What is a Football Accumulator ('Acca')?
A football accumulator is one bet, where the bet contains the outcome of at least 4 matches.
For example, you place a £25 bet this weekend that Man City, Chelsea, Man United, Barcelona and Real Madrid will all beat their opponents in the Premier League / La Liga.
To win your accumulator bet, you must have correctly predicted the outcome of every match in your accumulator. This means the odds can become much higher, in effect you have 'accumulated' the odds across multiple matches.
For example, the odds for the above 5 teams are 1.28, 1.28, 1.5, 1.44 and 1.2, the accumulated odds are 4.25, being 1.28 x 1.28 x 1.5 x 1.4 x 1.2.
Football accumulators, or 'accas' as they are known, are now very popular across the UK. This is because you have the potential to win a large amount of money from a relatively small bet stake.
What is a Football Accumulator Refund?
To encourage you to place your football accumulators with them, many bookmakers offer your bet stake refunded as a free bet refund, if you lose your bet by only one match.
For example, if you bet £25 on the above 5 teams all to win this weekend and 4 of those teams won, with the other team drawing or losing, then the bookmaker will refund your £25 stake as a £25 free bet.
Example Bookmaker Offers
Over 10 bookmakers provide Football Accumulator Refund offers, including Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, William Hill, BetVictor, Coral and BetStars. They often call the offer 'Acca Insurance'.
Each offer various in maximum refund amount (either £25 or £50), minimum number of teams in the accumulator (5 or 6) and minimum odds per team
OddsMonkey provide an updated list of every bookmaker and their key terms, as explained later in this guide.
How Much Can I Earn Per Hour?
£20 per hour.
Each accumulator refund has a value of between £3 to £6 profit, as explained later in this guide. You can expect to complete up to 5 refunds per hour, resulting in an hourly rate of approximately £20 per hour.
When And How Often Can I Complete ACCA Refunds?
Up to 6 hours a week. At £20 per hour, this means you can make £120 per week or £500 per month.
To complete Accumulator Refund offers, there needs to be a significant number of major league fixtures available.
This typically means, for each bookmaker, you can set up 1 weekend ACCA and usually 1 midweek ACCA too, so long as there sufficient midweek games, such as the Europa League and League Cup.
I recommend spending 1-3 hours (depending on how many bookmakers you decide to complete offers for) on a Friday evening or Saturday morning completing offers to set up your weekend ACCAs. Then again on a Monday or Tuesday for the midweek games.
Your Profit Explained
The reason Accumulator Refunds can be profitable is because by choosing teams that are strong favourites to win (1.1 to 1.5 odds), we can receive a free bet on approximately 40% of our accumulators.
So every £25 accumulator placed has an expected value of a £10 free bet, being £25 * 40%.
This equals approximately £8 profit per accumulator, as we can use high odds for our free bets, I will explain this shortly in an article.
Picking Strong Favourites
This means choosing football teams with odds between 1.1 and 1.5.
Examples are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Ajax, Bayern Munich. These teams will frequently be included in your accumulator.
We will make around a £2 loss per accumulator due to the difference between the back odds and the lay odds. Therefore, it is key to find close matches in order to keep this loss as small as possible.
For example, if the bookmaker odds are 1.20, we want the exchange odds to be no greater than 1.24. Fortunately, as we are picking the best teams from the most popular leagues, this will often be the case, especially closer to kick off (e.g. Saturday mornings).
So in total, by choosing strong favourites with close matches, we can expect to make up to £6 net profit per accumulator.
How To Lay Accumulators
Placing an accumulator bet with the bookmaker is easy, simply select the teams and place your bet (covered further in the step by step guide below).
However, for your lay bet, it is not possible to place 1 lay bet to lay your accumulator, as Exchanges do not offer to lay accumulators given the thousands of different accumulator combinations.
There are a number of different methods to lay an accumulator bet. In this guide, I focus on the third method 'Lay All At Once'.
Method 1: No Lay
By this stage you will have a £500+, likely £1000+ profit from matched betting. In order to save time placing the lay bets, a handful matched betters will not even lay their accumulator bets.
The most you can lose is £25 per accumulator. Whilst by choosing teams all with low odds, you can achieve up to 40% chance of winning your accumulator bet.
For example, choosing 5 teams with 1.2 odds gives an accumulated odds of 2.49 (1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2). This means you have a:
37% chance of winning your acca for £37.50 profit
40% chance of only 1 team losing meaning you lose £25 but get a £25 free bet refund
23% chance of 2+ teams losing meaning you lose your £25 without a refund
This is summarised in the below table:
Bookmaker outcome All Win
+£37.50 1 Lose
-£25 + £25 Free Bet 2 to 5 Lose
Higher Odds Increases Volatility
A handful of matched betters will take the risk of losing £25 only 23% of the time.
However, it is important to note, choosing teams with higher odds increases volatility.
