Acca Insurance offers
Fixed odds bookmakers offer a wide range of markets, often on 30-40 different sports and occasionally on even more. The most popular sport for betting in the UK is football and most bets are placed on matches in the English Premier League. UK bookmakers express odds in fractions (e.g. 2/1) and bets are settled based on the stake and the odds. A £10 bet at 2/1 returns £30, which is made up of the stake (£10) and profit (£20). In football and other sports, you can back a team, player, runner, participant or outcome as a ‘single’ – one bet that requires one outcome to win. A ‘multiple’ bet involves betting on more than one outcome or ‘leg’ together, and they can be doubles (two legs), trebles (three legs) and accumulators (usually four or more legs. Specifically, these are also called ‘folds’; e.g. a bet requiring five outcomes to happen would be a ‘five-fold’). System bets combine selections in different permutations.
What is An Accumulator?
An accumulator is a multiple bet with four or more selections. The odds from each selection are multiplied together to decide the overall return and winnings. In theory, a customer can include an unlimited number of selections in an accumulator to win an unlimited amount of money, even from a very small stake. In practice however, the bookmaker’s maximum payout limit will be reached at some point, so the most common accumulators are four-folds up to sixteen-folds. The longer the combined odds, the less likely the customer is to win.
The nature of combined odds means any accumulator, or ‘acca’, with more than 20 legs will usually exceed the limit. Here is a working example of the bet settlement for a £10 accumulator in fractional odds (decimal odds in brackets):
Team 1 2/1 (3.00)
Team 2 1/2 (1.50)
Team 3 Evens (2.00)
Team 4 6/4 (2.50)
To work out the combined odds for this bet, the calculation is: (3.00 x 1.50 x 2.00 x 2.50) - 1 = 21.5
You multiply the odds, and minus one to account for the original stake. However much the stake, it is always represented as one unit. The potential profit from this bet is therefore as follows:
£10 x 21.5 = £215.00
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Most accumulator insurance offers are related to football, with a few on horse racing, but customers can place accas with four selections or more across many sports:
Bettors can combine four teams or more in an accumulator. The cash out option is usually available on the match result and other markets during the bet. Cashing out an accumulator guarantees a return from an active bet, whether locking in profit or limiting further loss.
Bettors can combine four horses or more in an accumulator. The qualifying bets can be win or each-way accumulators, with a minimum number of selections usually required for acca insurance.
Bettors can combine four players or more in an accumulator. If the early selections win or are ahead in their matches, the bet can be cashed out to ensure a known win or limit the loss.
There are many sports well suited to accumulators; cricket, golf, rugby union and league, Gaelic sports and the four big US betting sports are also popular, but in theory pretty much any sport can be bet on as an accumulator. Customers can place accumulators with selections from the same sport, or from a range of sports.
The components may vary but the calculation is always the same regardless of the sport or sports involved. All the sports mentioned provide accumulator options, but for the purpose of the various acca insurance offers, this article will focus on football.
Types of Acca Insurance
Bookmakers like accumulators because having multiple selections effectively means there are more opportunities for the bet to lose. Singles therefore offer customers the best value, but accumulators can be an enjoyable way to bet on a series of events, or a way to try and win more profit from outcomes at very short odds.
As more options are added to an acca, the probability of the bet winning decreases as the odds increase, as reflecting probability. This is one reason why many bookmakers offer incentives for bettors to place multiple bets with four selections or more. The following are the most common bookmaker accumulator offers:
Various firms have occasional or ongoing offers meaning customers can have their stake returned in the form of betting funds or a free bet, if they have one losing selection in accumulators with four or five selections or more. There is usually a qualifying maximum stake which is often £25. The refund is sent once the bet has been settled. Some bookmakers stipulate it must be used for another accumulator.
Betfair’s acca insurance product works in a slightly different way, offering bettors the opportunity to accept lower combined odds for their accumulator, in return for the guarantee of having their stake returned should just one selection lose.
Bookmakers enhance the return from a successful accumulator. A qualifying accumulator must have at least four or five selections. The maximum number of legs is usually 16. The winnings are boosted on a sliding scale and the boosts can be from 5 to 100%. Every selection in the accumulator must win in order to activate the bonus.
Acca bet boost
This offer is similar to the acca boost but includes trebles with three selections. The total return increases as more legs are added in line with an odds scale. The boost is applied to accumulators with up to 16 legs. Some bookmakers impose a maximum stake and a maximum amount that can be won as a result of the bonus in addition to the standard return.
Loyalty-based free bets
Football accumulators are amongst the most popular fixed-odds bets in the UK and Ireland. Some bookmakers provide an extra incentive on top of the combined odds for winning bets, to customers who place a certain number of bets. The bonus comes in the form of a free bet, the value of which usually depends on the stake or stakes placed. This is a genuine free bet offer but in some cases customers must place another accumulator using the free bet.
Edit your acca
A relatively new facility is the Edit Your Acca service. Customers can add extra selections to an accumulator, swap them for other selections or take some away, even while some of the events are taking place. This option can be available up until bets on the last fixture have been settled once the match has ended. Edit Your Acca is an option for multiple bets with four selections or more.