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Accumulator bets – How to place your acca bets

parlayNo matter how many professional punters you ask, every single one will tell you that the only acceptable way to control your game and bankroll is to bet on singles. The more choices you add to your betslip, the more you rely on luck rather on intuition. However, contrary to the "professional" approach, accumulator bets remain an extremely popular way of betting for the vast majority of punters, from apprentices to seasoned pros.

The reason is quite simple: Although an acca bet (parlay bet) may have lower chances of coming through, it allows you to win far larger payouts. The fact that you have the possibility to significantly multiply your initial stake, manages to outweigh the slight winning percentage. What seems even more appealing, is that you can potentially win big without having to risk a lot of money.

Definition of accumulator bets

Betting on politicsAn accumulator bet is, typically, any bet that combines two ore more betting selections. In sports betting terminology, the term “accumulator betting” is found predominating on bets that contain more than three selections, as two selections are generally called “doubles”, while three choices are considered a “treble” bet. However, technically any bet can fall under a specific category; A bet consisting of four selection is called a “fourfold”, a five-selection bet is a “fivefold” and so on.

The limits you may encounter on the number of your selections, depend on each online bookmaker’s policy. Usually the highest limit includes a 15-fold bet, however some betting sites won't allow more than 10 selections on the same betslip. Regardless how many selections you bet on, bookies usually place those limits to make sure that an extremely lucky punter doesn't succeed in breaking the bank.

Winning possibilities

Technically a random betting choice can't be compared to another one, as it has different “real” possibilities of actually coming through. The only thing that remains the same, is the mathematical winning percentage, that is significantly lower in football accumulator bets.

Need an example? Let’s try a typical 3-way football match.

In singles betting, the theoretical winning possibility of every selection (Home Win, Draw, Away Win) stands at 33.333%.

When we bet on a double, we actually pick on ONE out of NINE possible outcomes, as BOTH your selections have to be confirmed in these two matches. Suppose that we bet on two Home Wins, we have staked our money on a 1 - 1 combination, with the other eight being 1-X, 1-2, X-1, X-X, X-2, 2-1, 2-X and 2-2. This means that in theory, we only have a 11.111% possibility of winning the bet.

Things get even worse on trebles. Your theoretical chances of winning a treble bet stand at 3.703%, as you pick one out of 27 possible combinations. For a fourfold, your chances of winning are only 1.234%, as you choose one of 81 possible combinations.

Although the possibilities might seem real low, there’s no need to become disappointed or abandon your accumulators altogether. These are only mathematical percentages, not actual chances derived from careful research and consideration. The actual chances of winning are higher than these numbers, however they still remain lower compared to any single bet. That’s what makes your possible winnings become far larger.

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Multiplying the profit

When placing a parlay bet, you stand to claim significantly more money, because the odds are multiplied. On an evens (2.00) single bet, the best you can do is double your money. If you place a double bet on same odds (2.00) each, you get four times your money, a 300% increase of your initial stake! On a treble bet your earnings are eight times your stake, in a fourfold of 2.00 bets you get 16 times your money. The higher odds you choose, the larger amount you can gain in case you win.

Combination of chances and odds

So, what’s the best way of choosing an accumulator bet instead of a single one? The answer may not be that simple, but the procedure is the same as estimating a single value bet. You try to figure out if the odds offered are valuable compared to the winning possibility. The second variable, though, is absolutely subjective and not accurately countable. The same exists in accumulator bets too, but in a higher odds-lower possibilities rate. Some find it easier to identify the value, for some it’s harder to do it.

Choosing the right accumulator bets

betting types on politicsDealing with this type of bet, requires that you realize that there’s a high risk of losing even by one selection. Many punters who favor accumulator bets are fond of sharing stories of times they could have won a small fortune, but for a missed match on a sixfold acca bet. That’s why there are alternative ways of gaining profit without having to risk too much.

Betting systems (Trixie, Yankee, Heinz etc.) are another type of accumulator bets. All these are thoroughly described on the appropriate bookmakers.bet betting systems guide. Apart from the “fixed” betting systems, online bookmakers allow you to built your own pattern of football accumulators and even win despite losing one or two selections.

For example, when you select five matches, it’s not obligatory to bet only in a straight bet containing all five selections or choosing a Canadian system, containing 26 different bets, from doubles to fivefold. You can choose a third way, to bet only on trebles made by these five matches (10 bets) and the fivefold (1 bet). Or the doubles (10 bets), or the fourfolds (5 bet),  whatever suits your liking. Online bookmakers’ types of bets are very flexible, so the punter could choose the type that better serves his needs.

Cashing out acca bets

This kind of betting becomes more and more popular, especially if you include your acca bet matches that may start at different times. When four selections of your fivefold bet have been won and the last match starts in about half an hour, the temptation is high: Use the cash out service and take the trimmed winnings or let your bet run its course untill the end? This isn’t an easy decision and can depend on many factors. If you do decide to cash out, don’t blame yourself or feel guilty if the last selection comes through and could have awarded you more money.

Number of selections and odds

Accumulator bets are a fine way to augment your potential winnings, but you shouldn’t overdo this. You’re strongly advised to not choose huge acca bets if there’s no good reason for this. Winning a sevenfold bet could mean a huge amount (almost all online bookmakers let you calculate your accumulator when you place the bet), but the chances of winning all selections are extremely small. You should start with doubles or trebles at first and then proceed to wider acca bets, as fewer selections let you better calculate the value.

Enhanced odds

High oddsA growing number of online bookmakers offer punters an extra motive to place bets on parlay bets. Enhanced odds is the most common bonus offer, as the bookie increases the total potential winnings. Usually the increase percentage is between 20% and 30% of the initial total odds of your bet. Of course, the percentage gets bigger the more matches you add to your bet.  This seems like a profitable deal for players, however, what it actually manages is to lure more punters into placing accumulator bets that have small chances of winning.

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