Accumulator Betting Explained

An accumulator is a bet which consists of multiple selections across different sports and competitions. In a successful accumulator, each leg (or selection) must be correct. It is the most popular type of multiple bet as it offers you the potential to win life-changing sums for a modest outlay. 

What is an Accumulator Bet?  

Have you been asking yourself ‘what is accumulator betting?’, if so, then you’ve come to the right place. Also described as a multiple bet, an accumulator is just one single bet which consists of multiple selections. 

An accumulator may potentially consist of up to twenty selections and the greater the number the legs, the greater the potential returns. 

You can combine selections across multiple different sports (although not in the same game) and you can also choose your own stake. A four team accumulator may also be referred to as a fourfold. 

The potential returns are significant as each selection is rolled over onto the next bet. Keep reading our guide to accumulator betting to find out how to calculate your potential returns.

How does an Accumulator Bet work? 

As we’ve explained, an Acca Bet is one single wager which consists of multiple selections across different matches. 

When assembling an accumulator, you can add anything between four and twenty selections with most online betting sites. In order to be successful each selection MUST win. 

It is possible to add matches which kick off at different times or on consecutive days and it’s also possible to include many different sports. However, if one of these selections doesn’t win, then your accumulator will be a loser. 

Accumulators have become particularly popular with football fans and the increasing availability of match data and statistics makes it easier than ever before to begin assembling a multi-league accumulator. 

Many of the best accumulator betting sites offer a bonus on all winning accumulators and this is a terrific incentive for punters to get started. As a result, winning accumulators can potentially return life-changing sums for a relatively modest outlay. 

How to Calculate Accumulator Winnings 

Although there are a number of betting calculators available online, it is also relatively straightforward to calculate your returns (not including the bookmaker’s bonus). 

Below is a straightforward guide which explains how to work out your returns on a simple £5 4-fold accumulator: 

  • Selection 1 – Everton Win @ Evens (2) 
  • Selection 2 – Spurs Win @ Evens (2) 
  • Selection 3 – Brighton Win @ 2/1 (3) 
  • Selection 4 – Southampton @ 2/1 (3)

In order to calculate our returns, we need to change our fractional odds into decimals (in brackets) 

Each decimal figure is multiplied by the stake (£5).  

(5x2 = 10) (5x2 = 10) (5x3 = 15) (5x3 = 15)  

These are added together. In this example – 10 +10 + 15 + 15 = 50 

The odds of this accumulator are 50/1 

Types of Accumulator Bet 

Accumulators are a hugely popular way of betting and there are a wide variety of options when it comes to creating a multiple. We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular options:

  • Treble - Although some may quibble with this, a treble is a technically a form of accumulator and consists of three different selections. This is fairly popular with punters as it is far less risky than including 4+ selections in your bet. All three selections must be successful in order for your treble to be a winner.
  • Four-Fold/Five-Fold/Six-Fold - These accumulators are a slightly riskier proposition, however, they are extremely popular with football fans. All of these selections must be successful in order to receive your winnings. Many bookmakers will reward punters who include 5+ selections in their bet with an additional winning bonus.
  • Each-Way Accumulators - Each-Way Acca bets are very popular with horse racing bettors. In order to be successful, your chosen horse must finish in the top two/three/four positions (depending on the number of runners who start the race). If one of your selections finishes outside of the allotted positions or fails to complete the race, you will not be paid out.
  • Football Accumulators - Football is the most popular sport in the UK and unsurprisingly, it’s also hugely popular with fans of accumulators. Traditional football accumulators are likely to solely include the Win-Draw-Win market (1X2), however, bookmakers also allow punters to add different markets including Under/Over, Corners, Handicaps and Goalscorers. Cash Out is also available on the majority of accumulators which enables punters to collect a portion of their winnings if it’s in a winning position.
  • Multi-Sport Accumulators - A multi-sport accumulator consists of selections across a variety of different sport. This is equally as risky as betting on a single-sport accumulator, however, if you have the expertise to make it work, then this gives you a decent opportunity to pick out a few winners as you can select from a far wider variety of markets.
  • Horse Racing Accumulators - Horse racing accumulators are particularly popular when it comes to major festivals such as Cheltenham and Royal Ascot. Naturally, horse racing accumulators are far riskier and tougher to land due to the unpredictability of the sport and amount of potential outcomes. The odds are often far higher and as a result, winning horse racing accumulators often return life-changing sums of money.
  • Trixie - A trixie is a type of multiple which features three selections and contains four different bets – 3x Doubles and 1 Treble. As a result, you’ll be paid out if just two of your selections are victorious. These are particularly popular with horse racing bettors as the generosity of the odds means that you are likely to still make a decent profit and receive a profitable pay-out. Furthermore, at 4x your stake, placing a trixie will only increase your stake modestly.
  • Patent - A patent is similar to a trixie and is also hugely popular with horse racing punters. Just like a trixie, a patent consists of three different selections, however, this time, it consists of seven different bets – 3 singles, 3 doubles and 1 treble. As a result, just a single selection will net you some sort of return. This is a great way of betting if you are happy to wager on selections at double figure odds.
  • Lucky 15/Lucky 31/Lucky 63 - This is a bet which is extremely popular with horse racing punters as it covers multiple possibilities. You can pick four selections and with each bet consisting of 15 bets – four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator. Although you will get a return if just one of your selections is victorious, realistically, you will require at least three winning selections in order to make a profit.
  • Goliath - This is the biggest and riskiest bet of them all, however, it comes with significant rewards and punters can potentially earn life-changing sums of money from a winning Goliath. It consists of eight selection, which equates to 247 different bets – doubles, trebles, four-folds, five-folds, six-folds, seven folds and an eight-fold.  
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Accumulator Sports and Markets  

Football

Acca bet FootballFootball is the most popular sports in the world and has a sizeable following in the UK. Fans of football accumulator betting tend to enjoy putting together an accumulator on a Saturday afternoon as several different leagues and competitions kick off simultaneously. This enables punters to choose from a wide variety of selections. 

Although the 90 mins/1X2/Match Result markets are the most popular inclusions in weekend accumulators, other markets such as goals, handicaps, corners, cards and goal-scorers may also be included. It is possible to mix and match these markets. 

Example of markets that you can include:  

  • Double Chance 
  • Anytime Goalscorer 
  • Under / Over 2.5 Goals  
  • Both Teams to Score 

Although accumulators aren’t easy, you can improve your chances by including different markets such as Asian Handicaps. 

Example Multi-Market Accumulator: 

  • Brighton to beat Everton  
  • Nottingham Forest Double Chance (Win or Draw) vs Newcastle  
  • Bournemouth vs Chelsea – Over 2.5 Goals  
  • Man City -1 Handicap vs West Ham

Example Same-Market Accumulator:  

  • Norwich to beat Cardiff 
  • Derby to beat Cambridge 
  • Accrington to beat Sutton 
  • Mansfield to beat Harrogate

Football accumulators may also be spread across several days. Ante-post accumulators are also popular with football punters and these season-long bets will only pay out once the season has concluded. Ante-Post accumulators tend to pay out handsomely, however, punters have to wait a full season before being able to collect their returns. 

Example Ante-Post Accumulator:  

  • Man City to Win the Premier League 
  • Bolton to Win League One 
  • Stockport to Win League Two

Competitions such as the Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A are understandably the most inclusions in accumulators, however, many online sports betting sites now offer betting markets across a wide variety of leagues and competitions at all levels, including U21 and Reserves. 

Horse Racing 

Acca Bet Horse RacingHorse racing accumulators are very popular, particularly when it comes to major festivals such as Cheltenham, St. Leger and Royal Ascot. The biggest appeal of creating a horse racing accumulator is the potential for significant returns. If you include 4+ selections at odds of 2/1 or greater, the returns can soon stack up.

