Accumulator bets explained: how to place an acca and calculate your winnings

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Do you enjoy betting, but are looking for bigger thrills and greater payouts? You may want to give accumulator bets a try. An accumulator bet allows you to multibet over a wide range of sports, games and contests, and once you’ve mastered the ropes, you’ll find it an exciting and rewarding experience.

We’ve put together all you need to know about placing accumulator bets below.


What are accumulator bets?

Also known as ‘accas’ or ‘multiples’, accumulator bets combine several betting selections into a single wager. This could be as little as 2 or 3 selections and there is no upper limit; you can bet on 10, 20 or even 30 selections if you wish. However, bear in mind that an accumulator bet only wins when all individual selections win. Because of this, the potential payouts can be considerably higher than with a regular bet. The more selections you add, the higher the odds will be, and as such, small bets of a few pounds can lead to significant sums of money being won!

There have even been astonishing examples of people winning six or seven-figure sums from a bet of £1 or less. That’s right; your loose change could make you a millionaire with an accumulator bet!

Different varieties of accumulator bets

Here’s a guide to help you understand the correct betting terminology for different types of accumulator bets, based on the number of selections.

Number of selections Bet type
2 Double
3 Treble
4 Four-fold
5 Five-fold
6 Six-fold
7 Seven-fold
8 Eight-fold

You get the picture, a 10-selection accumulator is known as a ten-fold, one with 15 selections is a fifteen-fold, and so forth.

How to place an accumulator bet

Creating an accumulator is simple; you simply need to add selections to your betting slip one by one. It’s common to place a football accumulator made up of matches taking place over a weekend or midweek round of games. To do that, locate the football section of your betting site and find the relevant league or competition. If betting in a retail shop, there are usually dedicated coupons available for accumulator betting.

Football match result accas

Most people fill their football accumulators with selections from the match result betting market, although that is not the only type of bet that can be used. There are three possible outcomes in the football match result market:

  • Home win
  • Draw
  • Away win

For each match you wish to include in the accumulator, select your predicted outcome and add it to the betslip by clicking on the displayed odds. Here’s an example of what the Premier League betting coupon looked like on the last weekend of the 2016/2017 season, with our six selections in blue.

WH acca 1

Once you’ve added all the results you want to, it’s time to look at the betslip to get your acca on. You see the bets listed as singles at the top of the betslip, but you need to scroll down to find the acca options. This displays the different types of multiple bet available and their odds. As you can see, our selections have combined odds of 17.47/1, meaning a £10.00 stake returns £184.73 if the bet is successful.

WH acca slip

Once you have filled in the stake, corresponding to the amount you wish to bet, click to place bet and confirm if necessary (some betting sites only require one click).

Then it’s a case of sitting back and following the results as the action takes place on the pitch. Although, if you’re waiting on just one final result to come in for your bet to win, you most likely won’t be sitting back, rather on the edge of your seat!

Other types of acca

Football match result markets are not the only kind of bet you can make into an acca. You could use other football markets such as Over/under 2.5 goals or Both Teams to Score. Just be aware that some bets can’t be combined into accas as the outcomes are dependent to some extent on each other. For example Both Teams to Score and Over 1.5 goals could not be combined into a double as, if both teams score, there will automatically have been over 1.5 goals in the match.

If football’s not your favourite sport to bet on, you can alternatively place an acca on just about any sport. The most popular other sports for accas include tennis, rugby and American sports.

Here are a couple of betslips with alternative accas. The steps to follow are exactly the same: find your betting coupon, pick your selections, add your stake to the betslip and confirm the bet.


Calculating your accumulator bet winnings

The odds for accumulator bets are calculated by converting the fractional odds of each selection into decimals and then multiplying them together. This is not easy to do manually, especially with odds like 1/7 or 4/9 from our example above, which are not round numbers.

