VIDEO: How to lay accumulator bets

Training: Intermediate

What is an accumulator?

Some bookmaker offers involve placing accumulator bets, and we can profit from these too! There's a slightly different strategy to laying these off, which you'll learn here (including video walkthrough).

An accumulator (or 'acca' for short) is a particular type of bet where you're betting on multiple outcomes from a single stake. All of these things need to happen for the accumulator bet to win, otherwise the bet will lose.

How to place an accumulator

To place an accumulator bet simply click on the selections you want included, and the option to place an accumulator bet will appear towards the bottom of the betslip. If there are only two or three selections then these accumulators are known as a 'double' and 'treble' bet respectively.

Quick example

On Ladbrokes if I pick four bets and want to place an accumulator I would enter the stake in the 'Fourfold Accumulator' box and then hit 'Place Bets'. For this bet to win I will need Man Utd, Tottenham, Liverpool and Man City all to win the games they're playing for a juicy return of £129.91. Otherwise I will lose £25.

ladbrokes accumulator

On the betslip you may also see the option to place a combination of doubles and trebles (as you do here), these are all different combinations of the bets on your betslip and will not have a single stake.

For example a £25 yankee has a total stake of £275 in the form of 11 separate £25 bets. These whacky bets may look interesting at first but as matched bettors these hold very little value to us.

When will I need to place accumulator bets?

Matched bettors have different reasons for placing accumulators: some are looking to take advantage of an acca refund offer, while others may have done a signup offer that needs further bets to be placed in the form of accumulators as part of the wagering requirements.

And let's not forget accumulators are also golden for mug betting!

For my example below I'll be placing an accumulator as a qualifying bet for Betway's free bet club.

How do I lay an accumulator bet?

Don't worry if this is still a bit alien to you at this point. We'll break everything down so that you know which events to pick and what to do in case the odds change when you're in the process of laying it off.

Now before we continue you'll need this spreadsheet. You may want to download it first and have a play with it whilst reading the guide.

Choosing events

The matches you choose need to be at least half an hour apart because you’re going to lay each selection of a bet one at a time, depending on the outcome of the earlier leg. So that means a half an hour gap before one ends and the next starts. This is extremely important!

This works best on several short priced favourites (under 1.40) as that's usually where the best matches are. If you're looking to do this as part of a particular offer then note that some bookies will specify a minimum odds of 1.20 on each leg, so watch out for that.

The selections of the multiple bet are to be layed at an exchange before the start of each leg, one at a time. After the first game goes as expected you will lay for the second one, and so on.

If any leg on the accumulator bet loses you stop laying on the exchange and you're done.

How do I use the spreadsheet?

This may look a bit tricky at first but after laying a multiple bet following the guidelines below you will very quickly get the hang of this!

  1. Enter the stake of the multiple bet under “Back Stake”.
  2. Under “Multiple Type” select what kind of bet it is (e.g. treble, four-fold etc).
  3. In cells E4 to E9, enter the description of each leg on the accumulator bet in chronological order.
  4. Enter the bookmaker odds for each selection in cells F4 to F9.
  5. Enter the exchange lay odds in cells G4 to G9.
  6. Enter the lay commission in cells I4 to I9.

The required lay stake for the first leg of the acca will be shown in cell K4. If it loses (on the bookmaker side), you’re done. If it wins, continue to lay off the second leg as calculated in K5.

If at any point the lay odds change for a game then update the spreadsheet and enter how much you layed for any previous legs in the Override lay column (L4 to L9).

Keep going until a leg on the bookmaker side loses, and remember to lay as advised between each leg. Forgetting to lay between legs (even just once) could be an expensive mistake!

Remember! Give yourself enough time (we suggest half an hour) between the end of one match and the start of the next.

Video walkthrough

Watch this video to follow me laying a Betway accumulator offer, using the spreadsheet. The steps are also written out below!

My example

Betway have a £10 free bet up for grabs every week. To get the free bet you'll need to place a three-fold (or higher) multiple bet on football games. This is the qualifying bet part.

Looking to take advantage of this offer, I went ahead and placed a multiple on the following:

Arsenal win (Arsenal v Hull)– Betway odds 1.30, Smarkets lay odds 1.32

Man Utd win (Man Utd v Watford) – Betway odds 1.25, Smarkets lay odds 1.29

Chelsea win (Burnley v Chelsea) – Betway odds 1.40, Smarkets lay odds 1.45

Man City win (Bournemouth v Man City) – Betway odds 1.44, Smarkets lay odds 1.49

I entered the details of the events and my bets on the spreadsheet in the order they were starting.

laying sequentially

How my accumulator is recorded using the spreadsheet

As things are now, I stand to lose £3.23 whatever happens. There are five possible outcomes, and the profit and loss on each side is shown on the S21 to AM29 table.

possible outcomes

Whatever happens I will lose £3.23

What happened

I started by depositing £25 into my Betway account.

The total I'll need in my Smarkets account if all the lay bets lose (and the accumulator wins at Betway) is the total of all the liabilities of each lay bet. I can find this out by adding all the figures from O13 to O16, which comes to £60.13. To be on the safe side I deposited £70 into my account, in case the lay odds increased for some of the selections.

I then proceeded to place the accumulator at Betway.

Before the start of the Arsenal v Hull game I placed a lay bet of stake £22.21 on Smarkets for the Arsenal win.

This had a liability of £7.11 so my Smarkets balance was now £62.89.

Result 1: Arsenal 2-0 Hull

I then proceeded to place a lay bet on the next game: Man Utd v Watford. The odds were still 1.29 (just about!) for a Man Utd win, so I used a backer’s stake of £29.46 as shown on the spreadsheet.

This had a liability of £8.54 so my Smarkets balance at this point was £54.35.

Result 2: Man Utd 2-0 Watford

Next I was looking to place a lay bet on the Burnley v Chelsea game. I noticed that the odds changed from 1.45 earlier to 1.46 now. I entered these on the spreadsheet and it said the lay stake was now £37.92 rather than £38.18.

odds change

Any change in odds will also change the lay stake

So placed the £37.92 lay bet on a Chelsea win at odds of 1.46. This had a liability of £17.44 so balance was now £36.91 at Smarkets.

As a result, from this qualifying bet I stand to lose lose £3.49 whatever happens.

Result 3: Burnley 1-1 Chelsea

Result! Was getting pretty annoying having Chelsea win every week…

smarkets statement

My Smarkets Statement

I appreciate there's a lot going on there at first glance, so I'll summarise the numbers for you below too.


Qualifying bet:

  • Place £25 four-fold acca at Betway
  • Result: Bet loses (will find out later) > Lost £25.00

First leg (Arsenal v Hull):

  • Place £22.21 lay bet (Liability £7.11) on Arsenal win
  • Result: Arsenal win > Lost £7.11

Second leg (Man Utd v Watford):

  • Smarkets £29.46 lay bet (Liability £8.54) on Man Utd win
  • Result: Man Utd win > Lost £8.54

Third leg (Burnley v Chelsea):

  • Smarkets £37.92 lay bet (Liability £17.44) on Chelsea win
  • Result: Draw > Won £37.16 (Return £54.60)

Total loss is £3.49

+ £37.16 (Won Smarkets Lay Bet)
£8.54 (Lost Smarkets Second Liability Amount)
£7.11 (Lost Smarkets First Liability Amount)
£25.00 (Lost Betway Accumulator Bet)

Free £10 bet unlocked which I can then match as normal to guarantee overall profit.

And there you have it, I'm £3.49 down but with a £10 free bet to come. Not the smallest of qualifying losses, but hey profit is profit 🙂

Having trouble? Ask your question here.

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