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Like any other form of financial investment, profiting from sports betting relies heavily on making the right decisions at the right times. While selecting more winners than losers naturally gives you a fantastic starting point, placing bets in a way that will maximise your winnings is essential for healthy ROIs. Football accumulators could be the ideal solution.

Here’s all you need to know about accumulators and how they can be used to boost your profits.

What is a Football Accumulator?

Once upon a time, long before the days of being able to place a bet via a smartphone, betting was generally limited to singles. There were exceptions, such as the place pot on horses or the football pools, but most punters could only bet on a single outcome – for many years, bets were largely limited to the match result coupon too.

Over the years, the sports betting arena has evolved in many ways, but the introduction of multiples (otherwise known as accumulators) has been the most significant addition. Accumulators are essentially bets where you place a single stake on several markets across several sporting events. So, for example, a weekend accumulator on the Premier League matches may look like this:

Arsenal to win against West Ham United at home
Chelsea to beat Leicester City away
Manchester United V Manchester United to be a draw
Tottenham Hotspur to beat Newcastle United at home

In contrast to traditional singles bets, where you’d need to place four separate bets, an accumulator is one single bet. However, the bet will rely on all four selections to win

Some punters only count bets of four or more selections as an accumulator, ignoring Doubles (two selections) and Trebles (three selections). In truth, it doesn’t matter whether your definition starts at bets with two selections or four, the principles remain the same.

Accas at a Glance: What are the Basic Pros & Cons?

When looking at the different football betting markets, you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons. With football accumulators, there are even more variables to consider (we’ll get onto those later) when making your decisions. Regarding those essential principles, though, here are the key positives and negatives.


  • You’ll only place one bet. So even if all four selections lose, you’ve limited your losses
  • The odds are parlayed. This means the payout is decided as an accumulation (hence the name) of those individual selections. Even with a small bet, you could win huge amounts


  • One losing selection ruins the entire accumulator
  • Not all selections can be added together to create an accumulator

While it’s important to dig a little deeper, even those fundamental features show that adding football accumulators to your betting repertoire is a good idea. Just remember that they need to be used at the right time.

So, why are my Potential Winnings Bigger?

An uneducated punter may assume that 4 x £10 winning singles pays the same as 1 x £10 four-fold accumulator. However, let’s take another look at the example mentioned above.

Arsenal to win against West Ham United at home @ 1/3
Chelsea to beat Leicester City away @ 6/5
Manchester United V Manchester United to be a draw @ 12/5
Tottenham Hotspur to beat Newcastle United at home @ 8/11

Backing Singles

When backing singles, the following returns are available on 4 x £10 stakes:

Arsenal to win against West Ham United at home @ 1/3 = £13.33 return
Chelsea to beat Leicester City away @ 6/5 = £22.00 return
Manchester United V Manchester United to be a draw @ 12/5 = £34.00 return
Tottenham Hotspur to beat Newcastle United at home @ 8/11 = £17.27 return

On the one hand, you could potentially make a small profit if two of the four selections win (depending on which ones). Then again, even with a total stake of £40, the best possible return is £86.66 for a profit of £46.66.

Placing An Accumulator

Conversely when backing the four selections as a £10 four-fold, the following occurs:

Payout = £10 stake x cumulative odd
Payout = £10 x [1/3 x 6/5 x 12/5 8/11]
Payout = £172.27

This means that you could make £162.27 profit from a simple £10 stake. While the four-fold is riskier in the sense that you’ll need all four selections to win, the chance to multiply the winnings by nearly 4 while also dividing the overall exposure by 4 is very appealing indeed.

Will you end up with £10 losses more often than losing £40 through singles? Probably. However, as long as you hit all four results on a semi-frequent basis, this will bring positive results to your ROI levels.

Why else should I choose Accumulators over Singles?

Aside from the potential to win big, there are several other situations in which it makes sense to play an accumulator rather than singles. Here are some of the additional benefits gained from this method of betting.

Limit your exposure:
During busy periods (Saturday afternoon for example), you may want to place several bets. If using 10% stakes, for example, you only have 10 bets to place. This can limit your options greatly. Sticking to lower stakes and reduced volume through accumulators limits the exposure greatly.

Become practical:
Even with smartphone technology, you can’t check bets and place selections on a 24/7 basis. An accumulator can allow you to build the acca throughout the day’s play. This is also a great way to make the enjoyment of betting last longer.

Back dead certs:
Even if you’re almost certain that a team will win, you’re unlikely to back a heavy 1/3 favourite as a single. When combined with a handful of additional selections, you can still gain a positive return while avoiding the riskier individual selections.

Embrace special promotions:
Bookmakers will often offer special concessions on accumulators. Those elements can range from boosted odds depending on the number of selections to refunding your stake if only one team loses. If it works the odds in your favour, you mustn’t ignore those features.