Selection # Match Selection Fractional odds Decimal odds Cumulative decimal odds
1 Chelsea vs Sunderland Chelsea 1/7 1.14 1.14
2 Liverpool vs Middlesbrough Liverpool 1/7 1.14 1.31
3 Leicester vs Bournemouth Leicester 4/5 1.8 2.35
4 Hull vs Tottenham Tottenham 6/10 1.6 3.76
5 Burnley vs West Ham Draw 12/5 3.4 12.79
6 Arsenal vs Everton Arsenal 4/9 1.44 18.47

The total accumulator odds are 17.47/1, or 18.47 in decimals. That means a £10 stake would return roughly £184.70, give or take a few pence. As you can see, having one selection with slightly longer odds, in this case the Burnley vs West Ham draw, makes a big difference to the total odds.

A lot of people stick to odds-on selections with their accas, as they see them as a sure bet, but it’s swings and roundabouts really. The lower the odds of each selection, the more selections you need to have a decent return from your winning acca. The more selections you have, the easier it is for one to slip up and your bet to lose. Such is the dilemma of the accumulator punter!

Remember, all selections need to win for an accumulator to be successful. That’s why it’s such an exciting type of bet and the rewards can be huge. On the other hand, it’s common for your return to be a big fat zero. Read on to find out about other types of multiple bet which offer a return more often than not.

What are system bets?

A system bet is made up of many different smaller bets, combining all the different kinds of multiple that can be made using the same betting selections. Let’s go back to our example above, where we had six betting selections in our accumulator. Those selections can actually be combined into different kinds of multiple, in addition to the acca itself.

For example, a double that could be created from our selections is Chelsea + Liverpool, while another double is Chelsea + Leicester. All in all, those 6 selections can be combined into 15 different doubles:

  • Chelsea/Liverpool
  • Chelsea/Leicester
  • Chelsea/Tottenham
  • Chelsea/Draw (Burnley v West Ham)
  • Chelsea/Arsenal
  • Liverpool/Leicester
  • Liverpool/Tottenham
  • Liverpool/Draw (Burnley v West Ham)
  • Liverpool/Arsenal
  • Leicester/Tottenham
  • Leicester/Draw (Burnley v West Ham)
  • Leicester/Arsenal
  • Tottenham/Draw (Burnley v West Ham)
  • Tottenham/Arsenal
  • Draw (Burnley v West Ham)/Arsenal

There are also 20 different trebles, 15 different four-folds and 6 different five-folds which can be created from our selections.

“Why bother with all this?”, you may be saying to yourself. Well, let’s say you have 4 correct selections out of 6. A regular accumulator would get you a return of zilch, whereas at least with a system bet, you would have some winning doubles and trebles, as well as a winning four-fold. These won’t be worth a huge amount on low-odds football selections, but if you have 4 winning horses out of 6, that could still be a very profitable outcome.

Due to the popularity of system bets, different names are attributed according to the number of selections. Including singles is an optional extra, as a single is by nature not a multiple bet.

N° of selections Bet name & n° of bets Bet name & n° of bets (including singles)
3 Trixie – 4 Patent – 7
4 Yankee – 11 Lucky 15 – 15
5 Canadian – 26 Lucky 31 – 31
6 Heinz – 57 Lucky 63 – 63
7 Super Heinz – 120 N/A
8 Goliath – 247 N/A

For each of the system bets shown in the second column, you need a minimum of two winning selections to get a return from your bet. For the third column, a single winning selection will secure you a return, although it won’t necessarily be a big return.

Acca promotions

A lot of betting sites and shops offer a refund in the form of a free bet if your accumulator misses out by just one selection. Say you had 4 winners out of 5, or 6 winners out of 7; in either of those cases you would qualify. This kind of offer is known as Acca Insurance, as it provides a consolation prize for coming so close to a winning acca.

Some sites offer a profit boost when you have a winning acca. This is usually expressed as a percentage, such as 5% for a treble and going up to 100% extra winnings for an acca with 14 or more selections.

Accumulator bets explained: how to place an acca and calculate your winnings
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