When it comes to betting, the options can seem mind-boggling. There are so many different sports to choose from, with a plethora of events, each offering many different markets. Then, once you get your head around all that, you have a whole new world of lingo and terminology, plus a whole host of different bets, such as doubles, trebles, accas and combination bets with names, such as a Lucky 63 or a Super Heinz!
In this article, we are going to explain how a particular type of combination bet works. This is a bit like an accumulator, but with a twist, and it doesn’t really have a fixed name, with lots of different combinations available depending on how many matches you pick and how many bets you go for. We’ve called the piece “How Do N-Fold Bets Work?” (as you can see!) but we will look at various accas, such as five-folds, six-folds and more.
In addition, we will explain how more complex wagers work, including a four-fold bet on eight teams, seven- and eight-fold bets with 10 selections and other options such as a six-fold bet on seven teams – although the logic behind them all is essentially the same.
What Is an Acca?
We will start right at the very beginning by explaining what an accumulator (or acca) is. It is a bet in which you make more than one prediction on unrelated events. So, Mo Salah to score first and Liverpool to lose 8-1 is not an acca as the two selections are linked. However, Liverpool to win against Man United and Everton to beat Man City on the same weekend would be an acca.
Double, Treble, Quadruple, Etc.
An acca with two selections is as basic as it gets and this is usually referred to as a double, though it could also be called a two-fold. Next up would be a treble, or three-fold, with three selections, then a quadruple, or four-fold, with, yes, four selections. Once we go higher than four selections, or legs, it is more common to call it an “x-fold”, with “x” being the number of legs the accumulator encompasses. So, if you are feeling brave, you might do a 10-fold bet, when you try and predict the winner of all 10 games in a Premier League round.
In theory, there is no real limit to the number of selections you can use. Acca betting is most popular in football and in horse racing but it can be used to combine any markets across any sports. So, if you so choose, you might bet on Labour to win the next General Election, Hearts to win the Scottish Premier League, Newcastle to beat Man City 5-0 and Novak Djokovic to lose three sets to love in his next match. Although if you are going to bet on that, then just give the money to charity instead!
One Stake Covers the Whole Bet
However many selections you include and whatever sports and markets you bet on, an accumulator works the same way. One stake covers the whole bet and it only wins if all legs win. If the first pick wins, the stake and winnings roll over onto the next leg and so on. Let’s consider a very simple treble, or three-fold, on over 2.5 goals in all three of Sunday’s televised football games.
For the sake of simplicity, let us assume all three are predicted to be cagey affairs and over 2.5 is priced at evens in them all. You do a £10 treble and the early kick off ends 3-0. Your £10 receives £10 winnings and you then have £20 rolling over, or accumulating, on the second game. That ends 2-2 so your £20 bet receives £20 winnings and the whole £40 rolls onto the final game of the day. That finishes 4-1 and so your bet receives a total payout of £80 for a net win of £70. An acca is an all or nothing bet though, so had even one of the three games finished with just two goals or fewer, you would lose your £10.
What Are 5-Folds, 6-Folds & 15-Folds?
Hopefully the above has made it clear what we mean when we talk about these sorts of accumulators. Whatever the number is, refers to how many selections you have made, so a seven-fold acca might be a “through the card” bet at the horse racing where you try to predict the winner of all the seven races on a given card. A 12-fold bet might be predicting the winner of all 12 games in a round of Championship fixtures. Those looking for the glory of a giant win from a small stake might opt for a massive 15-fold football acca, picking out 15 games from a weekend’s football fixtures.
A £374,000 Win from a £1 Bet
Obviously, the more legs you include the harder it becomes to win the bet and even when combining lots of red-hot favourites there is a chance that one or two might let you down. That said, people do land such accas, and as recently as May 2021 one punter scooped a huge £374,000 win from just a £1 bet on a seven-fold correct score acca. Predicting just one correct score is often hard enough so, obviously, you can imagine how hard it is to predict seven out of seven.
Of course, you do not need to opt for correct scores and even backing a selection of odds-on shots, such as over 2.5 goals, both teams to score, or favourites in the match odds, can soon add up. Let us imagine a 15-fold acca where the average price was 4/5. Call all 15 correctly and even at this short price the returns on a £1 acca would be a very handsome £6,747. Had those average odds been bumped up just slightly, to evens for example, the returns would have been a massive £32,768! Not bad from a quid!
However, if predicting seven correct scores from seven, or 15 results of 15 seems a bit fanciful, there are many options that offer you at least some margin for error. These types of bets can confuse people a little but we will now explain how to create, for example, a 10-fold bet on 12 teams, a six-fold bet from eight selections or whatever other mixes of risk and reward you want.
