An accumulator bet is one bet made up of multiple selections that are combined in one bet. All of the selections need to come in for the bet to win.
The accumulator pays much higher odds than if you were to place the selections as separate singles because each of the multiple single bets included in your acca must be successful to guarantee a return.
Because the odds are bundled together to create greater value for the bettor if one of your selections loses then your accumulator bet loses in its entirety, hence there is an increased risk.
Most sports have accumulators available, including football, horse racing and tennis, but bookmakers may stop you from combining multiple sports into an accumulator.
Multiple selections from the same game would not be an accumulator, but rather a same game multiple, which is a different type of bet.
Types of an accumulator bet
An accumulator is a bet that consists of four selections or more. Those with two or three selections are known as a double or treble respectively. There can be up to 20 selections in an accumulator with most online bookmakers.
Example of an accumulator bet
Below is an accumulator example using the results of four football matches to make a four-fold accumulator. We will then show you the outcome of each bet and the odds for each of them, then show you how bookies calculate the accumulator odds.
The accumulator returns are worked out by converting the fractions into decimals and multiplying the odds from the four singles together. If you have put on a £1 bet on the four games above in an accumulator bet, these would be the odds.
That means if you put a £1 bet on this 179/1 accumulator your total profit would be: £179 winnings + £1 stake = £180
As you can see, the odds are significantly increased for an accumulator than if you were to bet on each individual selection at their own odds. However, if one of those selections was to fail to win, the entire accumulator would lose. Here is an example of a losing accumulator bet.
Because Arsenal vs Tottenham was a draw and Arsenal failed to win, the entire accumulator bet loses.
What is an each-way accumulator bet?
As you can see from the accumulator example above, the risk is very high of the bet losing due to one leg failing to win. Some of this risk can be alleviated on accumulators on other sports such as horse racing where bookmakers will allow you to place an each way accumulator bet. Here is an example of an each way accumulator on horse racing.
Each-way accumulator bets come as two separate bets, meaning that the stake you are placing is then doubled.
For example, if we were to place a £1 bet on the above accumulator and make it each way, the stake would become £2 as it is covering the two bets. This is designed to give the punter the best chance of seeing a return if their horses fail to win but manage to place.
The first outcome is the ‘to win’ part of the bet, which would need all four horses to come first for the bet to win. This would lose in the 179/1 accumulator above as selection four came second and therefore placed.
The second part of the bet is the ‘to place’ part of the bet, which means you need the horses to come in the top places to win. Bookies determine how many top places there are in a race depending on how big the field is, usually the top three or four.
The winnings can be calculated by taking the original odds for each selection and applying the each-way fraction, which is usually 1/5 of the odds. So, if we take the 179/1 accumulator above, take each selection’s original odds and divide them by 1/5, then multiply them together we will get the odds for our ‘place’ part of the bet.
If the same example above occurred where three horses win and one places, your ‘to place’ part of the bet would return £4.70 (£1 stake + £3.70 winnings = £4.70). If any horses lose, the ‘to place’ part of the bet would also lose.
How to place an accumulator bet
Placing an accumulator bet is very simple on most online bookies and can be done within minutes. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to place an accumulator bet.
- Go to your chosen sport e.g. football
- Select your type of bet you want to make e.g. team to win
- Make your selection you want for your accumulator
- Add your selections to your bet slip
- Look under the ‘multiples’ section and there will be ‘accumulator’
- Enter the amount you want to stake
- Double-check your selections and click ‘place bets’