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What is a Lucky 15 bet and how does it work?

Willie Mullins pictured with Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Galopin Des Champs Willie Mullins pictured with Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Galopin Des Champs
© Photo Healy Racing

A lucky 15 is one of the most popular bets among horse racing punters, it is a fun bet which is always worth a shot if you have multiple fancies in different races. The lucky 15 bet comprises fifteen bets wagered on four horses and you do not need every horse to win to yield a return which is what makes it one of the most popular bets for the Cheltenham Festival.

Only one horse must win to receive a payout. You can find other types of bets here along with betting terminology and horse racing terminology.

How Does a Lucky 15 Work?

The lucky fifteen is similar to the yankee but the reason it is so popular among horse racing fanatics is because it includes singles. The bet consists of four horses (1, 2, 3 and 4) and places fifteen different bets on the four horses:

PartSelectionsNumber of Bets
Singles1,2,3,4 4
Doubles12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 34 6
Trebles124, 134, 2344
Four-fold12341

A €1 lucky fifteen will cost you €15.

How to Workout Lucky 15 Winnings

There is a simple way to work out lucky 15 winnings. Converting the odds to decimals makes the calculation simpler. See below:

  • Divide the top number in the fraction by the bottom number and plus one. (For example, 2/1 becomes 3.0 and 9/4 becomes 3.25.)
  • Single bets: decimal odds x stake = return (including stake)
  • Double: selection 1 odds x selection 2 odds = return (including stake)
  • Treble: selection 1 odds x selection 2 odds x selection 3 odds = return (including stake)
  • Four-fold: selection 1 odds x selection 2 odds x selection 3 odds x selection 4 odds = return (including stake)

Is a Lucky 15 Bet Worth it?

If you fancy four horses in different races then it is well worth placing a Lucky 15 bet. You only need one horse to strike to yield a return and payouts can be very rewarding if more than one of your selections win. The potential to win big from a small stake is one of the reasons punters love this bet.

Cheltenham Festival Lucky 15 Example 2023

Luccia 3-1 favourite for the Mares Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham Luccia 3-1 favourite for the Mares Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham
© Photo Healy Racing

Over 500 horses take their chances at the Cheltenham Festival over four days in 28 races, what better time to place a Cheltenham Lucky 15? If you have shrewdly unearthed four strong Festival fancies, the Lucky 15 allows you to maximise your chances of a large return if all four horses are indeed victorious.

The competitive nature of the racing at Cheltenham results in some great betting opportunities with horses available at some juicy prices. We set out an example of a Cheltenham Lucky 15 bet below. Prices were correct at the time of writing this article.

    Horse 1 - Dinoblue 20-1 - Mares' Chase

    Horse 2 - Allaho 2-1 - Ryanair Chase

    Horse 3 - State Man 4-1 - Champion Hurdle

    Horse 4 - Luccia 3-1- Mares' Novice Hurdle

You only need ONE of these horses to win to make a return.

So, here’s how to work out a lucky 15 and calculate how much the bet could return? Say you decide to place a €1 Lucky 15 with a total cost of €15.

If Horse 1 Dinoblue is on a going day, gets a cracking ride and wins by half the track at 20-1 and the other three horses all lose, your return would be €21 - a €1 winning single bet at 20/1.

If Horse 2 Allaho and Horse 3 State Man are your winners you will have three winning bets, a double on Horses 2 & 3 plus a winning single bet on Horse 2 Allaho and the same on Horse 3 State Man.

Your total return will be €23.

If Horses 2, 3 and 4 win - you will be paid out on three singles, three doubles and a treble.

Your total return will be €119.

If, and I do mean if, you get lucky, really really lucky, and all 4 horses win your return would be spectacular!

In this example your €1 Lucky 15 would return a whopping €2,639.

Remember, in all the above scenarios the amount you win includes your original stake of €15.

It’s easy to see why punters love the lucky 15 as there is the potential to win a significant sum from a small stake and you only need just one horse to oblige to make a return.

Roll on Cheltenham!

How Does a Lucky 15 Each Way Work?

An each way lucky fifteen consists of 30 bets - 15 win bets and 15 place bets. This means that a €1 lucky fifteen bet will cost you €30. You will be paid out on places at 1/5 of the odds.

Lucky 15 vs Yankee Bet

The lucky fifteen bet is very similar to the Yankee, however the yankee does not include the four single bets.

The Yankee comprises 11 bets placed on four horses (1, 2, 3 and 4)

  • Six doubles - 12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 34
  • Four trebles - 123, 134, 124 and 234
  • A fourfold accumulator - 1234

To receive a payout, a minimum of two selections must win. A €1 Yankee will cost you €11.

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More Reading

For more information on types of bets and betting terminology see below: