Accumulator Betting : Betting Guide 2024

Accumulator betting, often referred to as “acca,” is a popular form of wagering in horseracing. It’s an exciting way to place bets on multiple horses and races simultaneously. Since it can get confusing at times, the following is a guide to explain everything you need to know about accumulator betting, including standard types of acca bets, how to calculate returns and the advantages of accumulator betting.


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What is an Accumulator?

An accumulator is a betting strategy that combines multiple selections into a single bet, with the potential for significant returns.  Each bet within the accumulator is known as a “leg”. A leg represents a horse or the outcome of a specific race. To win a standard accumulator bet, all included legs must be successful. An acca is definitely one of the riskier types of bets! If any one of the selected horses fails to win a race, the entire bet is lost.

Alternatively, if you want to play it safe, then an each-way bet could be a better option for you because it does not require success in every selection for a payout, as the win bets and place bets are calculated separately.

The more complex accumulators like Yankees and Canadians are also less risky because you can still receive a return with fewer successful selections. This is due to the structure of multiple bets. To illustrate with an example: if you have just two successful selections within a Yankee, this would result in one winning double, out of the total of six doubles. Even if the other doubles were predicted incorrectly, you can still win a return on the winning double. If this is already getting confusing, then refer to the table below on the different types of accumulator bets.

Types of Acca Betting

Accumulator bets come in many forms, allowing bettors to tailor their strategies to their risk appetite and preferences. Explore these common types of acca betting in horseracing to understand the different levels of risk and reward:

Straight accumulators:

These first four bets are the major types of accas. They form the system bets like Trixies and Yankees and are the first accumulator bets you will place.

Straight accumulatorThe most basic accumulator where each selected horse must win its selected race for the bet to be successful.
Each Way AccumulatorA two-part bet, the first is a win, and the second is a place part. If a selected horse wins, you win both parts of the bet. If it places, you only win the place part of the bet. This bet is less risky than the others because not every selection must be successful for a payout.
Double AccumulatorA bet that involves two selections. Both selections must win for you to receive a payout.
Treble AccumulatorSimilar to a double or straight accumulator but with three selections. All three selections must win for a payout.

System accumulators:

The following accumulator bets may look complicated but are just combinations of straight accumulators. Starting the Trixie at only four bets to the Goliath with a total of 247 bets, there is quite a range of accumulators here to sink your teeth into:

TrixieA more complex accumulator which involves three doubles and one treble. At least two selections must win for a payout.
PatentThis accumulator includes seven bets: three singles, three doubles and one treble. At least two selections must win for a payout.
YankeeInvolves four selections and includes six doubles, four trebles, and one fourfold accumulator, totalling 11 bets. Requires a minimum of two successful legs for a payout.
Lucky 15 and Lucky 31Lucky 15 involves four selections and 15 bets: four singles, six doubles, four trebles, one fourfold, and four singles. Lucky 31, as the name suggests, includes 31 bets across five selections: five singles, ten doubles, ten trebles, five four-folds, one five-fold, and five singles.
Canadian (Super Yankee)Consists of five selections and includes 26 bets: ten doubles, ten trebles, five four-folds, and one five-fold accumulator. A minimum of two successful selections is required for a return.
HeinzInvolves six selections and includes 57 bets: 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, six five-folds, and one sixfold accumulator. A minimum of two successful selections is required for a return.
Super HeinzAn extension of the Heinz accumulator, it involves seven selections and 120 bets: 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, seven six-folds, and a 17-fold accumulator.  A minimum of two successful selections is required for a return.
GoliathThe largest of the standard accumulators, it involves eight selections and 247 bets: 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 28 six-folds, eight seven-folds, and one eight-fold accumulator. As with other complex accumulators, a return is possible with as few as two successful legs. If all or most selections are successful, the Goliath provides an opportunity for substantial returns.

How to Calculate Returns

If you’re looking to earn big returns from accumulator betting, the good news is you can do so with fairly low stakes. The formula for calculating accumulator returns is quite straightforward:

Total returns = stake x combined odds


If you place a €10 stake on a treble accumulator with the following odds:

  • 2/1 (3.00)
  • 3/1 (4.00)
  • 4/1 (5.00)

The combined odds would be: 3.00 x 4.00 x 5.00 = 60

Total returns = €10 x 60.00 = €600

This is quite an impressive return considering the small amount that was staked. It just goes to show that you do not have to bet large amounts of money in an acca to make a generous profit.

In the case of an each-way accumulator, the calculation is slightly different:

Each way returns = (stake x combined win odds) + (stake x combined place odds)

Remember, you can still receive a return with an each-way accumulator if you only correctly predict the place part of the bet.

