Accas vs Full Cover Bets: Which Is Better?

two piles of money different sizes in hands comparedWhen it comes to placing bets on numerous different outcomes, there are a couple of options open to you. Accumulators are the bets that most people will be familiar with, asking you to select a number of outcomes and paying big if they all win. The problem is, if only one of them is a loser than your entire bet falls down, which is obviously not all that helpful if you’re hoping to win yourself some money.

Full cover bets, on the other hand, cover a host of different outcomes and will pay you more the more that your bets win. The issue with full cover bets is that they cost more to place than accumulators. Simply put, you need to choose between a lower stake but less chance of winning and a higher stake and more chance of winning. For some, the ultimate decided will be the payout that could come from the bet if all wagers are winners.

Accumulators Explained

accumulatorAn accumulator is, as the name suggests, a bet in which you add several legs together and they accumulate to offer larger winnings. In theory, there is no limit to how many legs you can add to an accumulator, but it’s important to remember that the more legs you add, the less likely it is that your wager will be a winner. Accumulators work by adding the various wagers together to make one bet.

In other words, an acca with six selections would mean that Selection 1 would need to win AND Selection 2 would need to win AND selection 3 would need to win AND selection 4 would need to win AND selection 5 would need to win AND Selection 6 would need to win in order for the bet as a whole to be a winner. That is a lot of risk that you’re taking, but you’re compensated with a decent reward in terms of the payout.

Accumulators as a whole are poor value bets as bookmaker margins are additive.  This is exactly why sites give punters all sorts of insurance and bonus deals to place them.  Accas do, however, usually give high returns relative to the stake amount and this is what entices people to play them, even if they know they are bad value overall.

Full Cover Bets Explained (e.g. Lucky 15)

number block 15 highlightedWhilst accumulators require all of your selections to win in order for them to be successful, full cover bets will provide you with at least some return if a much smaller amount of your selections end up being victorious. Depending on the type of full cover bet that you place, you’ll either win some money back if at least one of your selections is a winner or if two or more of your selections end up being successful.

There are a wealth of full cover bets, so we won’t look at them all here. Instead, we’ll just look at the general idea of a full cover bet, which offers you a payout based on the number of legs of your bet that win. Whereas with an accumulator the amount of money you choose as your stake applies to the whole of the bet, with a full cover wager each of the individual bets has that stake applied to it, making it more expensive.

Full cover bets effectively a package of pre-prepared bets that cover all the possible outcomes from a given number of selections.  They are better value in general and this why you will notice the bookies don’t push them.  Still, while they are better value in theory it still helps to know what you are doing before you place them, especially as each bet in the package requires it’s own stake, which can add up if placing a large full cover bet.

Comparing Success

complex maths on a blackboardIn order to get a decent sense of how each of the bets work and what your likely payout would be on a successful wager, let’s have a look at some example bets. For the purposes of this, we’re going to imagine that you’re going to place ten accumulators with four legs in each, so we’ll look at what would happen there, and we’ll imagine that we’re placing ten Lucky 15 full cover bets to see how that would pan out.

Bet One

In our first accumulator, we’ve bet on the following:

  • Mallorca to Win at home to Español @ 8/5
  • Valencia to Draw with Alaves at home @ 12/5
  • Udinese to Win at home to Venezia @ 8/11
  • Verona to Draw at home with Internazionale @ 3/1

The collective odds on this bet were 60.80/1 and we’ve wagered £15, meaning a payout of £912 if all of the legs come home. Unfortunately, Internazionale defeated Verona and Valencia actually won at home against Alaves, meaning that our bet is a losing one. Now it’s worth considering how the same thing would have worked out in a Lucky 15, with the bet being made up of the following:

  • 4 Singles
  • 6 Doubles
  • 4 Trebles
  • 1 Fourfold Accumulator

In this scenario, we know that our single on Mallorca won, paying out £2.60, as did our single on Udinese defeating Venezia, paying out £1.70. The Double on those two paid out £4.42, whilst none of the Trebles nor the acca paid out. Consequently, our Lucky 15 will have cost us £15 to place, but we’ll have won back £8.72. This means our Lucky 15 wager actually only cost us £6.28.

Had every single match been a winner then our Lucky 15 bet would have paid out £212.84. You can see, therefore, why an accumulator with a stake of £15 is more exciting for people hoping to gain a winner than a Lucky 15 bet with the same outcome, but also why a Lucky 15 makes more sense if you’re hoping for at least some return on your wager when you place it.

Bet Two

In the second bet, we’ve opted for the following selections:

  • Dortmund to defeat Hoffenheim at home @ 2/5
  • Cheltenham to Win away at Burton Albion @ 19/10
  • Manchester City to beat Arsenal at home @ 2/9
  • Rochdale to defeat Colchester at home @ 6/5

Because we’ve chosen mainly bets that would be considered bankers, the return for this accumulator would be £148.80 on a £15 bet, thanks to accumulated odds of 9.92/1. The question is, how would things work out in our Lucky 15 bet, with the same breakdown of bets:

  • 4 Singles
  • 6 Doubles
  • 4 Trebles
  • 1 Fourfold Accumulator

Sticking with the same £15 stake, we’d get a payout of £65.56. It is obviously much less interesting than the payout we’d get on the accumulator, but there is more security in it as a wager, as we’ll come on to see.

