For bets that are so difficult to win, accumulators are staggeringly popular. Everybody loves them. The seasoned punters. The occasional gamblers. The types who only whack money on the Grand National and a handful of other bets each year. Everybody.
The majority of major bookmakers offer accumulators to appease demand, but in order to entice the more reserved group of gamblers, they’re also beginning to offer something known as “Accumulator Insurance”. Simply put – these betting deals entitle punters to their money back if one of their selections doesn’t come in. And let’s face it, there’s usually one that lets you down.
Some betting offers can be tricky to get your head around. Not Accumulator Insurance. Nope. It’s easy peasy.
In most cases, these deals work in the following way: you put down an accumulator as normal (checking all your selections are eligible for the accumulator insurance deal), and then place your bet. If one selection fails, you get your money back in the form of a free bet to try again another time. Simple, right?
For a clear example, let’s take a look at a prospective Premier League accumulator bet you might want to make on the weekend’s football matches. You’ve picked five teams to win on the day: Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Watford. The first four are bankers, you believe. But you’re worried Watford might let you down. Well, this is the perfect time to take advantage of Accumulator Insurance, if it’s available. This way, if all the teams win except for Watford, you won’t lose any money and you’ll be able to bet on another accumulator next weekend instead.
Most bookies offer Accumulator Insurance for football game bets, but some are also willing to offer the same type of support net for racing fixtures and other sport events around the globe (basketball, golf, American Football etc).
You’re usually required to put down a minimum number of selections to be eligible for Accumulator Insurance. Five selections is the most common “minimum”, but this can vary depending on which bookie you’re betting with. It’s also worth checking the expiry date on any free bets you might get back on Accumulator Insurance. Some last for a while, whereas others need to be used quickly before losing their validity.
There are few key terms worth being aware of with regards to Accumulator Insurance, but thankfully, they’re all pretty easy to understand.
Don’t scrunch your face up when you see the terms “legs” or “folds” on your bet slip. They’re just other words used for “selections”. A bet with five selections is a five-leg or five-fold accumulator.
We’ve already explored the fact that a lot of the major bookmakers will ask you to put down a minimum of five selections (although this can vary, so make sure you check) before you can qualify for Accumulator Insurance. You’ll also need to ensure your selections hit minimum odds too. Most bookmakers request that your total accumulator has odds of at least 4/1, although it can differ. Ordinarily, this isn’t an issue as five-fold accumulators usually have odds much higher than 4/1. However, if you’re betting across the board on “sure-fire” results, you’ll need to check that you’re hitting the minimum odds required, otherwise you won’t get that free bet back if one team springs a surprise.
No matter what you’re gambling on, it’s vital to check out all the “minimums” surrounding your accumulator bet before you go ahead and put down your money. There also may be maximum bets enforced too – which is to say you might only be permitted to put on a certain amount of money in order to get Accumulator Insurance. These figures can vary but are usually pretty substantial when they are implemented – typically around the £50 mark or so.
Every type of bet has extenuating circumstances surrounding it, and Accumulator Insurance is no exception. For these offers, you’ll often need to pick out selections that fall within a certain market to qualify. For example, a bookie may only offer Accumulator Insurance on a Saturday for Premier League games, so all your selections will have to be teams who are participating on this day in this specific division.
Another thing you’ll need to be wary of is when matches get called off. It rarely happens, but when it does, it has the potential to play havoc with your Accumulator Insurance. If you have a healthy number of selections on your accumulator (say, 10) and one of the games gets cancelled, you don’t need to worry too much. The bookie will usually just adjust the odds and your Accumulator Insurance will still be valid. However, if you’ve gone for a five-fold accumulator and a game gets scrapped, your remaining four-fold acca won’t qualify for Accumulator Insurance. When this happens, you’re likely to be refunded with the bet going down as “void”.
It’s also worth noting that some bookmakers do offer Accumulator Insurance for bets where two selections fail, not just one. Whilst rare, they are out there, so if you’re concerned about more than one selection on your bet, it might be worth doing a bit of snooping around to see if you can dig up one of these Accumulator Insurance deals with bigger safety nets.
Be sure to check out all the extenuating circumstances surrounding Accumulator Insurance with your bookie before your place your bet.