Football Accumulator Strategies

Betting Slip Acca
Bigstock / Chaser 223

Betting on football results is an increasingly popular way of trying to win some money, there are a lot of armchair experts out there who are only too happy to give you their tips. The trouble is that a lot of matches feature selections that are odds-on, so you come away with less money. Single bets on those selections won’t offer much of a financial incentive – unless you’re a high-roller perhaps.

This is why accumulator bets – or acca’s – are so popular, they are a way of making bigger profits on games with short odds without having to wager too much cash.

Football Accumulators Explained

In essence, an accumulator bet is when you stack one bet on top of the other in order to boost your overall odds. Technically, the bet becomes a 4 fold accumulator once the fourth selection is added and so it goes on, but up until that point it works out like this:

Single – A regular bet on the result of a game, say on Manchester United to beat Burnley at home. Let’s imagine the stake here is £20 and the odds are 1/2, that means you will come away with £30 if United are victorious, because for every 2 you bet you get 1 back.

Win Double – You can also add Everton to beat Sunderland at 4/6 to give you two selections. This is known as a win double, and both teams have to win in order for the bet to become a winner, otherwise you lose your stake. Money won from the first bet is now applied to this one, so your stake is now £30. With odds of 4/6 that’s a £50 return, making the overall bet pay out at 6/4. At this point you are betting on two odds-on shots but by placing an accumulator the odds of a win are now odds against, i.e longer.

Win Treble – If you wanted to add a third game to this bet then it becomes a win treble. Say you add Liverpool to win at West Brom and that’s even money (1/1). Assuming your two previous selections have won, you now have a £50 stake. At 1/1 your stake would be worth £100 if all selections were successful. So the acca comes in at 4/1 when all is said and done.

As you can see those odds are climbing steadily now, and that’s why these bets are called accumulators, because the proceeds from one part of the bet go onto the next, thus accumulating more and more money if your selections are winners.

Selection Match Odds Stake Return Acca Odds
Man Utd Win 1/2 £20 £30 1/2
Everton Win 4/6 £30 £50 6/4
Liverpool Win 1/1 £50 £100 4/1

Evidently, the more teams you add to your accumulator the higher the odds of success will become. That means these bets can be really good value, especially if one or more of your selections aren’t odds-on shots. Say you stake £20 on a team priced up at 6-4 and the other at 2-1. If both teams win then your £20 becomes £150, with combined odds of 13-2. Add on another team at evens and you’ll get £300 back – that’s combined odds of 14-1.

Pretty tasty, but you do need those three teams to win. What you have to remember is that odds reflect the probability of your bet being successful. Those odds of 14-1 on just three teams winning look great, but the higher odds mean that the more games you try to correctly predict, especially when the individual odds aren’t odds-on, the less probability there is of your bet being a winner.

When you place a bet the bookies will have a profit margin worked in, and for every extra selection you add, you are dealing successive profit margins too, and the bookmaker knows that the more selections a punter makes the more chance that they’ll be on a loser. It’s not always that way of course but the odds do favour the bookie. So don’t get sucked into a bet without thinking it through.

Incentives & Extra’s

Putting your bet on is no problem at all. If you go into a betting shop or onto an online betting site, then there’ll be a whole host of coupons there just waiting for you to fill in. These can be for a number of different sections. There should be a list of British games taking place that weekend, maybe one for midweek, then there can be another that’s dedicated to overseas games.

Acca Coupon

You’ll also see coupons that simply include so-called bankers (those most likely to win at short prices). Then there are coupons which are divided into sections where you can place an accumulator on teams with increasing odds so getting a win can be lucrative but of course not at all easy.

There are a couple of other acca features you should make use of to get the most out of your bet.

Football Acca Insurance

Gutted Acca Bettor
Bigstock / vchal

It can be a painful experience placing an accumulator. That 6 fold accy that was going to bag you £1000 only to be let down by the final selection is a familiar tale. You can’t help thinking of the winnings you’d have had, and spend the rest of the week cursing that lazy defender who lost his man.

Well, in recent years a feature known as ‘Acca Insurance’ has been introduced into sports betting. Nearly all bookmakers now offer this kind of bet and here’s how it works:

Say you have placed an accumulator with at least five teams and just one lets you down. Rather than seeing all of your stake lost, you could have your stake returned to you as a free bet. This won’t stop you feeling sore if you were onto a big winner, but it is welcome compensation. Usually the terms state that the acca must include a minimum of 5 selections and the free bet you receive caps out at £50, but that could certainly help and, who knows, that free bet could be the one that nets you an even bigger win.

Football Accumulator Bonus

Acca Boost

Getting an accumulator right is a great moment that comes with bragging rights for at least a week, but it’s not easy, especially if you have selected a large number of teams.

