Accumulators – How To Bet & Strategy

Accumulators are by the second most popular sports bet type in betting and normally are low stakes bet of £10 or less. What is the reason for this? Because with accumulators you can select a number of events and cumulatively get very high odds. So although winning will be more difficult than when placing a single bet, if you do win you can win a lot more than if you were just backing a series of events as singles.

Accumulators, that are also known as multiple bets, are surely very entertaining for the average gambler as the prospect of winning big but risking low is a very attracting concept. There are punters that have been able to win hundreds or even thousands of pounds by just staking few pounds!

Having said that we need to remember that accumulator is not the best value for money bet as the bookmakers’ margin tend to increase when we combine events together. To reduce this margin it is important that before placing your accas you will check the bookmaker that offers the best odds and also if there are enhanced prices to take advantage. To ensure you get the most from your accas we have done a complete guide below that will help you to: find the best acca insurance deals, take advantage of accumulator bonuses and accumulator free bets and more. You can also check our dedicated accumulator offers page for more detailed information.

Top 3 Best Accumulator Betting Sites

If you want to get the most from your accumulators bets than you need to find the right betting sites. As we have mentioned above although accumulators are a fun way to bet the more selections you pick the more the margin is in favour of the house: this is why you need to think about how you can get the best balance by securing best odds, features, depth of market and offers. Below we have looked at the UK betting sites and selected the top 3 best accumulator betting sites.

BetVictor1. BetVictor – Best Odds

If you are looking for the best value on the majority of markets than you cannot find anything better than BetVictor. It is not a case that this betting site has won for 6 years in a row the title of best odds available. So, if you are placing an accas with this betting site you are pretty much sure that you will be getting the best odds available. In addition to that with BetVictor you will also benefit from acca offers that are run regularly: they have even invented acca insurance so surely you can’t go wrong by placing your accumulator bets with this bookmaker. Full BetVictor Review.

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Betfair2. Betfair  – Acca Edge

Acca Insurance is a great offer but it has a problem that it only kick in with 5+ fold. As you know well the more selections you add in a multiple bet and more chances you have of losing. Betfair however have an innovative acca offer as they do allow you to choose to place any 3+ acca at full price or alternatively you can use the Acca Edge facility: in this case the odds will be reduced in exchange for insurance. This is a great offer as it put the power of deciding in your hands. Full Betfair Review.

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William Hill3. William Hill  – All Sports Accumulator Insurance

William Hill have made their name for running some very aggressive multiple existing customers offers. Regular customers are able to benefit and get great long-term value from them. This season William Hill are running an all-sports acca insurance on 5+ multiples. So this offer is valid for any accumulator with selections of 1/5+ odds and can be claimed on bets up to £20. All customers can benefit from this accumulator offer once per day. Full William Hill Review.

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How Do Accumulators Work?

AccumulatorAn accumulator or multiple bets is very easy to understand: on a nutshell, it is a simple single bet that is placed on a multiple linked events. All the events can be placed together as long as they are not related.

But what are related bets? Related bets are bets on events where one result can influence that of others. This is why they cannot be linked in an accumulator where events have to be independent. So for example if you are trying to bet on a first goalscorer and a correct score in the same match and place those two as a double bet, this will not be accepted. The reason is that those events are somewhat connected: to cover those markets there are however some special bet types that can be used instead of a normal accumulator like scorecast, wincast, etc.

So accumulators can link any independent markets together even if some of them are in play. In order to win an accumulator, you need that all the predictions you have made will come true. Unless you have an insurance if even a single event lets you down, than you will lose your stake. Since odds are cumulative the more events you place in an accumulator bet and the higher is the potential payout. On the downside the more the selections the higher is the risk of losing. What happens if one selection is voided in an accumulator? The accumulator is still valid it is just that the selection void will drop out so if you have originally a multiple with 6 events then it will become a 5-fold for example.

How To Place An Accumulator Bet

Accumulator BetslipPlacing an accumulator bet is very simple and most betting sites nowadays have very intuitive websites where users can navigate very easily from one event to another. So the first thing you will have to do is add all your selections into the bet slit. When you do so you will see that the bookmaker will offer you the opportunity to bet on each of these events as singles or to bet as an accumulator.

So lets for example decide to place a multiple bet made of 4 events (also known as 4-fold). If you place a single bet on this line you will need that all the 4 predictions will come true in order to get the payout. So if your total odds are 100/1 it means that with a £5 bet you will get a profit of £500!

On the bet slip, you will also be prompted with other smaller accumulators. So, for example, the 4 selections we have picked could be made up into 4 trebles and 6 doubles. Basically you can choose to make lots of smaller accumulators but if you do so remember that you will need to place multiple stakes.

