You will rarely find a professional bettor who uses accumulators (or parleys to our US readers) in their betting strategy. The reason behind this is simple; it is difficult enough to predict one result correctly let alone more than one and our chances of success grow smaller with every added event. The other problem with accumulators is that the bookies very rarely offer you fair odds for a successful event so every time you link events together you end up receiving less and less compared to the true chances of success. That's not to say that accumulators aren't tempting, where else can you make significant returns for such a modest outlay?
We don't believe that all accumulators are bad, we actually quite like them when they're done well and our systems; Football Fourfolds, Soccer Sevens, Tournament Betting and Whitewash Winnings actually require them. The trick is to control your bets, manage your risk and to use selfdiscipline in order to give yourself the best possible chance of success. What is an accumulator or parlay?
Put simply an accumulator (otherwise referred to as a betting accumulator or a football accumulator) is a bet where you link a number of results together. After the first result, the original stake plus your winnings, becomes the stake for the next event and so on, meaning that the returns grow very quickly. The problem is that if one of your selections is wrong then the chain is broken and you lose everything to that point.
The returns can be impressive. If you were to place a £10 accumulator bet on five different teams all priced at 2/1 you’d return £2,430. If on the other hand you placed your £10 stake evenly across the five teams you'd return just £30. The trouble is that the more bets you put in your accumulator, the more likely it is to fail. When is an accumulator too long?As you'll have aready guessed, an accumulator that contains 2 bets is far more likely to be successful that an accumulator with 10 in it. You should always be aware that the longer they are, the more chances there are that a result will go wrong and you’ll lose the lot. At I’m a winner we believe that four is the absolute maximum amount of bets you should string together with three the preferred amount. Whilst three might sound uninteresting to those bettors who love the chance to win big – trust us – winning smaller amounts more regularly is far more satisfying. You must also be aware of exactly how many bets there actually are in your accumulator  if you watch our blog video here you'll see how a Kyle Jordan from Fleetwood won £45,000 using a £5 accumulator covering 6 games. His bet's however covered the match result and that both teams would score so actually he placed a 12 bet accumulator.
If you keep an accurate spread sheet of your bets (and you really should), you will be able to determine how often your accumulators are successful. If you do really well with four selections then maybe you could look to try five. If you don’t do well with four, then maybe three is the best option. Always remember that winning a two event accumulator is far nicer than telling your mates about how you managed to get nine out of ten correct – winning is winning. 
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Most bettors do not understand the real chances regarding accumulators and the effect that choosing too many selections has. Whilst most understand that the more selections you include the higher the chance of failure, most don’t realise just how much of an impact it makes. So how do you work this out?

It’s simple. The probability of events occuring is usually shown as a percentage and working out the chances of multiple events occuring is just a case of multiplying those percentages together. If you have a double on two teams and you think they both have a 50% chance of success. You simply convert 50% to a decimal, 0.50, and multiply it by the second team’s chance of 0.50 giving .25 or 25%.
Accumulators of three or more are just as easy. We know that in the English Premier League approximately 25% of games end in a draw. To combine three draws we simply perform the sum 0.25 * 0.25 * 0.25 = 1.6%.
This highlights precisely the difference between bookmakers odds and real odds. The average available price for a draw last season was 3.9, offering you returns for this three draw accumulator of 58.31, however we know from our sums that the true odds should be 62.51 (1.6% shown as a fraction). So even if you do win, you don’t win as much as you should. Whilst this amount, known in betting circles at the bookmakers overround (or profit margin) has an impact on your winnings, its effect is hightened by longer and longer accumulators. As we explained previously, this video blog explains how Kyle Jordan won £45,000 for £5, You need to watch to the end though to see just how much he should have won if the bookmakers paid the true odds. 

This section will describe a useful approach to accumulators where you cover a number of accumulators from a larger number of selections. For example, you might want to cover all of the doubles from ten different predictions. To start with though, you need to understand some of the language use starting with permutations and combinations.
Permutations and Combinations are often incorrectly confused with Accumulators and whilst they are very different they should both form a part of your betting arsenal. To explain combinations and permutations easily imagine that you wanted to back threestring accumulators from four different games. If we label the games A, B, C & D then there are four different threestring accumulators we can back ABC, ABD, ACD & BCD. These four options are called combinations, so to there are four combinations of '3 from 4'. A permutation is simly one of the combinations, such as ABC or ACD. Many bettors use these terms interchangebly (and incorrectly) however I'm a winner readers know better so correct terms please! It is also important to be aware of the names of the bets used in accumulators. Any bet with two selections is referred to as a double, a bet with three is referred to as a treble and after that they are referred to as fourfold, fivefold, sixfold etc. Accumulators are not limited in the number of bets you can string together so you could end up with a twenty sevenfold if you like (although please remember that we dont advise anymore than four). 

