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What is an accumulator bet?

If you have ever seen news stories some lucky punter winning a small fortune on a bet, the chances are that it was through an accumulator bet. As part of our continuing effort to make betting terms easier to understand, we move on to one of the most popular types of bet.

Why place an accumulator bet?

The beauty of accumulator bets is that the returns can be huge. If you take a sure thing, a David-and-Goliath-where-Goliath-wins, top-of-the-league-against-bottom kind of encounter, the odds will usually be so small that placing a bet does not seem worth it as you would have to place a pretty hefty stake on it to see any kind of return worth more than pennies.

However, by combining the odds on such selections, you can bring them up dramatically, and adding a selection with carries higher odds can really up the stakes. Pile up a few big predictions, throw on a quid, and get them all right and you could make a million in minutes.

If you place three bets together it is called a treble; any more than that, it is called an accumulator bet, because it is an accumulation of selections.

How do you win an accumulator bet?

To win on this type of bet every selection has to come through, which is why making dozens of selections is not usually advised – all it takes is one wrong selection for the whole thing to fail. The huge odds on accumulator bets reflects the risk involved, however.

There are a few ways your accumulator bet can be spared if something happens to one of the selections. For example, if there is a non-runner in a horse racing accumulator bet the that particular horse will be excluded from it and the bet will carry on as normal. While this will reduce your odds, your bet will least still be valid.

Some bookmakers offer insurance policies on accumulator bets, and it is possible to pay a little extra for an accumulator bet to ensure you will still get a return even if one of your selections does not come through.

You can also hedge the risk by placing bets on the folds of your accumulator bet so you can still get a return if one of your selections fails. For example, if you place a six-fold accumulator you could also place a stake on six five-fold accumulators so that should one selection not come in you still get some money back.

When can you not place an accumulator bet?

One thing to bear in mind with accumulator bets is that it is not possible to place one featuring selections on involving the same participant in the same event. For example, you cannot place an accumulator bet featuring four or more selections involving the same runner. The technical term for this is that all the bets must remain mutually independent of each other; the result of one selection should not affect that of another, in other words.

Hopefully we have answered all the questions you had about what an accumulator bet is, and how you go about placing one. With the potentially massive returns they offer, it is easy to understand why they are so popular.

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