An accumulator bet, also commonly referred to as an “ACCA” is a bet with multiple selections, all of these selections all must win for the bet to be paid as a winner. After each leg the winnings are automatically rolled over onto the next leg making ACCAs a popular bet when using low stakes in the hope of a big win!
As an increasingly popular bet type and offering potentially big wins for small stakes the bookies are understandably offering some great promotions to try and get our ACCA business. These offers are usually a free bet if exactly one leg looses (ACCA insurance) or a bonus on our winnings should our ACCA win. Below is an example of a great ACCA offer from William Hill:
Before going any further it is really important to say that straight ACCAs without any kind of insurance or bonus attached offer really poor value to the regular punter! This is due to the bookies overround (essentially their profit margin) been compounded. As matched bettors we are exploiting the insurance / bonus part of these offers in order to make them profitable and of value, they shouldn’t be touched otherwise!
Matched Betting With ACCAs
There are three main ways to exploit accumulator offers in matched betting, these are:
- The “Lock-In” method
- The “Lay at Start” method
- The “No Lay” method
Only the “lock-in” method is risk free with the other two offering potentially better returns if you are willing to take a small amount of additional risk. The “lay at start” and “no lay” methods do carry some risk of losing part or even all of your stake however if we make only ACCA bets with a positive expected value (+EV) we should expect to make profit in the long run (and in the case of the “no lay” save on exchange commission as well).
If you are new to matched betting I would strongly suggest sticking to the “lock-in” method and moving over to “lay at start” and “no lay” methods once you feel comfortable with how ACCAs work and have a decent bankroll.
Below I will quickly go through each method using the fantastic accumulator tools found over at Oddsmonkey (click here to get a free trial of Oddsmonkey if you’re not already a member).
The “Lock-In” Method
This is the risk free way of doing ACCA offers and provides a reasonably good return for your efforts. The down side to this method is that you have to lay off each leg individually AFTER the previous match has finished, this can sometimes lead to us forgetting to lay a leg and is the biggest risk when using this method. Setting an alarm when each leg of the ACCA has finished is advisable to remind you to lay the next leg (setting an alarm is actually really important since this method is not risk free if we forget to lay a leg).
Also it is really important to note that we stop laying the ACCA completely should 2 legs be lost (at this point the profit will be in our exchange and the ACCA completely finished since we can’t get anything else from the bookie).
To find good ACCA opportunities we will look at the ACCA Finder tool from Oddsmonkey:
In the image above we can see the tool has picked 5x teams for us which offer the best value at the time of our search and also meet the requirements of the William Hill ACCA offer. Different bookies will stipulate different conditions for the insurance offer to be valid (e.g. each leg must have min odds of 1.2+) and the ACCA Finder tool will automatically filter out any teams which don’t meet these terms. Unlike the other two methods the odds don’t really matter too much with this method, what’s more important is that they are as close to the exchange lay odds as possible to extract the maximum value from the offer!
Looking further down this page we can also pick from other combinations of teams for our ACCA should we wish to change the default pick, this is important as with regular matched betting we ideally want to avoid obscure / low importance games from our betting activities to help avoid been gubbed. If we do change any selections it is important to make sure the ACCA is still +EV before we go any further:
Once we are happy with our selections and have entered our back stake we can then save the ACCA in OddsMonkey and give it a name. This is useful as we can then use the tool to track which legs of our ACCA have been laid already:
Next we head over to the bookie and place the accumulator bet. Be sure to check none of the back odds have changed before placing it (if they have simply enter the new odds in the calculator, click update and make sure the EV is still positive before proceeding).
Remember with a “Lock-in” ACCA we only lay one leg at a time, we should find the amount we need to lay for the first leg in the calculator screen:
As we can see from the image above we should lay Bristol City for £17.75 at odds of 1.4, once we have placed the lay at the exchange we can tick the check box to remind us we have already laid the bet and save the ACCA:
Once the first game has finished we can enter the result by clicking either the “W” or “L” button and the calculator will then calculate our next lay bet depending on this result (if the first leg looses we are basically extracting value from the insurance free bet from now on):
Sometimes the lay odds will have moved since we originally started the ACCA, don’t worry if this is the case and simply enter the new lay odds into the calculator – it will then re-calculate the new amount for you.
