Accumulator betting (also known as multiples betting) involves betting on multiple selections in the same bet slip. The odds for each selection are multiplied by each other and by the initial stake to determine the total winnings. In most cases, if one selection loses, the whole football accumulator bet will be lost. To learn more, continue reading our in-depth guide below!

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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 have added up to a significant sum, thus generating a hefty outcome.

In order for an accumulator to be successful, 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 may even have a strong feeling for an NFL match going off in the US overnight, for example.

Accas can include winning teams, players, horses or even diverse football markets, such as Both Teams To Score (BTTS) or Over/Under a certain number of goals being scored. All of these can work together in one multiple selection accumulator. That said, mixing your sports in an acca may affect potential boosts and insurance promotions with some online bookmakers.

While acca boosts fizz up your betting 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 that many bookies offer a cash out option too.

Accumulator betting is one of the most exciting forms of betting because, other than the obvious excitement and thrills it can generate, you could be betting like a high roller come the climax despite only staking minor cash amounts when you put the bet on.

This kind of betting is an incredibly popular option for punters due to its simplicity and its inclusiveness. The happy fact is that many sports are great for this sort of betting!

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    Football is, without question, the most popular sport for accumulator betting. Bookmakers offer an array of matches from across the globe every day, while a ton of markets are provided, too, resulting in many options for bettors to enjoy. A weekly football accumulator bet on a Saturday afternoon sounds like a perfect way to celebrate the weekend, as far as we are concerned!

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    Once again, the sheer volume of horse racing events means this sport is practically tailor-made for accumulator betting, with a wide variety of horses and jockeys to choose from every day. More niche accas, such as the Lucky 15, are popular options for punters. The difficulty of selecting numerous race winners, however, means that each-way accas are also common. With the latter, your selected horses merely need to place for you to earn a return.

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    Tennis is another acca-friendly sport with a multitude of matches typically played on the same day, along with American sports, which are also growing in popularity in Europe. Spread betting accas are also common.

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

Various sports suit particular types of accumulator bets. Here are a few different variants of popular accumulators offered by bookmakers and used by punters.

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    Doubles, Trebles and Four-Fold Bets

Numerically, these are very easy bets to understand. As we outlined in the table above, most of these bets are so named by the number of picks they contain. Importantly, these are all straightforward 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.

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    Yankees, Canadians and Other Bets

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: 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 concept itself remains 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.

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    Lucky 15, Lucky 31 Bets

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, for example, a Yankee is four selections and makes up 11 bets. If we now add the four single selections to the pot, we now have 11 + 4 which adds up to 15, i.e. all the ingredients for a Lucky 15 bet. This particular bet is popular among horse racing punters.

Similarly, five selections make up a Canadian (26 bets), but when we add on the 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.

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    Alphabet Bet

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.

Creating an accumulator with any bookmaker is a simple process. Here’s what the process might look like if you’re trying to place a football accumulator bet with a popular bookie:

  1. 1.

    Access the ‘Football’ or ‘Soccer’ section.

  2. 2.

    Check out the list of upcoming matches across various leagues and competitions.

  3. 3.

    Select the type of bet you want to make on a particular match. Note: your accumulator can consist of various markets, but you cannot have two different markets from the same match included.

  4. 4.

    Make your selections.

  5. 5.

    Access your bet slip, which will show all your selections.

  6. 6.

    Often, an accumulator will have been automatically generated.

  7. 7.

    Enter your stake.

  8. 8.

    Place your bet!

The steps are basically the same when creating an acca on any other sport you wish.

As is the way in betting, there are always steps we can take to ensure we have the best possible outcome when laying football 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.

1. Try 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 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.

2. 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. Any data and up-to-date statistics that you need can be found online, so there is no excuse to ever lay an under-researched acca. If you are betting on the horses, remember that all runners' form is available for free and published daily, as are last-minute, real-time ground reports and weather forecasts. We’ve also got our own TPP racecards page with all the info you need.

If it’s a football acca, then make sure you know how well teams and players are performing at the moment, as well as the latest team news. You can also make use of our football stats page. It sounds obvious, but the lazy, uninformed bettor will seldom do well. That said, it’s not impossible, as you'll see from our list of the most notorious accumulator winners at the end of this article!

