An accumulator bet involves selecting 4 or more gambling outcomes, where the return from one event is invested into the next. It can generate large payouts for minimum stakes.
A “double” (two accumulated bets) and a “treble” (three accumulated bets) are shorter versions of an “accumulator” but the term is generally taken to mean at least 4 bets. As with any multiple bet the selections must be on different events, and can even cover different sports.
Accumulator bets should not be confused with “speciality” bets. A “yankee” covers 4 selections, but as well a 1 accumulator bet, also includes 6 doubles and 4 trebles. The punter will receive a payout on a yankee if only two or three of the selections win, but a four-selection accumulator requires all selections to win.
Of course if there is a non-runner in the accumulator, then that does not invalidate the bet. It just means that that leg of it does not add to the accumulation.
It is possible to have a win accumulator, and an each-way accumulator. With an “Each Way” accumulator, one accumulator bet requires all selections to win, and the other for them all to be placed. With an “Each Way all Each Way” accumulator, the total pot at the end of every leg is split between a win and a place on the next leg.
The attraction of an accumulator bet is that it potentially delivers massive returns. A £5 win five-fold accumulator might work:
Leg1 Selection won at Evens, accumulation carried forward £10
Leg 2 Selection won at 5/1, accumulation carried forward £60
Leg 3 Selection won at 6/4, accumulation carried forward £150
Leg 4 Selection won at 10/1, accumulation carried forward £1650
Leg 5 Selection won at 5/2, bet returns £5775.
So in this example the bet paid odds of 576.5/1.
This creates possibilities for selecting more than one outcome in each leg. In the above example, to select 3 horses in the first race, and 2 in fourth and fifth races would cost:
3*1*1*2*2 = 12 accumulator bets; total stake at £5 win = £60.
A £60 stake would still pay 96/1.
Three selections in each race would cost:
3*3*3*3*3 = 243 accumulator bets; total stake at £5 win = £1215. A £1215 stake would pay over 7/2.
So you can win a large amount on an accumulator bet, and you can increase your chances of the bet winning by “perming” more than one selection in some or all events. The more selections you cover the higher the stake required and the less the bet wins.
There are speciality bets offered which invite selections on predetermined events. The Tote Jackpot for instance is an accumulator bet on a nominated 6 races each day. If this is not won then the pool is carried forward to the next day’s racing, and if not won for a while it can pay out much more than the accumulated odds of the winners.
Football accumulators are all the rage. Gone are the days when you could mark United; Chelsea; Arsenal and Rangers down for a certain home win, but the ability to find “certs” and accommodate them in accumulator bets to boost returns is the secret of many professional football bettors.
A final warning. We might not all be able to anticipate Frankie going through the card at Ascot, but don’t make it harder on yourself than you need to. Work out the potential returns of an accumulator bet and make sure that it falls well below your bookmakers “maximum payout.” There is no point in staking a 7-fold accumulator if you have hit the limit if the first 5 bets win. Also on football betting look for bookmakers special offers if “one lets you down.” Finally be careful of including obscure or limited events in your accumulator bet. Bookmakers maximum payout limits are likely to be severely restricted if you include non-BAGS dogs or Chinese reserve football team events.