Complete Guide to Accumulator Betting (2020)

As the name suggests, an accumulator bet builds on one winning selection to another to stack up high volume payouts. Any multiple selection bet can be considered to be an accumulator, or acca for short. The idea is that with each winning selection the payout from one selection becomes the stake for the next. This way, even though you may have staked very little at the outset, by the end your stake should be a significant sum, thus generating the hefty payout.

The advantage of an accumulator is that winnings are much higher. However, the disadvantage of an accumulator is that it only takes one single losing selection for the entire bet to lose. To help combat this, there are full cover system bets where selections can be dissected into a series of smaller doubles, trebles and other permutations that work alongside the longer, straight acca. With these, you can, for a price, even throw in singles.

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What Is an Accumulator Bet And How Does It Work?

While there are many types of accumulator bets, when we talk about accas we are talking about multiple selection, one line bets in which the winnings from one selection roll on to the next, snowballing the potential payout as it goes. Thus, these are single bets that group together numerous bets. In order to win, each of your picks must win, whatever the event might be. These bets can work on any or all sports, even at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you have picked out one or two horses for the afternoon’s top racing meet and added in some football selections from that night’s fixture list. You might even have a strong feeling for an NFL match going off in the US overnight.

 

accumulator betting

(Image: Frankie Dettori and Golden Horn | © Sjp22 | Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

Accas can include winning teams, players, horses or even diverse football markets such as both teams to score (BTTS) or the Over/Under goals betting. All of these can work together in one multiple selection accumulator. That said, mixing your sports in an acca may effect potential boosts and insurance promotions with some online bookmakers.

While acca boosts fizz up your odds if you have enough selections, acca insurance often pays out if one of your picks lets you down. If you don’t have insurance, then always remember your cash out options. Accumulator betting is one of the most exciting forms of betting because, other than the obvious excitement and thrills they generate, you could be betting like a high roller come the climax despite only laying minor cash when you put the bet on.

 

Types Of Accumulator Bet

Amount Of SelectionsAccumulator NameDescription System bet System bet + Singles
2Double2 picks, 1 bet3 bets5 bets
3Treble3 picks, 1 betTrixie (4 bets)Patent (7 bets)
4Four fold4 picks, 1 betYankee (11 bets)Lucky 15 (15 bets)
5Five fold5 picks, 1 betCanadian (26 bets)Lucky 31 (31 bets)
6Six fold6 picks, 1 betHeinz (57 bets)Lucky 63 (63 bets)
7Seven fold7 picks, 1 betSuper Heinz (120 bets)127 bets
8Eight fold8 picks, 1 betGoliath (247 bets)255 bets
9Nine fold9 picks, 1 bet--
10Ten fold10 picks, 1 bet--
11Eleven fold11 picks, 1 bet--
12Twelve fold12 picks, 1 bet--
13Thirteen fold13 picks, 1 bet--
14Fourteen fold14 picks, 1 bet--
15Fifteen fold15 picks, 1 bet--
16Sixteen fold16 picks, 1 bet--
17Seventeen fold17 picks, 1 bet--
18Eighteen fold18 picks, 1 bet--
19Nineteen fold19 picks, 1 bet--
20Twenty fold20 picks, 1 bet--

 

bet slip

A £5 four fold at Paddy Power

 

Doubles, Trebles and Four-folds

Numerically, these are very easy bets to understand. As we outlined in the table above most of these bets are so named by the amount of picks they contain. Importantly, these are all straight forward bets in which it only takes one losing selection to bring the whole bet crashing down. Naturally, the likelihood of getting more winning selections decreases the more picks you include. But, conversely, as the likelihood drifts outward, so too do the odds and 20 winning selections will play significantly more than a mere treble. That said, if you have a feeling for some long-odds outside winners, then even doubles can pay well.

Yankees, Canadians and Others

Yankees, Canadians and their higher selection relation bets are often labelled as system bets or full cover bets. The idea behind full cover bets is simple as they take all the possible mini-accas and group them up into as many bets as possible, but in this case minus the singles. So, four selections becomes 11 bets. Why? Because if we boil down the bet into mini-accas we can see that there are six doubles, four trebles and one four fold, hence eleven. Just one extra selection makes all the difference as we jump from eleven bets to 26! This 26-bet wager is known as a Canadian, or in some parts as a Super Yankee, but the idea is the same. It groups up the doubles and trebles, four folds and five-fold within this bet and you put an equal sum behind each one. So, a £1 Canadian is a £26 lay but remember, these do not include singles.

