What is an accumulator bet?

    Full guide to placing an accumulator bet.

    • What is an accumulator bet?
    • How to Place an Accumulator
    • Pros and Cons of Accumulator bets

    What is an accumulator bet?

    Accumulator bets, or ‘accas’ as they have become affectionately known, are one of the most common types of bets placed in modern sports betting. 

    Getting to grips with what exactly an accumulator bet is isn’t too difficult. The bet is when a bettor adds four or more selections to their betting slip under the condition that all of the selections must come in for the bet to be successful, meaning that if one of the selected results is incorrect, then the whole bet is lost.

    How to Place an Accumulator

    First, visit an online sportsbook and choose a sport. 

    You will find with some sports, especially soccer, there will be a variety of different accumulator options, but for the sake of ease, this example will focus purely on a full-time results accumulator. 

    Once you have gone over to this tab, click on the long-list and then simply go through and add your selections to your bet-slip, which will automatically turn it into an accumulator. 

    If a sport doesn’t have a separate accumulator tag, then fear not, you can simply add your selections to your betting slip, and then when you go to place the bet, there should be an option to add them all as an accumulator or as a ‘multi’ bet.

    Understanding how accumulators work is fairly straightforward. As their name suggests, the odds on the bet accumulate as you add each selection. 

    However, for most people, multiplying more than four fractions can prove to be very difficult, so a lot of people, if they are going to figure out their own accumulator odds, will often switch to decimal style odds, which can be a little easier to calculate.  

    For the most part, though, you needn’t worry, as all bookmakers will automatically calculate your odds for you as you add each selection to your bet slip. 

    Let’s take at a look at an example of an accumulator bet:

    • Selection 1- 4/1 
    • Selection 2- 8/1 
    • Selection 3- 2/1 
    • Selection 4- 3/1 

    In this accumulator, your returns would be 539/1, so if you placed $1 on this bet, your returns would be $540 (Winnings + returned stake) 

    If, however, selections 1, 2 and 3 were correct, but selection 4 was wrong, you would win nothing at all. Likewise, if any of the combinations were correct but 1 or more was wrong, then you would win nothing. 

    Pros and Cons of Accumulator bets

    The clearest advantage of placing an accumulator bet is that the returns for such a bet are often very big. 

    It goes without saying, but the more selections that you add to your accumulator, the higher the return will be, as the odds will continue to build and build with each selection. 

    Due to such big returns being on offer, most punters will often just place low amounts of money on an accumulator, as to minimise their losses if the results don’t come in. 

    Some players will compare placing an accumulator to playing the lottery, in that it is often a low stake, high return wager. 

    Accumulators can also be beneficial if there are a series of heavy favourites that you believe will win because it can make placing money on them worthwhile. 

    Needless to say, if the biggest advantage of placing an accumulator bet is that it is a low risk, high return style bet, then the biggest disadvantage is that the odds are often huge and the chances of it coming in are very slim. 

    Accumulators can also be incredibly frustrating bets to place. There is no worse of a feeling that when you have seven out of seven selections winning with just minutes to go, only for one of those selections to let you down in the dying minutes of the game, thus losing you the entire bet. 

    Even taking a more conservative style approach to your accumulator and picking four or five favourites can still prove to be problematic, as the returns aren’t likely to be as high and one upset would still cost you the entire bet. 

    In short, it can be very difficult to strategise when it comes to accumulator betting, and seasoned bettors are likely to give these types of bets a miss.