What is an Accumulator Bet?
An accumulator bet is one which combines at least four selections linked into a single bet. The wager is only successful if all the selections win. If there is a non-runner the bet is recalculated on the same basis as if the accumulator hadn’t contained that selection so a seven-fold would become a six-fold. Unfortunately if one selection is unsuccessful, the entire bet is lost.
In the case of a dead heat for a winning position, the bet would be settled using standard rules at reduced odds.
Although the risk involved is higher than that for a single wager the benefit of an accumulator bet is that the rewards are also comparatively higher. Many bookmakers also regularly offer fixed percentage bonuses or accumulator odds at enhanced rates.
Can an Accumulator Bet be made on any Sport?
Although accumulators are available for almost any sport, it is essential that the accumulator bets are mutually independent. This means that it is not possible to place several bets on the same runner. Individual bookmakers may also have specific rules about what can or cannot be combined to create a single bet.
To minimise the risky nature of accumulators, some punters place side bets in order to reduce the impact of the accumulator losing. Placing 5 4-fold accumulators will mitigate the chances of them losing their stake if one of the selections in a 5-fold accumulator loses.
Apart from accumulators, which are based on a bet with at least four selections, there are also several other bets which behave in the same way. Here is a summary of bets which require all the runners to win in order to be successful:
|Name of Bet||Number of Selections|
Although the minimum number of selections is four, there is no upper limit. This means that accumulators have the potential for huge winnings if every selection wins as Steve Whiteley discovered when he placed a horse racing bet for £2 and was lucky enough to win £1.45 m.
Calculating Accumulator Winnings
If this is sounding a little confusing, why not take a look at this example which explains how the winning amount is calculated. Once you understand how it works you can enter odds into an Accumulator Bet Calculator rather than working them out by hand each time.
Here is an example of a 4-fold accumulator bet on football matches:
|Selection||Result||Odds (Decimal) Bet Outcome|
|Leeds United to win||Leeds United 1-0 Fulham||1.5 Successful|
|Reading to lose||QPR 3 - Reading 2||1.4 Successful|
|Chelsea to draw||Chelsea 0 - Newcastle 0||3 Successful|
|Huddersfield to draw||Huddersfield 0 - Barnsley 0||5 successful|
Based on a bet of £5 and using decimal odds, the returns are calculated as follows:
Total Returns = £5 x 1.5 x 1.4 x 3 x 5 = £145
Total Profit = Total Returns - Initial Stake = £150
Using fraction odds, the calculation becomes:
Total Returns = £5 x (1/2 + 1) x (2/5 + 1) x (2/1 + 1) x (4/1 + 1) = £145
Not bad winnings for a £5 stake!
Are there any Disadvantage with Accumulator Bets?
The downside of accumulator bets is that if any of the selections fails to win the stake is lost. If Leeds United had failed to beat Fulham the “Leeds United to win” selection of the accumulator would have failed, and the overall loss would be £5.
What is an Each Way Accumulator?
An each way accumulator bet consists of two parts, Part 1 and Part 2:
Part 1 is a typical accumulator bet, such as those detailed in the examples above.
Part 2 is an accumulator bet on each of the selections but with the “Selections” and “Odds” being updated accordingly. This option is not usually available for every sport or event.
Part 1 is known as the to-win bet and Part 2 is known as to-place bet. A unit stake is placed on each of the two parts and the returns are pooled in order to achieve the total returns for the wager.
Here is an example of a horse race accumulator:
|Selection Odds (Fractions)||To Place||Bet Outcome|
|3||3/1||1/5 placed came 2nd|
If the stake was £5, the total returns for the bet are the returns from Part 1 and Part 2.
Part 1 Selection 3 failed so the return from the “to-win” part of the bet would be £0
Part 2 The returns are calculated as follows:
Returns = £5 x ( ( 4 x 1/5 ) + 1 ) x ( ( 9 x 1/5 ) + 1 ) x ( ( 3 x 1/5 ) + 1 ) x ( ( 10 * 1/5 ) + 1 ) = £120.96
Total Returns = £0+£120.96 = £120.96
Total Profit = Total returns less the stake = £120.96 – (2 x £5) = £110.96
Here are some useful terms and links:
Accumulator Bet Calculator - This useful tool calculates the potential winnings possible from any combination of accumulator bets. It is comprehensive and can support fold options, each way bets and dead heats as well as taking into account Rule 4 deductions.
What is a Double Bet? - This is essentially an accumulator with only two selections. Using a football based example, this page shows you how to work out the potential returns on a double bet.
What is a Treble Bet? - A treble bet is an accumulator with three selections. Using a football based example, this page gives you a step by step guide on how to calculate your winnings on a treble bet.