Lucky 15, Lucky 31 and Others

 

Lucky 15

The same four selections in a Lucky 15, also Paddy Power

 

As per the table, Luckies are the same as the other full cover bets but with added singles. So, if a Yankee is four selections and makes up 11 bets which we now add those four selections to in the form of singles bets, we are left with 11 + 4 which obviously equals 15, we are looking at a Lucky 15 bet. Similarly, five selections are a Canadian (26 bets) but when we add on five singles we have created a 31 selection bet which is called, you guessed it, a Lucky 31. Basically, so long as you haven’t picked a full house of losers, you should get at least something back on a single.

Alphabet

One of the more obscure and unusual multiple selection bet is the powerful alphabet. This is a six-selection wager that includes a six-fold acca. However, in an alphabet, picks one through three make up a patent, while four, five and six form a second patent. On top of this, picks two through five form a Yankee. So, if a Yankee is eleven bets and there are two seven bet patents plus a one line straight six-fold acca, we have a wager that is made up of 26 bets. It is however important in which order you mark down your picks with this bet.

 

How To Create an Accumulator Bet

It is easy to create an accumulator bet. Just click on all your selections and they will appear in your e-betting slip. Once you have made all of your picks, head over to your betting slip where you can choose from the available options. There is no wrong or right way when choosing a one line acca or full cover bet with or without singles, these very much depend on factors such as stake and/or chances of winning. On some occasions it will be worth adding in the singles, on others not so much. It all depends on the day.

 

Accumulator Betting Tips & Strategy

As is the way in betting, there are always steps we can take to ensure we have the best possible outcome when laying accumulator bets. Of course, it isn’t as simple as saying “do this and you are guaranteed to win”, there are no such assurances in sport and that’s why we love it. But, all that being said, we can do our best to bend the odds in our favour. For your benefit, we have listed a few of these below.

Try The Alternative Betting Markets

Remember, if you do have a good feeling about your selections faring well in an outright wins acca, then you are always able to group up other bets into all of the same accumulator options. Examples of these could be Both Teams To Score, Win To Nil, Handicaps, To Win Both Halves, Over/Under goals or any of your preferred betting markets, all depending on what you believe is the most likely outcome from that day’s action.

Study The Stats

Be it football, horses, golf or whatever, your best bet to pick up big winnings with an acca is to undertake critical research beforehand. All of the data and up to date statistics that you need can be hunted down online so there is no need to ever lay an under researched acca. If you are betting on the horses, remember that all the form is available for free and published daily as are last minute, real time ground reports and weather forecasts. If it’s a football acca, then make sure you know how well teams and players are performing at the moment, plus the latest team news. It sounds obvious, but the lazy uninformed bettor will seldom do well. That said, it’s not impossible (see winning acca examples).

Be Ready To Cash Out

One thing that the stats might tell you is whether or not a team might be likely to concede in their football match which will help you decide to cash out your acca early. Cashing out is a clause in betting where punters can settle their bet ahead of time to either save losing everything or to claw back something. While they can apply to many different bets, they are perhaps most prevalent in accumulator betting where one defeat can bring the whole bet crashing down. Of course, some bookmakers offer what they call acca insurance where they still payout if one of your selections loses.

Make Use of Acca Offers

If you are going to use accumulators, then be sure to make the most of acca insurance offers where you can at least get your stake bet (as a free bet in most cases) in the inevitable circumstance that one selection does indeed scupper your bet. Most top UK betting sites offer some form of insurance on accumulator bets as well other forms of accumulator promotions which you can see here.

 

Advantages of Accumulator Bets

There are two very obvious reasons why bettors enjoy playing accumulator lines, the first of which is that the long odds that multiple selections can create typically make for large payouts. It will come as no surprise that another reason for their immense popularity is that they are, of course, highly entertaining and great fun, especially if all of your selections are going off and coming in at different times, which builds the tension and the trills right up to the max.

 

Are Accumulator Bets Worth It?

Despite their popularity, a wide body of punters (including many experts) say that accumulator bets should be avoided if bettors are sports bettors are looking to make a serious profit. The reason for this essentially comes down to value and variance.

Value

You’ve backed a bet because you believe the odds are wrong. The odds offered are value.

Assume you have four value selections which individually are best priced with four different bookmakers. If you put together a four-fold, you’ve already limited yourself to reduced odds as you would have to place the bet with a single bookmaker.

You are also losing out because of the bookies’ overround (profitability). In each individual market, bookmakers have an edge.