4, 6 & 8 Fold Bets from 6, 8 & 10 Selections
Slight disclaimer, we have called this section “4, 6 & 8 Fold Bets from 6, 8 & 10 Selections” because we did not really know what to call it. We are not specifically going to detail these bets individually but rather we will explain how combination bets work that have, in simple terms, more selections than legs.
That might sound a little confusing as until this point we have used the two terms, selections and legs, interchangeably. However, for the purposes of this combination bet, which combines several different individual wagers into one bet, we will differentiate between the two. The selections are the predictions you are making. For the purposes of this example, let us assume that you are going to try to predict all 10 PL results and so you have 10 selections.
However, whilst all 10 selections will be included in the overall bet, each individual bet will only, in this example, cover eight of those games. This is an eight-fold bet from 10 selections. In order for it to win, rather than all 10 of your predictions being correct, you only need eight to win to garner a return. But how does this work?
Making an 8-Fold Bet with 10 Selections
From a user perspective, things are very easy. Just make your 10 selections and these will automatically be added to your online betting slip. Depending on which bookmaker you are using, things may work slightly differently but most will then give you a range of options that incorporate the 10 selections you have made.
For example, based on using 10 selections, you may be presented with the following bets to choose from:
- Accumulator, 4,904/1 – 1 bet
- Doubles – 45 bets
- Trebles – 120 bets
- 4 Folds – 210 bets
- 5 folds – 252 bets
- 6 folds – 210 bets
- 7 folds – 120 bets
- 8 folds – 45 bets
- 9 folds – 10 bets
If you want to simply back a 10-fold acca where all 10 bets must win you are placing just one bet. The odds are known for this and will be displayed, so a £10 bet would, in this instance, return £49,050. However, we have decided for our bet to opt for an 8-fold bet from 10 selections.
We can see that this is listed as 45 bets, so if we want to have £10 on each eight-fold, we must stake a total of £450. Hypothetically, and in reality, for your average punter, that is too much, so instead, we bet £1 per line for a total stake of £45. The betting slip will now update and show a total bet of £45 and potential returns of £49,173.89 (note it is largely coincidental that the potential returns in this instance are very similar and the amounts can vary wildly depending on the odds, stake, selections and how many folds you choose).
In order to obtain that potential return of almost £50,000, you would need all 45 bets of £1 each to win. That would, in turn, require all 10 selections to come in. If nine selections are correct, you would still get some form of payout, whilst if just eight won you would equally have a win, albeit smaller, to claim.
But what is actually going on here? Well, essentially you are betting on every possible eight-fold bet that can be made from those 10 selections. This means that you are covering all the available eight-folds that can be created using eight of the 10 teams you think will win. If eight win then only one of your 45 bets will win, because there is only one combination of those eight picks that makes up an eight-fold.
The payout in this scenario will be far lower than the stated total and will depend on the odds of the eight picks that win. If nine of your 10 selections win then you will land nine winning bets because for each eight-fold you can omit one of the nine winners, creating nine different possible combinations. Picking eight results out of 10 right is clearly no easy task but even if you only get eight, the returns from that single winning bet will more than cover the 44 losing gets you will have made as part of the overall wager.
Let us, for example, imagine you picked all 10 favourites from the EPL fixture list and the eight that won had odds as follows: 1/3, 2/5, 6/4, 6/5, 11/10, 1/3, 8/5 and evens. The single winning eight-fold would return around £150. Had you chosen nine you could expect a broadly similar return for each (depending on the odds).
How Many Bets in Different Fold Bets with Different Selections?
As we have said, the principle is the same no matter how many selections you make and how many folds you go for. All that changes is the total number of bets. The simplest combination of bets is to pick three selections, perhaps the three biggest horse races on a card. From those three, you can opt to back all the possible two-folds, or doubles. Such a bet would technically be a two-fold bet on three selections and the bet can be summarised thus:
- Back Blue Bear in the 1.40 at 3/1, Arctic Monk in the 2.10 at 2/1 and Golfing Gal in the 2.40 at evens
- If all lose or only one win, all bets lose
- If two win, one two-fold (double) wins
- If all three horses win then all three doubles win
Put differently, we can see how a fully successful bet would look based on the horses and odds mentioned. Such a bet would cost £30 in total with a £10 stake on each of the possible doubles.
|Double covers races||Race 1 result||Race 2 result||Race 3 result||Returns from £10 per bet|
|1 and 2||Win @ 3/1||Win @ 2/1||NA||£120|
|1 and 3||Win @ 3/1||NA||Win @ evens||£80|
|2 and 3||NA||Win @ 2/1||Win @ evens||£60|
As we can see, should all three horses win, the total returns would be a very tidy £260. That is a very handsome net win, though it should be remembered that a straight acca, in this case a treble, would yield a bigger return, assuming the same total risk/stake of £30. The £30 accumulator on all three horses would have returned a massive £720. Of course, the obvious downside is that if just one horse was pipped at the post, the treble would return nothing, whereas opting for the two-folds from three picks would give you a net win no matter which two horses won.
