Accumulators: Take The Bonus Or The Insurance?

people standing on different sized piles of moneyIn recent years many bookmakers have diversified options available to punters on sports betting with the explosion in popularity of both accumulator betting and the consumer’s increasing preference for online gambling.

Many of the most popular sportsbooks now periodically give customers the option to ‘boost’ their bets under certain circumstances, or alternatively offer the chance for punters to take insurance on an accumulator.

Bonuses come in two forms.  Firstly a fixed bet boost is where a customer can add their chosen selections to their betslip, and by selecting the option to ‘boost’, the odds of the bet are then increased (normally by around 10% of the original odds), meaning that if the bet ends up winning, the punter receives a bigger payout for the same stake.

The other option is a tiered accumulator bonuses, here the user gets a different bonus on their winning depending on the number of selections (e.g. 3-fold 5%, 4-fold 10%, 5-fold 15%, etc).

Acca insurance’ however is where the punter adds enough selections to form an accumulator (so four or more) and if only one selection (or ‘leg’) of the accumulator fails to win, then the customer receives a free bet to the same value of their stake on the original accumulator.

This page will talk you through the various benefits of taking the bet boost / bonus vs taking acca insurance under different circumstances.

Bet Boost and Bonuses

boostAs mentioned above, bet boosts are where the bookmakers give you the option to boost the odds of your bet. This is a limited option in the sense that different bookmakers give you different amounts of boosts. Some give you one per day or one per week, some give you three per day, and some give you a boost to use on specific sporting events. Some even give you daily bet boosts as well as boosts to use on specific events.

Most major bookmakers will allow you to boost bets on singles, doubles, trebles and accumulators. The extent to which your odds get boosted is based on a percentage of the cumulative odds of the bet, and the existing odds in the betslip are usually boosted by at least 10%, but with accumulators that have more selections (starting from 7-8 selections and higher) and/or have longer odds, the boost has a higher percentage. So, the longer the odds are, the more of a boost you receive.

For example, odds of 13/1 on a five-fold accumulator would typically be boosted to 15/1 – a boost of roughly 10%. A boost on a 40/1 accumulator would typically take it to around 46/1, a 100/1 accumulator would be boosted to around 125/1 and using the bet boost on an accumulator with odds as long as 500/1 would normally be boosted to odds of 750/1.

Because of this, using the bet boost feature naturally helps you get the most out of mega-accumulators or accumulators with particularly long odds, as the bigger the accumulator is, the bigger the boosted odds are above the original odds.

Still, if you are placing accas with a lot of legs you may be better off with a bonus than a bet boost.  Bet boosts tend to be better value with less legs (3-5 selections), however, acca bonuses are often tiered so for higher numbers of selections they can be better.  Some will payout 50% extra if you have enough legs (usually this will be 12+).

One thing worth bearing in mind though is bet boost extra winnings are always paid in cash whereas acca bonuses sometimes pay extra winnings as cash but sometimes will pay as a bonus / free bet, which of course then needs to be wagered before converting to real cash.  Therefore always read the terms to make sure the offer is suitable to you.

Acca Insurance

insurance and riskAcca insurance is significantly different to the concept of bet boosts and bonuses, in that it serves to offer you a bit of protection if your bet loses as opposed to bet boosts bolstering your win amount.

A handful of the most popular bookmakers will now allow you to take insurance on your accumulators, however each bookmaker will attach their own relevant terms and conditions to the offer – so it is always worth checking the specific conditions with your bookmaker of choice.

Typical terms and conditions to be aware of are minimum and/or maximum stakes – some bookmakers say for example that you can take insurance on accumulators with a minimum £5 stake, and quite a few of them put a maximum stake which can be insured (normally either £10, £20 or £50). On top of this there is usually a minimum amount of selections which must be in the accumulator before it qualifies for insurance – this will normally be either four or five selections.

It is generally football markets which you are able to apply acca insurance to, but with that being said football accumulators have become overwhelmingly popular with punters in recent years, hence the very introduction of features such as acca insurance.

While the extent of the bonus you receive with acca insurance is very limited – the maximum you can get is a free bet to the same stake as your accumulator – it is important to consider the circumstances under which it comes into play.

When you miss out on winning an accumulator by only one leg – i.e. only one leg loses, you effectively get your money back and can place another bet with this, whereas alternatively you wouldn’t get anything back if one leg lost, no matter what the odds were or how close you came to getting it right. This helps to soften the blow of missing out on a big win.

Insurance almost always pays out in promo cash / free bets (although there are exceptions), where as bet boosts and many bonuses pay in cash.  This is something to consider.