Whilst the lays odds do regularly move it is usually only for a few pence and often in our favor anyway so this isn’t normally an issue!
We then repeat these steps until either the ACCA has finished or we have lost a second game at which point we have finished our ACCA early (and made a guaranteed profit!). The tool will tell you the status of the ACCA, when to stop laying and any profits you have made or could make at all times:
The “Lay at Start” Method
The main advantage of this method over the “Lock In” method is that we can’t forget to lay a leg here because we lay all legs together at the beginning. It also offers potentially higher returns if the ACCA wins or 3+ legs loose, otherwise we will take a small loss (but don’t worry – over time we will win more than we lose if we make sure the ACCA is +EV and keep repeating).
Another important point with the “Lay at Start” method is to keep the odds per selection to 1.3 or below – this will make the potential loss lower in relation to the potential winnings if 3+ legs loose (since we are extracting the value from the free bet once 1 leg looses).
Below I will go through a ”Lay at Start” ACCA using the OddsMonkey “Lay at Start” ACCA tool (you can also use the ACCA Finder used above but this is an alternative tool which you may prefer?).
In the image above we can see the tool has been set to use the William Hill offer from looking at the selection box in the top left, this means the T&C’s of this offer (such as min odds of 1.2 per leg) will be automatically factored in. It has found us a “Lay at Start” ACCA based on the best available matches available at William Hill at the time. As before we can scroll down and select different teams if we wish:
Once we are happy with the selections we can save the ACCA and give it a name so we know which ACCA it is:
Once saved we can go and place the bet at the bookies and then come back to the saved ACCA to get the lay odds (remember we lay all legs at the exchange at once).
Once we have laid all the legs we simply await the result of the ACCA. Be sure to check you winnings at the exchange however as we could have won more than the calculator thinks due to shared liability from other offers we might be doing.
The “No-Lay” Method
This is the most profitable of the three over the long run however it also carries the highest degree of variance (in other words we will have good and bad runs but these will be profitable in the long run). This method also has the benefit that we never pay any commission making them even more profitable than the “Lock In” or “Lay at Start” alternatives.
With this method we should try to get each leg as close to the minimum odds as is possible, this makes the risk of losing our entire stake theoretically lower and should improve our hit rate. The value of exactly 1 leg loosing will remain unchanged regardless of the odds used.
As before we can use the one size fits all ACCA Finder or the specialist “No Lay” ACCA tools from OddsMonkey to find ourselves a close no-lay match:
OddsMonkey makes finding these matches really easy for us, simply pick the bookie from the top left box and all of the teams found will meet the T&Cs for the offer (min odds etc.).
We can scroll down through the No-Lay Matchers returned teams and make different selections should we wish, once we are happy with our selection we can save the ACCA for future reference.
Since this is the “No Lay” method our only other step is the place the ACCA bet with the bookies and await the result. If all of the legs win we will take a relatively big win, if exactly one leg looses we will loose approx 80% of our stake and any other result will mean we lose our entire stake. As is mentioned earlier we should try and get matched with odds as close to the min odds for the offer as possible to help minimise our chances of loosing (in this case William Hill say 1.2+ per leg). At odds of 1.2 we are saying each selection has approx 80% of winning meaning most of the time we should either win or lose only 1 leg of our ACCA.
ACCAs are a great way of making money so long as you realise they are only of value to us with the insurance or winnings bonus attached – they offer poor value otherwise! By using the ACCA tools at OddsMonkey we can turn ACCA offers into good value and as such make good money over the course of the month.
As with all matched betting the real money is made by hitting as many offers as is possible and ACCAs are no exception. Once you are comfortable with the concept of ACCAs you should easily be able to do 5 – 10 ACCAs per week during the football season and this can turn into a very good profit boost in the long run!