Horse racing accumulators tend to consist of single-day selections, however, at festivals such as Royal Ascot, they may include picks across several days as the odds tend to be priced up months in advance.

The majority of horse racing punters will stick to the win market when assembling an accumulator bet, however, there are a number of other options which can be included in horse racing multiples:  

  • To Be Placed 
  • Match Bet (Horse A vs Horse B) 
  • Without the Favourite  
  • Not To Win 
  • Not to be Placed

The amount of alternative horse racing markets available will depend on your choice of online bookmaker. It’s strongly advised to check before you begin assembling your accumulator. 

Example of an Ante-Post Horse Racing Accumulator:  

  • Coltrane to Win (Ascot Gold Cup) 
  • Tahiyra to Win (Coronation Stakes) 
  • Emily Upjohn to Win (Coral Eclipse) 
  • Little Big Bear to Win (July Cup) 

Ante-Post accumulators may stretch across several weeks or potentially months and if all of the selections are victorious, then there is the potential to win handsomely. Many bookmakers offer a non-runner money back (NRMB) promotion which will return your stake if one of your accumulator selections is unsuccessful. 

Example of a Daily Horse Racing Accumulator:  

  • Sterling Knight to Win (Windsor) 
  • Skallywag Bay to Win (Lingfield) 
  • Gibside to Win (Carlisle) 
  • Lady Dreamer to Win (Carlisle)

Some bettors may choose to pick runners who are competing at the same meeting, however, as in the example above, it is perfectly possible to mix and match your venues. Most UK bookmakers now offer odds on US, Australian and South African race meetings too. It is possible to include all of these in a horse racing accumulator. 

Basketball  

Acca Bet Basketball Basketball is a hugely popular sport in the US and also has a sizeable following throughout Europe. It is a fast-paced, high-octane pastime and this makes it ideal for in-play wagering, however, it is also popular with accumulator bettors. Part of its appeal lies in the fact that several matches tip off simultaneously and with teams tending to play every couple of days, there are always plenty of options when it comes to choosing what to include in your accumulator bet.

There are a number of basketball betting markets which can be included in an accumulator bet. If you purely stick to the money-line (Win – Draw – Win) markets, then you’ll probably require a few winning outsiders in order to secure a decent return. Thankfully, there are now many different markets available, all of which can be added to your multiple bet. 

Popular basketball accumulator markets include:  

  • Total Points  
  • Spread / Handicap  
  • Winning Margin  
  • Team Total Points  
  • 1st Quarter Spread 
  • 1st Half Spread 
  • Player Props 

Each bookmaker will have a slightly different variation of markets and some of these may also have alternative names, however, these tend to be the most popular options when it comes to assembling a basketball accumulator. 

Example of a simple Basketball Accumulator:  

  • Boston Celtics to beat New York Knicks (Money Line) 
  • Philadelphia 76ers to beat Chicago Bulls (Money Line) 
  • Denver Nuggets to beat Utah Jazz (Money Line) 
  • Phoenix Suns to beat Houston Rockets (Money Line) 
  • LA Clippers to beat San Antonio Spurs (Money Line) 

Money line accumulators are simple and easy to understand. Although the odds can be quite restrictive, if you include five or six selections, the potential returns begin to become a little more attractive. 

Example of a multi-market Basketball Accumulator 

  • Boston Celtics -10.5 Points Spread  
  • 76ers vs Chicago Bulls – Over 156.5 Points  
  • Denver Nuggets Team Total Points – Over 61.5 (vs Utah Jazz) 
  • Phoenix Suns to win by 1-5 Points (vs Houston Rockets) 

Multi-market accumulators take longer to create, however, they can be extremely rewarding and if you manage to successful assemble a multi-match accumulator, your winnings are likely to be substantially higher than if you were to solely stick to the money line betting markets.

Tennis  

Acca Bet TennisTennis is a hugely popular sport across Europe and as a result, daily or weekly tennis accumulators are fairly commonplace. Top-level tennis tournaments tend to take place each week from January – November, so there are often plenty of matches occurring simultaneously, particularly during the early part of the week.