Various Options of Bets
Whilst doubles from three selections are as simple as we can go with this type of combination bet, most people who use this type of bet typically place far larger folds with many more selections. The table below shows the various options for many of the bets we have mentioned, with all options from five selections and five-folds up to 12 selections and all 10-folds covered.
So, whether you are looking to place a 6, 7, or 8-fold bet from 9 or 10 selections, a four-fold bet on eight teams or anything else, you can easily see how many total bets it would entail and how many winning bets you would land based on how many of your selections came in.
As you can see, once you start covering a high number of combinations from a large number of selections, the bets really start to add up. If you decide you want to stick to the PL’s 10 games but back all possible seven-folds (a 7-fold bet from 10 selections) you would actually be making 120 separate bets. To have just 50p on each of those accas would set you back a sizeable £60 and you would, of course, stand to lose all of that if six or fewer of your predictions were right.
Get seven matches right and you would land just one of your seven-folds. That would still lead to a decent win but, of course, with a stake of just 50p you shouldn’t be expecting anything too impressive. However, if you were able to predict eight of the 10 games correctly you would have eight correct bets and with nine an impressive 36 winning seven-folds.
That leads us to the second function of the table above as not only does it show us how various combinations of selections and folds equate to a given number of bets, it can also show us how many winning accas we will have based on the selections, fold and winning bets. Returning to our 10-selection option from a round of Premier League games, let us imagine that, as said earlier, we opted for eight-folds from 10 selections.
The chart shows us that this is 45 bets in total but the number next to that 45, nine, is the number of winning bets we would land if we got nine out of 10 picks right in such a bet. Next to the nine, under the data for an eight-fold bet from eight selections (a simple acca) we see the number one in the chart and gain this corresponds to how many winning bets you would land with eight out of 10 selections in the bet.
What About Lucky 15s, Goliaths, Yankees & Full Cover Bets?
When you add several selections to a betting slip as we have described above you may be offered a whole host of betting options. As we have explained, these will often include various “X fold from Y selections” type bets, such as the 7-fold bet from 10 selections or 8 from 10 we have looked at. There is also the option to back all the individual legs as singles and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, to go for glory and back all of them in one accumulator.
However, the options do not end there, far from it in fact. Almost all online betting sites make it easy to back all or any of the available options. So, for example, if we start with a relatively small bet that includes four selections, the bets you can place are as follows:
- Back each leg separately as singles – Four bets in total
- Back all available doubles using the four selections – Six bets
- Back all combinations of trebles (three-fold bets) – Four bets
- Back all legs together in a four-fold acca – One bet
You can opt for any combination of the above bets, so you could just do the four trebles. This would require four stakes and would be a three-folds from four selections bet. If you opt to back all options, this would create 15 separate bets and collectively this is known as a Lucky 15. A Yankee is a very similar bet but excludes the four singles, meaning there are 11 bets in total but you need at least two legs to win to get any return.
A Yankee is known as a full cover bet, whereas a Lucky 15 is known as a full cover bet with singles. The table below shows some of the many options for this type of bet.
|Selections||Full cover bet||No. of bets||Full cover with singles||No. of bets|
|5||Canadian/Super Yankee||26||Lucky 31||31|
|6||Heinz||57 (hence the name)||Lucky 63||63|
|7||Super Heinz||120||Lucky 127*||127|
*Note that “Lucky 127 or 255” bets are not ones you will really see marketed but theoretically they are possible
Hopefully we have now fully explained the potentially confusing world of this style of combination bets where you pick more teams (or horses, or whatever) than the number of folds selected within each individual bet. Such wagers are increasingly popular as punters look to balance the chance of a big win with some insurance should one or more of the selections let you down.
Other combination bets, such as a full cover bet, with or without singles, offer yet more choice and, if you back the singles as well you will get a return even if just one leg wins. However, such bets involve a large number of individual stakes to cover all the bets and so the overall cost can quickly add up, or alternatively, your individual stake must be kept very low, reducing overall returns.
We would advise experimenting with relatively small stakes to see which is the best bet type for you. Note that where you are including several selections at longer odds that you are less certain about it may pay to have singles, or at least a lower number of folds from a higher number of selections, covered. In contrast, if you are backing strong favourites, perhaps in the opening round of a tennis Grand Slam, or just a selection of odds-on shots from the weekend’s football, you may feel you can be bolder and go for six-folds from seven or eight selections, or even eight or nine from 10.