Accumulators are one of the most popular types of football bet placed online (or via a bookies for that matter) as they offer the chance of a big return from a small wager. If you’re one of the people who religiously place an acca on the weekends football, then this section of the site is for you as it’s 100% accumulator focused.
The whole process of an accumulator bet is combining a series of bets to make one big bet. This may mean choosing certain horses from different races to win or it could be a series of different football teams to win their respected matches.
One of the beauties of this bet type is that you are free to make your own bet up. But, you need to be aware that you will need each and every selection in your slip to win for your accumulator bet to win as well. There are things like acca insurance that will get you your stake back should your bet lose by just one leg, but as a general rule, you need all results to win.
How Accas Work: Finding Your Price
The price that you get from your accumulator is something that a lot of people get confused by, but actually the process in working out your odds is very simple.
The best thing to do is turn your odds into decimals, if you haven’t already. All major bookies will allow you to do this with just a couple of clicks, usually found within the settings section once you are logged in. You can of course work out by using traditional odds, but it’s much more time consuming.
In fact, many of our team now use decimal odds for all their bets as a result of accumulator bets. It’s just made it much easier to work with. Whilst we aren’t going to go into the how’s and why’s of fractional over decimal odds in this article, we do favour the latter for accumulator betting.
All you need to do when using decimal odds is multiply each selection together to find your overall price. So, let’s say you had 5 picks that were all even money (represented as 2.00 in decimal odds), you’d simply do, 2.00 x 2.00 x 2.00 x 2.00 x 2.00. This would give you a price of 32.00.
The best way to learn exactly how these types of bets work is to run through a quick example.
The example includes 4 picks from an upcoming round of fixtures in the English Premier League. The selections are as follows:
|Match||Selection||Fractional Odds||Decimal Odds|
|Bournemouth v Crystal Palace||Bournemouth to win||29/20||2.45|
|Brighton v Huddersfield||Brighton to win||5/6||1.83|
|Leicester v Newcastle||Leicester to win||9/10||1.90|
|Watford v Burnley||Watford to win||7/5||2.40|
This is a typical example of an accumulator bet. But, don’t forget that you can choose bets from different markets as well. So, you could have had over 2.5 goals in the Brighton v Huddersfield game for example. The only thing you need to remember is that you can’t have two selections from the same game.
So, you couldn’t have Brighton to win and Over 2.5 Goals as two single selections in your accumulator. This is because these markets are known as ‘dependants’, which means that the result of one directly affects the result of another.
OK, back to the example.
The 4 prices we have are worked out simply by multiplying together. So, 2.45 x 1.83 x 1.90 x 2.40 = 20.44. Let’s say that we stuck £10 on the result, this means our payout would then be 20.44 x £10 = £204.40
Again, for this bet to come in, we need to have all 4 selections win. If just 1 selection loses, we lose the whole bet. Unless, of course, you’re betting with a site that has acca insurance.
Accumulator Offers: Acca Insurance & Bonuses
Despite the name, Acca Insurance offers aren’t actually insurance policies. Instead they are promotions aimed at people who like to place accumulators that give you something as a consolation prize if your bet doesn’t win, but comes close.
Whilst there are differences between the bookies that offer them, the majority of these offers are in the form of free bet refunds if only one leg loses. So, for example, if you place a 5-fold bet that has four winning legs and only one losing leg, then you would qualify for the offer.
The maximum value of these offers also varies between betting sites, but is normally in the range of £25 to £50 per bet. Some bookies then go on to limit this to once per day whilst others set maximum value per month. Normally receiving the free bet is automatic, but again some bookmakers require you to claim the bonus by contacting support after a qualifying bet.
Bonuses are also available on successful accas, paying an added percentage on top of your original winnings. This can either be a sliding scale, with an increase in the potential bonus as the number of selections in each accumulator increases. They can also be a flat percentage applied to a qualifying bet.
Offer Rules, Terms & Strategy
There are plenty of different promotions to choose from, all of which may seem fairly similar on first glance. However, terms between the offers differ quite a bit and it’s important to make sure that you’re betting with the right bookie based on the type of bet you want to place. After all, it’s no good choosing a betting site that requires your acca to be placed on the both teams to score market if you want to include a couple of first goalscorer bets in with it as well.
