What Is An Accumulator Bet

Neal Merchant

“Accumulator” is a betting term that refers to a single bet that combines four or more selections. It is also commonly known as an ‘acca’ or a ‘roll-up’. A lot of the time it will involve a lot more than just four selections, as the more selections you make, the higher the potential winnings. Sounds great doesn’t it! Well there is a catch. In order for your accumulator bet to be successful, all selections must win. Only then will you get a return on your initial stake.

The more risk you take, as in the more selections you include into your accumulator bet, the higher the winnings. This is what makes “Accumulator” bets so popular, especially in the UK when it comes to football betting. It is also known as the “acca” and has become almost like a tradition to have a bet at the weekend on a number of football matches that take place.  But beware, it only takes just one selection to lose for you to have your bet fail.


Accumulator Types

Any bet that involves more than one selection to win or place is essentially an accumulator. A double or a treble, they are both forms of accumulator. After that, they are just simply known as a ‘fold’ accumulator of the number of positions you are placing. So, if making 5 selections, a ‘five fold’ accumulator, for 6, yes you guessed it ‘six fold’ accumulator and so on. There is no upper limit to the number of selections you make in an accumulator but keep in mind, that all of them have to place or win, so the more positions you open, the more risk applies to the bet.


Examples of Accumulators


Winning Example

Bet Result Odds (Decimal) Bet Outcome
Spurs To Win Spurs 1 – 0 Chelsea 3/5 (1.6) Win
Liverpool To Lose Arsenal 2 – 1 Liverpool 2/5 (1.4) Win
Newcastle To Draw Newcastle 1 – 1 Leicister 2/1 (3) Win
Manchester United To Win Man Utd 2 – 0 Man City 3/1 (4) Win
Celtic To Win Celtic 1 – 0 Inverness CT 3/1 (4) Win


In the above winning example, we have placed a 5 – Fold Accumulator. This just means 5 bets that all need to come in, the winnings are based on an accumulation of the 5 bets all coming through one after the other. For each win in the accumulator, your profit plus steak effectively become your steak for the next bet in the accumulator until all are complete. In this example, all our bets were successful and we won!.

The formulae for working out the total returns looks like this:

Total Returns = initial stake x 1.6 x 1.4 x 3 x 4 x 4

It’s much easier to use decimal odds to work out formulae. We show both fractional and decimal in the example but use decimal above for working out the returns.
Remember that your initial stake itself is not profit, that is money you invested in the bet so deduct your initial stake from your Total Returns to get the true value of your Total Profit.

An accumulator by it’s very nature needs every backed bet to win for you to be successful. If any of your bets loses then the whole accumulator is lost. Using the above winning example, if all your bets came in up to the Celtic match, but Celtic lost by say 2-1, you lose everything (your initial stake and any accumulated profit). At the same time if Spurs lost to Chelsea in the first match of your accumulator you would also lose everything. For an accumulator to win each result has to go your way.


Each Way Example of An Accumulator Bet

While the very nature of an accumulator makes it a high risk/high reward pursuit – you can increase your chances a bit by betting each way.

An each way Accumulator is effectively a 2 part bet. In the first part, you have a normal accumulator across the number of bets you are placing. For this example, let’s say it’s a six bet accumulator. The second part of the bet is another accumulator, but this time, for each selection to place rather than win.

Now this isn’t suitable for a few sports, let’s be clear on this. Team sports for example where there is only a very limited number of outcomes or participants, are unlikely to be suitable for an each way accumulator. Horse racing, athletics, motor sport or a combination of all on the other hand, well, now you’re talking.

There can only be 3 possible outcomes to this type of bet.


Win Part 1 – Win Part 2

Lose Part 1 – Win Part 2

Lose Part 1 – Lose Part 2


You can never win your normal accumulator and lose your each way accumulator. As your normal accumulator requires you to win each bet, if you do that then naturally you have won your each way accumulator also. You can however, lose your normal accumulator and win your each way accumulator. In fact, you are far more likely to do this than to win both sides of the bet.

Your chances of some kind of victory are considerably increased with an each way bet, but don’t expect the same type of reward. With reduced risk, your odds decrease and as such so does potential profit. Unless you win both bets, then …rock on.


Selection Bet Odds (Decimal) Result
Choice 1 To Place 1 – 5 3/1 (4) Won
Choice 2 To Place 1 – 5 5/1 (6) Won
Choice 3 To Place 1 – 5 12/1 (13) Won
Choice 4 To Place 1 – 5 2/1 (3) Won
Choice 5 To Place 1 – 5 4/1 (5) placed 2nd
Choice 6 To Place 1 – 5 2/1 (3) placed 3rd


In the above example, not all selections won their race, so we didn’t win our ‘part 1’ normal accumulator. Bummer. However, all of the selections placed in the top 5 so we did win our ‘part 2’ each way accumulator, get in!!

To work out the profit the formulae is as follows:


Profit For Part 1 ‘To Win

The same formulae is used as in our normal accumulator example above.

Total Returns = initial stake x decimal odds for bet 1 x decimal odds for bet 2 x decimal odds for bet 3 x decimal odds for bet 4 x decimal odds for bet 5 x decimal odds for bet 6


Total Returns = initial stake x 4 x 6 x 13 x 3 x 5 x 3


Profit for Part 2 ‘To Place’

The formulae for the ‘to place’ bet is a bit different, with the odds being adjusted accordingly for this type of bet. It works out as follows:

Total Return = Initial Stake x ( ( 4 x 1/5 ) + 1 ) x ( ( 6 x 1/5 ) + 1 ) x ( ( 13 x 1/5 ) + 1 ) x ( ( 3 x 1/5 ) + 1 ) x ( ( 5 x 1/5 ) + 1 ) x ( ( 3 x 1/5 ) + 1 )

Your Total Profit across both bets would be Total Return for both parts combined with your stake for each part deducted.
In this example, there would be no profit from part 1 of the bet as not all bets won, so your total profit would be your return from part 2 minus your total stake.


Accumulator Bet Calculator