A Yankee is a type of accumulator most commonly used in horse racing. Four selections are required and they are put into various multiples. The bet consists of the following: six doubles, four trebles, and one four-fold, making 11 bets in total. Two winners are required in order to secure a return on the bet and that would amount to one double. Three winners would mean a treble and three doubles had won. Four winners would mean all 11 bets are landed.
If we take a look at the famous Willie Mullins four-timer on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in 2015, we can see what kind of returns can be made.
Douvan (2/1) and Un De Sceaux (4/6) won the opening two races. If £11 had been staked (£1 for each bet of the 11) then there would already be a guaranteed return of £5 as a double had been completed.
After Faugheen (4/5) won the next leg, the Yankee would now have three doubles and a treble and the bet would be in profit, returning £22.40 with a profit of £11.40. After Annie Power fell at the last and stablemate Glens Melody (6/1) came through to win, the accumulator now would have presented a return of £224.47, with a profit of £213.47.
A Yankee can also be placed each-way, applying the same rules but twice the stake (22 bets). Only two horses need to place in order to guarantee some sort of return on the investment.
Yankees also appear as part of other bets. For example, the Lucky 15 is almost an extension of the Yankee. As its name suggests, it consists of 15 bets. It’s the same 11 bets as a Yankee, plus an additional four single bets. Sometimes with this bet, bookmakers offer a bonus if only one horse wins, but you should always check terms and conditions to see if this incentive applies.
An alphabet accumulator is another that has a Yankee within its format. It also has two patents and a single six-fold, which altogether totals the same number of bets as there are letters in the English alphabet. A Super Yankee works on the same principles as a Yankee, but with five selections instead of four, this too totalling 26 bets (10x doubles, 10x trebles, 5 four-folds and a single five-fold).
It is believed that the term Yankee is so-called after an American won a vast amount of money somewhere in Great Britain. He placed multiples in a betting shop and his portfolio of bets makes up today’s Yankee.