Multiples and Combination Wagers in Soccer – How Do They Work?
Multiples and combination wagers are among the hardest of all soccer bets to get right. Does this mean that you should ignore them? No!
A lot of so-called “experts” suggest that you should steer well clear of these wagers, but this is terrible advice in our opinion. They can be very profitable if used correctly.
The most popular wager of this type is the parlay. Also known as an accumulator, this is a wager that should be in EVERY soccer bettor’s arsenal. Why? Because of the potential payouts.
You’re unlikely to win accumulators and parlays on a regular basis, but you really don’t need to do. The returns are so good that you can still make an overall profit with a fairly low win rate. It’s even possible to win life-changing sums of money from tiny stakes.
This article will teach you everything you need to know about how soccer accumulators and parlays work. We also cover some of the other multiples and combination wagers that can be used in soccer. These include progressive parlays, full cover bets, scorecasts, and wincasts.
The first point to make here is about the words “accumulator” and “parlay.” Both of these words refer to the exact same type of wager; they’re just used in different parts of the world. Parlay is used mostly in North America, while accumulator is used in most other regions.
With that point explained, let’s take a look at how this wager works. It’s actually very straightforward. An accumulator or parlay simply combines two or more selections into a single wager. It’s basically just betting on multiple outcomes all at once.
You have to get EVERY selection right to win, though, which is what makes these wagers so hard.
You can include pretty much any selection in a soccer accumulator or parlay. Typically, though, most people use these wagers to bet on the result of multiple games. Here’s an example.
There are three upcoming games in the English Premier League that you want to bet on. You’ve predicted the result of each one as follows.
Swansea City vs. Stoke City – Swansea City to Win (odds of 1.85)
West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United – Manchester United to Win (odds of 2.10)
West Ham United vs. Tottenham Hotspur – Tottenham Hotspur to Win (odds of 2.50)
If you placed an accumulator to cover these three selections, you’d need ALL THREE of them to be correct get a payout. So you’d need Swansea City to win, Manchester United to win, AND Tottenham Hotspur to win. If just one of those teams lost or drew, your accumulator would lose.
This obviously means that you’re less likely to get a return than if you placed three separate wagers here. So, why would you place an accumulator and reduce your chances of winning? The answer lies in the way the odds are calculated.
If you WERE to place three separate wagers, staking $10 on each, the potential returns would be as follows.
Swansea City Win – Returns $18.50 ($8.50 profit)
Manchester United Win – Returns $21.00 ($11 profit)
Tottenham Hotspur Win – Returns $25.00 ($15 profit)
You’d be risking $30 in total here, for the chance of making $34.50 in profit. If all three teams won, you’d do slightly better than double your money. Not a great return, but not bad either.
And the wagers are not linked in any way, so you don’t need ALL selections to be right to get a payout. If only one of your teams win and the other two lose, you’ll still get a payout for your one correct selection.
If you placed a $30 accumulator instead, the potential return here is nearly $300. This is because the odds for each selection are MULTIPLIED when placing accumulators or parlays.
1.85 x 2.10 x 2.50 = 9.713
Potential Return ($30 stake) = $291.38
As you can see, the overall odds are noticeably higher than when betting on single selections. And they can get MUCH higher if you start including even more selections. If you added three more selections to this example, at similar odds, the calculation would look like this.
1.85 x 2.10 x 2.50 x 1.70 x 1.90 x 2.05 = 643.11
Potential Return ($30 stake) = $1929.34
This is ultimately why accumulators and parlays are such an attractive option. You can win SIGNIFICANTLY more money than if you cover your selections in separate wagers. The downside, of course, is that you have to get all of your selections right.
Some people believe that the downside of these wagers far outweighs the upside of the higher returns. That’s why accumulators and parlays are often referred to as “sucker bets.”
Like we said at the beginning of this article, we don’t agree with this point of view at all. All you’re doing with these wagers is taking a bigger risk in return for higher potential rewards. Providing you properly analyze the risk versus reward, you’re not being a sucker at all.
There’s NOTHING wrong with taking big risks
if you feel there’s value to be had.
It is important to get the balance right with these wagers, though. Because of the way the odds are calculated, it can be tempting to include a LOT of selections and chase some really big payouts.
This isn’t really the best approach, though, as accumulators and parlays become exponentially harder to win as more selections are added.
A 20-selection accumulator might seem like a good idea, as the potential payout is likely to be enormous. There’s very little chance of getting that many selections right in one hit, though. So, it’s better to go for a smaller number of selections where there’s a realistic chance of winning. The odds will still be fairly high, as we’ve already demonstrated.
This is really all you need to know about soccer accumulators and parlays. You can place these wagers with any sportsbook, bookmaker, or betting site. You’ll usually be able to include all kinds of different selections, so you’re not limited to just betting on full-time results.
Progressive parlays are widely available for the major US sports leagues such as the NHL and the NFL. They’re not quite so common for soccer, but you’ll find them at some of the top US-facing sports betting sites.
This is a specific type of parlay that comes with less risk and lower rewards than a standard parlay. The risk is reduced because you don’t have to get ALL of your selections correct. The rewards are lower because you get smaller payouts when you do. The payouts are reduced even further when you get one or more selections wrong.
