Though most people are able to grasp the notions of standard betting, with terms such as best odds, stakes and pay-outs in common parlance even outside of betting circles, there are several specialist bets that require more understanding. An accumulator is one such bet, but once punters have got to grips with them they find that single or standard bets are harder to return to as the profit margins of accumulators can be extremely attractive.

Put simply, an accumulator bet is a single stake bet which involves a number of selections, each impacting on the odds and returns of the total bet. The outcome of the bet is dependent on all of the selections winning, but as the odds are influenced by each other the total odds are much higher than that of a single bet.

For example, a player betting on a favourite could expect short odds, say Manchester United to win at home at 1/5, but when added to an accumulator bet across other fixtures or even other sports the short odds could be transformed into a very attractive selection. In our example, the same punter could add Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham all to win at home, which, as single bets, would have similar odds but as an accumulator bet could return odds at 1/1 or 1/2, or even greater odds as the number of selections increases.

These numbers may seem like a jumble of hard-core mathematics discernible by gambling veterans alone, but they are made simple through the use of an accumulator calculator. Every betting website provides these calculators for punters to use, and they explain clearly the odds for each selection and the returns as each further selection is added. See one in use here. Canny punters can therefore use these betting calculators to lever a higher pay-out with the addition of a higher-odds selection.

Some betting operators also offer accumulator bonuses, such as a European accumulator in football which would see picks generated across the top leagues in Europe grouped together for an accumulative win. In this way, the rise of Internet gaming has transformed the betting industry and the way in which punters can research and lay their betting selections. Today they can monitor live scores and outcomes, and many betting operators stream sporting events from their websites.

With such up-to-the minute in-play markets bettors can use accumulators to their advantage, such as waiting until half time before placing accumulative bets to lengthen the odds of such selections as those in our example detailed above. For this reason it is vital for players to get to know their betting operators and their promotions, as they can ensure they use accumulator bets to their advantage and maximise their returns.