Aussies love sports, so it’s only natural that we love sports betting just as much. It adds and extra layer of enjoyment to watching the games all weekend. Plus, the obvious fact that we all have the raging inner desire to ‘get rich quick!’ whether it’s scoring one of the biggest sports bet wins or hitting a jackpot on the pokies, even the unlikely lotto win comes to mind from time to time. Yes, it’s true that these methods offer big win potential, but the odds of winning are really based on luck.
So why do we Aussies love a good bet on the sport? Or a cheeky bet at the casino? We all like to imagine we have the knowledge, or that nifty method to find the right bet to win our fortune. However, finding that one match, race, event to deliver our fortune for a small outlay is difficult to say the least. What you may not know is that the best way to get some of the biggest sports bet wins possible, while risking the least – is using an accumulator bet, otherwise known as a multi or parlay bet.
What is Sports Betting?
Sports betting is the art of predicting outcomes of a range of activities or events from standard sports events through to entertainment specials like reality TV, political elections, the outcomes of awards shows like the ESPYS or the Oscars, and many more.
Now, a standard sports bet is a wager on a defined result. Therefore, in simple terms there are only two options available – you profit based on the odds set by the sports bookmaker or you lose your money. The major difference to casino games, where the odds are already known and set by the casino, is that the sports bookmakers are making an educated guess when setting the odds, which gives the hard-working punter or sports fanatic a chance to have one of the biggest sports bet wins through an accumulator.
As you would guess, sports bets are usually placed on sports events, i.e. a Premier League fixture over the weekend between Chelsea vs Brighton football clubs in England. A standard bet would be for one team to win, however, sports bookmakers in the spirit of good fun and profits – also made betting on various events or outcomes within each sports event – factors like final score, first goal scorer, team winning a half or quarter etc.
You might be thinking ‘is this legal?’ Well, it’s different across the world, but online sports betting is legal in Australia. Laws do vary from state to state, which may limit or alter special offers available to punters and the rules around companies advertising. There are two laws that are universal though, which are that punters must be 18 years old, and have shown proof to the sports bookmaker. Live or in-play betting is illegal in an attempt to curve irresponsible gambling; however, is allowed via telephone – yes, people still make bets over the telephone!
What is a Sports Accumulator, Multi or Parlay Bet?
A bet with multiple selections on the one ticket or card is known as an accumulator, multi or parlay bet, and they have given punters across the world some of the biggest sports bet wins imaginable! You can place an accumulator bet on all sports, but most sports bookmakers vary their standard rules, so be sure you are aware of the terms and conditions before making an accumulator or multi bet.
To come out on top as a winner with an accumulator bet you need ALL your selections to come in – meaning just one failure and your entire bet loses. Accumulators are a popular method of helping to dream big – because even such a small bet could land a massive payout, unfortunately this is a rare occurrence because of the added difficulty, but this is why a multi-bet is so popular. For the price of one beer at the pub, a punter could load up their smartphone app with a 10 pick multi and turn $5 into $10,000!
Types of Sports Accumulator Bets
Basically, an accumulator bet is the art of placing a multiple wager containing four or more selections. Now, sports bet with two or three picks act in the same way but have their own names:
- Two selections are a double bet
- Three selections are a treble bet
When it comes to improving the winnings amount – the more selections the bigger the accumulative odds, and therefore the greater potential payout. But, with an increased number of selections comes a greater chance that one leg will fail and cancel the entire betting slip.
What does a Winning Accumulator Look Like?
Let’s consider a five game accumulator bet in the Premier League, our betting slip would look like the following:
- Chelsea to win the head-to-head at $1.60
- Southampton to win the head-to-head at $1.70
- Manchester United and Manchester City to draw at $2.80
- Brighton to win at $3.20
- Tottenham to Lose at $2.6
For this betting slip we will use a simple $10 bet. The odds for an accumulator get multiplied onto each leg so calculating our accumulator would give us odds of:
- $1.6 x $1.7 x $2.8 x $3.2 x $2.6 = $63.36
So, our $10 bet with the odds of our multi at $63.36 would give us winnings of $633.65 – from our cheeky $10 bet. But, if any of our five selections were to fail then we would lose our $10 bet.
For horse racing (or similar racing sports) an each-way accumulator is an option that allows for your selections to be successful even if they don’t all win. This option consists of a two-part Accumulator:
- The first is the standard to-win accumulator
- The second covers each selection to place
- A stake is placed on both parts with any returns combined.
Example of An Each-Way Accumulator
- Selection 1 to win at $3.0 and to place at $1.35 = win
- Selection 2 to win at $6.5 and to place at $2.15 = win
- Selection 3 to win at $2.0 and to place at $1.20 = placed 2nd
- Selection 4 to win at $3.6 and to place at $1.35 = win
- Selection 5 to win at $5.0 and to place at $1.65 = placed 2nd
For this each-way accumulator we will use a $1 bet on each part of the bet, the calculated accumulator would be:
- $3.0 x $6.5 x $2.0 x $3.6 x $5.0 = $702
but, as selections 3 and 5 failed to win the return is $0; however, because we considered the ‘cover’ option of the place bet accumulator the calculations would be as follows:
- $1.35 x $2.15 x $1.20 x $1.35 x $1.65 = $7.76
So, our total profit would be $7.76 less initial stakes of $2 (both $1 bets for each way of the accumulator) = $5.76. As you can see the place option gives a considerably lower return, but a more covered chance of winning is always good.
