples, and Equally Divided for each way Any To Come bets. These are therefore set as the default options. Some bets, such as the Round Robin, contain multiple and any to come components, in which case both options will apply.


Bonuses are traditionally applied to Lucky 15, Lucky 31 and Lucky 63 bets, but some bookmakers also apply them to Alphabet, Canadian, Heinz and Yankee. The size of any bonus, and the way in which it is applied, can vary between different bookmakers, so the Free Bet Calculator allows you to configure various settings to reflect your bookmaker’s rules.

Most bookmakers will apply a bonus to the total return, but some will only apply it to the winnings (i.e. the total return minus the stake), so the option is provided to ‘Apply Bonus to’ either Return or Winnings.

A bonus is normally only applicable to the win part of each way bets, but some bookmakers will apply it the whole bet, so the option to apply an Each Way Bonus to Win Only or Win & Place, is also provided.

All selections must run for a bonus to apply (i.e. no void selections).

  • All Winners Bonus %

    The All Winners Bonus % is applied to either the return or winnings, if all selections win. This value will default to 10% for Alphabet & Lucky 15, 20% for Lucky 31, and 25% for Lucky 63. Bonuses are less commonly applied to Canadian, Heinz and Yankee, so the All Winners Bonus will default to 0% for these bets.

  • One Loser Bonus %

    The One Loser Bonus % may be applied to the return or winnings on Lucky 31 and Lucky 63 bets, if only one selection loses, and all other selections win. Most bookmakers do not offer this bonus, so this value will default to 0%.

  • One Winner Consolation

    The One Winner Consolation is a multiplier that is applied to the odds of a single winning selection. This value will default to 2, which equates to double odds. Note that if no consolation is offered this value should be set to 1, rather than 0, since it represents an odds multiplier.

Note: The Free Bet Calculator currently doesn’t support bonuses on equally divided each way bets if the Win Only bonus option is selected.

Animated Visual Effects

The Free Bet Calculator uses ‘Animated Visual Effects’ to show additional information and options that are normally hidden when not required, in order to prevent confusion and clutter. On most computers and newer mobile devices, these animated effects can enhance the overall user experience, by helping to draw attention to something that has changed, more effectively than a sudden abrupt action.

Unfortunately, on slower devices these same visual effects can still result in sudden abrupt changes, due to the device being unable to process instructions fast enough. Furthermore, the device’s failed attempts to animate changes smoothly, only succeeds in slowing everything down even further. In these circumstances the Animated Visual Effects contribute to a more negative user experience, so a setting is provided which allows them to be turned off (default: On).

Bet Type

If you have a favourite bet type, then you may prefer to use one of the Quick Bet Calculators, so that you don’t have to select the bet type and adjust the number of selections each time.

Otherwise simply select the required bet type from the list. The Number of Selections value is adjusted automatically to reflect the minimum number of selections required for a bet of that type, unless additional selections have already been added for a previous bet. Any existing selection details will remain unchanged in order to make it easier to re-calculate bets of different types, using the same selection details.

If you are using a computer with a mouse, then if the mouse cursor is positioned over a bet type, a brief description will appear after a short delay. For touch screen devices, full details of each bet type are available in the Betting Glossary.

Selecting an Accumulator will cause an additional section to appear on the form, allowing the Accumulator Fold Size to be entered.

If you select a bet type that has bonus details declared in the settings, which could affect the total return, then a Bonuses section will appear that allows you to Include Bonus in the calculation (if applicable).

Bet Options

After selecting the bet type, the next step is to enter the bet options:-

Unit Stake / Total Stake

Either a Unit Stake, Maximum Total Stake, or Exact Total Stake can be supplied, depending on the current Stake setting (see the Settings section above for more details). The minimum stake of any type is 0.01 (default: 1.00).

Each Way

When the Each Way option is selected, the options available for each selection will change. For each way bets, the Place fraction will appear, and the Other Options panel will be adjusted. In particular, the Dead Heat place options will appear, and the Joint Favourite options will disappear, since they are only relevant for win-only bets.

Number of Selections

The minimum number of selections is 1, and the maximum is up to 20, depending on the type of bet. Fivespot, Pontoon, Magnificent 7, Alphabet, Bookies Nightmare and Union Jack bets can not be permed, and other bets consisting of 6 or more selections are currently limited to perms of no more than 15 selections. The Number of Selections may be altered using either of the following methods:-

  1. Changing the bet type (if the current number of selections is less than the minimum number required).
  2. Entering the required number in the box provided. If an invalid number is entered the area around the input box will turn red, and the Calculate Bet button will be temporarily disabled.

Note: When the Number of Selections value is changed, so that the amount no longer represents the actual number of selections in the existing list, a button will appear that allows the appropriate number of selections to be Set. Once the required number of selections has been entered, use this button to generate the correct number of entries in the list of Selections.


To calculate the return on Patents permed from 4 selections: select the Patent bet type, increase the Number of Selections to 4, and then click the Set button.


The Accumulator section is only displayed when the Accumulator bet type is selected. Whenever the Number of Selections value changes, the Accumulator Fold Size also changes to reflect the new number of selections.

The minimum Accumulator Fold Size is 4, and the maximum is 20, depending on the number of selections.

Once the number of selections has been determined, the Accumulator Fold Size can be altered by entering the required number into the box provided.


To perm 5-folds from 10 selections: select the Accumulator bet type, increase the Number of Selections to 10, click the Set button, and then change the Accumulator Fold Size to 5.


