What Is A Parlay Bet?

Gambler Saloon
November 24, 2022
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what is a parlay

When it comes to choosing the most popular type of sports bet, a parlay wager is near the top of the list. Sure, a straight bet, prop bet, moneyline bet or a spread bet are all popular. But there is something about parlay wagering that really captures the imagination. You may have heard stories of a parlay bettor winning huge money against incredible odds and want to get in on the action.

However, if you are new to wagering, you may be wondering what is a parlay in betting? Essentially, it is a type of sports wager in which you combine multiple individual bets (typically 2-10 bets) into one bet or “parlay card.” It’s extremely popular with NBA and NFL football bettors, but you can place a parlay bet on every sport.

The benefit of a parlay is that there are much higher payoffs than placing each individual bet separately since the difficulty of hitting all of them is much higher. Getting a huge potential payout from a small stake is appealing to lots of bettors.

In this parlay betting guide we will go through how to add a parlay bet to the bet slip, the different types of parlays, payouts and benefits of parlays, and the best sportsbooks where to place a parlay bet!

How Does a Parlay Bet work?

Parlays or round robins are one of the more exotic wagers, as they offer the potential for a big payout on a small wager. This kind of bet allows you to place bets on multiple moneyline bets, proposition bets, totals, or point spreads at the same time, earning a higher payout if all of your picks win than they would have betting each one individually. Hence, each bet within the parlay must win in order for the parlay to win. If any bet within the parlay loses, the bet loses. The more teams put into a parlay bet, the higher the odds.

For instance, you could bet on every NFL game on a Sunday and build your own parlay with props or moneyline odds. You can see the potential payout every time you add a leg to the parlay. There is a big risk to parlays but they are fun because you don’t need to stake a lot of money to earn a big payday. So, if you think you know your NBA teams well and have done some research on team stats and player stats, placing a parlay on NBA games would be a good idea.

Although they are difficult to win as sport is unpredictable, the fact you could win so much from so little draws bettors in. Additionally, there are different types of parlay wagers available to provide you with some variation.

The parlay can still be a winner if a game is canceled or ends in a tie.

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How To Place a Parlay Bet?

Now that you know what is a parlay, you may wonder how to place a parlay bet. Land-based bettors usually tell the ticket writer directly which teams and totals they’d like to bet on and how much they’d like to risk on the bet. Of course, an online bettor can do the same with online sportsbooks by selecting matches and outcomes by himself. You can place a combination bet using multiple teams across different sports. If you are feeling particularly frisky, you can cram NFL teams, MLB teams, NBA teams, NHL teams and soccer teams all into the same bet if you so choose.

Not many sportsbook allow for crazy parlays, cutting you off at about 14 or 15 games. Anyway, there are sportsbooks accepting 25 game parlays, paying 9600-to-1 for them.

It’s essential to find a book with the best parlay odds. Be sure to compare parlay odds from leading sportsbooks if parlays are a prominent part of your betting strategy. Taking advantage of betting promotions and bonuses is also hugely beneficial.

Types Of Parlays

Same Game Parlay

Otherwise known as a single game parlay, this allows bettors to place multiple bets from a single match into one overall parlay. It is not like a conventional 5 or 10 team parlay, but you can combine your favorite bet types from wagering on one event. That is the basic premise of it, and it has proven to be a big hit. If you ever check social media on NFL game days, you will see the accounts of the big operators promoting these live on their feeds. They hope to encourage people to jump on board and start placing their own same game parlays.

They typically appear like a lottery ticket on the screen, with massive odds against. For example, somebody using a sportsbook that allows single game parlays could bet on five different players to score touchdowns in a Seattle Seahawks Vs Buffalo Bills game:

Tyler Lockett anytime TD scorer

Stefon Diggs anytime TD scorer

DK Metcalf anytime TD scorer

Gabe Davis anytime TD scorer

Kenneth Walker III anytime TD scorer

A $10 wager on the above would pay out a huge amount!

Building up your same game parlay is a straightforward process. Most sportsbooks allow you to go game to game, click on the teams involved, and then click the ‘same game parlay’ button next to or under the team names. This will bring up a long list of types of bets available, many of which are not available under the normal betting menu. You can also filter the bets by type.

You could use a parlay calculator to work out the moneyline odds combined with other fixed odds as you build your parlay.

Over/Under Parlays

Over/Under bets are stakes made on the total amount of points that will be scored during any given game by both teams. They’re very common in betting parlays because they allow you to make multiple bets on the same game. A common strategy is to bet which team you think will win, and then parlay that bet with whether you think the game will go “under” or “over.”

You may have noticed the half a point. In sports betting half points are called “the hook.” The sportsbooks use half points for most bets, especially over/unders, which limit the opportunities for a push.