Double Chance Accumulator
For football or similar sports events, a double chance accumulator is an option which allows for your team picks to succeed whether they win or draw. Think of it as a way that still pays out as long as your team doesn’t lose in the head-to-head.
Example of A Double Chance Accumulator
- Chelsea to win or draw at $1.8 = win
- Southampton to win or draw at $1.4 = win
- Manchester United to win or draw at $2.1 = draw
- Brighton to win or draw at $2.4 = draw
- Tottenham to win or draw at $1.9 = win
When we look at our double chance accumulator, if we had placed a win accumulator the entire slip would have lost because Manchester United and Tottenham drew in their games. But thanks to our double chance accumulator the result of our bet is as follows:
- $1.8 x $1.4 x $2.1 x $2.4 x $1.9 = $24.13
This gives our simple $1 bet a total profit of $23.13 for just a small risk of $1 – it might not sound like a lot, but this win buys a couple meat tray raffle tickets (which you’ll win because luck is on your side obviously!) and a couple beers during the game!
12 Biggest Sports Bet Wins
In the world of sports betting, there have been plenty of massive wins from impressive punters the world over. Check out some of these ridiculous wins, you might even take inspiration for your next cheeky accumulator bet!
- Back in March 2011, Steve Whitely correctly picked six winners from races around the UK. Now, Steve was not a regular race-goer, and he attended as part of a promotional event, but decided to lay down four bucks on a six horse multi on the Tote Jackpot. The odds for Steve’s picks were 2/1, 12/1, 16/1, 16/1, 5/1 and 12/1 – so an incredible total of 368,640/1. As the sixth race started, his last bet was still in play to pull it off, and when the horse Lupita won at 12/1, he raked in a cool $2.5 million.
- Fred Craggs was a 60-year-old Yorkshireman who decided to celebrate his birthday with a cheeky $1 bet over an eight-horse accumulator. Fred selected races from around the world, and believe it or not, didn’t bother to check the results. When Fred returned to place another bet, he was informed he had won $2 million – funnily enough it would have been $3 million, but this particular sports bookmaker had a $2 million limit on their payouts. It gets weirder though, as Fred’s first winning horse was named ‘Isn’t That Lucky’ and the last winning horse was ‘A Dream Come True’.
- A very lucky punter from London played his accumulator the hard way. He selected eight matches that were in-play and backed sides that were losing with just 20 minutes to go. A 91st minute goal for Coventry City was his 8th and final winner. An initial bet of about $185 turned into a payout of almost $1.2 million.
- A Maltese football fanatic placed a 19-game accumulator online, which coincided with a promotion for ‘favourites to win’ weekend. After 18 correct choices it came down to an 87th minute winner for Liverpool. This punter’s lowly bet of $1.50 (he was known to never bet more than $2) pulled in a $1.45 million payout.
- Now, not all winners are fully informed sports fans. One wife who felt left out while her husband and son watched and bet on football, decided she would join in and have a punt herself. Having no prior knowledge of the games, she placed a $1.75 12 game accumulator. After successfully picking 6 home and 6 away wins using nothing but guess work, she ended up with a windfall of just over $1 million!
- In September 1996, Darren Yates became famous in betting circles. He placed a $70 seven race accumulator on Jockey Frankie Dettori to ride the winner in all seven races on Ascot that day. A feat which was never achieved before – six wins by Sir Gordon Richards was the closest prior to that day. For Darren the odds against success were 25,051/1! Resulting in a payout of just over $975,000.
- In 2014 the luck of the Irish was in full swing as an Irish Punter decided to have a final fling on the last day of the Premier League Season. With his nine-match accumulator, he was so confident in his picks and bet $1,650. His payout of $785,000 was increased by the sports bookmaker by $165,000 bringing his total winnings to $950,000!
- The chances against a 20-game accumulator winning are considerable. One Irish Punter decided to give it a go over the Christmas period. He is happy he did, his placed an $8 wager and turned that into $690k.
- Back in 1999, Mick Gibbs had previously won $280k on a nine-game accumulator. In 2000/2001 he increased the size of his bet to cover a selection of 15 Sports competitions. With 14 events completed, it came down to a Penalty Shoot-out in the Champions League Final. When Valencia missed their 7th Penalty, he was $890k richer after an initial bet of just 50c.
