What is an Accumulator Bet?
An accumulator is a bet that consists of 4 or more selections that combine into a single bet. The bet only wins if all your selections win.
Accumulator bets are very popular with punters and bookies alike. Punters like them as they can stack together a long list of short odds selections for a potentially big payout. The advantage is a larger payout at the expense of an
Bookies love them because most of the time the punters lose.
You can place an accumulator bet on pretty much any sport but football and horse racing are the most popular choices. You can also combine sports into an accumulator, for example betting on a football team to win and a horse to win etc.
Accumulator bet example
|Fixture||Selection (win market)||Odds||Result|
|Manchester Utd Vs Arsenal||Arsenal||1.5||Win|
|Sunderland Vs Newcastle||Sunderland||4||Win|
|Tottenham Vs Hull||Tottenham||1.8||Win|
|Liverpool Vs Leeds||Liverpool||1.3||Win|
In the example above we have made 4 choices on football, choosing 4 fixtures and 4 teams to win. All 4 selections won so we can calculate our winnings in the following way using a £10 bet as an example:
£10 x 1.5 x 4 x 1.8 x 1.3 = £140.40
£140.40 is our total return including our stake, so our total profit would be £130.40
You can use the simple calculator below to work out returns on a 4 fold acca.
If just one of those selections had been a draw or a loss though we would have lost the bet and been paid nothing. A lot of bookies will give you your money back as a free bet if one selection loses, usually on a 5 fold acca or higher. This is a great deal for the punter as we can use this bonus to give accas a much higher expected value, I will talk about this in a future blog post.
Smaller accumulator bets are sometimes referred to by a different name, see the table below.
|Number of selections||Bet Name|
|1 (not an accumulator bet)||Single|
There is no limit to how many selections you can have on an accumulator.
If an event is cancelled or a horse becomes a non runner and you have that as a selection in your acca the bookie will update your acca so that it was as if you never made that selection. You accumulator bet will still stand but the odds will have decreased and your potential pay out will therefore be lower.
Matched Betting with Accumulators
It is possible to turn accumulators into a matched betting opportunity. By choosing selections that all have a different start time we can lay each leg off one by one and hope to hit 1 loser and therefore get a free bet from the bookie which we can lay off for a profit. This is quite complicated though and should only be attempted be experienced matched bettors.
If you do plan on using accumulators in your matched betting then you should be aware that each bookie has different terms and will only pay out a free bet if your accumulator meets certain criteria. Usually a minimum number of legs and minimum odds.
Paddy Power for example have the following terms:
- Mimimum number of legs: 5 fold
- Min Odds: 1.2
- Maximum Refund: £50
- Max 4 refunds per day
Check each bookies terms before you place your bets.
Another easier way is when bookies offer an accumulator price boost. SkyBet usually offer these on football every week. Usually when a price boost acca pops up a lay market will appear on Betfair so we can lay the entire acca off in one bet. This is basically an arb bet.