Moneyline Parlays

Moneyline bets remove the point spread from the equation. It’s a bet based straight up on the winner and loser of the event.

You are able to mix moneyline bets with point spread bets on a single parlay; however, you cannot mix them with either teaser/pleaser bets. On those cards, if one wager is teased/pleased, you must tease/please them all.

Round Robin Parlays

A Round Robin bet is an easy way to wager multiple parlays with a single bet. Deriving its name from round robin tournaments – where each team in the tournament plays against each other at least once – this type of wager builds many different smaller bets that include all possible combinations of events.

You can select 3-8 teams (many sportsbooks allow more teams than eight), and then make parlays out of them, ranging from two to seven selections.

Eg: if you select the following picks:

  •     New York Giants -2.5 (-110)
  •     Cleveland Cavaliers +7.5 (-110)
  •     New England Patriots -10.5 (-110)

You’ll have three parlays:

  •     Giants -2.5
  •     Cavaliers +7.5
  •     Cavaliers +7.5
  •     Patriots -10.5
  •     Giants -2.5
  •     Patriots -10.5

If you were going to construct one regular parlay, you’d need all three of these teams to cover the spread. Thanks to round robin betting, you can create a security policy that allows one leg of your parlay to fail while keeping you profitable. Of course, if two teams do not cover, you will lose every parlay in your round robin bet.

How Does A Parlay Bet Payout?

Parlay bets are paid out at odds higher than the typical single game bet. Payouts for a parlay are fixed by the time the bet is placed. Even if the lines and odds for an individual game move, the parlay lines and odds won’t change from when the parlay bet was placed.  The parlay bet won’t be changed whether the lines change for or against the bettor.

Point Spread Parlay Payout

In parlays involving point spreads, the payoff is fixed, while money line parlay payoffs are determined by the odds of each team. While a parlay made against the point spread assumes a 50-50 chance for each team of winning, money line parlays do not.

Point spreads and totals are usually offered at odds of -110, as they are considered as 50/50 chances. As consequence, two selections payout at odds of 13/5, and three selections pays out at odds of 6/1. These can quickly add up, as eight selections will pay out at around odds of 150/1.

For instance, a correct eight-parlay will pay out $150 for every $1 wagered.

Parlays are a little more complicated when the odds on each selection is different, and this will be the case, especially when betting on the money line (NBA basketball is one of the most popular sports for a money line parlay).

parlay payout table

Moneyline Parlay Payout

The odds for each single bet are multiplied by the next bet. Let’s say we want a parlay with the following teams:

  • Golden State Warriors      -150
  • Chicago Bulls        +170
  • Los Angeles Lakers    -120

First, we have to determine what the multipliers would be for each game. Simply divide what the total payout would be (risk + win) by the risk amount

  • Warriors – 150 to win 100, so the total payout would be $250
    250/150 = 1.6666
  • Bulls – 100 to win 170, so the total payout would be $270
    270/100 = 2.7
  • Lakers – 120 to win 100, so the total payout would be $220
    220/120 = 1.8333

Now that we have the multipliers, we multiply them together to come up with the True odds of the parlay.

1.6666 x 2.7 x 1.8333 = 8.2495

The return on your parlay would be about 8.25 this includes the risk amount, so your profit would be approximately 7.25 for every dollar you risk on the above parlay.

Fortunately, when placing a Parlay, all the betting sites will tell you the exact odds you’ll receive, so the work is done for you.

Benefits Of Parlay Betting

Although the odds of the payoff are much less than the true odds, parlay bets have a lot of benefits and are casual gamblers’ most loved bets.
The most important is that a parlay requires less bankroll, and bettors have the potential to gain a larger amount while risking much less. For sure, parlay payouts are one of the biggest perks. Although getting a 10 team parlay to win is difficult, they can be more fun than placing two or more bets or multiple wagers.

Just remember, if one leg loses, the entire parlay loses.

Smart gamblers don’t bet parlays unless they find a book that allows correlated parlays.

What Is A Correlated Parlay?

A correlated parlay is a wager in which you have two bets that are tied together. If one of the wagers wins, your chances of winning the second bet increases. For example, it could refer to a team that may win the first half of the game and go on to win the entire game. If you combine two bets that have a strong relationship to each other, it means that if one happens, then, the other is very likely to happen as well. This is why correlated parlays as so profitable.

Anyway, sportsbooks do not like giving up a big advantage to bettors, so in most cases, they will not allow a correlated parlay.

Best Sportsbook For Parlays

We make sure we bring you the very best bookmakers for betting on parlay, including all the biggest names worldwide. Big operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings sportsbook offer numerous parlay markets. If you sign up to a sportsbook today, you could use your welcome free bet to place a parlay bet.

We really don’t miss a thing so keep your eyes right here for all the best sportsbook odds and offers today.

Author Gambler Saloon