Introduction To Football Betting: How Does an Accumulator Work?

Football accumulator slips at a bookie.

Football accumulators are hugely popular in the world of sports betting and they can be extremely lucrative, but they are very hard to win and the bookmakers love them for that very reason.

Traders can also use football accumulators as part of their business, but it is important to be careful with them as you never know which team is going to let you down with a shock loss.

An accumulator involves betting on the outcome of more than one football match.

Combining two bets is known as a double, three is called a treble and four is referred to as a quadruple. But what does acca mean in betting?

Above four matches a football bet will usually be known as an accumulator - or simply an acca for short - and they can have gigantic odds depending on the teams and matches included, which makes them a very appealing choice to football fans.

However, as all football traders know, the best way to ensure long-term success is to avoid chasing those rare big wins and instead focus on guaranteeing a steady level of profits.

List of football matches with win, draw, lose prices.
How does an accumulator bet work?

Picking winners in football betting can be difficult enough, so adding multiple teams into one bet is making it very hard for your wagers to win.

Accumulators are popular with football fans as they allow punters to bet on short-priced favourites at decent odds by combining them with a number of other teams.

There may be little logic in placing a bet on Barcelona to win a game if they are priced up at 1/8, but by adding them into an accumulator with other teams you also expect to win, the odds can become a lot more appealing.

Working out a football accumulator is fairly easy and there are a number of online calculators that make it even easier. We have a free betting calculator here on the site which you can use.

Bookmakers will also show the odds you will receive as you add teams into your planned acca.

Shop around for odds to make sure that you get the best possible price on football accas.

List of Euro 2016 matches with win, draw, lose prices.

Accas are a typical bet for a casual football punter as in some cases it is possible to win vast amounts of money for a very small stake.

But wins of this nature are exceedingly rare and all football traders should be well aware that while accas can be a worthwhile part of your gambling strategy to ensure profit, they are very hard to get right.

Let's take the betting odds for Euro 2016 as an example.

Hosts France play in the opening game of the tournament, against Romania, and on Betfair they are priced at just 3/10 to win the match.

There is therefore little value to be found in betting on France unless there is a specific angle you want to exploit.

Euro 2016 football acca.

But by including France in an accumulator with other short-priced favourites, the odds look a lot more attractive.

By adding England to beat Russia, Germany to beat Ukraine, Portugal to beat Iceland and Spain to beat Czech Republic, the odds have now been boosted all the way up to 8.52 for the five-fold.

However, keep in mind that the more teams you have in your acca, the greater the chance of one letting you down and resulting in the bet failing.

Instead, it can be a much better idea to restrict the number of teams you include in your acca to around five or six and look for sides that are offered at larger odds than you would expect, rather than short-priced favourites.

How to work out accumulator bet odds

While online bookmakers will update the odds of your accumulator as you add teams to the bet, it is also possible to work out your bet's odds manually if you prefer to do so.

Football acca on a bookie website.

For example, let's say that you want to bet on the following five teams at the corresponding odds:

  • Burnley 6/4
  • ​Chelsea 1/3
  • ​York City 8/11
  • Sunderland 5/4
  • Wigan Athletic 8/13

It is possible to work out accumulator bet odds from the fractions, but it is a lot easier if you choose to convert the odds into decimals.

Most bookies give you the option of viewing your bets with decimal prices, but here's the simple calculation in case you need it.

In order to convert Burnley's odds from a fraction to decimal, for example, you divide the 4 into the 6 and add 1. This gives you a decimal price of 2.50.

  • Burnley 2.50
  • Chelsea 1.33
  • York City 1.73
  • Sunderland 2.25
  • Wigan Athletic 1.57

To work out accumulator bet odds, you multiply all of the decimal prices together like this:

2.50 x 1.33 x 1.73 x 2.25 x 1.57 = 20.32

This means that for every £1 you stake on the football accumulator, you would win £20.32.

So a £10 stake on the five-fold accumulator would therefore result in winnings of £203.20 if it came in.

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A four-fold football acca.
How to win accumulators on football

How to win a football accumulator, then?

Unfortunately there is no easy answer, otherwise we would all be billionaires!

There is a reason you never see a poor bookmaker, after all.

A good starting point when putting together football accas can be to think of odds in terms of percentages.

For example, a team that is priced up at 6/4 with the bookmakers to win a particular game should have a 40% chance of winning that match, if the odds are fair.

Traders who think that team has a much better chance of winning than 40% should consider putting that team in their accumulator.

But this logic works both ways too.

For example, let's say that Manchester United are at home and are priced at 1/9 to win the game.

This means they have a 90% chance of winning the match.

While they are highly likely to win on the day, there is always a chance in football that a shock result happens, so perhaps it is better to avoid the short-priced teams in accas.

Another important thing to keep in mind when placing accumulators as a football trader is to get the best possible odds.

Compare odds online to make sure you are getting the top price available, as the odds for 10-team accumulators can vary wildly from bookmaker to bookmaker, hitting your profits hard if your bet is a winner.

Draw no bet accumulator explained

There are loads of different football accumulators you can place, although we have mainly focused on the match odds markets in this article.

For example, a lot of people like to place Both Teams to Score - or BTS - accumulators as these can be alive in the very last minutes of the game regardless of which teams are winning.

Accumulators based on under/over 2.5 goals are popular too, while big odds can be achieved by combining match odds and BTS in an accumulator.

Both teams to score (BTS) football acca.
Draw no bet (DNB) football accumulator betting slip.

One type of football accumulator that is becoming a lot more common, especially with football traders, is the draw no bet accumulator. But how does a draw no bet acca work?

Draw no bet means that your selection is void if the game ends in a draw, with the bet similar to the double chance option that is available, with the benefit of the odds being better.

DNB accas can therefore be a good way to side with less-fancied teams, but there is always a fair chance that your bet will end up void as a result of at least one draw result.

The rest of the bet continues with reduced odds if one of the games ends in a draw, keeping the bet alive for longer.

Research has also shown that DNB accumulators are more profitable than when double chance bets are used instead, so it is well worth traders experimenting with this type of bet.

As always, before committing serious sums of money on bets make sure you are fully comfortable with how they work, the risks involved and the profits you can expect to reap as a result.

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