You usually have to include at least four selections when placing progressive parlays. The more selections you include, the more you’re “allowed” to get wrong. With four selections, for example, you can typically expect a payout even with one wrong selection.
With seven selections, you’d probably get a payout even with two wrong selections. With ten selections, you might get a payout even with three wrong selections. The exact terms vary from one site to the next.
Payouts for progressive parlays are usually calculated as multiples of your stake. This means it doesn’t matter what the actual odds of your selections are. Here’s an example of what the payouts can look like for this wager.
Number of Selections
All Selections Correct
1 Wrong Selection
2 Wrong Selections
3 Wrong Selections
A four-selection progressive parlay here would return five times your initial stake if you got all of your selections correct. You’d just get your initial stake back if one selection was wrong, and you’d get nothing back if any more were wrong.
A ten-selection progressive parlay here would return 250 times your initial stake if you got all of your selections correct. With one wrong, you’d get 25 times your stake back. With two wrong, you’d get four times your stake back. With three wrong, your initial stake would be returned.
There is SOME benefit in using progressive parlays in the right situations. For the most part, though, this is not a wager worth bothering with. If you think you’re likely to get one or more selections wrong, you shouldn’t be placing a parlay in the first place!
Full Cover Bets
These bets are widely available in the United Kingdom and in parts of Europe, too. They’re very similar to accumulator and parlays, as they also involve making multiple selections.
However, a full cover bet is not just one wager. It’s essentially a series of wagers that covers different combinations of the relevant selections.
Don’t worry if this sounds confusing. Full cover bets are quite complicated, and they take a bit of getting used to. We’ll use an example to demonstrate how they work, which should hopefully make things a little clearer.
Let’s go back to the three games we mentioned in our earlier example of an accumulator/parlay. Say you made the following three selections.
Swansea City to Beat Stoke City
Manchester United to Beat West Bromwich Albion
Tottenham Hotspur to Beat West Ham United
With the accumulator/parlay, you covered all three of these selections in one single wager. With a full cover bet, you’d cover all three of these selections in EVERY possible combination. So you’d effectively be placing seven separate wagers, one on each of the following.
Swansea City to Win
Manchester United to Win
Tottenham Hotspur to Win
Swansea City to Win AND Manchester United to Win
Swansea City to Win AND Tottenham Hotspur to Win
Manchester United to Win AND Tottenham Hotspur to Win
All Three Teams to Win
You have to pay for all the wagers included in a full cover bet. This full cover bet on three selections is covering seven wagers, so a $10 stake would cost you a total of $70. You’re basically just staking $10 on each of the wagers but covering all the wagers in one go.
Each of one these wagers would subsequently be settled individually. If only Swansea City won, then you’d just win wager #1.
If Swansea City and Manchester United both won, you’d win wagers #1, #2, and #4. If all three teams won, you’d win all seven wagers. The payouts for each individual wager would be calculated separately, but then combined into one single payout.
Full cover bets allow you to reduce the overall risk of backing multiple selections while still taking advantage of the higher potential payouts. They’re very powerful wagers in the right situations, and they’re well worth considering. We explain them in more detail on the following page.
Combination wagers involve betting on multiple outcomes within the same game. There are several of these wagers available for soccer, and two that are especially popular. These are the scorecast and the wincast. Let’s take a look at how they work.
This is a wager on which player will score first in a game and what the final score will be. Note that it’s the final SCORE and not the RESULT. You have to predict the actual score line, not just which team will win.
For example, let’s say you were placing a scorecast on a game between Liverpool and Everton. You might decide to back Sadio Mane to score the first goal and Liverpool to win 3-1. You would then need BOTH of these things to happen.
If Mane scored first but Liverpool won by any other score line, you’d still lose. You’d also lose if Liverpool won 3-1 and any other player scored the first goal. You’d ONLY win if Mane scored first AND Liverpool won 3-1.
The same basic principle applies to all combination wagers. You always have to get BOTH components right in order to win. This makes them hard wagers to win, although some are easier than others.
The scorecast is the hardest of ALL soccer combination wagers to get right. It’s not a wager we recommend using too often, even though the potential payouts can be very appealing. Odds of 50.00 and higher are common, but there’s a reason for that.
Predicting the exact correct score line is tough enough, and predicting the first goal scorer at the same time is virtually impossible.
This is really just a wager to place for a bit of fun. There’s nothing wrong with placing small-stakes scorecasts every now and then, but don’t expect to make any money from them in the long run.
The wincast is a much better option than the scorecast in our opinion. It’s a wager we use regularly, and we have plenty success with it. Here, you have to pick a player to score at ANY TIME and the RESULT of the game.
This is significantly easier than picking the first goalscorer and the exact score.
Please note that what we’ve described here is the “traditional wincast.” Some bookmakers and betting sites have slightly different rules for this wager and require you to pick the first goalscorer rather than an anytime goalscorer. This obviously makes the wager harder to win, so make sure you check the rules before placing a wager of this type.
Other popular combination soccer wagers include the following.
Half-time result and full-time result
Both teams to score and full-time result
Total goals and full-time result
Please check out the following article for some useful advice on how to use these wagers effectively. It also includes details of our preferred strategies for the various other wagers discussed on this page.
We can’t promise that we’ll teach you how to make your fortune, but we’ll definitely give you a better of chance of making a profit from soccer multiples and combinations.