Similar to basketball, backing tennis players to win their match isn’t a particularly lucrative approach as the prohibitive odds available on better players tend to prevent this. However, ante-post tournament winner accumulators are a popular alternative. These are particularly handy when there are multiple tournaments taking place simultaneously. 

Alternatively, during the first couple of days of a Grand Slam tournament, there may be up to 20 matches taking place at the same time. This provides a good opportunity to pick out a few upsets and potentially increase your returns.

There are also multiple markets available on each individual match and each of these can be added to an accumulator.

Popular Tennis Markets:  

  • Player to Win  
  • Match Handicap 
  • Total Number of Games 
  • Correct Score 
  • Draw No Bet  
  • 1st Set Winner 

The availability of these markets will depend on your chosen bookmaker. You can mix and match any of these markets when creating a tennis accumulator. 

Example of a Tennis Accumulator:  

  • Daria Kasatkina to beat Petra Martic 
  • Jannik Sinner to beat Richard Gasquet 
  • Lorenzo Sonego to beat Aslan Karatsev 
  • Elena Rybakina to beat Polina Kudermetova 
  • Evgenyia Rodina to beat Giorgia Pedona 

Although many of these players are odds-on or short prices to win their matches, the returns will soon stack up once you begin adding them to an accumulator. If you choose a bookmaker which offers a % bonus on winning multiples, this is likely to further increase your potential returns. 

Example of a multi-market Tennis Accumulator: 

  • Daria Kasatkina -3.5 Handicap (vs Petra Martic) 
  • Laura Siegemund vs Anna Blinkova – Over 21.5 Games  
  • Adrian Mannarino 2-0 Correct Score (vs Liam Broady) 
  • Evgenyia Rodina to Win and Under 21.5 Games (vs Giorgia Pedona) 

Multi-market tennis accumulators tend to take slightly longer to assemble and they also require a little more research. Nevertheless, the rewards are significantly higher and with plenty of matches to choose from on a daily basis, there are always ample tennis markets available. Naturally, they are a slightly riskier proposition when it comes to accumulator betting

How to Place an Accumulator Bet  

It is extremely straightforward and simple to place an accumulator bet. Before you begin, you need to make sure that:

  • You have logged into your betting account
  • You have a positive balance in your betting account and you have sufficient funds to place an accumulator bet
  • You have done your research

You can browse all leagues and competitions and take a look at the odds available on the various markets. Click on the odds of your chosen selection and this will get automatically added to your betting slip. If you change your mind, you can remove this from your betting slip at any stage.

Once you are satisfied with the number of selections in your betting slip, you can then choose your preferred bet type. For example, if you have four selections in your betting slip, your options include:

  • Fourfold
  • Lucky 15
  • Yankee
  • Doubles Trebles

Next, you can add your preferred stake. If you have chosen a permutation bet such as a Lucky 15 or Yankee, your stake will be multiplied by the amount of bets within your accumulator (Lucky 15 = x15)

Once you are satisfied with your bet and you are happy with your chosen stake, you can click place bet/confirm bet.  

FAQs

How do I check on the progress of my accumulator?

You can log into your account and open your betting slip at any point. This will enable you to check on the progress of your accumulator. Often, a little green tick will appear alongside a selection if it is successful. 

Can I cash out my accumulator? 

If your chosen bookmaker offers a cash out service, you should be able to cash out your accumulator at any stage. Your cash out value will be displayed at the bottom of the betting slip. If there is a controversial or a potential game-changing moment in any of your matches, your cash out value may be temporarily suspended.  

Can I add different sports and alternative markets into my accumulator? 

You can add any sports betting market into your accumulator. You can also have a multi-sports accumulator which consists of different leagues or competitions. However, the inclusion of certain markets (such as Draw No Bet) may affect your ability to cash out. It’s always worth reading the bookmaker FAQs to check which markets are ineligible for cash out.  

