What’s an accumulator?

In horse racing, an accumulator is a collective bet on selections in successive races, usually four or more. If the first selection wins, the initial stake and winnings are carried forward to the second selection and so on, such that potential winnings ‘accumulate’ progressively until the end of the bet is reached. For example, if you place a 1-point accumulator on four selections, each at 1/1, or even money, your potential winnings will be 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16 points.

However, an accumulator is an ‘all or nothing’ bet, so if one of your selections loses, you will lose your stake, regardless of the outcome of the other three races. Consequently, unless you’re in search of a huge return for a relatively small outlay, an accumulator is best suited to horses at prohibitively short odds, which are uneconomical to back individually. Of course, it’s possible to place an ‘accumulator’ on two or three successive races but, in horse racing parlance, the former is usually referred to as a ‘double’ and the latter as a ‘treble’.