What is an accumulator bet? Check our accumulator betting guide.

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What is an accumulator bet

Looking for more information on what an accumulator means and how accumulator betting works?

You’ve come to the right place.

This guide will explain how accumulators, also known as ‘accas’, work. It will cover the different types of accumulator bets and provide tips on what to consider when placing one.

You can also find a full list of common betting terminology in our Glossary of Betting Terms.

Let’s get started…

Accumulator bets explained

In simple terms, an accumulator (or acca), consists of a bet containing multiple selections, combined into a single wager. If you are reading an article written in North America, you may see this type of bet referred to as a ‘parlay’.

Accumulators remain one of the most popular ways to bet, as they present an opportunity for a significant return from even a relatively small stake. However, all selections must win to guarantee a win from an accumulator bet.

Marathonbet allows you to place accumulator bets on different events. The most popular sports for this type of betting are football, tennis and basketball. You can keep all the picks from a single sport or mix it up with an accumulator bet containing selections from different sports. 

Let’s look at an example of how you might place a football accumulator.

How do accumulators work?

Consider this scenario.

It’s a busy weekend of European football, with some of the top sides expected to win their respective home matches.

Each game involves a traditional ’big’ side playing at home against what would generally be considered weaker opponents:

Liverpool vs Brentford
Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano
Juventus vs Cagliari
Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg

The four home sides are priced up to win as follows:

Liverpool – 1.30
Real Madrid – 1.25
Juventus – 1.30
Bayern Munich – 1.20

Now, on paper, all the home sides would be expected to claim a win, and that would be reflected in the matchday betting, where all four teams are short-price favourites.

That means you would receive a modest return from a single bet on one of those four sides winning, given the high likelihood of that one result occurring.

For instance, if you were to place a single €10 bet on Liverpool to beat West Brom at 1.30, you would receive a return of €13.00.

However, if you were to add all four home selections to your bet slip—Liverpool (1.30), Real Madrid (1.25), Juventus (1.30) and Bayern Munich (1.20), and place a €10 accumulator instead, your return would jump considerably to €25.35.

How do you calculate an accumulator bet?

To calculate your return from a winning bet, or the potential returns when placing a bet, you simply multiply your stake with the odds of each of your selections.

So, in the example above, the return of €25.35 is calculated as follows: €10 x 1.30 x 1.25 x 1.30 x 1.20.

Therefore, an accumulator bet will reward for you for taking the extra risk of adding multiple selections to your bet slip, as the more legs you add to your accumulator, the higher the chance at least one result will fail to land in your favour.

By relying on all four results outlined above to be successful, you are naturally increasing the risk that the bet will not pay out compared to betting on just a single match outcome.

That’s why you’ll find that the more selections you add to the accumulator, the higher the return you’ll get from your initial stake.

Different types of accumulator bet

In this guide, we’ve looked at a theoretical four-leg accumulator. These are also known as four-fold accumulators, with the accumulator name changing for every subsequent selection you add to the bet slip.

Common accumulator types include:

  • Four-Fold Accumulator bets (accas with four legs/selections)
  • Five-Fold Accumulator bets (accas with five legs/selections)
  • Six-Fold Accumulator bets (accas with six legs/selections)
  • Seven-Fold Accumulator bets (accas with seven legs/selections)
  • Eight-Fold Accumulator bets (accas with eight legs/selections)

With these accumulators, all legs must be successful to ensure a return.

What are the odds on my accumulator bet?

To calculate the odds on an accumulator bet, you multiply the decimal odds of each selection together, which will give you the odds for each one unit stake for your account currency.

For example, say your account is in Euros and you pick a five-fold accumulator with selections at odds of 1.50, 2.00, 2.10, 2.50 and 3.40.

If we multiply those odds together (1.50 x 2.00 x 2.10 x 2.50 x 3.40) we get a total of 53.55. This equates to the odds for that bet (i.e., a successful €1 accumulator would give a return of €53.55).

Doubles and Trebles

Whilst an accumulator bet is generally considered to consist of four selections or more, you can also pursue smaller accumulator bets—namely double bets (two selections) and treble bets (three selections).

Is a System Bet the same as an Accumulator Bet?

A system bet is a combination of accumulators, the number of which depends on how many selections are chosen.

In the example below, five results have been predicted. The bet type ‘System 4/5’ has been chosen, meaning that the bet will be placed on all possible combinations of four teams from those five selections.

There are five different combinations, so for a €1 unit stake this bet will cost a total of €5.

If we refer to the five selections as A, B, C, D and E, the four team combinations are:

A,B,C,D

A,B,C,E

A,B,D,E

A,C,D,E

B,C,D,E

A €1 four-fold accumulator will be placed on each of these combinations. You will get a return if four of the selections are successful, as there will be one winning four-fold. If all the selections win, all five combinations will be winning ones. 

A bet slip showing a system bet
A bet slip showing a system bet

There are two other system combinations available on five selections:

System 2/5—bets will be placed all different combinations of two teams (10 bets)

System 3/5—bets will be placed all different combinations of three teams (10 bets)

Calculating System Bets

On the bet slip, there is a calculator icon to the right of the ‘Bet Type’ box. Clicking on this icon brings up a pop-up box where you can view the details of your bet, or check the other options from the ‘Bet Type’ dropdown menu.

The System Bet calculator with all selections winning
The System Bet calculator with all selections winning

You can also change one or more of the selections to ‘lose’, so you can see how this would impact the potential return of your bet, depending on which teams were successful or not.

The System Bet calculator with one selection losing
The System Bet calculator with one selection losing

Is an Accumulator Bet worth it?

Placing an accumulator bet will always be very popular because of the possibility of a nice win from a small stake.

The downside is that all selections must win for the bet to be successful, and whilst adding extra selections will boost the potential winnings, it also increases the chances that one pick will not win.


Head to the Marathonbet Sportsbook to check the latest odds on your favourite events. You will also find helpful articles on football, tennis, basketball and ice hockey betting in the Sports Betting Guides section of the blog.