Updated Updated: August 30, 2019

Accumulator Betting Guide

The beloved accumulator or affectionately known as the ‘acca’ is without a doubt the most popular sporting bet on the planet. Over the last decade, the accumulator has almost become the routine bet for football fans, who pick out their weekend selections from the leagues and cup competitions across Europe and beyond. The reason why so many people are attracted to the accumulator bet is that it gives you the chance to win so much from so little. The lucky ones have won hundreds of thousands of pounds from small bets as little as £2 or £3 – the temptation of the ‘acca’ is quite clear to see!

bet accumulator

This type of bet has ingrained itself into football culture with fans picking out their selections before the Saturday 3 pm kickoff time, with the hope of celebrating a big win in just a couple of hours time. However, it’s not solely created for the football market and the bet is also widely used on many other sports including Basketball, Horse Racing, Rugby, Cricket. Basically, any sport that has multiple matches or events are open to accumulator bets. This guide offers everything there is to know about this exciting type of bet including accumulator betting tips, strategies, and where to find the best accumulator odds.

What is an accumulator bet?

Accumulators are simple to understand and that’s why anyone (above 18 in the UK!) can sign up to an online sports betting site, or walk into a bookmaker on the high street and place the bet with ease. In short, this is what an ‘acca’ is described as:

The Accumulator Bet

A single bet that combines four or more selections

To build your accumulator bet, all you need to do is choose four selections or more from the basic ‘1×2’ betting market, and then decide how much you want to place on the bet. Remember, you don’t need to bet a lot in order to get a big return and that’s the beauty of accumulators. An acca with six selections is called a six-fold, 10 selections is called a ten-fold and so on, some bookies draw a line at around 14 or 15 maximum selections but others are known to offer more. The more selections you choose, the bigger the odds become. The only thing you do need to fully understand is that every selection needs to come true for the bet to win, even if one selection fails then the entire bet is lost.

Accumulator betting rules

The accumulator bet does come with a few rules that are widely agreed upon by the bookies. Most sites will allow you to make selections from different sports but you are not allowed to choose multiple selections from one event and they must be mutually independent of one another. If any matches or events are postponed due to bad weather or if there are any non-runners, in the case of horse racing, then they will be removed from your bet, meaning that a six-fold acca would be reduced to a five-fold and so on.

What are the advantages of placing an accumulator?

The magic behind the accumulator is how the odds are calculated, the huge returns are only possible due to the fact that all of the odds from your selections are combined to create the ‘acca odds’, which can be huge if you throw in one or two underdogs. These kinds of odds can’t be found in any other areas of standard betting and this is why accumulator betting is so exciting. Yes, the likelihood of your bet winning is a lot lower but the potential return from a small bet amount is more than worth the risk for most bettors. Placing an accumulator is the perfect option for those with smaller betting budgets, the humble £1 or £2 accumulators bets can still bring in big returns and it certainly doesn’t break the bank! 

Types of accumulator bets

The best accumulator bet works with the 1×2 betting format. However, there are options to expand out with these types of bets with the online bookies. The in-depth markets found online include selections such as Draw No Bet, Double Chance, Over/Under Goals, and Both Teams to Score. You can use these different markets within your accumulator to widen your scope and increase your chances of winning. For now, we’ll be looking at how the basic accumulator bet works:

Example: How to make the 1×2 Accumulator bet

Four or more selections are required for the accumulator and working out the decimal odds makes calculating the total odds a lot easier, as we have done below. Consider the following four-fold football accumulator:

MatchSelectionOddsDecimalCumulative Odds
Liverpool vs EvertonLiverpool to Win3/14.04.0
Tottenham vs ArsenalTottenham to Win2/13.012.0
Everton vs West HamEverton to Draw5/16.072.0
Man United vs Man CityMan City to Win2/13.0216.0

Placing a £10 accumulator with all four selections coming true would give you a combined total odds of 216.0, meaning a total return of £2160 from your initial £10 stake. If any of the four selections do not come true then you lose the bet and your £10 stake.

There are many online sites available where you can type your odds into a bet accumulator calculator if mathematics isn’t your strong point. Also, it’s useful to know that selecting two or three selections are known as Double and Treble bets and they work in the same way as an accumulator.

Alternative accumulator betting markets explained

Each Way Accumulator:

These types of bets are only available on events where there are multiple competitors which makes them extremely useful for when it comes to horse racing. Each way accumulators consist of two bets with two separate stakes, one bet for all your selections to win and the other bet for your selections to finish in a top position, otherwise known as ‘placing’. The second ‘place’ bet comes with reduced odds due to the increased chances of the bet winning.