The Bonuses section is only displayed when a bet type is selected for which at least one bonus criterion is declared in the settings. For example, most bookmakers don’t offer a bonus on Heinz bets, so the Bonuses section isn’t relevant, and won’t be displayed. However some bookmakers will pay an ‘all winners bonus’ on Heinz, in which case the bonus percentage should be entered into the Settings. The Bonuses section will then be displayed whenever the Heinz bet type is selected.

The Bonuses section contains the Include Bonus option, which allows you to include, or exclude, the bonus settings from your calculations on a bet by bet basis. Most bookmakers will only apply a bonus to bets that meet one of the relevant criteria, such as all winners, if they consist entirely of horse racing and/or greyhound selections (excluding Ante-post). Some bookmakers will also apply bonuses to other sports bets, but they are usually restricted to certain markets, and other conditions may apply.

It is therefore advisable to check your bookmaker’s rules, which are normally published on their website. The bonus settings for a particular bookmaker don’t change very often, so you should only need to check these settings against the rules when you switch between different bookmakers, although they are quite often the same.

The value of the Include Bonus option is automatically saved in a cookie whenever it changes, as long as cookies are enabled for your browser. If for example, you primarily place ‘Lucky’ bets on sports, or markets, that don’t qualify for a bonus, it means that you won’t need to remember to change this option from the initial default Yes value, every time you visit the website.


The final step before calculating the bet return, is to enter all the selection details:-

Other Options ()

The Other Options column, represented by the (ellipsis) character, contains the unique number assigned to each selection, that can be used in conjunction with the descriptions of the Fivespot, Pontoon, Magnificent 7, Alphabet, Bookies Nightmare and Union Jack speciality bets in the Betting Glossary, to identify the constituent bets.

When is displayed below a selection number, it indicates that other options are available for that selection. Click the appropriate numbered button to display a panel containing the less frequently used Rule 4, Dead Heat and Joint Favourite options. When any changes have been completed, you can either use the Close button (×) located in the top right of the panel, or click anywhere outside of the panel. A section containing a summary of the active options will appear below the main selection details, when applicable.

  • Rule 4

    The Rule 4 value represents any deductions that apply to selections affected by Tattersalls Rule 4(c), relating to the withdrawal of a horse, or horses, in the same race.

  • Dead Heat

    Dead Heat options can be applied to any selection that finishes in the same position as at least one other participant in the same event. By default, the Dead Heat options are not present, but can be added using the + button. The - button removes any existing Dead Heat options.The following Dead Heat options can be specified:-

    • Total

      The Total number of participants that have finished in the same position as the selection.

    • Position

      The Position is only applicable to each way bets, and represents where the selection finished (e.g. 1 for 1st, 2 for 2nd, etc).

    • Places

      The Places value is only applicable to each way bets, and represents the number of places relating to the place part of the bet.

  • Joint Fav.

    Joint Favourite options can be applied to any selection that represents an unnamed favourite, where there is more than one favourite for the event. By default the Joint Favourite options are not present, but can be added using the + button. The - button removes any existing Joint Favourite options. The following Joint Favourite options can be specified:-

    • Total

      The Total number of favourites for the race.

    • Winners

      The Winners value represents the total number of favourites that finish first; a value higher than 1 would indicate a dead heat between favourites.

    • NR

      The NR value represents the total number of favourites that were non-runners; i.e. any favourites withdrawn shortly before the runners come under starter’s orders.

    Note: The Free Bet Calculator only supports favourites on win-only bets.


The Status should be set to reflect the result for each selection. If the result is not known (i.e. before the event), then setting the Status to Won will allow the maximum potential return to be calculated.

Setting the Status to Placed for a bet that is not each way, will have the same effect as setting the Status to Lost.

The Status should only be set to Void NR when the stake is returned for that selection. Non-runners that are not classed as void selections should have their Status set to Lost, for example where ante-post rules apply.

When the Status is changed, other options for that selection may appear or disappear, depending on whether that information is necessary in order to calculate the bet. For example, if a selection has lost then the win odds are no longer relevant.

Win Odds

The Win Odds is either, a fixed price taken at the time the bet was placed, or the Starting Price. It may be entered in either Fraction, Decimal or American format, according to the Odds Format setting.


The Place value represents the fraction that should be applied to the win odds when calculating the place part of an each way bet.

Clear Bet

The Clear Bet button resets the bet calculator to its default values.

Calculate Bet

The Calculate Bet button starts a bet calculation. If the bet calculation is successful, a message indicates that the calculation is complete, and the Calculated Amounts are displayed.

If any errors are encountered in the calculation process, a message will be displayed containing a brief description of the error. The error may be the result of an issue with the web server, or in the network somewhere between your browser and the web server. Normally these temporary outages are resolved quite quickly, so trying again later is often successful, but if the error persists please report it using the Feedback form.

Calculated Amounts

The following amounts are calculated:-

Unit Stake

The Unit Stake represents the amount wagered on each individual component of the bet. This value is calculated whenever a total stake is supplied in the bet options, and displayed with up to 8 decimal places when derived from an exact total stake.

Number of Bets

The total Number of Bets, taking into account the bet type and number of permutations.

Total Stake

The Total Stake represents the amount wagered on all components of the bet; i.e. the unit stake multiplied by the number of bets.

Total Return

The Total Return represents the stake and any winnings that should be returned, based on the bet details supplied.

Total Profit

The Total Profit (or Winnings) is calculated simply by subtracting the total stake from the total return, and indicates how much money the bet will win, or lose.

Note: A negative value indicates a loss.