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A complete guide to accumulator betting

Published on June 23, 2022
Written by Janne
A complete guide to accumulator betting

Betting has become one, if not, the most popular add-ons to enjoying a variety of sports. Done responsibly, it can enhance an afternoon’s entertainment and make more fun an already enjoyable sport.

There are plenty of different types of bet available ranging from wagers on single events to what is known as accumulator betting. It is the latter we will be delving into today and with good reason. It is the second most popular betting practice on the market, and its popularity is higher than it has ever been before, but why?

The simple answer is because it’s fun and that is a great place to start. Accumulator betting gives fans a broader interest in the events taking place on any given weekend, often leaving the punter trying to keep abreast of everything that is happening across several different matches.

They are a way of fans testing their knowledge and ability to predict the sports they love while often having a bit of a laugh with their friends at the same time but what is an accumulator bet?

What is accumulator betting?

Accumulator bets are those that are placed on several low-value events ( that really varies, and it is based on the punters’ preferences ) that amass together to form a bet of higher value or better odds. They are simple and straight forward to place, and you can link any bets you like so long as they are not related by which we mean an outcome affecting another in your bet. An example of this would be the first goalscorer and correct score in the same match. In this case, the event would be classed as related contingencies and are not allowed.

Apart from that, you can be fairly selective in your picks, adding as many events as you like to your betting slip. For example, you can pick Manchester United to win, Blackpool to draw and Scunthorpe to lose as part of your accumulator, and these odds will be added to your account.

You will have heard football accumulator bets referred to by a number of different names, but the most popular bar far is the ‘footy acca’ or just ‘acca’. They are called this because the bet is a series of simple single bet accumulated together to form one larger bet.

What markets can be included in an accumulator bet?

Most people go with match results in their accumulator bets such team X to beat team Y, but you can actually include almost any market you like and in a variety of combinations. An example of this can be seen below:

Accumulator bet selections

This table offers an example, but the choices are practically limitless so long as none of the picks falls under a related contingency.

Type of accumulator bets

As said above, the combinations of accumulator bets are becoming far more varied and offer several different options to the punter. The basic principle always remains the same when placing an acca, and that is several small events combining for one larger bet.

The types generally allow for the specific number of bets being placed in the accumulator. Each often has a different name, all of which are fairly straight forward.

  • A double: This is a two-fold accumulator bet which required two scenarios to land
  • A treble: This is a bet placed with three outcomes in the acca
  • Four-fold: A bet placed with four outcomes. This pattern continues with five-fold, six-fold etc.

There is no upper limit to picking an accumulator bet, and the outcomes can bring returns far greater than the initial bet that was placed. For example, the famous case in the UK was of a man placing a six-fold acca on the horse races at Exeter. He placed an initial stake of just £2 and ended up winning £1.45 million.

So let’s have a look at some examples of how accumulator bets pay out.


If we take a four-fold accumulator as an example, you will see how landing all-four can give a substantial return based upon a £4 stake.

An example of winning accumulator bet

If all the outcomes in this four-fold were to land the below winnings would be taken. – Total returns = £3 x 1.15 x 2.45 x 2.8 x 3.2 = £73.73 – If any of the selections were not to land, then the overall loss on this acca would be £3

Most bookmakers will have your potential returns at the bottom of your betting slip in order to allow you to see how much you could make from any potential accumulator bet, but there are some great apps that allow you to work this out for yourself.

Risks of Accumulator betting

The main attraction for accumulator bets is that they are a fun way to follow sports, but there are some risks that you should be aware of. Although the returns can be great, especially compared to the initial stake, it is hard to get all of your selections to land, and if even one of those selections should fail, then you will lose the bet.

The other thing to bear in mind is that the bookmakers make more money out of accumulators because they compound their margins. What we mean by this is that if they were to have a 3% margin on a single bet when you add another selection, it would be doubled (3+3 = 6%) and this carries on the more bets you add.

If you had a ten-fold selection, the bookmaker stands to make 30% profit margin which isn’t necessarily a worry but is something you should know about.

Advantages of accumulator bets

As mentioned before, the main attraction to <accumulator bets is not only the additional fun they offer punters but also the returns from an acca are far greater than they would be for single bets, which adds to their popularity.

Because the bookmaker margins are higher with accumulator bets, so are the bonuses and extras that are often available

These bonuses can often see you get a bigger return or a reduction in the bookmaker margin for that particular acca. This is something well worth doing as it can see you make much better returns on your stake.

You can also take out acca insurance which offers the advantage that if one of your selections does not land, you will still see your stake returned, which saves you more money in the long-term. Not all sports accumulator bets offer this option, and some offer the return of stake as a free bet which will need to be used with the same bookmaker, often within a certain time limit (always check when this is to prevent the free bet expiring).

The insurance is not for everyone but can be used in accumulator bets where there is one selection in particular that you might be less sure about or if a star player is out injured you might think it will have a big impact on the result for that team.

Ways to win using accumulator betting

It is important to note that there is no sure-fire way to win any bet. This is why it is a game of chance, but there are certain strategies that can be employed to help make winning more probable. Below are a few pointers and tips that will help you be more successful when placing accumulator bets.

Have the knowledge

Very rarely when doing an acca will you win without having a good knowledge of the sport you are wagering on. This might sound obvious, but a lot of people do not always know the ins and outs of the sport where they are placing their bets.

The most popular accumulator bets are football and many people have a sound knowledge of the game but not necessarily follow the in-depth information that will help them when placing an acca. You should know how many goals teams tend to score, what their home and away form is like and also who is injured etc.

This will help you make the right selections.

Don’t just bet on outrights

There are many outcomes that can be included in accas, so make the most of that. Some games can be harder to predict winners than others, but you might have more luck in knowing that both teams are likely to score or neither side are prolific. Make the most of your knowledge in this field so you can spread the risk a bit more.

Use the stats

This is the 21st-century folks, and as such there are a whole host of websites that offers in-depth stats about football teams across a wide selection of leagues.

These stats are vital in getting you to make the right selections. They can show home and away form, head-to-head data, goal-scoring records, when teams are likely to score goals and also which players are finding the net on a regular basis.

All this information is there to help you, so make sure you use it. You will find that armed with additional knowledge, and you will make far more accurate selections and therefore see your accumulator bets land a lot more often than they otherwise would.

So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself in the know and onto those accas. You are bound to enjoy it and armed with the knowledge above, will soon be turning a profit.


Janne är en tävlingsmänniska med passion för sport och betting i alla dess former. Med över 15 år i bettingbranschen är hans mål att hjälpa spelare att betta ansvarsfullt och med rätt kunskap. Hos delar han speltips, analyser och recensioner av bettingsidor. När det kommer till betting har Janne alltid något värdefullt att säga.

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