A parlay bet is also called a multi bet, an accumulator bet, or a combo wager. It happens when a bettor places more than two bets on a single card. The player links several bets at a go. Though single bets are the most common because they seem easier to win, some of the biggest betting wins in history are parlay bets. So, whether you are a recreational bettor or a professional, or a rookie, this is something you want to get your head around. There's money to be made!
Here's the catch with parlay bets: you have to win them all to collect a payout. If one bet is lost in the cluster, it makes the whole cluster a total loss. However, in some sports betting sites, a draw from a single game in the parlay only nullifies that game but still allows you to collect a payout from the rest of the games you win.
Is a Parlay bet riskier? Definitely! But more important is the fact that lots of online sportsbooks deliberately assign lesser winning odds for parlay bets than single and double bets. Your chances of losing money are way higher on a parlay bet than on a normal single bet. Yet, ironically, so are your chances of making really big wins from the multiple bets!
To parlay or not to parlay? Parlay betting is best understood as a tight-rope walk! But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Just do your math and dig in!
How Does a Parlay Bet Work?
The parlay bet is basically a cluster of games each with its own odds of winning plus the wager you place for it. It’s easy to calculate the payout when you place your parlay bet: just add up the decimal odds for each game and multiply the sum by the wager.
Here’s how to do it:
Sum of decimal odds X wager = payout
Although, most sports betting sites work it out for you as you place your bet. Then, all you will need to do is enter your stake/wager.
Types Of Parlay Bets
There are four different types of Parlays.
This is perhaps the simplest of all types of parlays. It’s when a player says, "all I want to bet on is the event of a win or a loss! Period!" Moneyline bettors only gamble the outcome of the event/games selected.
They don’t care about all the other aspects like points, times, and table rankings. All they look at is will the teams win or lose, and then bet on that. Pretty simple, right? But there is more to betting than the win-lose model.
Let's look at some options.
This parlay tactic needs you to consider the points on each team and their opponent before placing a bet. You work out the point difference for teams playing each other to determine that this team has a chance of beating the other by these given points.
For the sake of leveling out the playing field, sports betting sites carry out what’s called a points spread. It involves considering team strengths and assigning positive and negative values to be used by bettors.
Say the Bengals are playing the Rams in the Superbowl. The Rams being the stronger team by 3 points gets a negative -3 assignment. These deducted points are assigned to the Bengals like this:
Rams -3 vs Bengals +3
The point spread depends on how mismatched the two teams are.
So that if you bet on the Rams to win, they need to win by more than 3 points to have a positive score. So, then, the stronger team always needs a score higher to overcome their assigned negative points.
If they win only by 3 points then it’s a draw as far as your bet is concerned due to the -3 assigned point spread. Here the Rams need 4 points and above for you to win your bet.
This parlay betting tactic involves your knowledge and feeling about the points that will be scored per game. Here you simply state that the win or loss will be over or under certain points.
The house sets the line at say 40.5 points total for a game. This means whatever points are scored by both teams will not go over 40.5 points.
Then it’s up to you to decide if the winning team will go over the line or stay below it. All in all, you are making these 2 bets at a go:
Selecting the winning team,
Declaring that the winning team’s points will go over or under the set house line.
Going over or under in parlay betting needs you to know your team’s history and the performance quite well. Because if any of your bets are wrong, you lose the whole wager.
Teaser parlays give you the freedom to adjust or “tease” the point spread, line(total) & over/under figures in a way that increases your chances. The range allowed is usually 6 - 7.5 points.
In our Rams -3 Vs Bengals +3 example above, if you want to make a Teaser Parlay bet, you can add 6 points in favor of your preferred team. The net result is now:
Rams +3 vs Bengals +3. You have just teased your Parlay to where you are comfortable with your chances of winning. As it stands, you win your bet whether it is:
- Simply a win,
- Or a loss by 3 points.
Even if your favored Rams lose by 3 points, they are still on the positive. Liking your improved chances due to the teased parlay? Coz, they look really good!
Parlay in betting is a game of clever little calculations. You don’t have to limit yourself to single bets that only pay in win-or-lose for the event. Learn to play with the set point spread by the house, gamble with the over and under parlay in teams you know a little better, and tease your parlay to favor your team for the win.
Parlays give you the chance to win big in one go which depends on several bets. Go big to win big!