Accumulator Betting Term Meaning

In betting, an ‘accumulator’ is a single bet containing more than one selection. The key difference between an accumulator bet from other bet types with multiple selections is that each selection must be correct for the bet to win.

A more common name in the UK for an accumulator is an ‘acca’. Each selection is known as a fold. So, four selections is a four-fold accumulator/acca. Most bookmakers will accept accumulator bets up to 15 folds, some may go above that to 18 or 20 folds.

Accumulator betting has become popular, especially within the last 20 years. The main reason is because the odds for each selection are multiplied, making it possible to win large sums of money from a small outlay. The combination of odds and ability for punters to bet using far smaller stakes make accumulator betting an attractive proposition. Huge payouts are possible which give your bankroll a significant boost.

How does an accumulator bet work?

Both doubles and trebles are effectively accumulator bets in that the payout is calculated by the same method. 

Working out how much you can win from an accumulator is very simple. Two methods are used, depending on whether you view the markets in decimal odds or fractions. 

Let’s take an example accumulator bet based on matches from the English Premier League:

    • Tottenham to beat Liverpool at 3.0
    • Everton and Man Utd to draw at 4.0
    • Chelsea to beat Man City at 4.5
    • Arsenal to beat Southampton at 2.0

Using decimal odds, the stake of the bet is already included. Therefore, you just multiply the odds: 3.0 x 4.0 x 4.5 x 2.0 = 108.0. So, a £10 accumulator would return £1,080 if each selection were correct.

As fractional odds do not include the stake, the method of calculation varies slightly: 

    • Stake £10 on Tottenham to beat Liverpool at 2/1. From this, you win £20 plus your £10 stake is returned.
    • The £20 and £10 (so £30) is your stake for the second fold - Everton and Man Utd to draw at 3/1. This is correct and you win £90 + £30 stake returned.
    • £120 is now on Chelsea to beat Man City at 7/2. This fold nets you £420 + £120 stake returned.
    • Lastly, £540 on Arsenal to beat Southampton at 1/1 (evens) wins you £540 plus your £540 stake is returned, so you have £1,080.

While accumulators have become a favoured method for betting on football, they are by no means restricted to this sport alone. Tennis, basketball, rugby, American football and horse racing are just a few of the others. It is also possible to make selections from a number of different sports and compile an accumulator bet that way.

For certain events such as horse races, greyhounds, and outright markets, you can place each-way accumulator bets. These involve two bets: one on the win and the other on the place. The advantage of an each-way accumulator is that you stand a better chance of winning, but the payout is reduced depending on the number of placed selections there are on your winning bet slip.
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