What is an Accumulator Bet?
An accumulator bet is a bet combining four or more selections into a single bet.
The bet will only win if all selections win.
Outside of the UK, accumulator bets are also known as parlay bets or combo bets. There is no real difference between any of these terms.
Why Place an Accumulator Bet?
Accumulator bets function by multiplying the odds of each selection together. This means they can result in big profits.
If all selections win you would yield a far greater return than you would having placed single bets on each.
Of course this comes at expense of an increase in risk. It only takes one selection to lose and you will lose your entire wager.
How to Work Out an Accumulator Bet:
To work out an accumulator bet you just need to multiply your stake and all the odds selections together.
As an example let's assume we wish to place £10 on a six-fold accumulator bet with the following odds:
Tottenham vs. Liverpool
Watford vs. Arsenal
Crystal Palace vs. Bournemouth
Chelsea vs. Burnley
Southampton vs. Sunderland
Everton vs. Stoke
The calculation of the potential return would be as follows:
Calculated From Fractional Odds:
£10 * (13/5+1) * (13/17+1) * (7/5+1) * (2/7+1) * (3/1+1) * (8/11+1) = £1357.44
Or Calculated From Decimal Odds:
£10 * 3.6 * 1.76 * 2.4 * 1.29 * 4.0 * 1.73 = £1357.44
Total Return - Stake = £1357.44 - £10 = £1347.44
Removing our £10 stake from the return would leave us with a profit of £1347.44 from this bet.
Types of Accumulator Bet
You have noted earlier that I referred to a 'six-fold accumulator'.
This is somewhat of a convention of naming of accumulator bets.
A two bet accumulator is known as a Double.
A three bet accumulator is known as a Treble.
Anything above this is a X-fold accumulator bet.
E.g. a 4-fold accumulator bet, a 5-fold accumulator bet, a 6-fold accumulator bet etc etc.
There is not a general limit on how many selections can make up an accumulator bet. Though bookmakers may sometimes impose limits themselves.
How to Place an Accumulator Bet?
If you're standing in a betting shop now wondering how to place an accumulator bet then you have two options.
Many betting shops will have coupon sheets you can fill out to place an accumulator. But this will only work generally for selections within the same sport over the same period of time.
You can also just write "7-fold accumulator". Then below that write the seven fixtures and your selections. At the bottom of the slip you'd write your stake.
Placing an accumulator bet online is even easier.
Just check all the selections you wish to bet on and they will add on to your betslip.
Once you have made your selections you can choose to place them as an accumulator from the options here.
Rules of Accumulator Bets
The rules of accumulator bets vary from bookmaker to bookmaker.
One definitive rule is that selections should be mutually exclusive from one another. This means that you cannot combine selections from the same event on one accumulator bet.
You should in theory be able to combine selections from many sports on an accumulator bet. In practice though some bookmakers might restrict this.
If any selection from an accumulator bet is non-runner or cancelled then it is removed from the bet.
As an example: A 5-fold horse racing accumulator would become a 4-fold.