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Singles vs Accumulators


Singles Versus Accumulators
Reducing Bookmaker's Advantage

It is almost impossible to reduce bookmaker's overound. However, great majority of punters do everything to make bookmaker's life as easy as possible. Blinded by the vision of a quick grow-rich schemes, they improve bookmaker's advantage. Betting in a simple way is the most effective. Let's look why Singles are better for a punter than Doubles and other Accumulators.

Myths about Accumulators

First of all, let us check why people love accumulators so much. Apart from the obvious reasons: they treat sports-betting as a source of entertainment. They look for occasional big winners in order to make a broadcasted match more exciting or to be able to brag a bit in the companionship of their collegues when they finally hit the jackpot.

More experienced punters try to explain it in a theoretical way. Let's look at a chart below:



You can see there how your profitability increases while your hit rate goes up. The yellow line represents three-folds, the pink one doubles, and the last one singles. It is for 2.00 average odds and 100 bets wagered.

One may think: If I was not capable of beating the odds (having hit rate for 2.00 average odds higher than 50%) I would not bet at all. Furthermore, the charts shows that the bigger number of bets on one coupon, the bigger profit I might expect, assuming my yield is positive. So it is much better to bet three-folds than singles. Having 0.65 hit rate, for example, I will earn +119.7 units over 100 bets, while only +30 betting on singles. It is over 3 times better result.

It is a very dangerous approach. Despite the fact it looks pretty reasonable at a first glance, it contains a lot of errors.

Being Restricted To One Company Makes a Big Difference

Firstly, betting on doubles, you are restricted to only one betting company. You cannot bet on Arsenal ? Manchester and Aston Villa ? Sunderland on one coupon at 2 bookmakers. It is technically impossible. Due to this fact, you are very likely to lose a lot of great offers (read: high odds). Imagine you spotted 2 nice value-bets: you think that Milan have 70% chances over Ancona and Nantes 55% over Troyes. You search for a bookie which offers the best odds for these 2 games. As it appears later, one of them gives 1.52 on Milan and 1.75 on Nantes. Your bet has, in your opinion 38.5% chance of succeeding (0.7*0.55) and odds of this coupon is 2.66 what assure you positive expectation equals 1.024 .

In a long run, you will earn $102.4 from every $100 you wager, what will bring you a net profit of $240 after a hundred $100-bets.

Wagering these games in two various companies, in singles, you are able to grab 2 best offers available at the whole market. Bookmaker A sets 1.55 odds on Milan and Bookmaker B 1.82 on Nantes. Nowadays, it takes you almost no effort and time to register with any bookmaker and cash the money in. This way you expect Milan to bring you 1.55*0.7 = 1.085 profit and Nantes 1.85 * 0.55 = 1.0175 .

Therefore, you bet 50 times $100 on Milan and 50 times $100 on Nantes (the same amount was invested ? $10k as in the first example). As long as your 55% estimation is right, you are expected to hit Milan 35 times (35 is 0.7 of 50) what will bring you $425 of a net profit ((35*$100*1.55)-$5000). Nantes will earn you $87.5, what sums up in $512.5 .

Let us look back at the conclusion we drew looking at the first chart. ?The bigger the number of bets on one coupon, the bigger the profit I might expect, assuming my yield is positive. So it is much better to bet three-folds than singles?

The fact of being restricted to only one bookmaker, shows how much the statement above is contradictory with the truth. Sure, if you are able to sustain positive yield in a long term, and bet only on value-bets you are expected to earn a lot, regardless of the number of bets on a coupon. However, choosing accumulators (read: being limited to only one bookmaker) you lose as much as 2/3 of possible earnings.

Keeping Low Risk Profile Is Never Free

The next fact showing superiority of singles is that pairing bets in doubles your average odds significantly go up and you are obliged to wager much less to keep the same risk rate as in singles.

Imagine you bet only singles at the average odds of 2.00 and you decided to bet no more than 2.5% on one event to keep the risk of bankruptcy on as low as 1% (see our risk management tool to adjust your own strategy). Pairing this picks into doubles, your average odds go up to 4.00 and your hit rate significantly decreases. 2.5% fixed staking is not appropriate anymore because the risk of busting up enlarged several times.

Therefore, a profitability goes down as well. If your yield is believed to settle around 5% in a long term, you will increase your bankroll by 125% after every 1000 bets.

4.00 average odds make you bet no more than 1.2% on a coupon. Assuming that you are able to keep your yield at the same level (in the previous example we have proven it is actually impossible), your expectation is to earn 60% over the same number of bets.

You place the same bets, keep the same level of risk and the number of selections. Deciding to pair your bets in doubles made you waste the opportunity of increasing the bankroll by another 65%. Imagine how 3-folds with average 8.00 odds would influence your profitability.

Do Not Complicate Your Already Hard Life

Finally, we came to the most important facts. By betting on accumulators you increase bookmakers' overound lowering your chances significantly. And it is the most important thing you may find out about the superiority of singles.

A bookmaker has just set the lines for Chelsea ? Milan and Barcelona ? Juventus games. They decided to offer 1.90 ? 3.25 ? 3.65 on the first one and 2.20 ? 3.15 - 3.00 on the other one. After making some calculations and cutting off the overound, you discovered that the above correspond to 49% - 27% - 24% and 42% - 28% - 30% probabilities respectively.

Chelsea Draw A Milan
1.9 3.25 3.65
0.49 0.27 0.24
0.931 0.8775 0.876

Barcelona Draw B Juventus
2.2 3.15 3
0.42 0.28 0.3
0.924 0.882 0.9

The tables above, show how much a bookmaker expect you to lose. The lower the odds, the smaller the overound.

Pairing picks into doubles you receive the following hit rate expectations:

Barcelona Draw B Juventus
Chelsea 0.21 0.14 0.15
Draw A 0.11 0.08 0.08
Milan 0.10 0.07 0.07

It is no surprise that a double containing two underdogs (Juventus 30% and Milan 24%) has the least probability of winning (7%)

Comparing these results with possible payouts:

We receive the table of overounds (bookmaker's expectations) :

Barcelona Draw B Juventus
Chelsea 4.18 5.99 5.70
Draw A 7.15 10.24 9.75
Milan 8.03 11.50 10.95



With singles a bookmaker expects to pay out on average only 89.8% of the total sum wagered. It means that he is going to earn $10.2 of every $100 wagered.

The last table shows how his expectation changes while people decide to pair all the possible events into doubles. The average of these numbers is 81% - this time a bookmaker earns $19 on every $100 wagered. It is almost a 2 times bigger profit for him (and a loss for a punter).

We checked how the matter would look like for three-folds. We do not want to bother you with detailed results, but it appears that bookmaker's expectation is as much as $29 from every $100 wagered.

Source: Betting Advice forums



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