On the bet slip you will also find a number of other multiple bet types, the ‘full cover bets’. Basically what they do, as the name indicate, is to cover all possible multiple combinations from the events you have selected. So if we consider our example where we have taken 4 selections you could place a Lucky 15 bet. This system will be package into one bet type and will cover in this example 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a single 4-fold accumulator. In this situation even if only one selection will be correct you will still win at least one of the bets. Having said that you will probably need two or more selections to come through in order to get your stake back.

Just to clarify full cover bets are not single bets but are a series of single and multiple bets in a system which means that using the example of a Lucky 15 you will need to place 15 individual bets and therefore your stake will be multiplied by 15x. So if you have a stake of £5 per line your total investment will be £75 so this increase in risk has to be taken into account. There are however many types of full cover bets available and it ultimately depends from the number of selections you have.

Multiple Bet Types Available

In the table below we have collected all the different type of multiple bets that are available based on the numbers of selections. As we have seen full cover bets with singles include all the single event bets. Full cover bets without singles only include bets that have 2 or more selections. The total bet is the unit stake multiplied for the number of bets.

Multiple Bet Types
How To Calculate Accumulator Odds

BetCalculatorThe majority of betting sites are now advanced and they show immediately the odds on your bet slip so that you have a view of what you can win with the selections you have picked. Normally they also show the odds but if they don’t you can simply divide the win by your stake and you will see the odds.

If you want to try to calculate the accumulator odds by yourself you can do that easily: just multiply the odds of all the selections you have included in the bet. If you are working with fractional odds than it is probably easier to convert them all into decimal. The vast majority of betting sites do allow you to switch between decimal and fractional odds or alternatively you can just apply an easy formula.

Let’s say for example that you have odds of evens (2.0 in decimal) and you want to calculate the odds of 5 selections (ie. 2.0 x 2.0 x 2.0 x 2.0 x 2.0 = 32.0). Once done you can convert your final decimal odds to a fraction (in the example will be 31/1 from 32.0). So if you have 5 selections with even odds in your accumulator the final odds for the bet will be 31/1.

If you can’t be bothered with math, it is not a problem as there are many bet calculator available. The one that is offered by BetVictor is really good for example. The bet calculator is particularly useful also to check if you were given correct returns when there are void selections, etc.

Bookmaker Accumulator Margins

Bookmakers marginAccumulators bets are great fun but a downside is that the bookmaker margin does increase significantly making it more difficult for the punters to get a return on the medium/long run. This is why you can see that the majority of betting sites are pushing accumulators offers: with higher margins, they are able to swallow those extra costs and give out insurance and bonuses.

Surely this is not a valid reason not to place an acca bet but it is something you need to know: with those unfavorable conditions it is even more important to take full advantage of any enhanced odds or offers so to reduce the betting site margin as much as possible.

But what is exactly the betting site margin and how can we calculate it? Ok, let’s imagine the bookmaker has a 5% margin on all the events that you have selected in your accumulator. If you were to place a single bet than the margin for the bookie will be 5% but if you combine two events together than the total margin will be 5+5 = 10%. The more selections you add the more this margin will increase so if you have for example a 10-fold acca the margin for a bookmaker will be 50%. Bonus are created with the idea to give some of this profit back and it is important to use them especially if you are planning to bet on large accumulators.

Accumulator Betting Strategy

Accumulator strategyIf anyone out there will tell you that they can guarantee a win in sports betting than they are laying. Unfortunately, there is no way to do so as events are influenced by their own random factors. There are however ways to make sure you will get the absolute best value when you win: this will result in the long term in more wins or at least a reduced loss. So when you are placing an accumulator bet make sure you consider the list we have prepared for you below:

  • Take a Bonus – Since Accumulators have high margins for bookmakers, betting sites are keen to offer bonuses especially on football and tennis. Depending on events you can also find acca bonuses in different sports so you can mix selections. As we have seen bonuses are available in abundance on multiples because they do have high margins for bookmakers and it is the way for operators to give something back. The best bonuses are the one that starts with a low number of selections (risk is smaller) and pays extra winning in cash.
  • Take out Insurance – Some bookmakers instead of giving bonuses are giving you an acca insurance. With this offer, if one of the selections will let you down you will get your money back. Since this tends to be happening quite a lot of times, using this offer can save you a fair amount of cash. The best acca insurance around allows you to place an accumulator on multiple sports and start with 4+ selections. Acca insurance is a great way to cover ourselves especially when we are placing an accumulator but we are not really sure about one of the selections we have added.
  • Acca Clubs & Free Bets – In the last couple of years accumulator clubs have become very popular amongst punters. These will normally give you a free accumulator if you decide to spend a certain amount every week on acca bets. A number of bookmakers are offering this type of offers (for example William Hill are running their spend £20 in a week and get £5 free). If you are betting regularly this will over time be a great reward. Some acca clubs also have combined accumulator insurance and bonus so that you don’t have to scratch your head to decide which one you should take.
  • Avoid Big Accumulators – Even if looking at a big potential win is an attractive idea, the reality is that the bigger is the accumulator the less chance you have to win. As we have seen the bookmaker margin increase at every selection that you add. So our suggestion is to find the right balance: ideally you want an accumulator that have enough selections to give you a decent return but without exaggerating as too many picks will mean that your acca has very limited chances of winning. Just to give you an example: if you have an accumulator with odds of 5000/1 this means that you will win only once in 5000 bets on average. So if you place one of those a week it means that it will take an average of 96 years to win just one. That’s not what I call fun!
  • Don’t Pick Just the Favourites – Sometimes picking only the favourites might seem the quickest way to get an easy return. So you go ahead and place a 4 fold with favourable odds at 1/4 each. (1.25×1.25×1.25×1.25 = 2.44 or 3/2). From experience we can say that this is not a good idea: by combining the four selections together you are increasing the effect of random chance on your bet. The main problem with this type of strategy is that as you will know favourites don’t always win and the reward you get if the bet will actually win it is not high to justify the risk you are taking. In the long run you will lose out against the betting site.
  • Mix Bankers and Outsiders and Use Insurance – We have a fair amount of experience on the accumulator and in our opinion, the best way is to do multiple with 3 or 4 selections max. You should mix selections where you believe there is a very good chance that you get the prediction right and one, with higher odds, where you are risking more. By doing so you will enhance your acca as the ‘riskier’ selection will increase the overall odds. If you are then using acca insurance you will get money back if only one selection will let you down so you are also covered for your punt.
  • Bet On Markets Other Than Outright Results – betting only on match winners can be boring. Nowadays bookies offer the opportunity to add all sorts of markets into an accumulator bet and you should take advantage of it. For example, Both teams to score and a team to win is an increasingly popular bet to combine in a multiple. Those type of accumulators will have higher odds so with just 3 or 4 picks you will get the same return as a 6 or 7-fold match result accumulator. By having fewer selections you also reduce the risk and the bookmaker margin. Don’t limit yourself: you can also mix and match markets so, for example, you can have 2 or 3 match results and maybe a couple of both teams to score and a first goalscorer bet. As long as the events are independent you can add whatever you want.
  • Place Multiples With Insurance – covering yourself in case one or two selections fail it is something that you should absolutely do. If you want to cover all bases then you will need to place a full cover bet, however you can also place your own combination of bets manually and cover at least some of the situations. So, if you have 5 selections you could place a single 5 fold and 5 x 4-folds: this will ensure that if one doesn’t come in you will still win one 4-fold. If you place all the 6 bets with insurance then if one selection lets you down you will still get your money back on all the accas that lose and will get a payout on the ones that win.
  • Coupons and Jackpots – the majority of betting sites are now running coupons especially for football multiples. Thanks to those you will get guaranteed odds for a large number of picks and overall you will increase the value and the return. In some cases in addition to the coupons you will also get a jackpot: so if your multiple will win, you will have a chance to land the jackpot. This is normally restricted to big accumulators but saying you are already thinking to place a large multiple than why not taking advantage. You never know it might be your lucky day!
  • Make Your Accumulator a Low Stakes Extra Bet – Everyone knows how rewarding and exciting is to land an accumulator bet. The problem with accumulators is that you are not going to win every time and if you place let’s say a 10-fold acca every week you could go months, sometimes years without a single win. As we are all here to try beating betting sites why not using accumulators as a low stake supplementary fun bet along with other bets? In this situation, you will still enjoy winning more often and you will also leave the door open for the big one if your accumulator comes in too.
  • Find the Best Odds – Regardless if you are betting on singles or multiples you have to find the best raw odds before committing. As we have seen in an accumulator the odds are multiplied together so if you have let’s say 5% better odds on each pick this will significantly increase your payout if things will go in the right direction. Make sure also to take full advantage of any insurance and bonuses available as those will also cover you in different ways and overall you will get the best possible value from bookmakers on accumulators.

Accumulator Insurance And Bonuses

InsuranceAs we have seen previously, accumulators do have high-profit margins for bookmakers and this is why you normally find lots of offers around this type of bet like acca insurance and bonuses. Most betting sites are offering those type of offers around accumulators so make sure you take advantage as they will significantly add value especially if you are betting on multiple regularly.

The best bonuses around are the ones that have high limits and pay extra winnings in cash. Before committing to those tough make sure you read the terms and check what markets are available but normally they should cover the vast majority.

Acca insurance is a great tool to use to increase the return from your accumulator without increasing the risk. With the insurance you can add 1 selection you are less sure about as if that doesn’t come true you will still get your money back. With Acca Insurance tough you need to be aware that normally stakes will be returned as a free bet: you will then need to wager those with the same bookmaker before they do expire (normally 7 days). The best deals as far as acca insurance is concerned are the ones that start with 4+ picks and that are available on multiple markets and sports.

