Accumulator betting is one of the most popular and most advertised forms of gambling. The bookies love to advertise it because it makes them a ton of money. Squares, your common everyday bettors, love it too as its high rewards from low stakes. However, in most cases that is an illusion and accumulators more often than not are very unprofitable, unless done properly. So let’s take a look at why accumulators are so profitable for bookmakers, how you can avoid making mistakes and how best to use multiples in the future.
As an example, I’ve used the odds for the first week of the Premier League 2021/2022 season. Odds as of the 14th July on Bet365, the world’s largest bookmaker in terms of traffic and turnover.
Let’s just say your average punter who follows the EPL decides to do an eight fold accumulator as seen above. Your chances of winning are significantly below the odds you are being offered, as seen in the probability section of the diagram.
All bookmakers have a ‘hold’ on their markets. This is essentially their cut to ensure they win regardless of the outcome. The ‘true odds’ on the right hand side are the price the bet would be provided Bet365 didn’t take a cut.
The ‘hold’ bookies take is amplified with accumulators. This is essentially why accumulators do not work. If for example, Bet365 takes a 5% cut on a specific game, when you multiply it with another game for ‘better odds’, what you are also doing is multiplying the 5% cut Bet365 takes.
So essentially, the cut bookies make on accumulators is huge. It is near impossible to make an accumulator that is even close to its ‘real value’.
So does that mean accumulators and multiples are useless?
Absolutely not, in fact quite the opposite. If you know the bets you are taking are of a positive edge then multiplying them actually increases your edge on the bookie. The best way to visualize this is if the ‘true odds’ on the right-hand side were all lower than the given odds, the probability would also be way lower.
For a bet to have a positive edge on a site such as Bet365 it’s essentially down to either a pricing error or your own calculations to what the ‘true value' is. So as you can imagine 99% of punters do not have an edge unless they have significant knowledge of the sport they are betting on, more so than all the data the bookmakers have access to. The alternative to this is of course using Trademate Sports to find bets with an edge, the software will alert you to markets where the true odds are lower than given odds.
Another bonus is due to accumulators generally making bookmakers a hefty profit, they can somewhat contribute to making accounts last longer. Bookies consider accumulators as ‘mug bets’ and make the account look ‘dumb’. Meaning they are less likely to restrict you, thinking you are a casual bettor.
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