How Accumulators work in Football

Accumulators are the most common type of bet there is in sports betting with the majority of casual and experienced punters placing them every other weekend in a hunt for big potential returns. An accumulator is often referred to as an ‘acca’ by the majority of the betting community, but have many other names such as multiples, combo bets etc. The reason behind the name ‘accumulator’ is because it is a type of bet where more than on selection is accumulated into one.

How does an accumulator work and how do I win?

Let’s break it down then and understand how these bets work. Starting with a simple four-fold acca, for this example we won’t worry about the odds, but instead focus on how it works and what outcomes you need in order to win.

Example 1 – Four-Fold Accumulator

Man City to win (v Chelsea)

Fulham to win (v Aston Villa)

Rotherham to win (v Shrewsbury)

Coventry to win (v Exeter)

So, as you can see above, there are four selections in the accumulator, in order for this bet to be paid out as a winner the playef will need all four selections to win. Therefore, even if the first three selections win but the fourth and final selection loses, the whole bet will be a loser. There are possible ways to get around this via the ‘cash out’ which we cover below.

What sports and markets can I include in an Accumulator?

One of the many features that make accumulators so popular to the betting community is the flexibility they offer. You can combine almost any betting market in any sport within the same accumulator if you wish. For example, you could choose to add Liverpool to win a match in the Premier League, Roger Federer to win a tennis match and Michael van Gerwen to win a darts game in the same bet.

The markets you can combine are also virtually limitless, as long as they aren’t selections within the same match. You can add selections like ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ in one match with a ‘Double Chance’ and ‘Asian Handicap’ bet in the same accumulator.

Calculating Accumulator Odds

Now we have got an idea of how accumulator bets work, let’s look into how the odds are calculated. As mentioned in the sections above, accumulator means an accumulative total of the selections in the bet slip. Therefore, the odds are calculated by a rollover from selection to selection. Let’s look at an example…

Here is a typical accumulator bet slip, consisting of four selections on Bet365. The odds are in decimal format, for more information on how to change the way odds are displayed, click here.

As you can see from the bet slip image, the odds are as follows.

Russia – 1.30

Uruguay – 1.55

Spain – 1.95

France – 1.20

None of these odds are particularly big on their own but placed together in an accumulator, their odds rise to a total of 4.71!

How does this happen? Well, the odds on each selection simply rolls over each time. So, if the players stake was £10 as shown in the picture then this is how it would work.

£10 on Russia would return £13 as a single, however when it is included in an accumulator, the returns from the previous selection rolls over onto the next. So, assuming Russia won, the £13 would be on Uruguay to win which would return £20.15, see where I’m going with this? Then the £20.15 would essentially be riding on Spain to win, to return £39.30. Then finally that would roll over onto the final selection of France which would finally return the £47.15. If the matches are played at different times, this is where you can make the most of the ‘cash out’ feature that most bookies offer on accumulators.

Cash Out

Nowadays, most bookies will offer cash out options for accumulator bets, but when is a good time to cash out and when does it pay to be brave? Firstly, the cash out amount offered will be dependent on the likely success of the accumulator. Therefore, using the example above; if Russia and Uruguay had played and won their matches, the cash out being offered should be greater than the starting stake of £10. However, say that those two selections have won but Spain are losing to Portugal then the cash out will likely to be lower than the stake, as the bet is looking increasing likely to lose.

Now deciding when to cash out is slightly harder to understand, but this is all down to the player themselves. The cash out option is sometimes too tempting for players to resist, especially when the return is much greater than the stake. The bookies will try to lure players in to cash out their bets when the likelihood of it landing becomes increasingly more likely. Usually the best times to cash accumulators out is when there is just one selection letting the bet down and you don’t think they can turn it around or when all selections are coming in with the cash out amount being close to the full return.

Don’t fall for short odds accumulators!

Example 3.

Many players that are new to gambling often fall into this trap of short odds accumulators and get burnt. Often new players can’t believe that all these short odds bets together will be priced at almost 3/1 and tend to place these bets with higher stakes. However, although these bets look very safe as singles you are still relying on 7 different bets in order to win at less than 2/1! Many punters believe that because this acca is built from selections of 1.12 to 1.25 odds that it is more likely to come in, sadly it doesn’t always work like that.

Instead it’s recommended to build accumulators from ‘value’ bets. These are bets than look overpriced in the players own opinion, for example if Germany were priced at 2.50 to beat Brazil, but Neymar and a number of key player for Brazil are missing you might think that the odds of 2.50 are higher than what they should be. Therefore, combining that in a bet with another couple of 2.50 selections (Portugal and Poland for example), it would boost the odds to a huge 12.50 treble. In the example, you are relying on 7 selections all to win in order to win £29.80 from a £10 stake, whereas a £10 bet of the 3-fold accumulator would pay £125 despite there being 4 less selections.

Types of Accumulator bets

Double – A bet involving two selections, both of which must be successful in order to win.

Treble – A bet which consists of 3 different selections, all 3 selections must be successful in order for the bet to win.

Trixie – This involves 3 selections in different events to make up 4 bets. Once the bet is placed it will produce 3 doubles and 1 treble.

Patent – This involves 3 selections in different events to make up 7 bets. Once the bet is placed it will produce 3 singles 3 doubles and 1 treble.

Yankee – This involves 4 selections in different events to make up 11 bets. Once the bet is placed it will produce 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 four-fold.

Lucky 15 – Often used in horse racing, this involves 4 selections in different events to make up 15 bets. Once the bet is placed it will produce 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 four-fold.

Super Yankee – This involves 5 selections in different events to make up 26 bets. Once the bet is placed it will produce 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds and an accumulator.

Lucky 31 – Often used in horse racing, this involves 4 selections in different events to make up 15 bets. Once the bet is placed it will produce 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 four-fold

Heinz – This involves 6 selections in different events to make up 57 bets Once placed it will produce 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and an accumulator.  

Super Heinz – This involves 7 selections in different events to make up 120 bets. Once the bet is placed it will produce 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and an accumulator.

Goliath – This involves 8 selections in different events to make up 247 bets. Once placed it will produce 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 28 six-folds, 8 seven folds and an accumulator.