Below is a list of what you should be looking out for when picking an offer to go with:
- Number of Legs – All acca offers will specify a minimum number of legs. The industry average tends to be 5, but the more generous promotions may require more or have a minimum odds requirement (see below).
- Minimum Odds – Quite often there will be no minimum odds requirement for accumulator offers, but some betting sites do have them. These may be in the form of a cumulative minimum (eg: the acca must have combined odds of 3/1 or more) or a leg minimum (eg: all legs must be at least ½).
- Sports & Markets – With these types of promotion it’s very common for there to be restrictions based on sport or market. For example, a bookie may only allow bets on the match odds market of premier league football matches. Whilst that’s fine for some people, it’s no good if you want to bet on a goal scorer market or on a match from a different league.
- Maximum Refund – Most acca insurance offers tend to be for £25 or £50, but there are some smaller (and bigger) ones out there as well. You’re going to want to make sure the insurance is big enough to cover your bet. So if you’re placing a £30 bet you don’t want to be doing it at a bookie that only refunds £25, or you’ll miss out on that extra fiver.
- Claim Limit – Many bookmakers limit the number or frequency of insurance promotions you can claim, either with a monetary amount (eg: £500 per month) or by time (eg: one claim per day). If you’re placing multiple accas it’s worth spreading them around the relevant bookies listed above.
Void Bets & Acca Offers
When a regular single bet is made void it is as if it had never been made, with your stake returned and neither party better off. With accumulators, when a leg is made void it is effectively removed from the acca – meaning that your 6-fold simply becomes a 5-fold if one of the legs is voided.
Whilst this is the fairest way of handling such bets, it does affect insurance offers somewhat because the number of legs you need to qualify for the offer is based on the number settled not the number placed. So in the example above where a 6-fold becomes a 5-fold, if your offer required you to have 6 or more legs then you would no longer qualify.
This is a fairly standard term that pretty much all bookies have in their offer terms, so shopping around won’t help in this instance. Instead it just involves a bit of common sense – if you’re placing an acca with legs in markets that are less likely to be made void (such as match odds) then you’re probably fine risking it with the minimum number of legs.
On the other hand, if you were to place a bet that involved multiple first goalscorer legs, you have a much higher chance of a leg being made void – for example, if the player doesn’t come on for the team.
In this scenario you may want to play it safe by adding an extra leg (so 6-legs for a 5-leg minimum offer) for a wager that you’re fairly confident will happen. And that’s where the 1/4 bet on Man City to beat Newcastle at home comes in – assuming that the market is within the terms of the offer you’re claiming, of course.
One of the beauties of accumulator betting is that you are able to win big sums of money for a very little layout. The example above shows that the return from a pretty straight forwarded bet and just a £10 stake. But, you can really go to town with these sorts of bets.
Many people have won tens and even hundreds of thousands of pounds from a single bet with small stakes. Obviously, the more games you add, the tougher it becomes, and we address this at length alter in the article.
What you need to be aware of is the maximum payout that bookies will have for these types of bets. Just because a bookie accepts your bet and states your payout for that bet to be high, doesn’t mean that they will actually honour that bet amount.
For example, let’s say you stick a 10-fold accumulator bet on that’s going to pay out £500,000 from just a £10 stake. The bookie will accept that bet as the maximum stake has not been reached (different to the maximum payout!). In the terms and conditions, the bookmaker clearly states that the maximum payout is that of £250,000 for these types of bets.
You can see where we are going with this… This means that should that bet win, the maximum the bookies will payout is that if £250,000, not the £500,000 that you originally should have won from the bet.
They leave this down to the punter to find this out as well. They will accept the bet, assuming the stake is below the maximum stake amount, but they won’t pay out should the maximum threshold be met.
There are so many ways in which you can improve your accumulator betting strategy. This is because you can pull in all types of bets from different sports and markets to form your bet.
So, if you were an expert in corner betting with football and horse racing, then you could combine these markets to create your bets. But, for these strategies we wanted to talk a little more broadly on accumulator betting as a whole, rather than specific sports.
