Despite popular myth, accumulators are far from ‘mug’ bets once you have developed the skills required to pinpoint value. If you have found two or more value prices there is a very sound mathematical basis for backing those horses in an accumulator or accumulators, as well as individually in singles.
Because accumulators run all returned money up from each successful leg onto the next, they effectively multiply the value you have found at each stage. The following examples show how this works in practice:
Imagine you have found three 4-1 (5.0) shots that you believe should actually be on offer at 3-1 (4.0). What would you expect your long-term profit to be over a lot of bets in such a scenario? To work this out, use the following equation:
% LTP = ((DOO / DTO) – 1) x 100
% LTP = % long-term profit, DOO = Decimal odds obtained, DTO = Decimal true odds
Your long-term expected profit on single bets is 25% in this scenario, because:
- % LTP = ((5.0 / 4.0) – 1) x 100
- % LTP = (1.25) – 1) x 100
- % LTP = 0.25 x 100
- % LTP = 25
The true chance of success of a double in this scenario is 15-1 (16.0) because 4.0 x 4.0 = 16.0 or 15-1. But if successful, the double would return a profit of 24 pts because 5.0 x 5.0 = 25.0, or 24-1. Using the same equation as above, you can see that your expected long-term-profit here would be 56.25%. This is because.
- % LTP = ((25.0 / 16.0) – 1) x 100
- % LTP = (1.5625) – 1) x 100
- % LTP = 0.5625 x 100
- % LTP = 56.25
The true chance of success of a treble in this scenario is 63-1 (64.0) because 4.0 x 4.0 x 4.0 = 64.0, or 63-1. But if successful, the treble would return a profit of 124 pts because 5.0 x 5.0 x 5.0 = 125.0, or 124-1. Using the same equation again, you can see that your expected long-term profit here would be 95.3%. This is because:
- % LTP = ((125.0 / 64.0) – 1) x 100
- % LTP = (1.953125) – 1) x 100
- % LTP = 0.953125 x 100
- % LTP = 95.3125
As you can see, the more legs that exist in an accumulator, the better the long-term profit should be – assuming that there is genuine value in each leg.
The ultra-important thing to bear in mind is the ‘long-term’ here. In the last of the above example, you would only expect to win your treble once every 64 times, so while it offers good value, you must be prepared for long losing streaks; to make accumulators pay, you thus need to work hard on a staking plan that is realistic.
If you decide to try accumulator betting, I first suggest you keep a betting bank for that purpose that is wholly separate from the one you use for your single bets.
In the Using your tissues with a staking plan resource, you’ll see the two staking plan options I recommend for single bets (level stakes, and one-fifth Kelly criterion).
For level-stakes accumulator punters, I suggest you simply bet either ¼ pt or ½ pt win on every accumulator (depending on which one you are comfortable with). If you are likely to bet frequently on accumulators with true chances of success of 20-1 + I suggest you use the former plan (¼ pt), as chance alone means your losing runs could be extensive at those kind of odds.
For one-fith Kelly criterion punters, you can use the same method as suggested for single bets. Use the Kelly Criterion calculator and then use 1/5th of the suggested proportion of your betting bank.