A perm is just a combination of bets. Your stake is divided amongst a number of selections (perms).
Permutations allow you to win without all your selections winning, as opposed to an accumulator where all your selections need to win for you to collect.
For example, a Trixie which is 3 doubles and a treble, if one loses you still have the double to give you a return.
The placepot where you need to find 6 horses to place at one meeting is often permed.
You could back 3 horses in each of the races and hope that you get at least one placed.
The more selection you add though the greater the bet will cost.
You can read more about different types of bet at the betting school.
Many people struggle to work out exactly how many bets there are in any full perm bet, so for anybody who wants to know then here are a few examples -
Perm any 3 from 5 = 10 Bets
Why 10 Bets, you may say, we reach this figure by multiplying 5 x 4 x 3, which equals 60,
You multiply the highest 3 numbers by the bet you want, then multiply the lowest numbers, 1 x 2 x 3 = 6, and divide the smaller number from the larger number, which equals 10.
Any 3 from 6 = 20 Bets
Again you want any 3 so multiply the largest 3 numbers, which in this case are 6 x 5 x 4 = 120 bets, then multiply the smallest 3, 1 x 2 x 3 = 6, and again divide the smallest number from the largest, 120 divided by 6 leaves you with 20 bets.
Any 4 from 6 = 15 Bets
This time you need to multiply the largest 4 numbers as you are looking for 4timers, 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 = 360 and you multiply the 4 smallest numbers, 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 = 24, then again divide the smallest number from the largest, 360 divided by 24 = 15 bets.
Jumping up the scale a bit we work out 5 from 10 for you footy fans, now we are working with 5 numbers as we are looking for 5timers, so multiply the largest 5 numbers, 10 x 9 x 8 x 7 x 6 = 30240, and again divide this by the multiple of the 5 smallest numbers, 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 = 120, so we divide 120 from 30240 and we are left with 252 fivefolds.
So if you wanted to back 10 selections and cover them for fivefolds for 10p stakes, you simply need to write -
Perm any 5 from 10 = 252 lines @ 10p = £25.20
Good luck with your perm bets.