Limit Your Selections
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is including too many selections into their acca bets. It’s an easy mistake to make as when you’ve got say 3 or more picks and even money bet will double your return.
But, the difficulty increases that bit more the more bets that you put in. If you look at it as literal odds, it should change your opinion. For example, a 30/1 shot means that theoretically you should win that bet one in every 30 times you place it. That’s a lot of bets, especially for the casual punter. As you increase the number of selections, the odds rise and the unlikelihood of winning that bet increases.
You need to discipline yourself away from simply searching for bets to increase the bottom line. If you find yourself searching for these bets in markets or even sports that you don’t normally bet on just to get the price up, you’ve gone too far and it’s a sure-fire way to decrease your chances on winning .
Introduce the Short-Priced Favourites
The accumulator bet is set up for short priced favourites in our opinion. Taking on a bet that is 1.50 (1/2) isn’t going to offer value for many of us. A £10 bet as these odds gives us a return of £5. A win is still a win, but it’s not going to be worth an awful lot moving forward.
But, if you include a number of short priced favourites into your bet, let’s say 3 bets at 1.50, we get odds of 3.37, meaning that a £10 bet bags us £23.75. The reason this works so well is that you’ve essentially taken 3 bets that you’re confident of winning and turned into a single that offers much more value to most punters.
In fact, some of the more successful acca bettors that you see aren’t people chasing 4+ folds priced at 10.00+ and sticking £10. They are acca bettors who stake £500 on at 2 or 3-fold priced at around 3.00 (2/1) with short priced bets included.
Now, we aren’t saying you need to be betting these sorts of sums in order to end up with a net win, but the consistent winners take advantage of short priced favourites and create value by combining them.
Cash Out & Hedging
The cash out feature is something that pretty much all bookies offer these days. There is much debate whether this type of strategy offers good value to the punter and to be honest, the price that you take is going to be short of the true odds.
There’s plenty on site about cash out betting already, but we wanted to highlight how useful it can be for accumulator betting.
We think it works best when you have a staggered acca. So, this might be selections that don’t all come in at the same time. It could be 5 football games taking place at different times throughout the day or 5 races from the same horse racing meeting.
The time between results allows you to assess how you think the acca is performing. Obviously, if you’ve a cash out price at all, it’s likely that your bet still has a chance. The amount that you will be offered will correlate to the percentage of chance it has.
Whilst the numbers can be crunched until the cows come home with a cash out price, we think that often the best way to use it is by just having a feel of what’s on offer and what’s needed for your acca to come in.
For example, let’s say you’ve a 4-fold accumulator on 4 football games that all kick off at the same time. You’ve wagered £10 and are set to win £200 should the acca come in. With 10 minutes left, 2 games are all 2 or more goals to the good and 2 games are just 1 goal to the good. As 1 goal in either of the ‘1 goal to the good’ games could ruin your bet, a cash out here wouldn’t be a terrible idea.
Let’s say you place a bet on staggered matches, even consisting over the course of two days. This allows you a little more to form your strategy. For this you could take a number of options, all assuming that a number of selections are already ‘in’.
Should I Cash Out?
A common question that people get asked when you see them post on social media platforms is: should I cash out? A typical example could be that they are waiting on 1 game from their 5-fold accumulator. Up top is £500, and their current cash out is £150.
You’ve a number of options here.
- Cash out and take the win. To be honest, this can be a bad play as you’ll see below
- Let it ride as you’ve chosen these games because you think they will win
- Hedge your bets
Hedging your bets is probably the best play here in our opinion. A simple bet on the alternative result(s) to your selection as a single bet means that you cover the original stake.
Let’s run through a quick example.
You back the following 4 teams to win:
- Team A @ 2.00 (evens)
- Team B @ 3.00 (2/1)
- Team C @ 2.50 (6/4)
- Team D @ 4.00 (3/1)
This gives you odds of 60.00. You stake £10, which means your returns are going to be £600. Team A, B and C all win, with just Team D left. The cash out price is £100, still pretty low considering.
