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Accumulators, Take the Insurance or the Bonus?

betting onlineAccumulators have become the most popular sports bet for many people, and there’s little wonder why. You’re able to rack up the odds by combining outcomes together, and this has been the route that many punters have taken over the years.

It is also due to the popularity of accas that they have become the most popular bet type that betting sites provide promotions for.  There are two major types of offer, those that insure you if a selection lets you down, known as acca insurance, and those that provide enhanced winnings (as cash or a bonus) if your accumulator wins.

To let you into a secret, bookies love customers to place accas as the margins are additive.  Basically the more selections you add to an accumulator the bigger the profit margin for the site.  This makes them quite poor value bets and this is the reason companies can afford to run so many promotions for them.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t place acca, they can be entertaining bets and can pay out at high odds when they do work out.  Still, given the value is generally poor you should always look out for either insurance or a bonus to help bring the odds a little bit more in your favour.

Of course, it’s good to know whether taking a bonus or insurance offer is a better route to go with. Is one specifically better than the other? And does it matter whether you’re placing a small acca or a larger one? Let’s take a look at the bonuses and insurance offers and see if you’ll be better off with one more so than the other on your sportsbook account.

What Are Acca Bonuses and Insurance Rewards?

Example of an offer that includes both insurance and a bonus

When someone places an accumulator it requires them to select several picks and see if they can determine which team/individual will be the winner of each. The more matches included in an accumulator, the more the player stands to win as odds accumulate.

Of course, you can’t guarantee that all of those selections will result in a win, so the acca insurance promotion basically protects you against a single one of those choices losing. In this circumstance, if you have five matches in your acca and the fourth one loses, for example, you still manage to receive your stake back, up to a maximum amount, usually £10-£25.

The insurance will usually just return your wagered funds from the losing selection in the form of a free bet. It’s also normally the case that this has a maximum stake tied to it because if you were to lose a £1,000 part of an accumulator, that’s not money that a sportsbook wants to be paying out in insurance.  Insurance generally only kicks in with 5+ legs although there are a few that offer insurance of 4+ selections.

The bonus rewards that online sports betting sites provide to their players will generally boost the return that you get from placing an acca. In most cases, to qualify, you will need to have at least three or four matches selected for your accumulator to be able to claim a bonus.

Acca bonuses come in two forms, bet boosts and tiered bonuses.  Bet boosts will boost the odds of an acca around 5-10% with extra winnings usually in cash.  Tiered acca bonuses increase as your number of selections increase, for example, it may start at 2% for a treble, 5% for 4-fold, 10% 5-fold, etc., usually up to around 50% and this will apply to a big acca with something like 12+ legs.  These tiered bonuses can be paid as cash but are usually paid as a bonus (that will require wagering at minimum odds within a time frame).

Small Accas (2-6 Picks)

When it comes to receiving a insurance it is common to find that it does not cater to smaller accas as most have a minimum of 4 or 5 legs to qualify.  There is also usually minimum odds attached, either to the accumulator overall (e.g. must be above 3/1) or to each leg (e.g. must be 1/5+).If insurance is available it is most valuable with small accas and is recommended for 4-6 folds in particular.  If you are placing a double or treble then it is more so the case that you have to claim a bonus reward or bet boost as that will be the only route to take.

What is important is that you don’t add more sections into your bet just to claim insurance.  If you have a 4-fold you are happy with it would be better to find someone offering a bonus than add a fifth leg in just to claim the offer.  After-all this is what they are hoping you will do as the more selections you have the more chance you won’t win.

Medium Accas (6-9 Picks)

A medium acca will usually encompass bets with around six to nine selections.  Generally as you start to add more selections in you will be better off taking a bonus.With tiered bonuses the amount extra you can win tends to go up the more selections you add in, while at the same time the more picks you have the less value the insurance will have.

Once you hit a level of around 7-8 selections the bonus offers tend to outweigh the insurance offers in terms of value over the long term.  Basically if you placed 1000 8-fold accas with insurance and 1000 8-fold accas with a bonus you would find yourself better off in the end (on average) by utilising a bonus.

Still, this doesn’t take into account individual circumstances.  If you are placing an 8-fold and you are very confident about seven of those picks but one is quite risky then in this example it can be argued that insurance is more valuable.

Large Accas (9+ Picks)

A larger accumulator requires you to select nine or more picks. Again, this gets even riskier still, and because insurance only covers you for a single potential losing game, it’s not so likely to be as helpful in the long run. As the legs of an accumulator rise, insurance becomes less and less useful to bettors. Instead, a bonus could be a lot more effective, especially the tiered bonus system.