Which Is The Better Option?

Pros and Cons

To a large extent, choosing whether it is best to apply acca insurance or a bet boost to your accumulator depends on what your priorities are and how confident you are in the bet.  If you genuinely believe the bet will likely win a bonus would be recommended but if you have one or two selections you are unsure about then consider insurance.

Using bet boost would suit an ‘all or nothing’ betting style – winning big or not winning anything at all. But if you do win, you get maximum value odds for your selections.

It is also worth mentioning that the popular ‘cash out’ feature remains available on most bets where bet boost or acca insurance have been applied (subject to the bookmaker and the markets used for selections), so using a bet boost to maximise your odds could result in a generous cash out offer being available in-play if most, if not all, of your selections are winning at the same time.

It could be a good tactic to put a few selections together to create a fairly long-odds accumulator which you think has a good chance of winning, applying a bet boost to lengthen the odds with the intention of taking a decent cash out offer if most teams are winning early on.

After all, the higher your potential returns are on the accumulator, the higher a cash out offer will be if all selections are winning simultaneously.

To give you a feel for what is generally the best offer to take in certain circumstances, the following table depicts a range of example bets with typical odds alongside them, and whether it is better to take insurance or a bet boost – again, this is just a hypothetical example.

We’re basing this on a £5 stake, and the acca insurance would give you a free bet to the same value as your stake if just one selection of the accumulator loses. The bet boost would lengthen the odds of the accumulator along similar lines as were outlined earlier.

Amount of selectionsAcca InsuranceBet Boost / Bonus
3 – 6/1 (if allowed)
4 – 12/1 (if allowed)
5 – 24/1
6 – 40/1
7 – 80/1
8 – 150/1
9 – 250/1
10 – 500/1
11+ – 1250/1

To explain the suggestions above, on selections of 3-4 in size it is usually better to take insurance if you are able to do so, as there is a higher chance that if the accumulator loses that it will lose by only one leg, thereby activating the bonus of the insurance. The boost / bonus on the other hand would not lengthen the odds of these accumulators by a particularly large margin.

On accumulators with 6-7 selections (roughly odds of 80/1) either bonus is beneficial. With insurance, there is still a decent chance that the accumulator will lose by only one selection and so you could end up with a free bet to the same value as your stake.

acca bonus 1

However with bet boost, it is at this range of odds and amount of selections where you start to get really good value from boosting your accumulator – so for this bet, you can choose whichever offer is your preferred one.

On accumulators of 8 selections or more it is overwhelmingly more advantageous to take the bet boost for two reasons: first, the chance of a losing accumulator only having one losing selection becomes quite scarce, and in such a situation this would render acca insurance futile, but on top of this the amount by which your odds are boosted on the bet boost feature start increasing exponentially with every additions selection and because of this you can find maximum value on your accumulator should it win.

In theory, it can be said that bet boosts work for either small accumulators or large accumulators. For small accumulators, they squeeze out a little bit more value on what are relatively short priced accumulators (anything 5 legs or smaller, and anything lower than 20/1).

accumulator graphic

However for larger accumulators, they give you a big juicy bonus if you get lucky – often giving you 50% or more on top of your original odds for accumulators larger than 8-folds, or of odds longer than 50/1.

Either way you prefer to see it, you can find a bonus well worth your money in bet boosts.

Acca insurance, on the other hand, suits a more conservative betting style. With this bonus you are able to rest assured that if you narrowly miss out on your accumulator then you get your stake back.

This probably suits accumulators of the small to medium sizes, from four to eight selections. It is quite a regular occurrence for accumulators of this size to lose by only one leg, whereas when you look at accumulators of 10, 12 or 14 selections the probability that more than one selection will lose goes through the roof and as such this renders the application of acca insurance useless.

Also you can’t forget that cash out can be your friend here – if you choose to apply acca insurance on your bet and most of your selections are winning in-play, there is a good chance that the bookmaker will offer you a profitable cash out option, so if there are any nerves jangling and you feel that a couple of teams may end up letting you down, then you can cash out to take your money and run.

Overall, there is far more potential for making large amounts of money from the bet boost feature, however you will probably get your money back from acca insurance a lot more regularly than a medium to large sized accumulator will return anything.

The bonus possibilities with bet boost are pretty much endless, as the boost percentage increases with the amount of selections added to the bet. Conversely, the possibilities of acca insurance are very limited and it is still a very real possibility that more than one leg loses on even a small accumulator, making the acca insurance irrelevant.