What is a Lucky 31 bet and how does it work?

A Lucky 31 horse racing bet is made up of 31 bets – from singles and doubles, through to trebles, fourfolds and a fivefold. It is similar to a Lucky 15 and can appeal if you have five horse racing fancies that you’d like to back. They might all be favourites to win their respective races, they may all be ridden by the same jockey, or they could be horses that you’ve successfully backed before.

While some people prefer backing their selections as singles, and others are drawn to an accumulator, a Lucky 31 lies somewhere between those two extremes, offering the prospect of a big win while ensuring one horse losing doesn’t mean you lose your entire stake. In fact just one horse needs to win to ensure some sort of return on a Lucky 31.

Here we’ll explain more about a Lucky 31, enabling you to make an informed decision about whether to place Lucky 31 bets yourself.

How does a Lucky 31 work?

A Lucky 31 is appropriately named as it is made up of 31 bets in total. The 31 bets are five singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five fourfolds and a fivefold containing all the horses you’re looking to back. Your stake is multiplied by 31, so a £1 Lucky 31 bet would cost you £31 overall. That’s £1 on each of the 31 bets that make up a Lucky 31.

Bet typeSelections in betNumber of bets
SinglesHorse 1 | horse 2 | horse 3 | horse 4 | horse 55
Doubles1,2 | 1,3 | 1,4 | 1,5 | 2,3 | 2,4 | 2,5 | 3,4 | 3,5 | 4,510
Trebles1,2,3 | 1,2,4 | 1,2,5 | 1,3,4 | 1,3,5 | 1,4,5 | 2,3,4 | 2,3,5 | 2,4,5 | 3,4,510
Fourfold1,2,3,4 | 1,2,3,5 | 1,2,4,5 | 1,3,4,5 | 2,3,4,55
FivefoldHorses 1,2,3,4 and 51

How to work out Lucky 31 winnings

Manually working out your potential winnings from a Lucky 31 can be a lengthy task, given it involves 31 separate bets. Fortunately, most bookmakers will display the amount you would win once you’ve added your selections to your betslip.

Lucky 31 Betslip
If you’re betting with a bookmaker that doesn’t display the full breakdown of your winnings, you can use our Grand National accumulator calculator to calculate what could be won from the doubles, trebles, fourfolds and fivefold included in your Lucky 31 bet. Otherwise, convert your odds from fractional to decimal format, and follow the steps below.

Single bets: decimal odds x stake = return (including stake)
Doubles: horse 1 odds x horse 2 odds = return (including stake)
Trebles: horse 1 odds x horse 2 odds x horse 3 odds = return (including stake)
Fourfolds: horse 1 odds x horse 2 odds x horse 3 odds x horse 4 odds = return (including stake)
Fivefold: horse 1 odds x horse 2 odds x horse 3 odds x horse 4 odds x horse 5 odds = return (including stake)

Is a Lucky 31 bet worth it?

It’s really up to the individual placing the Lucky 31 to decide whether or not the Lucky 31 is worth it, as we all have different levels of aversion to risk, and reasons why we bet. The table below summarises the main pros and cons of placing Lucky 31 bets.

Pros of placing a Lucky 31Cons of placing a Lucky 31
Potential to win large amounts from a small stakeHigher risk than placing bets on individual selections
Unlike an acca, the bet remains alive until your final horse has runOutlay is likely to be bigger than if placing a normal accumulator
Far more chance of winning something than with an accumulator3 or even 4 of your 5 horses may need to win to give an overall profit
Provides a halfway house between singles and accumulatorsAll 31 bets must have the same stake

How Does a Lucky 31 Each Way Work?

An each way bet gives you the chance to win your bet if your horse either wins a race OR finishes in the top few places. This principle can be extended to Lucky 31s when you’re placing an each way Lucky 31 bet. Instead of betting on a single horse to win or place in a race, you’re hoping for a number of horses all to win or be placed. The table below explains how your bet would fare in each different scenario.

ScenarioWin part of betPlace part of bet
All 5 horses winWinnerWinner
1-4 horses win, all 5 horses are placed*Partial winnerWinner
All 5 horses are placed*LoserWinner
1-4 horses are unplaced*LoserPartial winner
All 5 horses are unplaced*LoserLoser

*The exact number of places will vary depending on the bookmaker you bet with and the race you bet on. For the Grand National though, this will be at least 4 places, and often 5 or more.

Lucky 31 vs Canadian Bet

Lucky 31s and Canadians are very similar in that all 26 components of a Canadian are included in a Lucky 31. The only difference is five singles are also part of a Lucky 31.

Bet typeCanadianLucky 31
Total bets2631

Grand National Guide PDF

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Useful links and ‘how to’ guides

We hope you now have a better understanding of placing Lucky 31 bets on horse racing. The natural next step is to place your Grand National Lucky 31 bets.

The options open to you are betting in a bookmakers or at a racecourse, or making the most of the huge amount of generous offers and free bets by betting online.

You can also find out how much your accumulator will pay out by using our Grand National accumulator calculator, although most betslips will automatically calculate your potential winnings for you, before you go ahead and place your acca.

Whichever option you choose, we’ve got all your Grand National betting needs catered for at grandnational.org.uk.

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