Note: The reduced odds are calculated by applying the bookies standard 1/5 or 1/4 each way fraction to the original odds. The placed positions are determined by the bookie but they usually offer up to 4th or 5th place depending on the popularity of the event.

betfair betslip

Over/Under Goals:

A popular choice at online bookies, the over/under goals market gives the punter a more reliable selection because after all, scoring goals is the aim of the game in football. The best thing about this market is that it takes into account the total goals and it’s not team dependent. Sometimes matches are too close to call in the 1×2 market and so choosing selections from the Over/Under Goals market can help to build up your accumulator bets.

Both Teams To Score – BTTS:

BTTS is a hidden gem amongst football betting and you really should be considering this in your accumulators for two reasons. First, the odds are very reasonable considering that you are only looking for two goals in total. Secondly, you can find a lot of information online that point towards which teams are involved in more BTTS matches than others. A little research and finding some valuable BTTS selections can give your accumulators a real boost! 

Best betting sites for accumulator bets

Odds and betting markets can vary from site to site but there are one or two bookies that sit above the rest. A combination of good odds and plenty of betting options is what you need to make the best football accumulator bets, and here are our top bookie choices:  

  • Betfair
  • Bet365
  • Ladbrokes
  • William Hill
  • Coral
  • Paddy Power

Bet Accumulator Tips

Statistics show everything

Strategy Accumulator Betting

Betting knowledge is everything and with all of the available statistics and form guides on the internet, there is no excuse not to take at least a quick look. After all, betting based on knowledge is wise betting. Studying form guides will give you a quick overall summary of who is and who is not currently playing or racing in form. You can find percentages on how often teams take part in matches where there are over/under 2.5 goals or where both teams to score. It’s all about finding the right value bets and checking statistics that show, say a favourite has not won in three games, could be the difference between a winning and losing bet.

Don’t select early kick-offs

Selecting early kicks-offs can ruin your bet before it ever really started. For example, you place an accumulator with 10 selections and one of these is the lunchtime kick-off and the rest are at 3 pm. If the lunchtime bet doesn’t go your way then your accumulator is lost and that excitement is ruined for the rest of the day! Keep your selections within a small time frame to enjoy the moment, not to mention you’ll get more of a chance to take advantage of the ‘cash out’ feature if you have a feeling all of the selections are not going your way.

Bankers are not worth it

Many punters opt for a football betting accumulator full of ‘bankers’ and for those who don’t know, ‘bankers’ are heavy favourites and it’s a bad idea to use them in your bet. The reason why it’s a bad idea is that the odds are not worth the risk. Many ‘bankers’ are priced at around 1.20 or 2/10 and even four of these selections might not give you ‘evens’ on your total odds. As with all betting, you never know what will happen and the chances are that one of these banker favourites will not come through, and you will have lost your stake for only a minimal return. The nature of the accumulator bet is that it gives you the potential to win huge returns at a small cost to you, so do your homework and combine the value bets to give you something worth betting on. Backing ‘bankers’ will get you nowhere fast!

Home advantage value

Looking for home advantage in sports like football can offer real value for your overall accumulator. Playing in front of your own fans is always a strong position for a team so check the form guide for those who are on a winning streak at home, they might have an awful record playing away but their home stadium becomes a fortress. Picking the home side in a match between two top teams can also give you good odds so keep an eye out for big derby matches.

Draw accumulators 

An uncommon selection for accumulator betting is the draw. Many punters ignore this and go straight for the win option backing the home or away team, but believe it or not the draw happens more times than you might first think. The number of matches that end in a draw in the Premiership is often in the 25-30% range and there are teams and leagues around the world that have higher draw percentages throughout the season. Placing one or two draw selections in an accumulator can skyrocket your total odds!

FAQ

You only need to back a handful of outsiders with high odds to give your accumulator a huge winning potential. Your bet is less likely to win, of course, but if you can find outsiders who are in good form then you’ve got a real chance of winning something big!

No, it’s not only winners that are included in accumulator bets. Online bookies give you a wealth of betting options so you can choose selections such as BTTS, Over 2.5 Goals or the increasingly popular Draw No Bet accumulator where you remove the draw option from the 1×2 betting market.

Many bookies will state that a minimum bet is required to place your accumulator. The most common minimum bet is 50p and many casual punters tend to keep their bets low in and around the £1 and £2 range.

The maximum winnings are almost limitless due to the nature of the multiple selections and combined odds of this type of bet. History has shown us that punters have won hundreds of thousands and also millions from as little as 50p or £1 accumulator bets.

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