Betting onlineFor betting newbies, there is a seemingly endless amount of information to take in. Once you get to grips with how odds work, there is an almost infinite array of markets to understand and many different types of bets available within them. Two of the simpler concepts to understand are each way betting and accumulators. If you’re betting “career” starts with a day at the races there is a good chance that you will place both of those bets and quickly understand how they work.

However, when those two bets are combined, many people get a little more confused. Each way accumulators, of which each way doubles and trebles are the most basic type, is what we will be looking at in this article. They can be a great way to produce big wins and whilst they are most suited to horseracing, they can usually be used to combine any selections where you have the choice to bet each way.

How Does an Each Way Acca Work?

Woman thinking horse race

An each way acca works as one might logically expect in that it follows the rules and structure of both its constituent bets. To keep things simple, we will explain with reference to the most basic accumulator there is, a double, involving two legs. For example, you might back Fast Fred in the 1.30pm and Quick Quentin in the 2.00pm.

As with any double, you make two selections with a single stake, let’s say £10. But then, as with any each way wager, that creates a £20 total stake, with £10 going on the win and £10 going on the place portion of the bet. As with an each way single, the place bet is a totally separate bet from the win one. When it comes to each way accas, we feel confusion sometimes occurs because people forget this very simple fact.

Essentially Two Separate Bets

Your each way acca is essentially two separate bets. In one, all selections must win and in the other, all selections must place. When it comes to the place part of the accumulator, as with an each way single, it doesn’t matter whether your selections win or not, as long as they finish in the relevant place position.

Quite simply, if any of your selections fail to place, you will lose your entire stake. To win both the win and each way legs, all selections must win. To win the each way part of your acca, be it a double, treble or 15-fold, all selections must win or place, but for this part of the bet it makes no difference whether they are first past the post or they scrape third (assuming each way pays to a top three finish).

So, if you have 14 winners and one horse that finishes second, your win is no different than if all 15 horses had finished third (again assuming each way pays three places in all contests). Equally, if you have 14 winners and one horse that finishes last, both your win and place bets lose.

Two-Horse Each Way Double Example

Let us return to our two-horse each way double and reiterate this information in table format. Let us assume you make your first-ever trip to the races at York and following a wise tip from shrewd Uncle Bob, you place a £10 each way double on Fast Fred and Quick Quentin. Both horses are priced at 8/1, and both pay at ¼ of the odds for a place.

Results of race 1 Result of race 2 Summary Bet outcome Return including stake
Wins Wins All legs win Both win and each way bets are successful £900
Wins Places One leg wins, one leg places Lose win bet, each way bet is a winner £90
Places Wins One leg wins, one leg places Lose win bet, each way bet is a winner £90
Places Places Both horses place Lose win bet, each way bet is a winner £90
Outside Places Any result including win If one horse is outside the places the result of the other race is irrelevant Both bets lose Zero
Any result including win Outside places If one horse is outside the places the result of the other race is irrelevant Both bets lose Zero
Outside places Outside places Neither horse wins or places Unsurprisingly both bets lose Zero

Ground Rules

As already said, the same logic applies to trebles and larger accumulators. It doesn’t matter whether you opt for an each way treble, quadruple, or bet through the card (all races at a meeting), the same key tenets remain:

  1. To win both bets (win and each way) all selections have to win
  2. If any of your picks do not place, you lose both bets
  3. All selections must place (or win) to land the each way part of the bet
  4. With regards the each way bet it makes no difference to the payout whether the horse wins or places

Pros & Cons of Each Way Accumulators

Pros & Cons

Each way accas, be they relatively “small” ones like doubles or trebles, or monsters with seven, eight or even more legs, are not a bet that most punters bother with. They are perhaps seen as a little more complex but really, as we have seen with the list above, they can be easily understood as long as you remember just four straightforward points. But are they a good bet?

Broadly speaking, we are actually a fan of this type of wager, though as ever, you will only be successful if you can outsmart the bookies and find odds that offer genuine value. They provide a nice balance between offering the potential for a big win and also giving you a really good chance of getting a return.

Yields a Reasonable Return

Most each way accas, even if they are just doubles, will yield a reasonable return if only the place portion of the wager wins. The only exception to that would be where you back two relatively short-priced horses that both place. For example, if you opt for an each way double on two favourites at evens and 3/1 respectively, should you fail to land the win part of the bet, your net win would be just £1.88 from a £10 each way punt (costing £20).

Chance to Win Big

However, if both win, that net win soars to a very tidy £81.88. The chief benefit of an each way accumulator is that it gives you the chance to win big with a nice insurance policy in reserve if your picks only manage to place. Most punters would feel that if they fancy a favourite at evens, or even 3/1, even if it does not win it should at least place. If one or even both horses fail to quite deliver the goods you will still make a small net win, whilst a win will yield a very nice payout.

Favourites Can Lose

Whilst this can be seen as the best thing about this type of wager, we feel we have to point out that you should never feel that a favourite has a right to a place, or that it is in any way set in stone. Every day at tracks around the world odds-on bankers, clear favourites who are heavily tipped and backed will fail to place. Even backing a horse each way is no assurance and this bet is not a “system”.

However, it is certainly a fun option to have at your disposal and more often than not should provide a good balance between keeping your bets alive and still having the chance of the big win. Of course, if you want to be more ambitious there is no need to back horses that are available at short odds.

Many use each way accas to back outsiders who they feel have a real chance of a place and just maybe snatch the win. For example, if you add just one more selection and opted for three picks at 6/1, 7/1 and 8/1, the each way part of your wager (assuming all three picks at least place), would return a very impressive £206.25.

How Many Selections in Each Way Accumulator?

Confused manHow many legs you decide to include is entirely up to you. Whilst the fact the wager is each way gives you more room for manoeuvre than on a standard acca, the fact remains that the more legs you add, the smaller your chances of winning get. It can be tempting to add more and more selections to chase the big win; but even if these are short-priced favourites, you have to remember that whilst the chance of one horse failing to place at odds of 2/5 are slim, the chance of one out of four at such odds letting you down are far greater.

Two or Three is Sensible

With a standard win acca we would normally recommend no more than two or three legs if you want to give yourself a real shot at winning. Of course, huge accumulators that give you the chance to win hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds from a small stake are fun but, if you are serious about trying to make an overall net win, they are probably not the way to go.

With an each way accumulator you could maybe add a selection or two on and perhaps stick to five-folds at the most. Once again, it is a personal choice but in our opinion, once you go beyond that sort of mark the bet becomes very much a lottery. If that is what you want, then fine, but if you are trying to make a considered bet with a realistic chance of winning then four or five is probably the most picks you should be adding.


Each way doubles, trebles and larger accumulators can be a fun way to spice up your betting; they provide a nice mix of the potential for a big win with the insurance of an each way payout that should at the very least cover your stake. They can be used in different ways, for different sports, and you can add as many legs as you like, though we feel five is the most that more serious punters should include.

Whilst they can be a little confusing, as long as you remember that the win and each way bets are separate entities you can’t go too far wrong. All legs must win to land the former or if that doesn’t happen they must all place (or a mix of wins and places) to land the latter.