How 3-Way Bets Work

A 3-way bet is a type of bet with three potential outcomes.  These outcomes are usually team A win, draw or team B win.  A 3-way bet is also commonly referred to as a 1×2 bet (team 1, draw (x), team 2), but I will refer to it as 3-way betting for the rest of this article, which is the more common term here in Canada.

3-way betting is especially popular for games that have the potential to end in draws, such as soccer matches.  You will also see 3-way lines available for hockey games as a regulation time bet, and many other sports where draws are possible such as football, boxing, golf head-to-head, etc.

Soccer Example

Here is an example of a 3-way betting line from for a match between Chelsea and Manchester City.

  • Chelsea 2.90
  • Draw 3.30
  • Manchester City 2.37

At Bet365 this bet was listed as “Full Time Result”.  In addition to 3-way, 1×2 and full time result, you may also see 3-way bets referred to as “regulation time bet”.

In the above example, there are three possible outcomes in the match and odds associated with each outcome: Chelsea winning, Draw or Manchester City winning.

A 3-way bet is the exact same as a typical money line bet in terms of the odds and associated payout.  The only difference is that there are three potential outcomes instead of two.

Hockey Example

This wouldn’t be much of a how to guide for Canadians if we didn’t include a hockey example of a 3-way bet.

I will often bet the 3-way line in hockey rather than the money line in order to get a larger payout when I’m confident in a team winning in regulation.

Here’s an example from the battle of Alberta:

As you can see the bet is labeled as “regulation time” at Sports Interaction.  This means that the bet does not include overtime, which allows it to have three possible outcomes: Calgary winning, a tie or Edmonton winning.

In this example, Edmonton is the favourite to win the game, and they are still under a 2/1 favourite to win in overtime.  To give you an idea of the difference in return you can win by betting the regulation line instead of the money line, in this example Edmonton’s odds to win the game straight up (including overtime) are 1.56.  So if you like Edmonton, including a win in overtime will get you a $56 win on a $100 bet, while wagering on them to get the job done in regulation would win you $91 on a $100 bet.  As you can see if you like a team to win the game before the coin flip that is OT and a shootout, then the regulation line can provide value.