You decide to hedge your bets. You leave the acca to run, but you place a £50 wager on D to lose (double chance market for the other team). These odds are 1.50. This would return you £75 in total, with a new win of £25. More than enough to cover your original stake.
So, if your acca wins, you take £600, minus the £50 wagered on cover bet, leaving you with £550 total. If the acca loses, you lose the acca, but you still take the £75 from the cover bet, minus the £10 original stake, leaving you with £65 in total and £15 net win.
Either way, you come out on top. You can manipulate these numbers as much as you like to create a bigger or smaller margin between the two. We would recommend that your stake be reflective of the chance the team has of winning. So, in this example Team D is actually 4.00, which is the highest price and least likely (via the bookies) to win. For this you may want to increase the bet on them to lose. But, if it were a big favourite that’s left for your acca, you may want to just cover enough for your original stake.
Shopping for the Best Price
I know, the most obvious ‘strategy’ remark in the history of betting ever, right. But, in no other form of betting is shopping around for the best price more important than with accumulator betting.
You only need a slightly differential in odds to see a huge difference in price. The more selections you have in your acca, the more this gets exaggerated as well.
There are many tools that allow you to input your selections so have a look around and get some live odds to compare. It takes just a few minutes and you can potentially walk away with huge margins on your bet. Why not check out our Betting Offers page for our recommended online betting companies.
Just to highlight how much difference there is, we are going to take 4 home wins from the upcoming game week of the Premier League this week. Bear in mind, from a betting perspective this is one of the most competitive leagues in the world, so the odds are going to show much lower margins compared to that of lower league and foreign football.
The four games we have chosen are that of:
- Brighton @ 1.80
- Leicester @ 1.90
- Watford @ 2.40
- Manchester City @ 1.85
These show the difference in odds between 4 of the best bookies and the returns from a £10 bet:
As you can see, the range in price and returns is quite staggering and this is for a relatively small accumulator and a competitive league. That’s £14.50 more for every £10 staked with Betfred over Paddy Power.
We aren’t saying that you need an account with dozens of bookies, but if you have 3 or 4 on the go, you are potentially going to have a much better net win when your accumulator does land. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t an overall reflection of how these bookies perform as it could quite easily be the other way round for next week’s matches, but it does highlight how they differ and the need to shop around.
Full Cover Bets
Full cover bets are another popular inclusion for accumulator bets and work in a similar fashion. We’ve got plenty of articles related to this subject already on site, such as our Lucky 15 Betting Guide, so this is going to be fairly brief.
The concept of a full cover bet is a combination of several bet types. These may include singles, doubles, trebles, four- folds, five -folds (you get the idea) and accumulator bets. They work a little differently to that of a standard bet in that you place your bet per line, rather than overall.
A Yankee is probably the most popular of these full cover bets and with it there are 11 bets in total from four selections: 1 four-fold accumulator, 4 trebles and 6 doubles. As you’ve got 11 bets you need to place your stake per bet. So, if you bet £1 per line, the total stake would be £11.
Accumulator Bets and Their Margins
For those that aren’t aware, the way in which the bookies make money is by a method called overround. This is where they offer odds that aren’t necessarily the ‘true’ odds for that bet and instead, builds in a margin.
For example, let’s say we were betting on a coin toss. Now we know that the chances of it falling on heads or tails is 50/50. The true odds for this bet would then be even money or 2.00 for either outcome. But, the bookies will never offer you this price, they will likely offer you 1.90 or something along those lines. This is because it takes into account the overround that is applied to each bet.
If we think that pretty much every price that we see is an overround price, it means that when betting on accumulator bets, these numbers can really start to increase.
What you will find is that the bookmaker margin is applied to each bet on their site. This number is accentuated when you start adding in more selections. For example, let’s say a bookmaker has a 5% overround on their bets. With an accumulator you have 5% on each price, which then adds up with each selection. A 5-fold acca bet would then turn into a 27.62% margin for this bookmaker, which is huge.
The 5% margin below is actually quite low, with most bookies offering nearer the 10% for high street brands. The table below shows how the overround number increases with each selection.