3. Be Ready To Cash Out

One thing that the stats might tell you is whether or not a team might be likely to concede during a match, which will help you decide whether or not to cash out your acca early. Cashing out is a clause in betting where you can settle your bet ahead of time to either avoid losing everything or to claw back what you can. While this feature can apply to many different bets, it is perhaps most prevalent in accumulator betting, where one defeat can bring the whole bet crashing down. Of course, some bookmakers offer acca insurance which ensures you'll still get paid out if one of your selections loses.

4. 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 back (as a free bet in most cases) in the inevitable circumstance that one selection does indeed scupper your wager. Most top UK betting sites offer some form of insurance or boost on accumulator bets, as well other forms of accumulator promotions.

Here are some of the most popular football markets for acca bets:

Full Time Result

This is the staple market of football accumulator betting. You’re merely backing the teams which you think will win the match (after 90 minutes), but you can also include projected drawn games in your acca to potentially bolster the odds. Check out our full time results stats page to give you a helping hand.

Both Teams to Score (BTTS)

We all enjoy betting on games laden with goals, and the Both Teams to Score market (first popularised by Betfred) certainly meets those desires. Here, you can pick whether you think both teams will score in a particular game or not and add those selections to create an acca – the match outcome is totally irrelevant. If you’re wondering how teams normally fare in this regard, we’ve got a detailed BTTS stats page set up to help you out.

Over/Under Goals

The Over/Under Goals market offers plenty of options for football bettors. While 2.5 is often the default marking point when it comes to utilising this market in accumulators. you can introduce various over/under markets. Over 1.5 goals accas are pretty popular, but you have to include a large number of selections to garner sufficient value. Naturally, we’ve got a stats for all of Over 1.5 Goals, Over 2.5 Goals, and even Over 3.5 Goals readily available to help with your next acca.

Anytime Goal Scorer

This is another market that has risen exponentially in popularity following the emergence of online betting, and thus, accumulators of its kind are becoming more popular, too. In this case, you’re backing several players in different games to find themselves on the scoresheet. These sorts of bets garner huge returns due to their difficulty to nail. If you want to check out the scoring frequency of any player cross the top European leagues, check out our football goals stats page.

Win & BTTS

This is a tough market to master, yet it remains popular among football bettors. Typically, punters will include just a couple of Win & BTTS selections in their acca because the odds are HUGE. To win this type of bet, your selected team must win with both teams scoring in the game. For example, if you back Liverpool to beat Real Madrid with BTTS, a 2-1 win for the Reds would mean that your bet is successful. You can also back Draw With BTTS.

Double Chance

The market of the underdog! Double chance means you essentially have two chances for your bet to be successful. You’re either backing a home win or draw, away win or draw, or either side to win. Unsurprisingly, odds here are considerably lower compared to the Full Time Result market, but this is an intriguing option for acca bettors. You might fancy sneaking one or two Double Chance selections in an FT result acca.

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 takes the tension and the thrills right up to the max.

Despite their popularity, a wide body of punters (including many experts) say that accumulator bets should be avoided if 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 of value.

Let's 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.

Now, let's 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 the ones who stand to make the most profit – 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, such as 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 end up in a better position.

While the odds of getting a huge accumulator win are stacked against you, big wins are not unheard of. See for yourself below!

Frankie’s Magnificent Seven At Ascot

Way back in 1996, Englishman Darren 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 the card of that day. 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 so-called 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, 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 biggest accumulator win in the world 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 – he was only in attendance because of a free promotion. By the end of the day, this otherwise non-bettor was a millionaire.

From Craggs To Riches

Horse racing was once again the sport of choice here, as 60-year-old Fred Craggs from Thirsk in North Yorkshire beat the odds of two million to one, scooping up a cool £1 million from a mere 50p eight-horse accumulator bet. In what proved to be a big week for the fertiliser 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 surely had to be a sign!

An overwhelming amount of bettors love accumulators, because they can build huge jackpots that make for massive potential profits all for a tiny stake.

Over the years, some savvy punters – as well as some exceedingly lucky ones – have been rewarded with fantastic rewards simply 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 they should be avoided. To learn more, check out our detailed article on betting terms & definitions.

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

Unfortunately, one losing pick will cause your whole bet to lose as well.

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. This means that you can lose a selection and still get your money back.

‘Acca’ is just a shortened term for accumulator.

WRITTEN BY Jeremy Sant Fournier View all posts by Jeremy Sant Fournier

If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s sports. A football fanatic at heart, Jeremy can always been found watching, playing or talking about sports. It’s in his blood, and with a keen interest in sports betting, sports writing is a match made in heaven.

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