What is an Accumulator Bet? 

Published: 20th June 2018
Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 24th February 2021
Accumulator Bet graphic

What is an Accumulator Bet?

An accumulator bet is a bet that combines four or more punts into one, providing a return only when all of them are successful.

The great advantage of an accumulator is that it generates much higher winnings than a single bet, but the downside is that it carries a higher risk, as it only takes one failed selection for the whole bet to lose.

The precise terms and conditions associated with accumulator bets may vary from bookmaker to bookmaker which includes any acca free bets for new punters, but there are general rules that usually apply. For instance, in the case of horse-racing, a non-runner doesn’t invalidate the bet, it is simply removed from the accumulator, while dead-heat winners are paid out at reduced odds.
You can usually place accumulators on most sports, although bookmakers’ rules may vary when it comes to combining selections from multiple sports.

Accumulators are often named after the number of bets involved, so a four-bet accumulator is called a fourfold, while an eight-bet accumulator is known as an eightfold. In theory, there is no upper limit to the number of bets that you can combine into an accumulator, making it possible to win extremely large sums from small stakes.

Working out your potential winnings for an accumulator is relatively simple in theory, but it can be handy to use one of the many free online accumulator calculators, which allow you to simply input the odds of each selection along with the stake to show your potential win. Here is our beginners guide to how an accumulator actually works.


The basic principle of calculating an accumulator is to multiply your stake by the odds of each selection in turn. For example, let’s say you placed £5 on a fourfold accumulator on the following Premier League football matches at the stated decimal odds:

  1. Manchester City to beat West Bromwich Albion at 1.5
  2. Chelsea to beat Hull City at 1.4
  3. Stoke City to draw with Swansea at 3.0
  4. Arsenal to draw with Southampton at 5.0

If all of the bets were successful, this would be the calculation to determine your winnings:

£5 * 1.5 * 1.4 * 3 * 5 = £157.50 which includes stake

Of course, if any of the selections loses, then the stake is lost. One way of reducing the risk of this happening is to consider an Each Way Accumulator. This is most common in horse racing betting, and is, effectively, two accumulators. One stake is placed on a standard accumulator, in which all of the selections are backed to win, and an identical stake is placed on a second accumulator, in which all selections are backed to be placed.

Another way to offset the risk is to place more than one accumulator. For example, your original bet may be a six-fold accumulator, but you could opt to place a fourfold or a fivefold accumulator covering some of the same selections so that if one fails to win, the whole bet is not lost.

Despite the risk involved, accumulator bets enable bettors to win substantial sums from small stakes, so they remain a popular betting vehicle.

If you want to learn more about betting types, check out this post on yankee betting.

Accumulator Calculator

If you scour the internet, you will find a range of different accumulator calculators, where you can enter in some selections and odds and get an overall pay-out estimate. Or, you could calculate it yourself. The calculation for an accumulator bet is very simple. First of all, once you have chosen your desired selections, you will need to take all of the betting odds from those selections. It is much easier if you have, or turn, these selections into decimals. Once you have done this, multiply each decimal value together. For example, if you had 3 selections with the following odds: 3.0, 1.2, 2.5. Your calculation would be 3.0 x 1.2 x 2.5. The answer to this calculation is 9. Then what you need to do, is take the sum value and multiply that by your betting stake. Using the equation previous, if we were to place a £10 stake, the calculation would be: 10 x 9. The answer is 90, which means your total returns if the bet was to be successful, would be £90.

Types of Accumulators

There are different types of accumulators that players can bet on. Typically, an accumulator is a bet with 4 or more selections included. But of course, you can have a bet with less than 4 selections, therefore it is useful to know what type of accumulator bets these are called:

  • When a bet consists of 2 selections, it is considered a double.
  • When there are 3 selections included in an accumulator bet, that is called a treble.

Anything after this, is then considered a fold accumulator. For example, a 4-team accumulator is a 4-fold, 5 is a 5-fold, 6 is a 6-fold and so on.

How to Place an Accumulator

The process of placing an accumulator bet is fairly simple. The same structure applies to most online betting sites. Therefore, you can take our guide and replicate it in order to place your very own accumulator.

First of all, choose the selections you wish to bet on. When we say this, we don’t just mean choosing the team, but also the market you want to bet on. If it is your first time placing an accumulator, you may want to stick to a simple market that you understand the most, for example: Win/ Lose/ Draw.

Once these selections have been chosen and added to your betting slip, you can then add a betting stake. At the bottom of your betting slip is typically where the required field is for adding your betting stake. There will be numerous fields available for you to add a betting stake into depending on how many selections you have. For example, you will have the option of a treble, yankee, 4-folds etc. If you want to bet on all the selections together, then find the correct option for this. Once you have added an amount, you will notice that a returns price will appear, showing you how much you will win if your accumulator was to be successful. If you are happy with this, press place bet and there you have it.

Also, one thing to consider, you can cover your back a little bit by betting on only some of the selections as well as all of them. For example, if you had a 10-team accumulator, you can bet on the 10-fold, and also bet on a 9-fold, where 1 of any of the selections can lose and you will still win money.

Accumulator Promotions

A lot of bookmakers have got into a habit of offering accumulator bonuses for customers as they have realised just how popular they are. There are different types of acca bonuses, including the likes of: Acca Insurance, Enhanced odds, Acca Boost, etc.

Best Sports for Accumulator Bets

Not every sport in the betting world can take advantage of the use of an accumulator bet. Only a select few can be used. Some of the most popular sports include: Football, Tennis, Horse Racing. Football accumulators are easily the most popular due to the range of fixtures and markets that you can bet on. Accumulator can get very popular around specific competitions and events. For example, some of the more popular competitions for accumulators include: Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League. Although accumulators are predominantly for football betting, players can use it for the likes of Horse Racing and Tennis where they are still popular. For Horse Racing you have events such as the Cheltenham Festival where accas can come in handy. With Tennis, it is more likely to be competitions such as Wimbledon. Take a look at our Horse Racing Betting Guide here.

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.