29.09.2023, 09:06
24.05.2024, 02:50

Three-Way Total: What It Means in Sports Betting

A three-way total is one of the types of bets on the result of a match in football, hockey, basketball, and tennis.
Unlike the classic Over and Under, three-way involves 3 possible outcomes - 'More', 'Less' or 'Equal'.

A refund on a three-way total is not possible - the odds on the outcome are higher compared to Over and Under. Most often, players bet on total or individual goals in football, less frequently - on pucks in hockey, points in basketball, and games in tennis.

Many novice players and amateurs do not understand a three-way total in a betting shop. The VP-Bet team has prepared a detailed analysis of deals with examples, strategies, and tips.

What is a Three-Way Total

A three-way bet is a bet on the total number of goals in football, pucks in hockey, points in basketball, or games in tennis. Players choose one of three options:

  • "Over" - wins if the number of goals, pucks, points, or games is greater than the selected number;
  • "Even" - wins if the number of actions is equal to the selected value;
  • "Under" - wins if the number of actions exceeds the selected number.
For example, a three-way total bet "Over 1" will pass if the teams score a minimum of 2 goals in a match.

Differences from Integer Total

The outcome of any total bet depends on the number of scoring actions in the match. The main differences between the 3-way total and the classic are:

  • lack of a possibility for a return - the player chooses between 3 options: 'Over', 'Under', or 'Equal', not just 'Over' or 'Under';
  • higher odds - calculation of the coupon with a quoted 1.00 is not provided.
Three-way total is a rare type of bet, which is not available at all bookmakers.

Examples of Three-Way Total

Experts have prepared examples in football, tennis, and basketball to explain to beginners what a three-way total in betting is.

Examples in football

The bookmaker '1xBet' offers a bet in the match of the Spanish Cup 'Real Sporting' - 'Valencia':

  • More than 2;
  • Equal to 2;
  • Less than 2.

The required number of goals in the match to win: 'More' - from 3, 'Equal' - 2, 'Less' - 0 or 1.

Examples in Tennis

The bookmaker offers a bet on the Australian Open match 'Alejandro Davidovich Fokina - Tommy Paul':

  • More than 30;
  • Equal to 30;
  • Less than 30.

The required number of games to win: 'More' - from 31, 'Equal' - 30, 'Less' - up to 30.

Examples in Basketball

'1xBet' offers bets on the exact number of points in the 'New York Knicks' - 'Washington Wizards' match:

  • 209 and less;
  • range 210-229;
  • 230 and more.

Winning conditions for betting on the exact number of points: up to 209 - maximum 209 scored points, 210-229 - hitting the interval, from 230 - minimum 230 scored points.

How betting odds are calculated

Each bet involves only 2 possible results - win or loss.

Example of calculating bets on goals in football:

  • O/U 3: 0, 1, 2 and 3 goals - loss, 4 and more goals - win;
  • "Equal to 3": 3 goals - win, any other number of goals - loss;
  • U/O 3: 0, 1 or 2 goals - win, 3 and more goals - loss.

Return of the bet is possible only in case of cancellation, rescheduling of the match or other unforeseen circumstances.

Three-Way Total Betting Strategy

A three-way total is an uncommon type of bet in bookmakers' offices.

A popular strategy recommends placing bets on over total goals (OTG) for high-scoring teams and under total goals (UTG) for low-scoring teams over a long distance.

Players choose a club with the necessary productivity and bet on OTG 1 or UTG 2 in each match involving the team.

For OTG 1, teams that score more than 2 goals per game on average are suitable. You can bet on UTG 2 for teams that hit the opponent's goal on average no more than once per game.

The strategy brings profit over a long distance if you choose clubs with suitable productivity.

Pros and Cons

Main advantages of three-way total:

  • elevated odds compared to classic options;
  • lack of a refund, unlike integer values.

The downside of 3-outcome betting, which does not affect all players - lower maximums at bookmakers.

Advice for bettors

VpP-Bet experts provided recommendations for making winning bets on a three-way total:

  • conduct a detailed pre-match analysis taking into account the tournament position, productivity, statistics, motivation, and team line-ups;
  • calculate the average result of the teams in the current championship to select a suitable market value for the upcoming game;
  • manage your bankroll and do not place more than 5-10% of the bank on 1 match.


Experts recommend not to ignore the 3-way total due to higher odds compared to the classic Over and Under

To make winning bets, it is necessary to carry out analysis, calculate the average performance of teams and manage your account properly.


What is the main difference between three-way totals and whole numbers?

Three-way totals do not provide for the possibility of a return and have higher odds compared to whole-number betting options.

Are bets available on three-way totals at every bookmaker?

No, not all bookmakers offer bets on three-way totals and mainly only on top matches. For example, in the bookmaker '1xBet' you can bet on three-way totals in football, basketball, and tennis.

What types of three-way total bets are available in football?

The most common types of bets are on goals and corners. Less often, bookmakers offer bets on outs, yellow cards, and other statistical indicators.

What 3-way totals betting strategies are profitable in the long run?

The betting strategy on the individual three-way totals of one team 'Over' or 'Under' in all championship matches will pay off in the long run. Before using the strategy, you need to choose a team with high or low average productivity.


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