Accumulator Betting Offers  

Bonus OfferIf you’re thinking of placing an accumulator for the first time, then we highly recommend signing up for a sportsbook which has plenty of offers available for those who regularly wager on multiples. This will help to enhance the overall betting experience and should also boost your betting balance too. These bonuses tend to come in a variety of forms: 

  • Accumulator Winning Bonus: This offer is a handy way of further increasing your returns should you be lucky enough to pick a winning accumulator. On top of your normal winnings, they will give your returns a percentage boost from 5% up to 50%. The boost will depend on the operator’s terms as well as the amount of selections within your accumulator. The higher the number of selections, the greater the % reward.
  • Acca Insurance: Acca Insurance has become one of the most common accumulator offers in the UK. Multiples can be risky and incredibly frustrating. They can be let down by a single selection, however, with Acca Insurance, if you miss out by just one leg, your stake will be returned. Although this doesn’t fully alleviate the frustration of missing out on the potential for handsome returns, it does enable you to return to square one and start again without loss.
  • Accumulator Odds Boost: Some bookmakers will offer you a sizeable boost on your accumulator odds. Many operators will restrict these boosts to one per day, however, they are often worth saving for your accumulator bets as they can make the difference between a 14/1 shot and a 20/1 shot. This can have a seismic effect on your potential returns.  

Accumulator Tips and Strategies  

Like any kind of sports bet or wager, there are plenty of pros and cons when it comes to placing an Acca bet. We’ve put together a handy list of reasons to choose an accumulator. However, it should be noted that it’s always advised to come up with a sensible staking plan as betting on multiples can be risky and making money on an accumulator is far from guaranteed.

➺ Why bet on accumulators?

Accumulators are fun. They are a great way to follow all of the action across an evening or weekend of fixtures. If you’ve looked at the stats and you have several selections, then accumulators are a great way of including all of these thoughts. 

Accumulators can be hugely frustrating and there are always plenty of twists and turns along the way, however, as long as you know that there are always likely to be ups and downs along the way, then you should be well-prepared for the ride. 

As well as offering punters an opportunity to win a life-changing sum of money, many bookmakers also have specific accumulator bonuses and offer which may further enhance the returns.

If you adjust your stake accordingly and remind yourself that wagering on accumulators isn’t the way to make long-term, consistent profit, then you’ll have plenty of fun along the way.

➺ Each Way Accumulator Betting

As we’ve already highlighted, horse racing bettors tend to regularly place each-way accumulators. These are particularly handy if you’re planning to back a few outsiders, or if you’ve picked out some ante-post selections. Although each-way accumulators tend to be dominated by horse racing punters, fans of tennis may also opt to use one when backing the potential winners of upcoming tournaments whereas football bettors may prefer to place each-way wagers whilst studying the pre-season markets.

Bookmakers will specify their e/w conditions, however, many operators will add an extra place or two to their standard offering during major festivals as well as on significant race-days.

In this situation, your stake is split into two as each-way betting consists of two separate bets (to win and to finish in the top two/three/four places). If one or more of your selections misses out on the top two/three/four spots, then your each-way accumulator will lose.

➺ Handicap Bet Accumulator

Handicap markets are a great way of backing an odds-on favourite to overcome a pre-determined margin OR backing an underdog to keep it tight and stay within a certain amount of goals/points of the favourite.

These may also be referred to as spread betting and they allow bettors to hedge their bets when it comes to predicting the match outcome. 

Some punters may use many of these handicap markets and include them in an accumulator. If successful, a handicap accumulator is likely to pay out significantly more than a standard Win-Draw-Win or Under/Over accumulator. 

With the majority of UK bookmakers, you can add up to 20 handicap selections into your accumulator. However, although these markets offer a little more flexibility, there is always an increased risk with increasing the number of legs exponentially.

➺ Over/Under Accumulators

Under/Over markets are extremely popular with punters as they enable bettors to completely ignore the match result market and simply focus on the number of goals/points/tries/runs etc.

They are a fun away to wager and can be easily combined in an accumulator. They’re easy to understand and are available across a variety of sports. 

