What is an accumulator bet?
An accumulator bet is one of the most popular and well-known forms of multiple bets available. It is particularly common in football, where it is used by bettors to bet on a range of matches across one or several leagues. It is often referred to as an 'acca'.
The minimum number of games that can be bet upon in an accumulator is four, but many more are available. Yankees and Lucky 15s, for example, are forms of accumulators that allow bets to be placed on 11 or 15 events respectively. Two and three-fold accumulator bets can be placed, but these types are not commonly called accumulators. While they follow similar rules to accumulators, they are instead referred to as doubles and trebles respectively.
As there are so many matches involved, accumulator bets are a great way for bettors to make high returns for a relatively low stake. However, it is important for anyone placing an accumulator bet to have a detailed knowledge on the sport and the participants they are betting on. While stakes are low, risks are high as just one lost bet could result in the entire accumulator losing. Clear insight is therefore important if bettors are to avoid losing their stake.
The attractive element of accumulator bets is that their odds are calculated in a very different way to traditional odds. Accumulator bets bundle the odds together to create greater value for the person betting. There are two potential ways to explain the way this is done. Sometimes the maths of an accumulator bet is described by increasing the odds of the participants being bet upon and then multiplying them together.
This means that if a four-fold accumulator were being placed on four horses and those four horses were given odds of 2/1, 3/1, 2/1 and 4/1, the odds would increase to 3/1, 4/1, 3/1 and 5/1 respectively. These numbers would then be multiplied to produce a figure of 180. In this scenario, the odds would be 179/1 as 179+1=180.
A second, and somewhat clearer, way also exists. In this methodology, the return from each bet is essentially rolled over onto the next bet. In the example previously given, a £2 stake on the first bet (at 2/1) would return £6 (£4 and the original £2 stake). This £6 would then be used as the stake for the second bet and the return from that used on the third bet and so on. While these two descriptions sound very different, the idea is essentially the same: accumulator bets are, as the name suggests, cumulative bets that grow in value with each additional bet.
Applying this to a real-world example, it's easy to see how an accumulator can reap very high rewards for bettors. In this scenario, the person is placing a six-fold accumulator, meaning that they are placing six bets. These bets are:
1) Manchester United to beat Newcastle United at 2/1
2) Arsenal to beat Tottenham Hotspur at 2/1
3) Liverpool to beat Leicester City at 4/1
4) Chelsea to beat Bournemouth at 3/1
5) Manchester City to beat West Ham United at 3/1
6) Wolverhampton Wanderers to beat Cardiff City at 4/1
The bettor puts down a £2 stake and all the bets win. The first bet wins £6 (£4 plus the original £2 stake).
This money is then placed on the second bet and that returns £18 (£12 plus the £6 stake).
£18 is then put as the stake for the third bet, earning £90 (£72 plus the £18 stake).
The fourth bet is therefore a £90 stake, creating a £360 return (£270 plus the £90 stake).
The fifth bet is a £360 stake, creating a return of £1,440 (£1,080 plus the £360 stake).
Finally, that £1,440 is staked on the final bet, and this makes for a final return of £7,200 (£5,760 plus the £1,440 stake).
It's clear to see how the winnings on an accumulator differ greatly from the winnings that would be made from six £2 single bets. In this scenario, the bettor would make just £48 (plus the original £2 stake) as the winnings from the prior bet are not being rolled over and used on the next one.
Accumulators are available for a wide range of sports, including the likes of greyhound racing and horse racing. However, they can not be placed on one single event. They must be placed across a range of different matches or races.
Different kinds of accumulators
As mentioned, there are a number of different accumulator bets that are available to bettors.
A double bet is comprised of only two selections. If both selections win, then the bet is won. If not, it is lost.
A treble bet adds another selection to the double bet and follows the same rules. If all three selections win, then the bet is won. If they do not win, then the bet is lost.
A trixie bet is somewhat similar to a treble bet in that the bettor makes three selections. However, in this kind of a bet, there are four bets being made: three double bets and one treble bet. The advantage of a trixie bet is that even if one selection loses and the treble bet fails, there is still the chance that one of the double bets will win and some kind of a return will be secured.
A yankee bet is an accumulator consisting of 11 bets. There are a number of different kinds of bets within this group: a single four-pronged accumulator, alongside six doubles and four trebles. This means that even if some of the participants in the accumulator do not win, there is still a good chance that one of the bets will win and a return of some form will be earned.
Finally, there are Lucky 15 bets which, as the title suggests, is a 15-fold accumulator. This kind of a bet is made up of four singles, six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold accumulator. This means that the chances of a return are even higher, and there is the added benefit of the bonuses that many bookmakers offer for certain outcomes. These bonuses are the reason the Lucky 15 has its name.
Accumulators are difficult to win but can result in very high returns for very low stakes. Bettors who feel that they are well versed in the sport they are betting on and the participants who are competing can stand to significantly benefit from a well-chosen accumulator.
Plus, don't forget to check out our bet calculator, where you can calculate your winnings.