For example, with 5 teams used at the top of the page with odds of 1.28, 1.28, 1.5, 1.44 and 1.2, this gives the accumulated odds if 4.25 (compared to 2.49 in the above table). This increases our chances of 2 to 5 teams losing from 23% to 38%, simultaneously this reduces our chances to win from 37% to 22% with a higher payout from £37.50 to £82 profit. So overall, we lose more often but when we win, we win bigger.
Overall, you will make an expected £6 profit per accumulator using Method 1 plus this method is the fastest to complete. However, you need to deal with high variance as you could possibly lose 10+ accumulators until 1 wins.
Method 2: Lay Sequentially
This means choosing football matches in your accumulator that all start at different times. You then lay your first match like a normal trigger bet. Then you lay the second match (for a higher stake, as your first bet won), and so on. The goal is that 1 team loses, so you receive the free bet.
The upside of this method is that you are laying each match for the exact right stake amount, so it is risk free.
The major downside of this method is that it means you need to be at your laptop before every game kicks off in case you need to place a lay bet (unless 2 teams lose, then you can stop laying). This is time consuming. Plus, a few bookmakers are aware of this and so do spot when a customer is only ever placing accumulators on matches starting at different times.
So overall, I do not particularly recommend this method. Instead I recommend method 3.
Method 3: Lay All At Once
At the same time as placing the £25 accumulator, you also place a £25 lay bet on each team.
So overall, you place 1 x £25 accumulator with the bookmaker and 5 x £25 lay bets with the exchange.
If each team had odds of 1.2 (and lay odds of 1.22), this means each of our £25 lay bets have a liability of £5.50 per the Calculator. This impacts the outcomes from Method 1 as follows:
37% chance of winning your acca for £37.50 profit.
This is now partly offset as we lose 5 x £5.50 liabilities.
40% chance of only 1 team losing meaning you lose £25 but get a £25 free bet refund.
This is now compensated as we win 1 x £25 lay stake whilst only losing 4 x £5.50 liabilities.
23% chance of 2+ teams losing meaning you lose your £25 without a refund.
This is now compensated as we win 2 to 5 x £25 lay stakes whilst only losing 2 to 5 x £5.50 liabilities.
This is summarised in the below table:
Bookmaker Bet £25 5 x Lay Bet £25 5 x Liability £5.50 Net Profit All win
+£37.50 -£27.50 +£10 1 Lose
+ £25 Free Bet
+£25 -£22 -£22
+ £25 Free Bet
-£25 +£50 -£16.50 +£7.50
-£25 +£75 -£11 +£37.50 4 Lose
-£25 +£100 -£5.50 +£67.50 5 Lose
-£25 +£125 +£97.50
Method 3 Has Lower Risk Than Method 1
Whereas Method 1 No Lay had a 23% chance of losing £25, by laying all bets at the start, we have now almost removed all risk of losing money.
The worst outcome is 1 team loses, whereby we lose our £25 accumulator, but get a £25 refund plus recoup £3 in the Exchange (+£25 - £22).
This method does take more time, however, if you are looking to minimise risk, it is a worth the time to place the lay bets.
Higher Odds Increases Volatility
The same as Method 1, higher odds increases volatility.
For example, with 5 teams used at the top of the page with odds of 1.28, 1.28, 1.5, 1.44 and 1.2, this gives the accumulated odds if 4.25. This increases the average liability from £5.50 to £9 per team.
Now if only 1 team lose, the total liability cost of losing 4 matches increases from £22 (4 x £5.50) to £36 (£4 x £9), so rather than recouping £3 in the Exchange we now lose £11. So if you are looking for completely risk free accumulator bets, you will need to focus on keeping the odds per team to no more than 1.25, rather than having some teams with 1.4 or 1.5 odds.
Overall, you will make an expected £6 profit per accumulator plus this method has the lowest risk to complete.
Step By Step Guide With OddsMonkey
**GREAT NEWS!!** SINCE WRITING THE BELOW GUIDE IN AUGUST 2016, ODDSMONKEY RELEASED ACCA MATCHER SOFTWARE IN SEPTEMBER 2016**
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO:
BELOW IS THE OLD STEP BY STEP GUIDE USING THE SPREADSHEET, SHOULD ANYONE STILL WISH TO REFER TO IT.
Joining OddsMonkey is essential for football accumulator refunds as OddsMonkey provide the spreadsheet and the Odds Matcher that you will use to complete these refund offers. Plus OddsMonkey provide an accurate list of all bookmakers terms for accumulator refunds.
However, this step by step guide will make it as easy and fast as possible to learn how to complete accumulator refunds.
Step 1 - Choose The Bookmaker
At the time of writing this step by step guide, I spoke with OddsMonkey who confirmed they will shortly launch a table showing in which order to complete bookmaker accumulator offers based on their value.
Some bookmakers restrict you to 1 refund per day, so it is best to try 1 refund on each bookmaker. However, when starting accumulator offers, I highly recommend using just 1 or 2 bookmakers initially until you are comfortable.