When it comes to football accumulator betting, punters can choose from Under/Over 1.5, Under/Over 2.5 or Under/Over 3.5 whereas tennis fans can choose whether to back Under/Over on the number of games. These markets are also available for fans of NFL, Cricket and Darts too. 

You can include up to 14 Under/Over selections in your accumulator with the majority of online bookmakers, however, the greater the number of selections, the riskier the bet. 

These markets are great for punters who aren’t sure which way a match is likely to go. They allow you either forecast a cagey, tight affair or to predict a wide-open exciting contest. 

Accumulator vs Bet Builder  

What is a Bet Builder? 

A Bet Builder allows you to put together a multi-market bet within a single game. These have become extremely popular in recent years and are a good way of creating a bespoke bet if you’re sitting down to watch a match. 

It is similar to an accumulator in that every selection must be winner in order to receive a pay-out, however, instead of waiting for the conclusion of several matches, you are simply focusing on a single contest. 

Bet Builders may feature a variety of markets including under/over, corners, cards, penalties and player fouls and passes. 

There are a number of differences between accumulators and bet builders, however, there are also plenty of differences between these bets: 

Similarities:
Differences: 
  • You can add multiple selections to both a bet builder and accumulator (up to 20 with some bookmakers)
  • The odds increase as you add selections to your bet.
  • All of your selections must win in order to receive a pay-out
  • You can win potentially life-changing sums of money with a winning accumulator or bet builder
  • With a bet builder, all of your selections must come from the same match.
  • With an accumulator, you are not permitted to add two selections from the same game.
  • Many of your selections will have a knock-on effect on one another with Bet Builder. With accumulators, each bet is a completely separate entity.

here is no definitive answer to the question: ‘which is better – an accumulator or a bet builder?’, however, it very much depends on your preferences and situation. If you have done your research on a single match and you are planning to sit down and watch it, then a bet builder is the perfect way to follow all of the action and pick out specific markets.

However, if there are multiple matches taking place simultaneously, then an accumulator is probably a better option. This helps you to keep across multiple games and depending on your choice of markets, there is the potential to win life-changing sums.  

Accumulator FAQ

What happens if one of my accumulator selections is abandoned or postponed?

In most cases, if one or more of your selection is called off, then it will simply be voided by the bookmaker. A voided bet will not count towards your returns and your multiple bet will be reduced as a result. For example – a 7-fold will become a 6-fold or a 4-fold will become a treble. As long as they aren’t abandoned, the remaining selections will remain in your accumulator.  

How many selections can I add to my accumulator?

The number of selections that you can include in your accumulator will depend on the individual bookmaker, however, most online operators will allow punters to add up to 15 selections. Some betting sites may allow up to 20 selections. It always advised to check the terms and conditions before signing up.  

What is the minimum stake for an accumulator?

Most online bookmakers stipulate that the minimum stake for accumulator bets is 10p. However, some operators will allow 5p multiples to be placed. It always advised to check on the bookmaker’s FAQ page.  

How can I increase my chances of winning an accumulator?

Accumulators are risky. It isn’t easy to win an accumulator, however, there are a number of things that you can do to improve your chances.  
Make sure that you do your research and only include selections that you feel 100% confident with. Although it can be tempting to add extra selections, it is best to stick to three/four/five/six selections in order to improve your chances of success.

Finally, if you can’t find a selection that you want to include in your accumulator, you can always ignore this match and find another option.  

Are there any markets that I cannot include in an accumulator?

There are no specific markets that aren’t permitted in an accumulator. However, you aren’t permitted to add multiple selections from the same match (this would be a Bet Builder). Some markets such as Draw No Bet can be included in an accumulator, however, they will not be available for cash out purposes.  

What is a Trixie?

A Trixie is a permutation bet which includes three selections and four different bets. These bets are 3x doubles and 1x treble. Although a Trixie will cost you 4x your stake, you will still receive a payout if just two of your selections are successful.