Tiered acca bonuses generally rise as the legs increase. If you place an acca with nine selections in it, you may be offered a 30% acca bonus that will boost your pay-out should they all win. This can rise as you add in more outcomes, usually up to around 50% extra for a 12-14+ acca.

It theoretically make a bonus reward much more lucrative and a logical route to take than simply covering yourself with insurance for a potential single loss. After all, bettors place accas because they want them to win. Not because they’re potentially expecting a loss. And wouldn’t it also be logical to state that someone who is in-the-know on accumulators, wouldn’t place a large one unless they were fairly certain all legs would be successful?

Other Factors

Stakes are important when choosing an offer as insurance tends to only cover accas up to around £10, £25 in some rarer cases, whereas bonuses are limited more on maximum winnings than stake (e.g. £1000 maximum extra bonus winnings).  This means bonuses are generally more useful for higher stakes accas than insurance.  Some acca insurance offers also have minimum stakes to qualify (e.g. £5).

The sports and markets you want to bet on will also be critical to the offer you choose.  Many acca insurance offers are limited to football markets and some are further limited to just match result bets.  Bonuses tend to be more open and allow a mix of sports and markets, but not always, so check the terms first.  Even if you have an acca with 5 football selections in it but then one darts selection it may invalidate the offer if the deal is specific to football.

Odds are a factor too.  Most bonus and bet boost deals rarely include minimum odds, instead they will stipulate maximum winnings.  This means if your acca is full of odds-on favourites with low odds you may be better with a bonus as you might not qualify for insurance.

It is also important to think about the type of reward you want to get back.  With insurance refunds are usually paid as a free bet, which will mean you need to place another bet with that token, if that bet then wins you can keep the cash.  With bet boosts and some bonuses extra winnings are paid in cash, although some, particularly tiered bonuses, will often pay extra winnings as a bonus with wagering requirements (e.g. 3x wagering at 1/2+ odds).

Best Acca Reward Examples

T&C’s Apply, 18+, BeGambleAware.org Gamstop.co.uk #ad
For the first 3+ acca placed on football daily (1/10+ each leg, 6/4+ total odds) get a 10% boost on winnings as a free bet up to £100 extra. Free token in 24 hours vlaid 7 days for use on any sports. Minimum qualifying bet £1, cash out and specials excluded. #ad
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Acca Freedom lets you play your bet your own way. Either boost the odds of trebles and above to win more, or insure your bet against one bad result from five or more selections to get your money back as a free bet of up to £20. Boost - Select to boost the price of your acca of 3 or more selections, up to £20 (all winnings cash). Insurance - Select to insure your acca of 5 or more selections (each selection 1/5 or bigger) so if just one selection loses, get a refund of your stake as a free bet up to £20. #ad
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Applies to pre-match accumulators of 3+ selections on the standard Full Time Result, Both Teams to Score or Result/Both Teams To Score markets only. Bonus percentage is dependent on number of selections. Bonus capped at £100k and applied to returns. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply. New and eligible customers only. #ad
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Aplies to pre-match 4+ fold Win-Draw-Win multiples or 4+ fold Same Game Multiple bets on all markets and all sports. Minimum odds per leg of 1/5. Max free bet £10 per customer per day. Free bets credits by 12pm the following day, valid for 7 days & must be used on Football markets. Cashed out bets & bets placed with free bets are excluded. Excludes Enhanced Match Odds #ad
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More Long Term Value By Utilising Acca Offers

accumulator shown as batteries charging

If you take a look at the different promotions relating to accas that online sportsbooks have, then you will likely be able to find something that fits your own intentions.  If you are intending to place a double or treble then a bet boost will be the most ideal, 4-6 picks think about insurance and more than that think about a tiered bonus.

Many bettors have won big amounts of money when placing acca bets at sportsbooks, such as Steve Whiteley, who is the biggest acca winner in the UK to date. In March 2011, he attended a day at the races in Exeter for free and placed a £2 jackpot bet, which featured six selections on it. By the end of the event, he had won each of the six selections and managed to take home £1.45 million on 725,335/1 odds!

Football accumulators have also seen some big winners in the past though. One housewife who was getting tired of her husband and son obsessing over the game of football, chose to place a £1 wager on 12 teams winning in the English Football League. That random bet by the woman ended up bringing her a reward of £574,287.41 in the end, as all 12 teams succeeded as she had predicted. The bet itself was placed through William Hill.

Of course, it’s unknown whether or not she had the extra attention of an acca boost in play, but when winning over £500k at 573,285/1 odds, does it really matter? Especially when you consider that her son simply read the team names out who were competing and she simply picked them out based on how much she liked their name! Plus, her husband had been placing a £1 weekend acca with the bookmaker for about 40 years prior to her big win and never managed it.

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