To sweeten the deal some bookies have added an ‘Acca Rush’ promotion or some sort of equivalent. So, if you place Premier League five-folds early in the week then you can receive a 25% Profit Boost. Other bonuses see a percentage added to your win for accumulators.

With some of the bets able to win large amounts in their own right, the percentage bonus can be a very tidy sum indeed, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled and utilise these deals if you are going to place an acca bet.

You might even find that you don’t need to put on quite so many selections to get a similar return once you add the bonus. The bonus you receive, particularly if the odds of your bet are pretty good to start with, can almost be the equivalent of another selection, and by replacing that selection with the bonus you increase your chances of winning because you need one less correct prediction to win.

Accumulator Betting Strategies

Accumulators can be really tempting to gamblers. You look at a long list of fixtures and convince yourself that there are at least six or seven games there that you can predict the result of. Then again, there’s that eighth team who look less likely but if they win then your return would be almost double, so you add those too. Mistake.

The tempting accumulated odds can blind you if you’re not careful. The best strategy with accumulators is not to include too many teams in your bet, and after some careful research, only go with the fixtures you are most certain of.

Don’t Get Too Greedy

Acca Huge ReturnsBookies absolutely love gamblers who place accumulators with loads of selections, sucked in by the higher odds of the bet winning. You may well place a ten-match accumulator that has odds of 66/1 but consider this: if it was a horse-race would you be expecting the 66/1 longshot shot to win for you? The higher the odds, the less chance of you winning, and it was ever thus.

As mentioned previously, it’s not necessary to place loads of teams in an accumulator to get a good win. £20 on selections that are 1/5, 1/4 and 1/3 will still return you £40. If you doubled your money with every bet it’d be an ideal world wouldn’t it? In short, stick to the bets you think you can win and don’t be tempted by that one outside chance that will ruin your acca.

Short Priced Dangers

Underdog Acca
Bigstock / Johnathan Doodles

Another pitfall for punters is looking at short-priced teams and thinking that they are automatically going to win. Bets on teams that are 1/10 to win really should come through on the face of it but don’t make assumptions, the underdogs can come out on top.

Overloading your accumulator with too many short-priced selections might feel safer, but you still need to do your research before making a decision. Plus, they don’t really add much to accumulators anyway. Have a look at the following with two selections at 1/10 and a third at 1/4:

  • £20 at 1/10 = £22 return carried forward
  • £22 at 1/10 = £24.20 return carried forward
  • £24.20 at 1/4 = £30.25 total return

That’s only slightly above 1/2 for the three game bet – hardly worth it really. You could find similar returns with less risk elsewhere.

Search for Value

Don’t limit yourself to betting with just one bookmaker. There are so many sites out there now that it’s important to join several to get the best deal. Go to an odds comparison site to see who has the best odds for the bet you want to put on.

Place the teams you want to bet on in a selection box and the comparison site will identify which bookmakers will offer the highest odds for that accumulator. This is really important with accumulators because the odds can vary greatly especially if you are backing a large number of sides.

Do Some Research

Acca Research

Whatever you choose to do with your accumulator, make sure that you do plenty of research first. You need to look at the form of the sides you want to back and if there are several teams involved then that’s a lot of research you need to carry out. Luckily you will quickly get faster at this, and with the internet it’s so much easier to get stats on pretty much everything.

There are bets available on teams from all over the world; you might see an odds-on shot in the Bolivian League for example, and nowadays you can find out the form of that side within minutes. This means you can sensibly predict outcomes with no prior knowledge of the team in question, so use the available information to add other teams to your accumulator and hopefully get a win.

Of course, you might prefer to keep it local in which case you can use official stats alongside your own knowledge of the team in question.

Cash Out

Acca Cash Out

Some bookmakers give you the chance to end your bet before the final whistle by cashing out early, and with an accumulator bet this allows you to claim some winnings before all the games are played.

Say you have a four-fold accumulator and the first three teams come in. Great. You can hope your luck continues and that your bet isn’t spoiled by the final team, or, if you are getting cold feet and would rather take a little less money you can cash out early at a smaller profit.

It won’t be the full amount your bet was due to accumulate because you effectively removed one selection, but if you have some doubts about that final selection then this could be a good idea. There have been many cases where punters have done this and then seen that final selection lose – imagine how relieved you would be in that scenario.

The amount you walk away with will be dictated by the situation as it stands when you cash out. Odds fluctuate constantly.


Gambling is often a bit of a dreamland and the acca bet certainly plays on fantasy somewhat. It’s so tempting to think that you can bet on six supposed bankers and end up winning big money, and actually end up with a big fat zero. Equally, you could be betting on three teams at decent odds and get a great win.

Accumulators can bring about some fantastic results but you have to be careful with them and remain level headed.