What Is 3-Way Betting? The Popular Sports Bet Explained

If you’re new to betting, understanding the various types of wagers can be confusing – which is why our experts are on hand to explain the ins and outs of 3-way betting.

Whether you’re a rookie in this game or a seasoned pro looking for some guidance on 3-way betting, you’re in the right place. With sports that can end in a tie, 3-way betting has become a very popular angle for those looking to gain an edge.

We’ll guide you through every inch of 3-way betting, the most popular types and how to go about placing one of these yourself with some of the best US sportsbooks.

3-Way Betting Explained

3-way lines are used in sporting events that have three different outcomes.

  • Team A win
  • Team B win
  • Team A and Team B tie

The odds on 3-way markets will always be higher than 2-way markets because there is one more outcome – the tie.

When placing a 3-way bet, there’s only one way to win – but two ways to lose. Soccer betting is probably the most popular format of 3-way wagering, but there are other sports that also adopt this betting strategy, such as ice hockey.

The chance of a successful bet would always be 1:3, compared to 1:2 for 2-way bets. 3-way betting is considerably more popular than 2-way betting because despite wagering with greater risk – you’re getting better odds and more bang for your buck.

Soccer Betting One Of The Most Common For 3-Way Betting

Bets on the outcome of a soccer match are usually the most common form of 3-way wagers. Many bettors will find that placing a money line wager is the most simple and easy way to make a bet – and the 3-way line offers an additional option beyond the traditional 2-way model.

This is for sports where the result can end in a draw or tie, and a winner is not crowned through regular time. You’re getting juicier odds because it’s harder to predict an outcome with three variables to consider rather than two.

3 way betting example

For example, with soccer betting, in single elimination knockout games, this market is settled after 90 minutes – so if it’s a tie and the game goes to extra-time, bets on Team A and Team B are settled as losers whilst the tie wins.

When considering bets on cup competitions in soccer, this is something bettors should greatly consider, and a lot of people aren’t fully aware of what they’re risking their money on.

How To Place a 3-Way Bet

To place a 3-way bet, begin by heading to the sport you want to bet on via the navigation menu on your preferred sportsbook. Then find the game/event you want to place a bet on.

In the example below, we are betting on a soccer game between Aston Villa and Wolves in the English Premier League. You can select Aston Villa by simply clicking on their price -155. This will bring up a bet slip where you can now add your stake. After entering your bet amount, the sportsbook will showcase your potential winnings if your bet wins.

3 way betting in soccer

A $100 bet on Aston Villa when 3-way betting will bring a $64.52 profit if the Lions win. Meanwhile, if Wolves win or the game ends in a draw, you will lose your $100 stake.

What Is The Most Popular 3-Way Bet?

There are three options for a 3-way bet: home win, away win, or tie. Because of this, the most popular 3-way bets are placed on soccer and NHL games due to the nature of those sports.

Ties are much more commonly found in soccer and ice hockey, so that’s where bettors tend to wager their money when placing this bet. In the NHL regular season, around 21% of games end in a tie after regulation time, and in soccer, that number rises to around 23%.

However, in sports such as basketball and American football, 3-way lines are not very popular at all. This is because ties are considerably less likely.

When wagering on NBA or NFL, the 2-way money line market is the most popular way to bet. That way, you’re betting on either team to win the game – which includes overtime, as these games usually cannot be settled in a tie.

What Is 3-Way Betting In Football And Soccer?

3-way betting in football and soccer is a wager that is dependent on three possible outcomes. For soccer, a match can end with a home win, an away win, or a tie.

The extra option of a tie here is what sets it apart from 2-way betting on sports like basketball, where ties are much less common, and whilst you can bet on a game to reach overtime, it wouldn’t be a popular wager.

3-way bets are the most common football wagers that are placed every day. These markets have the most liquidity in them and are given the biggest focus from oddsmakers, so if you’re looking to make a few pennies from a sportsbook, this is a popular angle.

This is the perfect starting point for people who are new to betting, especially because you’re only focusing on one thing – the match result.

1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Quarter 3-Way Betting In Football?

3-way betting is also available in football – so if you’re looking to wager on the NFL, this is another option to consider. You can back the home team, away team, or a tie in any specific quarter that you’d like.

Ties are extremely uncommon in US sports, however, so it wouldn’t be one of the more popular betting options. In soccer (two halves) and ice hockey (three periods), you can place separate bets for different time frames, halves, or periods.

3 way betting example 2

If you backed the home team – Tottenham – with a $100 wager, you would profit $24.10 with a total return of $124.10 if Tottenham win the match.

3 way betting example 3

When backing the draw with a $100 wager, you would profit $640 with a total return of $740 if the contest finishes in a tie after 90 minutes.

3 way betting example 4

If you backed the away team – Luton Town – with a $100 wager, you would profit $965 with a total return of $1,065 if Luton Town win the match.

3 way betting example 5

What Are The Main Sports For This Bet?

The main sports for 3-way betting are soccer and ice hockey because these are the biggest sports that frequently feature ties. Handball is another popular option for 3-way betting on US sportsbooks.

Whilst you can 3-way bet on the NFL and NBA, the best known 3-way bets are those that specifically focus on the outcome of a win, loss, or tie. Soccer is the clear number one in this regard.

Other sports, such as tennis and matchplay golf, are limited to 2-way betting because there are only two different possibilities – a win or a loss; there are no ties, so 3-way betting does not apply to these.

Can You Bet On Multiple 3-Way Bet Outcomes Across Games?

Yes, of course. Most of the top US sportsbooks will allow you to bet on multiple 3-way outcomes across as many games as you’d like in any sport.

As you can see in our example below, we combined a number of bets at odds of +270, +121, and +238 to create a three-leg parlay with odds of +2664.

Parlay bet example

What Are The Advantages Of 3-Way Betting?

3-way betting gives you a minimum 33.3% chance of winning your bet, and it’s simple and easy to understand. It has been a favorite for rookies and seasoned gamblers throughout the years.

3-way bets are much more popular in comparison to 2-way bets because despite the greater risk, your potential payout is much higher with bigger odds.

Looking for value is one of the most important factors in 3-way betting, which means thinking outside the box – don’t just stick with your favorite teams or things you want to happen.

What Is A 3-Way No Push Bet?

To begin with, it’s worth trying to understand what a push bet is. A push bet is a wager that offers an option for a tie, which would mean that in the event of a draw – you’ll get exactly your wager back, no more or no less.

You don’t win or lose; you simply push. These bets are almost never pushed because there is the option of a tie. 3-way no push bets will have higher payouts than bets that have pushes.

What Is The Difference Between 3-Way Betting And The Money Line?

A typical money line market involves a bet on one of two options – a win or a loss. In comparison, with 3-way betting, there are three options – a win, loss, or tie.

Most of the major US sports will use 2-way money lines as their main form of taking bets because ties are either impossible (in MLB) or extremely unlikely (NFL).

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