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An acca is a short-hand name for an accumulator bet on any number of selections. Each bet must win, and the winnings from each bet are rolled over into the next bet. The overall bet fails if any selection does not win.
Accumulator bets, also known as roll up bets, are popular with bookmakers because the probability of the bet losing increases with the number of selections. However, they are headline-catchers because the returns can be substantial even on a small stake if all selections are successful.
For an example of the likelihood of the bet being successful, the probability of two evens chances (odds of 1/1) winning in an accumulator is 25% (50% x 50%). This example is for two bets only but as more selections are added, the chances of all being successful is reduced, but each additional bet adds to the potential pay out, making for a trade-off between the probability of winning and the potential profit.
An example of placing an acca would be a four-fold accumulator in football. This would be where the bettor would select four results for four matches to be played.
The punter would need all four of those results to match their selections in order to win the accumulated bet, as they all feature under one stake. Any result that does not match those selected bets means the whole accumulator is classed as a losing bet.
Accumulator bets are incredibly popular because the attraction for the punter is that a small outlay can result in a huge win whilst the attraction for the bookie is that most accas will not be successful.
In November 2017 a woman won £574,278 for a bet of £1. She chose 12 football teams to win and they all came in.
She later revealed that she only put the bet on because she was fed up with her husband and son watching football on TV.