If you are a bettor already familiar with the usual spread, moneyline, and total bets, if bets can diversify the options available and make betting more enjoyable. Its operation is quite similar to parlay, where you will maximize your profit based on making multiple selections. However, if bets come with less risk, as you can make a certain profit even without correctly predicting every outcome.

However, this type of bet is not perfect, and you need to know all its disadvantages in order to make the best use of it. In today's article, we will explain in detail the definition, usage of if bets, and important considerations when you venture into this type of bet.

What are If Bets?

You can find if bets at every online betting sites that you play. This bet type allows you to combine two single bets into a single bet. However, unlike parlays, where you win if you correctly predict every outcome, if bets look at each single bet involved in it and decide the action of the wagers based on their order.

what are if bets?
Source: Freepik

More specifically, if the first selection wins, then the second one will be considered valid and determine the outcome of your if bet. If your first bet loses, the second bet will never have action. As such, the first bet is the key to triggering the second bet, and you win by correctly predicting both of your choices.

How Do If Bets Work

In practice, if bets can be a combination of two or more bets. You can therefore bet on an arbitrary number of selections, but always keep in mind that the outcome of each bet determines whether further bets are actually placed. In theory, all your bets should be spent on your first wager. If that selection wins, you will be paid your winnings. Immediately after that, the system will automatically deduct your initial bet from the payment just made to bring to action your second wager. This process will continue as long as your selections win.

In the event that any of your single if bets lose, the rest of your bets will be void, and the system will automatically calculate your payback.

For example, in an if bet consisting of 3 choices, if you win the first choice, your bet will be placed on your second choice. If the second pick loses, that will be the end of it. However, if the second pick wins, the system will continue to record the third pick, and so on.

To make it easier for you to visualize what we are talking about, let's look at an example of how the if bet works below. It will help you better understand the effectiveness of this type of bet in specific situations.

How If Bets Work
Source: Freepik

Example of If Bet

In this example, we will apply an if bet based on the results of two teams in the English Premier League. An if bet is established that looks like this:

  • Selection 1: Liverpool to win their game (-110)
  • Selection 2: Man City to win their game (-110)

Suppose you choose your two favorites as Liverpool and Man City, and you decide to bet $110 on an if bet. Based on the basic mathematical model, there are four possible scenarios in this situation. These include:

  • Liverpool Wins, Man City Don't
  • Both Teams Wins
  • Man City Wins, Liverpool Don't
  • Neither Teams Wins

Now, let's see what happens to your if bet in these four scenarios.

Liverpool Cover, Man City Don't

By the time Liverpool wins their game, you have $100 in winnings. However, this amount will not be immediately credited to your account, it will be transferred to Man City bets. Because Man City can't win, you lose $110. However, you still get $100 from the Liverpool option, making your net loss just $10.

Final result: -$10.

Both Teams Wins

With Liverpool winning, your profit is $100. With the same odds, Man City also winning will get you an extra $100. As a result, you will enjoy a substantial profit of $200, from your initial bet of $110, making your total payout $310.

Final result: +$200.

Neither Teams Wins

At the point where Liverpool does not win, all your remaining bets will be void immediately. As a result, you will lose your $110 stake regardless of the outcome of the Man City match. In fact, Man City has nothing to do with your loss, as that option ended at the very moment Liverpool didn't win.

Final result: -$110.

Man City Cover, Liverpool Don't

Since Liverpool didn't win, things will play out similar to the case above, and you will lose $110 of your stake. Even though you correctly predicted Man City's win, it can't make you more profitable as Man City bets were void as soon as Liverpool didn't win.

Final result: -$110.

How to Use If Bets

The best way for you to gauge the effectiveness of if bets is to compare its cases with when you made single bets on the same selections. Let's continue the example above for a more detailed look at which bet types should be used.

Selection 1: Liverpool to win their game (-110)
Selection 2: Man City to win their game (-110)

Based on the example, we can quickly sum up cases for different result sets of two teams. With each swap, your bankroll will change as follows:

Selection 1 Selection 2 Result
WIN WIN +$200
LOSS WIN -$110

As you can see here, you will lose money in three out of four cases. However, the situation is a little different if you add two similar teams to favorites as two singles instead of combining them into one if bet. The results will then look like this, provided you've spent double your bet on your two single bets:

Selection 1 Selection 2 Result
WIN WIN +$200

So, everything is clear. The first two scenarios take you to the same place, but things are different in the last two. Both types of bets come with a 75% risk of losing the bet, but the losses are different. Since if bet gives a 50% chance that you will lose $110 of your bet, two bets will give you a 50% chance of losing only $10. However, if you fail on both of your single bets, you will lose up to $220 of your investment in them, while with the if bet your maximum loss is only $110.

Thus, you can already see the advantages and disadvantages of the if bet compared to us splitting it into single bets. The proper use of if bets will depend a lot on your judgment, and how much risk you are willing to take in return for the chance of big wins with a small investment. However, the use of if bet includes another important factor, which is the order of the bets, which we will analyze in more detail later.

How Sequence Can Impact If Bets

As we have analyzed, the bet on the if bet list depends on the first choice making this choice the most important factor in helping you win. Therefore, the ultimate solution to improving your if bet odds is choosing the teams you have the most confidence in to become your first choice.

For example: If you choose to make single bets simultaneously, any outcome where only one of your selections wins will cost you -$10 of your bet.

However, if you use if bets, the outcomes where only one of your two selections wins will be distinct. If your first choice wins, you lose -$10 of your bet. But if your first choice loses, you lose -$110.

As such, the sequence of single bets plays a very important role in if bets as it directly affect the outcome of your bets. If you accept big money bets on multiple single bets at the same time, that won't be a problem. However, if you want to bet small amounts in the hope that a complicated if bet can win you big, you need to pay close attention to the order of your selections.

In What Situation Which If Bets Are Useful

If bets is really useful in some specific situations, but not in all situations. Let's go back to the example to better understand what we mean. If you were to use the single bets approach, you would need $220 to split Liverpool and Man City equally. However, the if bet allows you to make both of these bets for as little as $110, half of the original amount, and comes with the same potential payout.

That said, if bets give you the opportunity to win big from a small amount of capital. Always remember, though, that you're not improving your odds by using it. What makes if bets meaningful is that it gives you the opportunity to take on greater risk than betting on straight bets, in turn, you can reduce your capital while still optimizing your winnings bet.

In short, if bets will prove useful to risky bettors. With an uncomplicated operation, you can feel the dramatic increase in the straight bets you choose when incorporating them into your if bet.

If Bets are Not Very Common

The fact is, if bets are often not trusted by many bettors because they do not have the same high value as other popular bet types. For starters, the operation of if bet can be quite complicated and confusing. Therefore, single bets are always a safer option.

For experienced bettors, the risk of if bets offers little interest as the potential payout is exactly the same as making bets . If they are looking for a risk, parlays are a preferable solution where the value of the payback is much more impressive. So the reason that if bets are not so popular is simply that gamblers have many other better options.


This article has covered everything you need to know about if bets, one of the exciting options of sports betting. Although it includes some advantages in maximizing profits from single bets, its disadvantages are worth considering. That is why if bets does not compete with many other betting options to appear as one of the most used bets by players. However, if you know how to use them, if bets are still a good choice. In addition, if you want to check out other forms of betting, our website always has in-depth tutorials available for you.

Published: 26 May 2022 10:54