A Yankee is a type of multiple that features four selections covered by 11 separate bets: six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold (or accumulator).
The origins of the betting term ‘Yankee’ are disputed, but it appears to date back to the middle of the 20th century. One theory is that an American GI, stationed in the UK during the Second World War, copped a massive payout from a complex system bet but, whatever the etymology, a Yankee is now a key part of a punter’s arsenal.
The main benefit of a Yankee, as opposed to a straightforward fourfold acca, is that only two of the four selections need to win in order to guarantee a return.
How much that return will be obviously depends on the prices of the winning selections, so it is important to run through the potential outcomes before placing the bet.
If, for example, your four selections are all horses priced up at 12/1 and two of them win, then the double will comfortably make up for the other ten bets in the Yankee being settled as losers.
A £1 Yankee requires a total stake of £11 but in this instance, the winning double returns £169, ensuring a profit of £158.
If three of the four horses in that example win at odds of 12/1, then the profit from an initial outlay of £11 would be £2,693 – and if you hit the jackpot with all four winners, you’d pick up £38,352.
Yankee Bets on Football Matches
At the other end of the scale, a Yankee is also a useful tool for punters stringing together four short-priced football teams. If all four wins, then the multiple bets combine for a nice payout, but there is also a safety net which a simple accumulator does not offer.
If one selection loses, you still have one winning treble and three doubles featuring the other three selections which – again, depending on prices – could mean a tidy profit.
One drawback of a Yankee (and a Lucky 15, which is effectively a Yankee plus four singles) is that the same stake is applied to each individual bet in the multiple.
In some cases, you might prefer the flexibility of creating your own bespoke multiple bet on four selections, allowing you to have higher stakes on the doubles and trebles than on the riskier fourfold.
A £10 Yankee on four 5/6 shots (the kind of price you often see on a football coupon) would require a total stake of £110 and return £451.12 profit if all four selections win. If three of them win, the profit is reduced to £52.45 and if only two selections are successful, you will lose £76.39 on the bet.
For context, a £110 acca on four 5/6 shots returns a profit of £1,132.68, but remember that you would lose your entire stake if just one selection lets you down.
Each-Way Yankee Betting Explained
The objective of any Yankee is to pick four winning selections, but the format of the bet can produce some significant consolation prizes.
For horse racing, in particular, the each-way Yankee is an excellent option, as the earlier example of a £1 yankee on four 12/1 shots will demonstrate.
A £1 each-way Yankee is made up of 22 bets, so the stake will rise to £22. If none of the chosen horses won their races, but all four were placed, that investment would yield a profit of £586 (with each-way terms of 1/4 the odds).
It is always worth considering whether or not a Yankee is the best betting strategy for your staking plan and selections. If so, it can be a satisfying punting option as the more you get right, the more you will be rewarded.