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Accumulator bets explained

Temptation. That is what accumulators are and why they have such good appeal to new bettors. The temptation of a huge payout from a small stake. Who doesn’t want a piece of that betting action? Of course, this is betting and sometimes acca’s can turn out to be a poison apple if your misuse them.

Accumulator bets explained

An accumulator is based off several selections, generally four selections or bigger. To keep things simple let’s say that you pick four different Premier League teams to win their matches on the weekend. Here are your selections placing a £1 stake on each to win, with the respective profit on each.

Manchester 8/11 (0.73 profit)
Everton 3/4 (0.75 profit)
Southampton 8/5 (1.60 profit)
Norwich 11/8 (1.38 profit)

So there are four winning bets at not huge profit margins really. However, if you were to take that £4 stake and place it on the same selections in a fourfold accumulator, then you would return £70 worth of profit. However, because you need all four teams to win in order to have any payout from the acca, your risk is much, much higher.

How accumulator bets are calculated

A simple equation will figure out how much the accumulator is worth to you. You simply take the stake and multiply it by each odds selection. That would make this example (it’s easier to do it by decimal):

£4 x 1.73 x 1.75 x 2.6 x 2.38 = £74 return (including the £4 stake)

If you want to go fractional then you need to do this (factoring the brackets first which just gives you the decimal odds anyway:

£4 x (8/11 + 1) x (3/4 +1) x (8/5 +1) x (11/8 +1) = £74 (including stake)

Top 5 Accumulator Tips

Accumulators are risky bets, let’s start there. Going into accumulator betting you have to recognise that you are going to be losing on a regular basis. That is the nature of the beast and you have to be prepared for that and you have to budget for that in your betting bankroll.

  1. Keep the selections down
    There’s no point just building a massive accumulator. With each selection that you add to the bet, you decrease your chances of winning. Don’t get blinded by the big potential payouts. Be sensible and don’t forget about the drawn outcome. They happen and you don’t always have to look for a match winner.
  2. Pick teams on merits not odds
    What? This is the only exception in betting where odds are a little irrelevant. If you see odds of 2/1 then you know that would boost the potential prize payout of the accumulator. You really need to focus on teams that are likely to win, ignoring the odds.
  3. Short odds a no-go
    With that said, don’t look for really short priced teams, those heavy odds-on favourites because they won’t return enough value for your accumulator betting. The profit margins on them are so low and you won’t get great returns in your accumulator.
  4. Look for bonuses
    Sounds obvious but is overlooked. Some bookmakers offer acca insurance, where you can get your lost stake refunded as a free bet if your bet loses because of just one selection.
  5. Research
    As will all aspects of betting, do some research first. No point banking on a team to come good for you if their star striker is suddenly out injured. Check out your probabilities of a team winning and build a strategy. If someone is in poor form on the road, don’t rely on them to suddenly come good for you. Accumulators are where you need to play stronger percentages.

Accumulator advice

Insurance. A lot of bookmakers now offer accumulator insurance. Say you build a qualifying accumulator of five selections or bigger. If just one selection of your bet lets you down then you will get your lost stake refunded as a free bet. If you can find an insurance on an accumulator, take it.

The other option is to look for cash out tools. Some bookmakers offer the ability to cash out a bet early before the actual event is finished. Some also apply this to accumulators. So let us say that you are five winnings legs into a sevenfold but aren’t feeling too confident about your last couple of selections now. You could cash out your bet early before the other two legs are settled, to at least take something away from your wager. This is consolidating and is hugely valuable.

Pros and Cons of accumulator bets

There is no way to make a steady profit from playing accumulators. Of course, they are a great little side bet if you are feeling confident but shouldn’t form part of your regular betting strategy at all. You won’t find higher risk bets anywhere in sports betting but the pro is if you hit one it’s extremely rewarding. Just don’t rely on them for your regular betting.