You may set out to win five, 10, even 15 bets in a row. Or maybe your goal was to turn £5 into £500. If you're familiar with social media, you'll see a high number of £10 to £1000 ‘challenges' touted on a daily basis. If you win your first bet, then your entire return (stake plus profit) will be staked on bet two. If you win bet two, then your entire stake plus profits will again be staked when you placed bet three. This is why it's known as a rolling bet. The term accumulator refers to the fact your bets and profits accumulate, but shouldn't be confused with an actual accumulator where you'll place many selections into one bet. Rolling accumulators are most commonly used in conjuncture (and safest) with single bets.
Pros & Cons
- Pro - You could win a large amount of money should you strike it lucky, and you'll probably have plenty of fun along the way.
- Pro - Rolling accumulators are low risk to the bettor as you start with such a small amount.
- Con - You're still losing out. Losing rolling accumulators add up over time, and whilst it's only £5 here and there, few people win or track how much they've lost.
- Con - You're also ruining potential profits. On a good run, most decent bettors probably reel off runs of four or five straight wins, but you're risking very good profits by using rolling accumulators.
This is theory can result in a return of £20,480 from 10 winning bets at even money starting with a £10 stake. That sounds tempting, right? There isn't a bettor on the planet that will deny that it is a nice thought, but many realistic ones will tell you that it is a bad betting strategy. There are pros and there are cons. We're going to take a deeper look at the pros and cons mentioned above and highlight why a rolling accumulator is either a good betting strategy or a bad betting strategy.
Just to recap, a rolling accumulator involves starting with one set amount of money and identifying a starting bet. You place your full stake on this bet in the hope that it wins. If it wins, you take your original stake and all of your winnings, and you place it on the second bet. You'll hope for that to win also so you can roll the stake and winnings over to bet number three. Quite how far you go with a rolling accumulator is determined by one of two things: setting out a strict target number of wins that you cash out at or losing all of your money.
Good or Bad Betting Strategy?
You can win a lot of money when using the rolling accumulator strategy. There's no shortage of online gamblers who have their success stories, and the regular losers have no real tales of woe because you're only losing small increments each time. These losing bets add up, but the prevailing attitude of most bettors placing rolling accumulators is that it's about the enjoyment factor. Even if you're losing, you get paid every month, and you won't miss £5 in three months time. On the face of it, it does seem like some harmless fun, but people's blase attitude towards it can make it a bad betting strategy even if you're winning in the short term.
Understanding implied probability is a good way of assessing any multiple bet or a bet with more than one requirement, such as a rolling accumulator. If you do by chance take the time to map out your rolling accumulator ahead of time, you may stand a better chance of winning. If you're just going to bet as and when something grabs your fancy, it can be said with confidence your betting strategy is a bad one regardless.
If you were to put all of your proposed bets in to one accumulator ahead of starting your rolling accumulator, then the betting odds may give you an idea of what you're up against. A rolling accumulator is dangerous because you only deal with odds one betting market at a time. You might set out to bet seven times on teams at odds of ⅘ (1.80). In that circumstance and with the right research, it's likely enough you'll win.
But seven teams in an accumulator at at odds of 4/5(1.80) each is actually accumulated odds of around 60/1. If we convert decimal odds of 61.00 to implied probability, then we can see you have a supposed 1.64% chance of success.
That cannot be taken literally, but it also cannot be ignored. Betting game to game at best odds on prices may feel safe, but if you liken it to a likely success rate as a singles bettor, how often are you going to identify seven bets and win all seven bets? It's rare enough without the fact you may be forcing some bets just to scrape enough bets together to reach your target.
Are you really losing out?
If £5 once a weekend means nothing to you and you can afford to lose that sort of money, then you may think not. Win or lose, the rolling accumulator may also provide a great deal of entertainment along the way. But is it a good betting strategy? Let's consider a losing bettor who likes their rolling accumulators.
£5 lost in one weekend is just £5. Move forward a month, and it's £20. Over the course of a year that's actually £240 and in a decade it's £2,400. 10 years is a long term, but most common bettors who can afford it will spend at least 10 years having a cheeky weekend acca or placing televised football bets. If someone was to bet between the age of 18 and 48 (again, not an uncommon span of time for a gambler at all) then the damage could be £9,600. That could be £9,600 extra in your pension pot by the age of 48!
You might not notice the damage to your betting bank or personal bank in the short or long-term, but if you do the math that's already a big chunk of change you've lost out on. But even worse is considering how easy it might be to erase that huge loss and turn it into a profit.
Placing Singles instead
If you are targeting six, seven or eight bets at reasonable odds like in the example, then you'll probably find you have had wins and you are coming close enough on plenty of occasions. But close isn't close enough. You need perfection, and you can argue perfection rarely if ever exists in the sports betting world.
An interesting exercise for any support of rolling accumulators would be to break down results. Of course, you would be risking a lot more volume of money, but if you find you could be a winning bettor that's less of an issue. By working out how many single winning selections you've identified and calculating your would be profits, you may find out that your differential loss is much greater than -£240 a year. You may have lost that much, but you may have also won a couple of hundred from betting on singles.
Margins and Cash Out
One final thing to consider is knowing when to stop. A sensible and calculated bettor may adjudge a bet is no longer as strong as it once looked and decide to cash out after four bets instead of aiming for six. Most bettors lack that restraint, but in truth it holds more disadvantages than advantages. Sure, you've prevented a loss and you've taken some profits which is nice, but you're not going to beat the bookies with this arguably bad betting strategy.
Why? Well, every time you cash out, you never receive a full win. Each win on a single bet you do achieve comes with the bookmakers built in margin of anywhere from 3% to 7% anyway, so they're always robbing you of that much. Just like when you place an actual accumulator, that margin stacks up against you with each bet you add, so even when you win the bookmakers are keeping a nice little something for their troubles of paying you out, whilst the guy across the street losing their bet means the bookies remain the firm winners. Such sports betting strategies may not see you beat the bookmakers in the long term.
A rolling accumulator can be applied to any sport as well as multiple varying sports throughout it's life. Regardless of whether or not you are clever enough to profit from rolling accumulators, they're only ever going to be favoured by casual bettors. There aren't many people that can say with a straight face that a rolling accumulator is a sensible way of betting, but few will deny that it's good fun whilst it lasts! A professional bettor may use this bet strategy, but it'd only be for fun. You'll come across a lot of bettors in social media circles that swear by their ‘rolling accas' as a way to make money, and some even base a tipping service around them.
But it isn't a good betting strategy, and makes sense to keep it separate from the main bankroll. There are professionals that regularly play around with the idea of a rolling accumulator, but it'll be nothing more than low level stakes for a bit of entertainment and a break from the everyday stresses of the gambling world.
The main draw with the rolling accumulator is that it is undeniably fun. There will always be a countless amount of losers to every one winner, but the notion that you could take £10 of your money and be withdrawing hundreds or thousands come the end of the week is a fun one to embrace. But you shouldn't get carried away. It's important to remember that this is not a good betting strategy, and it should be nothing more than an irregular escape, some low stakes casual fun or just as a social challenge amongst friends and colleagues. Even if you are of the belief it's a poor betting strategy and just want to have some fun, it doesn't mean you can't profit from betting along the way. Avoiding greed and knowing when you're on top are good traits to have for a bettor. Just because you set out to turn £10 into £1,000, taking £500 and recognising your next bet might be a forced one is important.