Imagine a coin-toss. Both heads and tails have a 50% chance of occurring. Yet in a market with two simple outcomes that a bookmaker can’t split, they’ll offer you a 5/6 or 10/11 split. Here you aren’t obtaining true value.

By combining multiple selections, you’re enhancing the bookie's edge. In the long run they’ll make money – this is why bookies are so keen to offer promotions and offers when it comes to multiple betting.

Sidenote: If all of your selections are best priced with the same bookmaker then this in fact increases your edge if you include them in a multiple bet. It is extremely rare that this may happen however, although in the more ‘obscure' markets it can be done.

Variance

How many times have you ‘missed by one'? Too many, right? As close as you were, you lost. You saw no return on your stake. However, had you backed each of your selections as singles, the likelihood is that you'd have made a profit.

Variance is the idea that sometimes you will lose. Various factors affect the outcome of a sporting event from luck, fine margins, individual decisions…even the weather!

Stick to Singles

According to this group of punters who question whether accumulator bets are worth it, by spreading your stakes across various single bets, you can reduce the effect of variance. The more bets you spread your stakes across, the more likely you are to win, assuming you’re finding value which suggests the odds are wrong. So, if you do your research correctly, you will be more likely to see a profit over a wider sample of bets.

Furthermore, backing singles can be more sustainable. With single bets, it is easier to both find and work out value. It is also simpler to calculate the chance of an individual event happening rather than multiple in tandem. Therefore, in the long-run, you can be in a better position.

 

Some Big Accumulator Betting Wins

While the odds of getting a huge accumulator win are stacked against you, big wins aren’t at all uncommon. And, what’s more, when they do come in, they can throw up some pretty life changing results. See for yourself.

Frankie’s Magnificent Seven At Ascot

Few lives have changed quite as dramatically as that of Englishman Darren Yates. Way back in 1996, Yates laid a £67.58 wager on a single day acca at Ascot in which he backed the unlikely outcome that the same jockey, Italian Horse Racing legend Frankie Dettori, would win each of the seven races on that day’s card. Famously, that is exactly what happened when Dettori pulled off what came to be known as the Magnificent Seven, an achievement that went down in horsey history. As for Yates, he raked in £550,823 in return and is today famous for reinvesting his good fortune back into the sport of kings that has served him so well. Having started out buying cheap horses to race, these days he is making the headlines for spending vast sums on horses to win for him and in 2019 spent a record £620,000 to get hold of a relation of the magnificent Sprinter Sacre.

Whiteley’s World Record Win

The world’s biggest accumulator win came in March 2011 when British plumbing engineer Steve Whiteley, who describes himself as “not being a horse racing man”, won a whopping £1.45 million from a teeny tiny £2 wager. On the day, Whiteley, from Tawton in Devon, played the Exeter Tote Jackpot and selected six winners on a line while he was only in attendance because of a free promotion. By the end of the day, this non-bettor was a millionaire.

From Craggs To Riches

Horse racing was once again the sport of choice as 60-year-old Fred Craggs from Thirsk in North Yorkshire in the UK beat the odds of two million to one to scoop a cool £1 Million from a mere 50p eight-horse accumulator bet. In what proved to be a big week for the fertilizer salesman, it was also his 60th birthday at the weekend which he celebrated by sitting through a family meal without telling anyone. A William Hill spokesman said the bet was “the most amazing ever” since betting shops were made legal in 1961. In another odd twist of fate, the eight horse in his set just so happened to be called A Dream Come True, which was surely a sign.

 

Accumulator Betting FAQs

📵 What is an Accumulator Bet?

An accumulator bet combines at least four selections into one wager that only pays out when all parts win

🙋 What Happens If One Of Your Selections Loses?

Just one losing pick will torpedo your whole bet I’m afraid

🇨🇭 Aren’t There Other Bets That Work Like Accumulators?

Yes, it’s likely that you are thinking of full cover bets such as Yankees and Lucky 31s where you break the selections down into lots of mini-doubles and trebles etc meaning that you can lose a selection and still get your money back

 

ThePuntersPage Final Say

An overwhelming amount of bettors love accumulators because they allow them to build huge jackpots that make for massive potential profits all for a tiny stake. This tiny stake can, by the time you reach your final selection, have grown into the type of wager that has historically been reserved for the high roller. Over the years some savvy punters, as well as some exceedingly lucky ones, have been rewarded with huge life-changing sums by laying down a small stake and correctly predicting a set of wins. It is this thrilling opportunity to pick up lotto sized payouts for, in most parts, a well-researched bet that keeps punters coming back for more. Despite this, many punters also question whether accumulator bets are worth it or whether to be avoided.