Bet Three

For our third bet, we’ve decided to be a little bit more risky in terms of our selections. We fancy that there might be a few surprises, so we’ve gone with the following:

  • Brentford to beat Aston Villa at Villa Park @ 11/4
  • Norwich City to Win at home against Leicester City @ 10/3
  • Crystal Palace to earn a surprise victory away at West Ham United @ 5/1
  • Bristol City to Win against Cardiff City in Cardiff @ 3/1

Because of the more unlikely results, our accumulator has come out at 389/1, meaning a payout of £5,850 on our £15 stake. Unfortunately, it was too unlikely that Palace would win at the London Stadium and so that bet let us down, meaning that our accumulator was a losing one. Here’s how the full cover bet would look:

  1. Single on Brentford: Winner @ £3.75
  2. Single on Norwich City: Winner @ £4.33
  3. Single on Crystal Palace: Loser
  4. Single on Bristol City: Winner @ £4
  5. Double on Brentford and Norwich City: Winner @ £16.25
  6. Double on Brentford and Crystal Palace: Loser
  7. Double on Brentford and Bristol City: Winner @ £15
  8. Double on Norwich City and Bristol City: Winner @ £17.33
  9. Double on Norwich City and Crystal Palace: Loser
  10. Double on Crystal Palace and Bristol City: Loser
  11. Treble on Brentford, Norwich City and Crystal Palace: Loser
  12. Treble on Brentford, Norwich City and Bristol City: Winner @ £65
  13. Treble on Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Bristol City: Loser
  14. Treble on Brentford, Crystal Palace and Bristol City: Loser
  15. Fourfold accumulator: Loser

The total amount won on our Lucky 15 would amount to £125.66, which is obviously a decent return and gives us some money back when compared to our losing accumulator. It is still short of the £885.67 that we would have won if all of our bets had come home, which is obviously decidedly less than the £5,850 we’d have won on a successful acca with those selections.

Bets Four To Ten

Rather than look at each bet individually with our remaining wagers, we’re going to stuck them in a table and see how each of them would have transpired, presuming that at least one leg of each bet was a losing one:

Bet Number Selection Type Outcome Winning Amount
4 Accumulator Loser N/A
4 Lucky 15 Partial Winner £76.34
5 Accumulator Loser N/A
5 Lucky 15 Loser N/A
6 Accumulator Loser N/A
6 Lucky 15 Partial Winner £156.97
7 Accumulator Loser N/A
7 Lucky 15 Partial Winner £37.84
8 Accumulator Winner £2,822.40
8 Lucky 15 Partial Winner £506.15
9 Accumulator Loser N/A
9 Lucky 15 Loser N/A
10 Accumulator Loser N/A
10 Lucky 15 Partial Winner £2.45

Across all ten of our bets, we would have wagered £150 on accumulators with only two of them being winners. Those two winners paid out £148.80 and £2,822.40, giving us a total payout of £2,971.20, meaning that our grand total of outgoings on accumulator bets will have amounted to £2,851.20.

When it comes to the full cover bets, meanwhile, we’ve placed the same £150 in bets but seen eight of them return at least some money. In total, we’ve won £979.69 on our full cover bets, for a grand return of £949.69 once our losing stakes have been taken into account. In other words, despite only two of our accumulator bets being winning ones, we’d have won £1,901.31 more playing accumulators the whole time rather than full cover bets.

What Do You Want From A Multiple Wager?

Question Mark Problem Solving ThinkingWhen it comes to the type of bet you should place, you’ve really got to ask yourself what you’re in it for. For some people, the chance to win at least a little bit of money with virtually every bet will be more interesting than losing most bets but winning big if you eventually manager to get your wagers on the winning side. It is all a matter of personal preference, of course, which is why it’s something you need to decide for yourself.

Different people want different things from their betting experience, with accumulators and full cover bets offering an interesting mix of possibilities. It will also come down to what you want to do with your money, given that each bet on a full cover wager counts as its own thing and requires you to pay the stake for it. Is one £15 bet more interesting to you than what essentially amounts to 15 £1 bets?

Added Extras

insureThe final thing that is worth mentioning when weighing up which type of bet to place is the fact that some get some added extras included in them. This is much more common in accumulator bets, largely because bookmakers know that they’re less likely to win a return of any sort than full cover wagers, so encouraging people to place them makes complete sense whereas the same can’t be said for full cover bets.

When it comes to accumulators, it is not uncommon for bookmakers to have a promotion such as a Free Bet Club involved with them. These sorts of promotions say that if you place four £15 accumulators in a week, for example, then you’ll be given a £15 free bet as a reward. There are also some bookies that will offer you Acca Insurance, which will return your stake to you as a free bet token if only one leg of your accumulator loses.

Some bookmakers will return your money as cash, some bonus money, but the promotion still works in the same way. It’s also worth noting that virtually all bookies will say that you have to pay a certain amount of money to qualify for this promotion, or that the odds on the accumulator have to reach a certain amount. Indeed, some will ask for both of these conditions to be met before they’re willing to pay you out on your insurance.

When it comes to full cover bets, meanwhile, it’s rare for bookies to offer much in the way of an incentive to place the wager. Lucky bets are so named because bookmakers will either payout a bonus percentage if all selections are winners, or because they will pay you double the odds, say, if only one of the selections ends up winning. This isn’t a guaranteed promotion, though, and only works on specific bets rather than all full cover wagers.

Effectively if you place accas you win less often but when you win the payout is higher.  With full cover bets you win more often (although not always enough to cover your stake) and if all selections come in you will win less than an equivalent acca.  There is no definitive answer of which is better and often it depends on how confident you are in your picks.  For example, if you have 4 selections and you really believe they will all be winners do an acca, if you are unsure of one or two do a full cover bet.