Draw No Bet – What it Means and an Alternative Strategy

Draw No Bet is not so much a type of bet as a betting strategy. This betting strategy has been adopted mostly by Football punters but can be used anywhere where we have three possible outcomes in a betting event, Rugby for example.

The strategy is to place two win bets on the outcome of a betting event. The first bet is a simple win bet on the team that we believe will Win, and the second bet is also a win bet this time on the Draw. The difference between the two bets is that we stake just enough on the Draw bet to recover the stake on the Win bet if the match ends in a Draw (this is also known as a “Cover” bet).

This type of bet can be used to great effect for example where a team plays away, scores a goal and then plays defensively for the rest of the game (Chelsea seemed to play like this when they played Away during the golden reign of Jose Mourinho 2004-2008). When a team scores a single goal and then plays defensively there is always a chance of an equaliser. The Draw No Bet strategy really comes into it’s own during games like these.

Draw No BetMany bookmakers are now offering the Draw No Bet as a betting option where our stake money is returned should the match result in a draw. At first glance this seems like the perfect solution, no complicated maths to work out the stakes. However, the bookmakers will have built in their Overround of 5% or more into the odds they offer. I personally prefer to bite the bullet and with some simple maths calculate the stakes myself and place the bets on Betfair where the odds are without doubt much fairer.

Draw No Bet – The Traditional Strategy

Let’s say we want to bet £50 on a football game. The odds for the team we want to win are 2.60 and the odds for the draw are 3.60. To calculate the stake for the draw bet we simply divide the amount we want to bet by the draw odds; so in our example £50 divided by 3.60 is £13.89 to be put on the draw. Take £13.89 from the £50.00 which leaves £36.11 to be put on the win bet (in this example we are betting with the bookies so we do not need to take commission into account).

Let’s see what happens for the various outcomes …

The match is a draw … we get back £36.11 … £13.89 x (3.60 – 1) – but lose £36.11 on the win bet … we break even.

Our team wins … we get back £57.78 … £36.11 x (2.60 – 1) – but lose £13.89 on the draw bet … we make £43.89 profit… effectively we backed our team at odds of 1.88 (£43.89 / £50.00 + 1) AND we had the insurance of the “Cover” bet on the draw.

The other team wins … we lose £13.89 on the draw bet and we also lose £36.11 on the win bet … a total loss of £50.00.

These returns will drop slightly if using Betfair due to commission, however, this should be offset by the higher odds we can normally achieve.

Draw No Bet – An alternative Strategy

A point worth mentioning is that the draw “(Cover)” bet needn’t be in the same event, it needn’t even be in the same sport. We could bet on our favourite football team for our main bet and have our draw “(Cover)” bet on Andy Murray in the Tennis. In fact doing it this way means that both bets could win! This cannot be achieved with the traditional Draw No Bet as we are always guaranteed to lose at least one of our stakes. Let us see what happens now using a fictional Draw bet in another match from the one where our main Win bet is. We shall use the same stakes and odds as in the previous example.

The match in the second event is a draw … we get back £36.11 … £13.89 x (3.60 – 1)


Our team wins in the main event … we get back £57.78 … £36.11 x (2.60 – 1) – and keep the money we won on the second draw bet (£36.11) … we now make a whopping £93.89 profit… effectively we backed our team this time at odds of 2.88 (£93.89 / £50.00 + 1).

This version of Draw No Bet is definitely one to consider.

Draw No Bet is an excellent weapon to have in our arsenal of bets.

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