Increase the satisfaction:
It maybe shouldn’t bother you, but the emotional satisfaction of successfully picking several winning selections can add an extra ingredient. In the long hard slog that is sports betting, this can make a world of difference.

Which Markets can be used for Building a Football Accumulator?

In the name of simplicity, the example so far has focused solely on the straight match outcome market. However, your accumulator could be made up from selections on various coupons. This includes the BTTS coupon, selections on the over 2.5 match goals markets, or even bets on the handicaps or HT/FT markets. The options are almost endless.

When entering a brick and mortar bookies, you’ll probably see many coupons that focus on one specific market. For example, there will be one sheet for the BTTS bets and another for the match result or the HT/FT market. However, this is simply to make life easier for the punter. If you wish to mix your selections up across different markets across the matches in question, this is possible. So, your accumulator on a weekend’s Premier League action may read;

Arsenal V West Ham United Over 2.5 match goals
HT/FT: Chelsea/Chelsea v Leicester City away
Manchester United V Manchester United to be a draw
Tottenham Hotspur -1 European handicap v Newcastle at home

The ability to combine different markets puts you in far greater control and can boost your bid to find a winning strategy and staking plan.

However, you should note that not all selections can be used in accumulators. One example of this is trying to place two bets from the same game. For example, you won’t be able to combine Arsenal -2 handiap with Over 2.5 goals in their match.

Where can I place my Football Accumulators?

Finding a bookmaker that allows members to place accumulators is very easy. In truth, only a very small number of major sportsbook operators will limit players to singles. All of the following big hitters offer accumulators.

Paddy Power
Sky Bet
Sun Bets
William Hill

However, it should be noted that exchange betting portals do not accept multiples unless they have a sportsbook connected to the site.

How many selections can I add to an Accumulator?

While there is some debate on whether an acca starts at two or four selections, the more significant question relates to the upper limits. Every bookmaker is different and has its own limits. Some will let you combine up to 20 selections but others may stop at even half of that figure.

In truth, though, you’re not likely to place any serious bet on more than about six or seven selections, even if the odds are quite low. Finally, you need to think about the maximum payout on offer. After all, there’s no point in combining 15 selections for a £2milllion return if the bookmaker has a limit of £500,000. Knowing the Ts&Cs of the bookie is key.

What are the Best Ways to Profit from Accumulators?

As with any form of betting, there is no one right or wrong answer. Ultimately, any method that regularly sees your bankroll increase can be considered a winning strategy. Nonetheless, there are several popular methods used by both professional punters and casual gamblers alike.

Accumulator Betting Idea #1: Minimal Risks

Every gambler should look to minimise their risks of losing. Unfortunately, betting on singles can discourage you from smart selections due to the potentially poor returns. Accumulators allow you to overcome that obstacles, building bets made up from low-risk selections.

This can manifest itself by picking odds-on favourites. Alternatively, you may wish to provide the safety net of backing a team on the Draw No Bet market. This was, even if that match ends in a draw, you’ll see a six-fold turn into a five.

As long as you’re still winning something on a regular basis, your ROIs will look great.

Accumulator Betting Idea #2: Back Goals

The BTTS market isn’t the most lucrative in terms of the odds on offer for singles. However, a little research goes a long way, and should lead to a high percentage of winning selections. This can cover both the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ options on the coupon.

It’s not advised to put loads of selections together, but an accumulator of four, five, or even six games could roll in. This is especially true when looking at some of the highest scoring leagues such as the Scottish divisions.

If backing the ‘Yes’ selections, the bet is alive for the full 90 minutes too. After all, it only takes a second to score.

Accumulator Betting Idea #3: Split The Bets

The straight accumulator isn’t your only way to profit from the multiples. The main reason for choosing singles is that you can see a return even when some selections lose. Why not bring those sentiments to your accumulators?

When backing an accumulator of four selections, you can try the following;

Lucky 15
15 bets including 4x singles, 6x doubles, 4x trebles, and 1x acca.

11 bets including 6x doubles, 4x trebles, and 1x accumulator.

With either of those bets, you can still see positive returns when only some of your selections come in. Meanwhile, the same ideas can be used for accumulators involving five or more individual selections. Just make sure that your bet stakes are factored accordingly.

In today’s betting arena, you can even set it so that the singles, doubles, trebles, and acca are weighted differently rather than placing 15 bets at levels stakes.

The Final Verdict on Football Accumulator Betting

Some punters swear by accumulators while others are completely against them. The truth of the matter is that they are a useful weapon to have in the arsenal, but must be used at the right times and combining selections from the right markets. Do this, and your long-term returns should see a significant improvement.

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