- A punter in Adelaide picked up $70,000 from sports bookmaker Centrebet after he placed a successful eight-leg AFL multi bet with odds of nearly 140/1! The multi bet was a $500 bet on St Kilda, Hawthorn, Essendon, Freemantle, Geelong, Richmond, Carlton, and Adelaide all to win in their head-to-head games. Many of the legs were short-priced including the Cats at $1.12, Hawks at $1.37 and Crows at $1.38 – with the real value coming from Essendon at $3.05, Richmond at $2.70, and Freo at $2.27!
- A student picked up almost $100,000 from a humble $10 bet after he pulled in a four-leg multi bet with odds of 9,972 to 1. The man correctly picked the following various sports bets – Ricardo Santos as firing the lowest round one score at the African Open golf at $41, Dustin Johnson to card the lowest score in the first round of the Northern Trust PGA gold tournament at $23, Brisbane Roar’s triumph in the A-League grand final at $2.35, and Hawthorn to win the 2014 AFL grand finale at $4.50!
- A Punter betting on the 2017 Major League Baseball World Series was running his luck, having been successful with his bet for Game 1, he continued and was successful in his bet for Game 2. This string of luck continued until Game 6, when he decided to take his winnings and walk away – with total winnings of $14 million USD! We wonder what his Game 7 prediction was, hopefully he had picked the Houston Astros, as they come out on top over the LA Dodgers 5 – 1 in that game to clinch the World Series.
4 tips to better success with an accumulator bet
Unfortunately, in the world of sports betting there can be no guarantees, and heart breaks are a dime a dozen. With an accumulator bet, you can help move the odds closer to your favour by following a few simple Strategies.
It is valuable to start collecting some data relating to the ‘sport’ you intend to bet on. Information on past and current performances, player movements or injuries etc. Be wary of delving too deep or you will over-analyse though. Get the main information and look for finer details if you need to decide whether to include in your accumulator. Collate a list of data and move to our next tip.
Look for some added value in your selections. Even money is a good rate to look for, especially if your data research highlights some opportunities. Check your list and remove selections as necessary.
For team sports, checking out the home team is a good starting point. Odds of 1.5 to 1.6 should be considered a suitable selection. Check out that list of data and follow up with any further detailed research to confirm where necessary.
It is impossible to increase the potential winnings of your bet without changing it! So, a better idea is to check different sports bookmaker sites and look for any promotions or bonuses that may be in play. You may find that one sports bookmaker has a money back offer if one or two legs of your multi fail!
Consider these easy sports betting mistakes
From time to time, we can all make mistakes when it comes to sports betting. Consider these easy-to-make sports betting mistakes:
- Any leg with odds greater than 3 to 1 would be better placed to make as an individual bet.
- Don’t feel bad, but your favourite team might just be garbage sometimes. So, backing your favourite team can cause problems – make sure to use your head and not your heart!
- Recent form trends can be a hard thing to shake-off.
- In many sports, when things are good, they are good; and when they are bad, a team just can’t catch a break. One thing for certain is that goal-scoring trends are increasingly hard to change.
- Ignoring the results of your research!
Sports Betting Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I make an accumulator bet?
For most people the reason to place an accumulator is the possibility of risking a small bet for potentially large winnings.
Is it worth placing an accumulator bet?
Placing an accumulator bet is much harder than a straight head-to-head or single bet. As the number of legs to your accumulator increases, so do the odds. However, at the same time, as the payout gets better your chances of winning reduce.
Disadvantages of an accumulator bet?
Your accumulator must be placed with a single sports bookmaker, you cannot spread your ‘legs’ around to find the best odds. Consider the odds at multiple sports books to ensure that you are in fact using the best odds.
How do I make money with an accumulator bet?
Simply by doing your research before selecting your legs. If you plan on placing frequent bets be prepared to have a large enough ‘kitty’ available as you will probably not win often.
Why are there so many losing accumulators placed?
Primarily it is due to people fearing their bet failing. They select ‘sure things’ with low odds – which is a sure way to lose your money thanks to the way the sporting world works. Remember when Leicester City won the Premier League in the 2015-2016 season?
Can I vary the type of bet for each leg of my accumulator?
Most sports bookmakers allow selections on individual games, matches or events to be included as part of your accumulator. Some bookmakers also allow for accumulators based on multiple options within the same game, match or event; for example, picking the head-to-head outcome, first goal scorer, score at half time, and the correct score at full time.
Should I build my accumulator using high odds only?
There is no sure way to ensure your accumulator is a winning one. However, it is possible to create a smaller accumulator on ‘outsiders’ that will pay a better result than a large one with lower odds though.
What is the most common accumulator bet mistake?
The primary mistake that an uninformed punter will make is to try and ‘pad’ their accumulator with what they consider to be ‘sure things’ with low odds. A good habit to get into is that if you would not place a bet on an individual selection – do not include it in your accumulator.
Should you cash out an accumulator before all selections have resulted?
Many sports bookmakers now offer a ’cash out’ option where you can take your current accumulated winnings before your entire bet is finalised. At the end of the day, this is a personal decision and something for your own reasoning to decide. Do you risk it for the biscuit, or take the part that you have your hands on now?