Every gambler feels the allure of the accumulator bet. Who hasn’t heard the siren song, read a newspaper article, where a random person wins a fortune after their piddly $5 bet beats all the odds?
While these make great stories it really is the equivalent of winning the lottery. When something is ranked as a 25,000 to 1 shot it literally means the bookie believes you could run those matches/races 25,000 times until you got that result.
Sure they could be wrong but if bookies were actually losing on accumulator bets then, I can safely say, tomorrow all the sports books would be closing shop.
Despite the painful days, truth is, bookies love accumulators because most punters treat it like a novice roulette game. They hear that they can get 36 to 1 odds and their little greedy hearts start counting all the money they are going to win rather than noticing that 36 to 1 (technically 37 to 1) gives you a pretty poor chance of winning.
In some respects, these bettors are worse than roulette players because at least the ones playing the casino game will try to lower the odds, betting on multiple numbers. Accumulator players though will often do the opposite adding match-upon-match/race-upon-race, their greed overcoming their mathematics.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, with some smart thinking, accumulators can be not only fun but also a way to make some serious money.
A little disclaimer here, accumulators are always going to be somewhat long shots, bookies don’t give away their money. That said, you also don’t have to be Joe Blogs, choosing your teams/horses, pretty much, at random and basically putting their money into the bookies pocket.
So what is the smart way to make an accumulator bet? Firstly, make it binary. While making the right score prediction is a great way to boost your odds it’s also a fantastic way to lose. Unless you have a time machine it is incredibly difficult to know how many goals will be scored. It is, on the other hand, not so tough to work out which team will win or lose, on a given day, with some research i.e. current league position, missing players etc.
Additionally, though it is tantalizing to add just one more match/race especially as you watch your beautiful, beautiful returns get ever higher it is a siren song the bookie is singing.
How often have you heard the lament, “I was just one off my accumulator and I would have?”
That’s how the crafty book keeper gets you. They know they only have to be right once to keep your money.
Don’t fall into the trap. Take a smaller, more realistic, pay day and only bet on the matches/races you believe actually have a good chance of going your way.
Anything less you might as well go out and buy a lottery ticket instead.