What Does 1×2 Mean in Betting? – The 1×2 Bet Explained

Author photo

Written by Dan Fitch

Updated: 08:16 am EST, 04/07/2024

1×2 is another term for a 3-way result market in betting. This is common across the most popular sports bettors wager on globally. We’re going to explore the topic of what does 1×2 mean in betting, so you know exactly how these type of wagers work.

How 1×2 Betting Markets Work

Betting sites often express a 3-way moneyline as 1×2. The ‘1’, ‘x’ and the ‘2’, all represent one of the three possible outcomes on a 3-way betting wager.

The ‘1’ is the team that are at home, with the ‘2’ being the away team. The ‘x’ in the middle represents the draw. Sometimes a sporting event will be played on neutral territory, such as in a cup final in soccer, or at an international tournament.

In such instances, there are no home and away teams. Yet there will still be a nominal “home” team. Named first, they get the ‘1’. There is also a team that are named second and get the ‘2’ attributed to them.

That is essentially the 1×2 meaning in betting explained. It is a simple type of wager, but with some complexities surrounding it, which we will explore.

Example of a 1×2 Bet

It might help to explain the 1×2 betting definition by giving you an example of such a wager from an online betting platform.

Let’s take a look at the betting on a soccer match, as it is a sport where such bets are very common.

Panama are playing USA and the game can either result in a Panama win, a draw, or a USA win. Take a look a the betting odds for the full-time result of this match, shown below.

what does 1x2 mean in betting

Let’s sum up those odds:

  • Panama are 1 and their odds are +800
  • The Draw is x and the odds are +350
  • USA are 2 and their odds are -275

So in this betting market a $100 bet on Panama (1) could win you $800, or a $100 wager on the draw (x) could win you $350.

USA (2) are the big favorites and you need to bet $275 to win $100.

What Does 1×2 Mean in Betting & is it the Same as 3-Way Betting?

One of the things that can be confusing for new bettors is when different terms are used for a type of wager.

The term 1×2 refers to the exact same type of market that is alternatively known as 3-way betting. There are three possible outcomes. Two teams can win, or there can be a tie.

1×2 has its origins in coupons used in UK betting shops. You have a list of soccer games and you can indicate the results that you want to bet on by putting down a 1, a 2, or an x.

It is due to these roots that 1×2 is known, particularly for soccer betting. As the betting industry evolves it is becoming a less common sight, but some offshore sportsbooks still use this format for a 3 way bet.

Most Popular Sports for 1×2 Betting Odds

We’re now going to take a look at some of the popular sports where 1×2 is amongst the betting options.


As we mentioned earlier, soccer is the sport from which the 1×2 term became popularized. With soccer being a low scoring sport, the draw is a common match outcome.

The majority of club soccer matches take place in league competitions, where teams can earn a point for a tie. For a team playing away, or up against a more talented side, a draw can represent a desirable result.

Even in cup competitions or playoffs, where there has to be a winner, teams can be happy enough to draw at the end of regular time. They do so with the idea that they have more opportunity to win the game in extra time or on penalties.

So a 1×2 soccer bet makes perfect sense. It is a sport where a draw is always a likely result and this needs to be reflected in the betting.

Ice Hockey

Hockey is another relatively low scoring sport where a tie is a regular occurrence at the end of regular time. In 2005, the NHL changed their rules to add a shootout to follow overtime, so that there could be no ties.

Yet you can still bet on 1×2 hockey markets, which are purely based on the result in regular time. There is also a moneyline of course, where the result includes any overtime or shootout and you just bet on the match winner.

It is also common to have 1×2 markets for betting on a certain period in an NHL game. So you could bet on the first period being tied, for example.

Such is the popularity of the NHL in the United States, that it is easy to forget that hockey is a sport that is played throughout the world. Many of the hockey competitions in Europe and other territories allow for ties and three-way betting is therefore an option.

Pros & Cons of 1×2 Markets Explained

If we’re going to explore the question of what does 1×2 mean in betting, we have to examine both the advantages and disadvantages of this popular type of bet. Here and the pros and cons.


  • You can specifically bet on a tie
  • Odds for a game winner will be bigger than on a two-way moneyline
  • Ties have attractive prices
  • Two-way option generally available in some form


  • Chances of success less with three options than two
  • More complicated to asses the possibilities of three options winning

1×2 Betting Alternatives

Let’s take a look at some alternative bet types to 1×2. These types of betting markets are all similar in some way to 1×2, but are just a little different.

  • Moneyline – A regular moneyline bet just has two outcomes. It is used for sports where ties are either very rare, such as in a football match, or where overtime decides a winner, like in a basketball game. If there can be a tie on a 2-way moneyline, a tie results in a push.
  • Asian Handicaps aka Spreads – Spreads see the favorite in betting markets given a points handicap, while the underdog receives a points advantage. The aim is to level up an uneven playing field and make markets that are more attractive to bettors. In soccer they are often known as handicaps or Asian Handicaps.
  • Correct Score – Rather than betting on the mere result in a 1×2 market, you can be more specific and bet on the exact score. A correct score bet is obviously more difficult to predict and therefore the odds are more generous.
  • Double Chance – With a double chance bet you are wagering on two of the possible three outcomes, from one wager. So you might bet on a certain team to win or for the game to be a tie. Or for either team to win. As you have a two out of three chance to win with double chance betting, the odds are significantly reduced from those in the 1×2 market.
  • Totals – With 1×2 the scores of the two teams determine the result. Sores accumulate. You have to bet on whether the total scores from both teams will be over or under a certain stated amount.

Effective 1×2 Betting Tips

Now that the question of what does 1×2 mean in betting has been answered, you may be itching to place such a wager yourself. Before you do, consider these strategies when using 1×2 betting markets.


There are three options in 1×2 betting meaning that for every bet you place, there are two results that could see your wager lose. Due to this extra jeopardy it is essential that you do your research.

Look into the head to head record of the teams involved and take note of how many ties there have been. Keep up to date with team news regarding key players and take into account the schedules of the teams, which can cause fatigue.

Desirable Draws

Take into account how desirable a draw is for a team. If a soccer team only needs to earn one more point to win their league, then they will be as happy to draw as they would be to win.

If a team knows that they only need a draw to achieve their objective, then it is human nature to settle for that result and perhaps play cautiously, with the emphasis being not to lose.

Play Safe

If you are really sure that a team will win, then it makes sense to back them on a 1×2 market, rather than using a two-way line, as the odds will be slightly bigger. Yet if you have a doubt regarding the possibility of a tie, listen to that gut instinct.

Play safe with a moneyline where a tie results in a betting push, or with a market like double chance, where you can bet on your team to win, in combination with the tie.

Have No Favorites

Don’t let emotion cloud your judgment with betting decisions. Many people bet on their favorite team, without much thought regarding the value of that wager. Remain rational and business-like.

Be aware that the tendency of sports fans to bet on their own teams, can often make bookies lower the odds of teams with lots of fans to limit their liability. Often the odds will drop lower than should really be the case.

Find Value

We mentioned value in the last point, which is perhaps the key betting strategy. For any bet you make, you should at least be thinking that the odds are a fair price. Ideally, you want a situation where the odds are bigger than they really should be.

Odds are a representation of the percentage chance of the pick winning. If you believe that the true percentage chance is actually greater, then the odds should really be smaller. The difference between these has a name: expected value.


Is 1×2 betting difficult?

How do I win a 1×2 bet?

Which sports are best for 1×2 betting?

How to place a 1×2 bet?

Can I cash out my 1×2 betting parlays?

How do 1×2 odds work?

Why is 1×2 betting so popular?