How Does Accumulator Betting Work?

Guest post written by Paul Micelli

What is Accumulator Betting?

Accumulator betting (or ‘parlay’ betting, as it is often referred to in the United States) is the placing of a single bet where the outcome relies on achieving multiple winners from a series of different races or sporting events. Unlike permutation betting, accumulator betting relies on ALL of the named selections actually winning. The accumulated odds on such a wager are obviously much higher than those attainable from a single bet but even so, they do not genuinely reflect the true chances of actually winning and bookmakers still retain a definite edge.

However, accumulator betting still provides casual bettors with a fantastic chance of reaping huge dividends for a small original stake even though the odds of actually collecting are much lower than those associated with placing bets on each individual race or event.

How Accumulator Betting Works

The sports betting enthusiast must make a series of selections from any number of races or sporting events. The higher the number of selections made, the bigger the payout will be if all of them actually win. An initial stake is placed and for most bettors this usually ranges from somewhere between £1 and £10. If your original stake is £1 then this sum will be placed on the first timed event. If a winner is selected the stake and any winnings will automatically be placed on the chosen selection in the next event. If the second selection wins then the increased stake, and any winnings, will roll over to the third selection and the bet continues until all events have taken place. If any selection loses only the original £1 stake is lost.


A £1 accumulator is placed with 4 different selections named.

The first selection wins at 4/1. £4 winnings and the £1 stake is returned (£5 total) and placed on the second selection.

The second selection wins at 2/1. £10 winnings and the £5 stake is returned (£15 total) and placed on the third selection.

The third selection wins at 3/1. £45 winnings and the £15 stake is returned (£60 total) and placed on the final selection.

The final selection wins at 5/1. £300 winnings and the £60 stake are returned for a total win of £360 (minus the original £1 stake).

Advantages and Disadvantages

Accumulator betting gives the casual sports betting enthusiast the chance to gather sizeable winnings for a nominal stake and is particularly attractive for those who don’t want to invest large sums of money on a single event.

For those who enjoy an entertaining flutter, accumulator betting can be a cost-effective way of enjoying sporting action over a sustained period of time without excessive investment.

Unfortunately it only takes a single selection to fail and the entire bet is lost. Using our example, some casual bettors may feel frustrated that the £60 invested on the final selection has been wasted if it actually loses. However it should still be remembered that only a £1 stake has actually found its way to the bookmaker.

Analysing the Risk

Serious sports betting enthusiasts will rarely touch accumulator bets and prefer to place higher wagers on single selections where a return is more likely. Casual bettors may prefer the ‘low-risk, high-payout’ attraction of accumulator betting and the speculative nature involved in making multiple selections.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. i love my acca bets! especially if a 7 fold is down to a last footy game and your two up at half time !!! the thrill!!! but sadly , like me, the other team will score two and ,.’one done the run n win’. 90% of the time , its 6,7,8 bet accas that always ONE does my bet ! lad brokes give you your win if the sinning single one is football and your predicted win ends up in a nil-nil !!! hills also have the mobile bet with insurance if one lets your acca down, u get your wager back!!! if only ALL the bookies gave u insurance for one letting u down,id still be rich ! hehe if u had , in fact had to have a selection of 8 or 9.My biggest was 13 fold and getting £586 odds back off £10 ! that was including 2/7s and 1/4s !!!

Back to top button