At the time of writing, Ladbrokes has the best accumulator refund, so I will use this for the step by step guide.
Why is it the best? There are a number of criteria that determines how profitable the bookmaker's offer is. These are:
Almost all bookmakers state minimum odds per team to prevent you including absolute dead certs. The minimum odds are usually 1.2 to 1.3 per team.
Ladbrokes offer no minimum odds!
Minimum Number of Teams
Most bookmakers require a minimum 5 teams in your accumulator. A handful require 6 teams, which makes it a little worse as you are less likely to get a refund.
Ladbrokes require only 5 teams.
£ Refund Amount
Most bookmakers give refunds up to £25 though a few give refunds up to £50 which doubles the profitability of the offer.
Ladbrokes offer up to £25.
Some bookmakers, such as Ladbrokes and BetVictor, typically provide very competitive odds. This makes it easier to find very close odds with the exchange.
Ladbrokes have very competitive odds.
Step 2: Choose The Teams Using The OddsMonkey OddsMatcher
Head to the OddsMonkey OddsMatcher (sign up to OddsMonkey then navigate to Tools > OddsMatcher).
If you are new to the OddsMatcher, it is a brilliant tool. It automatically scans every bookmaker and every exchange and shows you the matches with the closest odds in simple table format:
They also provide a brilliant 'Filter'.
Using this filter, we can add the relevant filters for our Ladbrokes Accumulator offer:
Markets: Match Odds
Back Odds: 1.00 to 1.30
Event time: between now and 7 days
Note with Back Odds: For bookmakers with minimum odds of 1.2, we would choose 1.20 to 1.40.
Note with Event Time: Personally I do accumulator offers once a week so I set the event time between now and 7 days, though you may prefer to shorten this time period if you will complete them more frequently.
Note with Filter Saving: The first time you fill out the filter, I recommend clicking on 'Save As' and then saving as 'Ladbrokes Acca', this means you can easily access the filter anytime using the dropdown. As an aside, to be really funky, you could save it as 'Ladbrokes Acca (5 teams, £25)'. This just makes it even faster to remember the number of teams and the Refund Amount.
I have suggested to OddsMonkey to have these filters pre-installed 🙂 So watch this space...but don't let this stop you for now, crack on with making money!
Step 3: Choose The Teams Using The OddsMonkey OddsMatcher
By applying the filter, within a few seconds the OddsMatcher displays all suitable matches for my Ladbrokes accumulator:
From this list, I will ignore any unknown teams (such as Illertissen and Infonet) and choose the top 5 teams from this list. This will be:
Barcelona (1.1 ; 1.11)
Paris St-G (1.2 ; 1.21)
B Munich (1.06 ; 1.08)
Atl Madrid (1.22 ; 1.25)
Benfica (1.18 ; 1.22)
Now I head to the OddsMonkey spreadsheet to check my profit and lay amounts.
Step 4: Check The Acca Refund Expected Profit
Download the OddsMonkey spreadsheet from this OddsMonkey Guide page (member login required).
In the spreadsheet, enter in the below, circled in orange in the screenshot:
Multiple Type: Fivefold or Sixfold (based on the bookmaker)
Backstake: £25 or £50 (based on the bookmaker)
Bonus retention: This is the % of your free bet you will convert to cash.
Bookmaker odds: Your 5 bookmaker odds.
Exchange lay odds: Your 5 exchange lay odds.
If you are using Smarkets, enter 2% in the commission column. If you are using Betfair, enter 5%.
Note you do not need to enter Date, Time, Match and Selection unless you wish to record this.
The far right column highlighted in green 'Stake Ideal' shows the lay stake we will be using at a later step when placing our lay bets.
Once you have entered in these figures, in the lower part of the spreadsheet, you will see your profit for each outcome and expected value of the accumulator:
You can see you will make an expected profit of £4.33.
If we used Smarkets with 2% commission, our expected profit would increase to £4.89.
If we found slightly close matches on Saturday morning, we could see lay odds reduce from 1.25 to 1.23 on Atl Madrid (back 1.2) and from 1.22 to 1.20 on Benfica (back 1.18). This would further increase expected profit to £5.58.
This may not seem a huge amount given the above steps, but once you get familiar with the steps above, the whole process takes less than 15 minutes, meaning an hourly rate of £20 tax free an hour is definitely realistic.
Step 5: Place The Accumulator Bet and The Lay Bets
Place the £25 (or £50) accumulator bet with the bookmaker:
Place the 5 (or 6) individual lay bets on the Exchange. Your lay stake is taken from the spreadsheet as circled in green in the above screenshot, it will be very close to £25 on each team.
Once The Matches Have Finished
Check your bookmaker bet history to view the outcome of your accumulator bet.
If all your team won or 2+ lost, then great you have made a profit!
If one team lost, then you should have received the free bet within 24 hours.
Enjoy the Football Accumulator Refund profit! They do take some time to get used to, but once you are up and running it is becomes easy profit every week!