The formula is simply multiplying the 10% margin as a decimal of 100, which in this case would be 1.10. The chart below shows how this 10% margin grows with each added selection.
As you can see, the numbers grow exponentially as you start to add in more selections, which is why the bookies love offering up these accumulator type bets.
Unfortunately, there is no way around it, but there are ways in which you can reduce it. The first and easiest to find the bookie with the lowest overround percentage.
What Sports Can You Bet Accumulators On?
You can essentially form an acca with any sport you like. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a sport. You might include the likes of TV betting markets or even politics if you prefer.
But, the most popular bets and the highest number of volume bets without doubt come from sport, with football being at the head of it. The reason why football is so popular with these bet types is that it works so well. There are a vast number of games around the world on a daily basis, so it allows punters to create a plethora of different bets as a result.
What you’ll find with football is that accumulator bets are generally most populated with three different bet types:
- Match result
- Total goals (Over/under)
- Both Teams to Score (BTTS)
There are of course plenty of other markets, but this makes up the vast majority. The regularity of these markets throughout the betting industry is another reason why they are so popular.
With horse racing accumulator bet types tend to differ slightly. The introduction of full cover bets, such as Lucky 15’s and Yankee’s generally make up the majority of these types of bets. The reason behind this is that the number of markets are much more limited and the difficulty of choosing a winner from a 10 horse race compared to just 3 possible results from a football match is that much harder.
The full cover bets mean that you don’t need every selection in your bet to win. We’ve written extensively about these bet types already, so if you aren’t sure exactly how they work, maybe now would be a good time to check them out.
Accumulator bets change again for other sports such as golf. As you tend to focus bets down to just one competition, you cant choose several winners in an accumulator bet as obviously, only 1 player can ever win.
But, the bet type can be adjusted to work with other markets, such as group betting. Group betting in golf is where you choose the winner of a group of players. The group might be the 3 or 4 ball that they are playing in or alternatively it can be a made up group selected by the bookmaker. The player doesn’t need to win the tournament, they just need to have the lowest score in their group to win this bet.
You can then combine players from a number of groups to create your acca. Many professional golf bettors like to target these types of bets as it allows them to eliminate a huge percentage of the field, thus reducing research time as to who might go well.
Tennis accumulators work a little differently again. As is with golf, you can’t choose multiple winners from a single tournament as there can only be one. Instead acca bets for tennis tend to include certain scenarios in a match, which could be point betting, set betting or even over/under game betting, as just a couple of popular markets. These can all be brought together from different matches to form an accumulator bet.
Tennis is actually a really popular sport for accumulator betting as it’s got tons of games which are held all year round. The standards vary quite dramatically though, but betting opportunities are to be had within the sport.
Football coupons have been a popular pastime for many bettors in the UK, starting life with probably the most famous, The Pools. This form of coupon betting required the punter to select a
number of games from a long list that they thought would be score draws. If they were able to choose a certain number correct, they won a cash prize. If they got all correct, they won the jackpot.
These types of coupons still exist in betting shops today. Ladbrokes and William Hill both offer coupons for English football games and with it you simply chose your picks from a list of games. They often have a set entry fee and with it you get a payout depending on how many selections that you get right.
Can You Bet on Football Coupons Online?
Yes, you can bet on these coupons online. Ladbrokes carry there’s over to their online sportsbook as well as being able to bet on within their stores. The process is exactly the same, except online you’re able to see a live, adjusted price, whereas in the shop, no odds adjustment take place.
But, the influx of online coupons and the ability to get much better odds online than in your high street store means that we would have to recommend that you bet online rather on the high street.
We spoke earlier in the article about the need for shopping around for these types of bets due to just small odds differences making huge changes to the bottom line of an accumulator. Well, the same process stands when betting on coupons.
What you will find in your high street store is that a coupon sheet is printed in the morning and the odds are set for the rest of the day. The bookies know that odds could change, although not massively, but accumulatively it makes a huge difference. An increased overround are generally added to these bets as a result, meaning that rarely do they offer better value than online.
Whilst coupons are still very popular, we think that the true value is forming your own accumulator. This way you aren’t limited as to what sports you can bet on, but also which markets you want to bet on as well.