In this article, we are going to learn about accumulator bets (or ‘accas’). Specifically, whether there is a ‘sweet spot’ of selections to make when placing this kind of bet.
First of all, we are going to assume that you are familiar with accumulator betting.
Additionally, we’ve given you a run down of the difference between banker bets, full cover bets and accumulators here.
Of course, you can place all these types of bets and more at bet365 Sport. So, everything in this article will be applicable to you if you own an account with them.
And if you don’t click on the link to sign up!
So now that we are clear on what we mean by an accumulator bet, let’s learn a little more about their nature.
And maybe discover whether there is a sweet spot in terms of the number of selections to make on one.
Picking the Perfect Accumulator Bet
What is a perfect accumulator bet? Well, one that wins of course!
Now I can’t promise you that if you follow the guidance in this article, every bet will be a winner. That is just plainly nonsensical.
But what I can do, hopefully, is help you narrow down your types of accumulator bet. And by doing so, give you a better chance of a win.
- Language of Acca Bets
First of all, let’s understand the language of accumulator bets as there are different terms for them depending on the number of selections.
- 2 selection accumulator – Double
- 3 selection accumulator – Treble
- 4+ selection accumulator – The number of selections plus the suffix -fold. For example, for a five-selection accumulator, that would be a five-fold bet.
That’s it. That’s all you need to know about these bets.
But the key question we want to ask is what number of selections in an accumulator is going to offer us a ‘sweet spot’? By that we mean having a decent chance of success, as well as offering a potentially good value return.
To answer that fully, we’re going to delve a little into betting psychology and attitudes!
But don’t panic! You don’t need to be Sigmund Freud to understand this!
Betting Psychology and Attitudes
Before we can decide on whether such a ‘sweet spot’ for Accumulator selections exists, first we need to examine why people make this type of bet.
Accumulator bets are a type of low risk/high reward bet.
By that we mean, the user will generally wager a small amount of money. That is when the wager is compared to the potential value of a win.
That sounds perfect for a punter, but there is of course a downside. These bets tend not to win very often.
- How come accumulator bets are hard to win?
It’s a fair point, so let’s answer it with a simple thought experiment.
What are the odds you can predict the outcome of the toss of a fair coin seven times in a row?
It sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? There’s only two possible outcomes for each coin toss – heads or tails.
So for the first coin toss it could land on a head (H) or a tail (T). A 50/50, even money shot.
But then when you add the second coin toss, there are more than two possibilities.
That’s because you could toss HH or TT but also HT and TH. So we now have four possibilities.
So as you can see, the number of possible outcomes increases with every coin toss you make, so picking the right one seven times in a row is probably much tougher than you think.
In fact, it is 1 in 128.
- What does that mean for accumulator bets?
But that result is for a simple, 50/50 bet each time with just two selections. With a typical accumulator bet, for each selection you make, you can often have many more than two choices available to you.
For example, in a horse racing accumulator, you could have many runners in a race, each of very different odds of winning. Even in a typical football full time result accumulator, you have three different options per game (home win, draw, away win).
Add more possible outcomes at for each selection, together with a wide range of odds. Well, hitting accumulator bets suddenly seems all the more unlikely!
That’s generally, because they are!
But that is kind of the point. The reason these bets offer such lengthy returns is because the bookmakers do not have to pay them out that often.
If they did, you can bet that the odds on them would tumble!
The odds are stacked against you already even with a Double or Treble accumulator, let alone any four, five or more-fold bet. So, what can you do to improve your chances?
The answer is to build your accumulator in such a way that it offers you a better chance of success.
And also, you should adjust your expectations of how often you are likely to land an accumulator bet, even those of more modest proportions.
Adopting that psychological approach helps you have realistic expectations of your acca betting success, or lack of it!
Building A Better Accumulator Bet
There are some simple and easy rules I follow when making accumulator bets in general and I’ll share them with you here.
- For greater success – it’s doubles or trebles.
The general rule of thumb I use for acca bets is the fewer the selections and the shorter the odds of those selections, the more likely you are to win as there are fewer potential outcomes for this bet.
I actually feel it is the number of selections, rather than the odds of the selections you make matters more.
I’d feel more comfortable and feel like I had more chance of a win by betting on a win double bet with selections of odds of 7/1 and 8/1, than I would backing a Treble bet with all three selections being even money.
The nature of sports events mean that even favourites frequently lose and the more selections you need to get right to win, the more difficult bets become.
- For bigger wins, aim for 4-fold, 5-fold or 6-fold accas with mixed value selections
However, with acca punters liking the chance to bet small but win big, my advice here is to look for an accumulator bet of between 4-6 selections, at most seven.
Don’t get me wrong, these bets are hard to hit, but they offer far more chance than 8, 9, 10-fold selections and more.
Plus, with these numbers of selections, you can mix up your choices to get a mix of odds and thus increase the value of the return.
My typical fivefold bet would likely be 2 or maybe even 3 shorter priced picks, with 2 or 3 longer odds selections.
And of course, I’d research the picks I make for added clarity!
- Stick to betting on accas only for sporting markets with a small number of outcomes
I don’t like horse racing accumulators because there are so many potential outcomes in a race, picking just one winner out of a field of 12 to 20 horses is tough enough.
Doing that six times just feels impossible to me!
That’s why I keep my acca bets on football or similar sports where there are a limited number of outcomes (in football, it’s home win, away win or a draw).
Sometimes, you can even use handicap betting (as is popular in the USA) to cut the number of possible results down to two.
Those are the key tips I follow, and with a mindset that I am likely to lose, I never get too disappointed.
And it means that when a win does come in, it is a rather pleasant bonus!