Each-way accumulators are particular popular with casual horse racing punters.
This is an especially favoured bet during major festivals, such as at Cheltenham when several races in a single day feature large fields containing fancied runners at double-figure prices.
To understand how an each-way accumulator works, you first need to know the basics of both accumulator bets and each-way bets as separate entities.
A basic accumulator bet, or ‘acca’, is a single bet made up of multiple selections. These selections are combined meaning one stake is needed and all selections need to be successful for the bet to be a winner.
As each selection wins, the profit and stake are then rolled onto the next selection and so on. This means accumulators can be very valuable when successful, but if only one selection loses the whole bet is down which means increased risk.
You can place accumulators on most sports and they can be combined, such as having an acca on a football game, a tennis match and a horse race all in one.
Anything above one selection is technically an acca, though two and three selections have their own name meaning most people consider an accumulator to bet a bet containing four or more selections.
Here’s a quick example of how they’re known within the industry:
An example of a successful £5 win accumulator, based on the SP’s rather than any earlier price taken, would be:
|Palace Pier to win the Queen Anne Stakes||Won||2/7||£6.43 onto the next leg|
|Oxted to win the King’s Stand||Won||4/1||£32.15 onto the next leg|
|Poetic Flare to win the St James’s Palace Stakes||Won||7/2||£144.68 onto the next leg|
|Juan Elcano to win the Wolferton Stakes||Won||14/1||£2,170.20 returned|
While this would be a rare bet to win, the first three selections were all very high in the betting and were strongly fancied. Mixing these with a 14/1 shot can prove to be very lucrative if you get it right.
An each-way bet is two bets in one; a win bet and a place bet.
The win portion of the wager is easy to grasp as, simply, your horse must win for you to be paid out. The place portion can have different terms depending on the conditions of the race.
A horse is considered to have ‘placed’ in UK and Irish racing like this:
- 1, 2, 3 and 4-runner races – winner only.
- 5, 6 and 7-runner races – first two.
- 8-runner races and higher – first three.
- 16-runner races and higher in handicaps only – first four.
If your horse is placed, you will receive either 1/4 or 1/5 of the odds. These are industry standard terms, though some individual bookmakers will offer extra places each-way on major races such as the Cambridgeshire or the Grand National for example.
If your each-way selection wins, you are paid out on both the win bet and the place bet. If your horse is placed only, then you are only paid out on the place portion. If the horse finishes outside of the placings, your bet is lost.
Putting the two above sections together then, you can place each-way accumulators on horse races.
Using a standard evening all-weather card at Kempton Park as an example, you could place an each-way acca as seen in the image on the right.
As you can see here, the each-way terms for each race are explained. 1/5 odds are offered on all four selections, and three places on all other than Fact Or Fable (four places).
As a four-fold win accumulator at these prices, a £10 win bet would return £96,000. Tick that E/W box in the bottom left however and this becomes an each-way accumulator.
We’ll go for a theoretical £5 each-way acca on these four, costing £10 in total. Let’s say for example that these were the results:
- Lord Vader, 3rd
- Fact Or Fable, 4th
- Recuerdame, 1st
- Perfect Focus, 2nd
A very important fact to remember is this; an each-way accumulator is still only two bets – one bet on ALL selections to win and one bet on ALL selections to place.
In this case then, while we did get a winner, the win return for that leg is not forthcoming as the other horses were beaten. We did manage to get all four horses to place however which means this is how our bet is calculated:
- £5 place bet on Lord Vader at 9/1 (1/5 odds) returns £14.
- £14 place bet on Fact Or Fable at 7/1 (1/5 odds) returns £33.60.
- £33.60 place bet on Recuerdame at 7/1 (1/5 odds) returns £80.64.
- £80.64 place bet on Perfect Focus at 14/1 (1/5 odds) returns £306.43.
Clawing in over £300 for an initial £10 bet is of course a great result. Most of us would be happy with that. If the point of placing accumulators for you however is to go for the big money, the place portion of an each-way accumulator is merely compensation.
Had all of these selections won, the bet would have broken down like this:
- £5 win bet on Lord Vader at 9/1 returns £50
- £50 win bet on Fact Or Fable at 7/1 returns £400.
- £400 win bet on Recuerdame at 7/1 returns £3,200.
- £3,200 win bet on Perfect Focus at 14/1 returns £48,000.
Naturally, you’d get the £306.43 return from the place bets as well.
It goes without saying then that there are major pros and cons with placing each-way accumulators.
The risk factor is huge with any accumulator, however if you find selections at big enough odds you can keep your stakes very small and have some fun with it.
Let’s face it, the casual punter doesn’t expect to land thousands of pounds of profit. If you place each-way accumulators, always keep your focus on the place element of the bet and consider it a success when all of your horses are placed.
If they all manage to win one day, that huge payout should be considered as a great bonus.