The Cheltenham Festival has long been one of the biggest and most prestigious events in UK National Hunt horse racing, generating more than £4 million in prize money over its four days
Transform Your Betting with Magic Accas
Accumulators are now an essential part of modern betting, and provide a big percentage of the trade brought in by bookmakers. Offering big returns from small stakes - anyone from the casual gambler to the big stakes bettor can gain from the use of accumulator bets.
Putting your accumulator together
Placing single bets can be great - we are only relying on one outcome and can get a fairly decent return from the money we stake. For those who don’t fancy staking a large amount of money, or for those of us who gamble for the real big winnings, accumulators are the way to go, though, giving us far bigger odds, and in my cases still containing bets with which we feel very comfortable. For example, we might feel extremely confident in Chelsea’s chances of beating Watford at home, we might feel equally confident about Arsenal’s chances at Sunderland. However, with odds around the 1.1-1.4 mark, we are going to need to put very large amounts of money down in order to get a worthwhile return. It is in these cases that an accumulator comes into its own, offering punters the chance to multiply their odds by combining selections. A lot of people enjoy the thrill of gambling, but don’t want to lose more than a few pounds each week. By combining selections, we can find bets in the tens of thousands to one, meaning we can stake only a pound or even less and still have the potential for a massive payout.
Putting together an accumulator has its pitfalls, though, and there are factors that need to be taken into account. We shouldn’t see accumulators as ways of betting on outcomes we like, but at prices we don’t. If you like Chelsea’s chances, but don’t think they are worth backing at odds of 1.1, then they shouldn’t be worth putting in your accumulator. If you’re combining five or six teams, all at odds well below what you think they should be, then you’re not going to get a good price at the end of it. This is fine if playing accumulator bets like the lottery, but if looking for a long term profit, then picking selections like this won’t work out. If you multiply a bad price by another bad price, you get an awful price, so try and see it as an opportunity instead to multiply what you see as a good price by another good price, getting a truly great price in return. Another misconception worth avoiding is the feeling that you can combine ‘bankers’ for a big price. Adding a 1/10 shot into your accumulator will barely increase your return, however it is so often these selections that end up letting punters down in their hopes of claiming a big prize.
There are plenty of positives to betting with accumulators, though, and if you can find four, five or even six great prices then we can combine them for an outstanding set of odds. Add in that many major bookmakers offer special offers when betting with accumulators, such as a percentage bonus to your final odds, or ‘acca insurance’ where money is given back if one leg fails, and we have good reason to put our money into accumulator bets.
The different types of accumulators
There are plenty of ways to use an accumulator to your advantage - not only by combining match winners. We can even look at this long term, looking at competition winners. As with individual match bets, we can often feel very confident in a certain side’s chance of winning their league title, but with the odds at less than even money, the idea of placing large stakes in order to receive quite modest returns at a much later date is hardly appealing. In these circumstances, we can combine league and cup winners for much larger odds, therefore removing the need for big funds to be tied up for the duration of the season, but still allowing us to maintain our interest in various competitions throughout the season.
When looking at individual match days and weekends there are also plenty of options when looking to place an accumulator. Picking match winners can be a good place to start, though we might prefer to combine fewer selections for equally long odds by adding in the ‘both teams to score’ option. Team to win and BTTS bets often give us quite nice long odds, so by combining just three or four selections we can find odds between 100 and 1000/1. Relying on fewer results can be better in many ways, meaning we aren’t clutching at straws trying to fill up an eight or ninefold, and can feel more confident in our well reasoned selections.
Alternatively, we could do away with the match result altogether, and instead focus on goals, or any stat for that matter including corners, number of cards and so on. With the amount of stats now readily available to the average punter, there are bound to be bets of several different natures that take our interest, and different markets can be combined into the same accumulator. Personally I feel this is the best way to take advantage of accumulator bets; I see them as a good way to combine my favourite bets for the weekend. This gives me a decent sized accumulator, with some very nice potential returns, yet with a very small stake required. Most importantly, however, I am very happy with every one of my selections, and don’t feel like I’ve had to add selections simply to ‘make up the numbers’, which can sometimes be the case when making a simple match winner or both teams to score accumulator for the weekend’s football.
Reducing the Risk of your accumulator bet
Placing an accumulator bet doesn’t necessarily have to mean win or bust, though profit is maximised if a single accumulator bet is placed with idea of seeing it through to the end. There are options for punters to take which gives them the potential to give themselves a better chance of winning, or at least of reducing the potential loss if all goes wrong.
A simple strategy that can be used when an accumulator is going well is by hedging our bet. Many bookmakers will now offer the chance for punters to ‘cash out’ their bet, giving them either a quick return with no further risk, or allowing them to take their money and run, if they have lost faith in their bet. The problem with this is that it basically defies the point of making the accumulator bet in the first place - why cash out when five selections have come through at a return worse than that if we’d placed a fivefold in the first place? An alternative to this can be by hedging - essential betting against ourselves in the last game. We might have placed £1 on a sixfold, and now only need Arsenal to win at evens in order to come away with £200. By placing a bet on Arsenal NOT to win, we can guarantee ourselves a profit, but without fully compromising the returns should Arsenal go on to win and complete our 200/1 accumulator.
This can be a better option than cashing out not only because we decide our own margins, but also because by cashing out, we can lose some of the bonuses on offer from bookmakers - several offer bonuses of up to 50% on accumulator winnings, but these will be forfeited should the player cash out. Instead it may be a better idea to let them run and get our insurance by hedging instead.
Another option if looking to get more of a guarantee of a return in some way or another is by using combination betting. In this way, accumulator bets are combined, which gives punters more ways to win, but with a much lower potential return should all selections come through than with a simple accumulator. The most common form of combination bet is with a ‘trixie’ with four bets made using three selections in the form of three doubles and a fourfold. This can escalated and escalated until we have massive bets such as a ‘Super Heinz’ or ‘Goliath’ bet. This can be a better way of gambling for the realists among us, who are aware of the low chances of a eightfold bet coming in, but want to take advantage of good confidence in a number of selections. This acts as a midway point between backing only singles - which give us very little chance of a big win on any particular day or weekend, but with very little chance of losing all of our money, and the accumulator - which gives us a very small chance of winning at all, but with those winnings, when they do come, being very large and worthwhile.
Accumulators are a great way to add variety to your betting, offering punters the chance to combine all of their favourite bets for some fantastically long odds and giving the chance for a truly life-changing return in return for a rather modest investment. Got some bets that you fancy this weekend? Forget the lottery! Put them together and see how much you could win from your pound.