Betfair has created a new and exciting form of acca insurance. With this offer, you can exchange lower initial odds in exchange for insurance. The main benefit of doing so is that stakes are refunded in cash and have a high limit. Bookmakers like Ladbrokes also let you edit your accumulator while in play: basically this is another way of cash out but you can drop out selections in exchange for lower winnings which is a decent extra opportunity.

History Of Accumulator Betting

Accumulator historyIt is very difficult if not impossible to pinpoint the exact origins of the accumulators or multiple bets. People have been naturally combining scenarios together for a very long time: even 10,000 years ago groups of humans were betting some mammoth meat on the results of two or more fights. In doing so they were basically doing an accumulator bet.

Even in more moderns times, we can see that the accumulator bet actually predates the standard win single in football and other sports. Football pools, which is the first working-class betting phenomenon, was basically a large accumulator that was predicting the results of a number of matches. It was until the 1990’s that you were still forced to play at least a treble.

In the UK the accumulators always have been fascinating with players having such a love affair with them. We all been there picking the old coupons at the bookmaker shop to try and get weekly multiple wins. Another reason why accumulators are so popular is that is aspirational bet: with few quids, you can potentially make hundreds or thousands of pounds and this is very attractive for the working classes. As we have seen accumulators are not necessarily the best value for money bet out there (and this is the reason why single bets, for example, were not allowed until 1990’s) but it is difficult to find something similar to the adrenalin rush provided by a decently sized acca win!

Commonly Accumulator Terms And Conditions

Betting rulesWhen placing a bet it is always very important to make sure you fully understand the terms. It is nothing worse than the experience to believe you have won a bet to find that you have broken/misinterpreted some rules. To help you avoid this we have summarised below some common acca related terms that will be useful when betting on multiples and taking advantage of offers:

  • Minimum odds – normally in order to qualify for acca insurance you have to place an accumulator that should have a minimum odds required. This is normally a minimum for each leg and it should be in the region of 1/2 (1.50) or less. Some bookmakers also provide a cumulative minimum (for example it has to have a minimum of 3/1 odds cumulatively).
  • Minimum Number of Legs – the majority of accumulators offers have a minimum number of selections that you need to add. Most acca insurance starts at 5+ although there are some bookmakers that do offer insurance from 4+. Bonuses normally start from lower (treble or higher) but in some cases, you will also find bonuses on double especially for some sports like tennis.
  • Void selections – This is happening when an event is not completed for whatever reason. This doesn’t mean that your accumulator is void but just that the voided selection will be removed. So let’s say you have placed a 5-fold accumulator and one event is voided than you will basically have a 4-fold acca. This is not a massive problem, however, there are two main issues: firstly your odds will decrease and if you have an acca insurance that starts at 5+ selections you will not longer qualify for the promotion.
  • Maximum Winnings – If you are thinking to place a huge accumulator than make sure you check what are the payout limits of the betting site you are using. Some smaller bookies have very low limits like £10,000 or less and you can well go over if you hit a big acca win. It is surely advisable that you pick a betting site that does accept higher limits if you are thinking to place those type of bets. Limits also need to be checked to acca bonuses as many are capped. Same as above some small bookmakers have very low caps (ie. less than £1,000) while bigger operators can go much higher (ie. up to £100,000).
  • Cash or Bonus Winnings – it is important to check if bonus winnings are paid out in cash or promotional funds. It goes without saying that cash is by far the best option as free bets will come with an expire data and you will have to rollover before you will be allowed to withdraw.
  • Free Bets – the majority of acca insurance offers will return your money back as a free bet. This is not always the case so it is important to check the terms and conditions first. Some free bets might have short expiry (like 24 hours) while others will last at least a week. Free bets also normally come with other conditions like for example they might be restricted to certain sports (like football) or markets. Also the free bets come with minimum and/or maximum odds so it is worth you check you are in the range. So even if acca insurance will return your money back this will be in form of free token (normally) which means that you will have to bet again with that bookmaker before cashing out and that stake is usually not returned.
  • Sports & Markets available – the vast majority of accumulators offers are restricted to football and some are even restricted to certain bet types (for example match result). If you are planning to mix markets and sports in your accumulator bet make sure you check the offer terms first or you might not qualify.
  • Payout Limits – every sport and market have payout limits. Surely big sports like football will have higher limits than the smaller sports but it is important to keep an eye on them especially if you are placing rather big accumulator bets. There is no point for example to place a darts acca that might return you £50,000 if the bookmaker you are betting against will only pay a maximum of £25,000. Also, note that if you mix sports in your acca the maximum payout will be dictated by the sport with the lowest limit.

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