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 gambling.
For many, placing a football acca on a Saturday afternoon has become a part of the matchday ritual, and the low stakes, high return nature of the bet continues to drag in more and more punters as time goes on.
Getting to grips with what exactly an accumulator bet is isn’t too difficult. The bet is when a punter 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 bet
Due to the continued popularity of accumulator bets, bookmakers have made it very simple to place this style of bet.
First, simply head over to a bookmakers website and go over to your selected sport. Some sports, especially football, will have an accumulator tab on their page, which you can click on and head to a list of various different accumulators you can place.
You will find with some sports, especially football, 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.
Calculating odds and example
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.
Advantages of placing an accumulator bet
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 punters 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.
Disadvantages of placing an accumulator
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.
Most common sports to place this bet on
While accumulators can be placed on a multitude of different sports, the sport most commonly associated with this style of bet is football.
Football and accumulators have gone hand in hand for years, and they have never been more popular than they are today.
You can, however, place this type of pretty much every type of sport, from horse racing all the way through to darts, providing the sport has some sort of winner. You can even place an accumulator bet on things such as elections and The Academy Awards.
Due to the increased popularity of accumulator bets in recent years, most bookmakers now tend to offer a variety of special type bets for accumulators. The most common of these is some sort of accumulator insurance style bet, which effectively offers the punter their money back if one of the selections on the accumulator lets them down.
Some bookmakers will now also allow you to build your own accumulators, with some even allowing you to choose selections from a variety of different sports and events and mix them together in an accumulator.