System bets such as Trixie or Yankee get a bit more complicated. They involve multiple calculations so bettors often use online calculators for accuracy. Each system bet has its own formula based on the number of selections and the bet type. Several factors influence returns in accumulator betting:

  1. Number of selections

The more selections you include in your accumulator, the higher the potential returns. However, keep in mind that as the number of selections increases, the likelihood of them all winning decreases.

  • Odds of each selection

Higher odds result in larger potential returns, but they also indicate a lower perceived chance of the selection winning. Odds can fluctuate before the race begins, so always be mindful of the odds at the time of placing your bet.

  • Stake amount

Higher stakes offer the potential for larger profits but also come with the increased risk of losing a lot of money. The amount you decide to stake should align with your betting strategy, risk tolerance, and overall budget.

  • Dead heats

In horseracing, dead heats occur when two or more horses cross the finish line simultaneously. When this happens, the returns for that specific selection may be affected. Usually, the bookmaker will divide the original stake by the number of horses involved in the dead heat and pay out accordingly.

  • Non-runners

If any of your selected horses are declared as non-runners (withdrawn before the race), the terms of your bet may change. Some bookmakers replace non-runners with the starting price favourite, while others may adjust the odds accordingly to reflect the increased chances of the remaining horses winning with one less competitor, a procedure known as a rule 4 deduction.

  • Bookmaker’s Terms

Different bookmakers may have variations in their terms, especially regarding each-way bets, but also in the case of non-runners and dead heats. Some bookmakers offer accumulator insurance, where you may receive a refund or bonus if one selection in your accumulator lets you down. Be sure to check the specific rules of the bookmaker you’re using to understand how they calculate returns.

  • Accumulator Bonus Offers

Some bookmakers offer bonuses on accumulator winnings to incentivise and reward bettors for placing accumulator bets. A minimum number of selections required for an accumulator bet to qualify for a bonus is usually specified, which is another reason why it is important to check the rules of specific bookmakers.

  • Best Odds Guaranteed

Some bookmakers offer a Best Odds Guaranteed feature, ensuring that if you take an early price on a horse and the starting price (SP) is higher, you get paid at the higher odds. This comes with the risk of less informed predictions, but it is a strategy worth considering if you have an extensive knowledge of form and the betting market.

  • Cashed Out Bets

If you choose to cash out your accumulator bet before all races are completed, the amount you receive may be less than the potential returns if all selections were to win. This feature allows you to secure a profit or minimize losses before the conclusion of all events.

Why Bet on Accumulators

With most accumulator bets the risk is higher compared to single bets. However, the appeal of accumulators lies in the exponential growth of potential returns as each leg is added to the bet. You can bet on as many as twenty horses, which is known as a twenty-fold accumulator. The odds of them all winning are of course relatively low, but the risk is all part of the excitement. There are a few reasons why you might choose an acca over a single.

  1. Increased odds with higher returns

One of the primary attractions of accumulator bets is the potential for significantly higher returns compared to single bets. Unlike single bets, where the odds remain constant, as each selection is added to the accumulator, the odds multiply, as explained in the above section.

  • Small stakes, big payouts

Staking small amounts of money over multiple bets can result in substantial payouts due to how accumulator bets are calculated. This affordability aspect makes accumulator betting accessible to a wide range of bettors, from casual enthusiasts to more seasoned gamblers. Even those with limited betting budgets can participate in accumulator betting.

  • Diverse selections

Accumulator betting is an opportunity for bettors to diversify their selections across multiple races or events. This reduces your dependence on the outcome of a single race and offers a degree of flexibility.

  • Strategic flexibility

Bettors can adjust the structure of an accumulator, including the number of selections or the types of bets included, to suit their preferences and risk tolerance. The prospect of incorporating so many bets can be very thrilling however there is also a complex strategy involved that increases a bettor’s chance of earning a profit.

  • Entertainment value

The enjoyment of accumulator betting extends beyond the financial gains. Accumulator bets often span across multiple races or events. The variety of races, each with their own dynamics and unpredictable elements keeps bettors engaged, as the potential for an overall win increases with each successful leg.

  • Opportunity for research and analysis

Successful accumulator betting requires careful consideration of form, statistics, track conditions, and other factors influencing horseracing outcomes. This involves extensive research on racing history, jockeys’ win percentages, weather forecasts and track conditions, latest news and injury reports, market trends and betting strategies. Experienced punters will become highly knowledgeable about the sport, as they put their research and analytical skills to the test.

  • Community and social aspect

The communal excitement of following a group of horses across multiple races creates a shared experience and friendly competition among bettors, who can enjoy discussing their accumulator strategies, selections, and insights with each other. Pool bets are also popular in accumulator betting. This collaborative approach involves contributing stakes to a common pool and the winnings are shared among those who correctly predicted the outcomes of the races.

  • Adaptability to betting goals

Individuals engage in betting for various reasons from maximising returns to enjoying a social betting experience. The flexibility and customisation available in accumulator betting allow for a personalised approach based on an individual’s specific preferences and goals.