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What is a Parlay Bet?

parlay betting explainedA parlay bet is a single bet that links a few individual wagers into one. Now, this sounds like a mouthful, but parlay wagers are actually really easy to understand. All you are doing is combining a couple of bets into one to increase the odds for a larger payout.

Naturally, parlay bets are extremely popular with sports bettors due to the bigger returns. However, the big drawback of parlay betting is that your chance of winning is much lower than that of an individual bet. The reason for this is that your odds of hitting every prediction straight on the head is much lower than getting a single outcome correct.

To put this in perspective, a straight bet on the New York Yankees to win their next game gives you a 50/50 chance of getting the bet right. However, stringing a bet with the following outcomes has a lot more room for failure:

  • the Yankees will win their next game,
  • the Green Bay Packers will cover the spread in their next game,
  • and, the next Washington Capitals game will hit over 4 goals.

The reason is that there are three opportunities to lose, which is why the parlay odds are so much higher than that of a single bet.

If you would like to find out more about how parlays work, read on down below. We have created a gambling guide for beginners where we have a look at how to place parlays, tips for making these bets and how to calculate parlay odds. We also list all the best parlay betting sites, so that you can get started when you feel comfortable.

Parlay Sports Betting Sites

#1

$200 Bonus

97% Payout

Rating: 5/5

Rating: 5/5

$3000 BONUS 97% Payout - Rating: 5/5
#2

$250 Bonus

97% Payout

Rating: 5/5

Rating: 5/5

$3,000 BONUS 97% Payout - Rating: 5/5
#3

$300 Bonus

98% Payout

Rating: 4.6/5

Rating: 4.5/5

$7777 Bonus 98% Payout - Rating: 4.6/5
#4

$1000 Bonus

98% Payout

Rating: 4.9/5

Rating: 4/5

$5,000 Bonus 98% Payout - Rating: 4.9/5
#5

$200 Bonus

99% Payout

Rating: 4.5/5

Rating: 4.5/5

$5000 Bonus 99% Payout - Rating: 4.5/5
#6

$1,000 Bonus

Rating: 5/5

Rating: 4.5/5

$2,500 BONUS 97% Payout - Rating: 5/5
#7

$1,000 Bonus

Rating: 4.5/5

Rating: 4.5/5

$5,000 Bonus 99% Payout - Rating: 4.5/5
#8

$500 Bonus

Rating: 4.9/5

Rating: 4.9/5

$3,000 Bonus 98% Payout - Rating: 4.9/5
#9

100% Bonus

97% Payout

Rating: 4.7/5

Rating: 4.7/5

$3000 BONUS 97% Payout - Rating: 4.7/5
#10

50% Bonus

Rating: 4.7/5

Rating: 4.7/5

$2,000 BONUS 97% Payout - Rating: 4.7/5
#11

1000% Bonus

Rating: 4.9/5

Rating: 4.9/5

$3,000 Bonus 98% Payout - Rating: 4.9/5
#12

1000% Bonus

Rating: 5/5

Rating: 5/5

$2,500 BONUS 97% Payout - Rating: 5/5

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Parlay Betting Links

parlay betting sites

How Does a Parlay Bet Work?

So, we have already explained that a parlay is a single bet that strings multiple outcomes together. You can bet on a number of teams/outcomes in a single or a bunch of sports. However, you have to get every single prediction right to win the bet. Each addition to the bet slip adds to the overall odds.

For example, in the imaginary parlay card provided above, we placed bets on MLB, NFL and NHL games. We also placed different types of bets. On the Yankees, we placed a moneyline, on the Packers, a point spread, and on the Capitals, an over/under.

Here is what this slip may look like at a sportsbook:

OutcomeOdds
NY Yankees Win-167
Green Bay Packers (+1.5)+104
Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes (OV 3.5)-278
TOTAL ODDS+343

 

For us to win the bet, we need the Yankees to win the game, the Packers to beat the spread and the Capitals game to feature more than four goals. If one of these predictions fail, the bet is lost even if we get all the other predictions right.

Remember that the more outcomes you add, the higher the payout because your odds of winning shrinks significantly.

Parlay Rules

The rules applying to parlays may vary from sportsbook to sportsbook but normally there are some common themes.

Usually, most sportsbooks won’t allow you to string two bets on the same game. So, if you place a moneyline on the Yankees game, you won’t be able to add a run line bet on it as well. The same goes for spreads and totals.

In addition, some sportsbooks have rules about how many outcomes can be strung into a single bet. Many max out at 10 bets. There are a couple of reasons for this but usually they don’t want to allow you to reach a winning sum that they won’t be able to payout should you be lucky enough to win.

Some sportsbooks combat this issue by placing a maximum amount of cash you could win on a single bet. Often, you will be able to add more than 10 and the sportsbook will pay you up until the maximum winning amount is reached.

Finally, if one of the results in your parlay is a “push”, the sportsbook will payout the profit based on the other bets excluding the “pushed” wager.
how to bet parlays

How to Bet a Parlay at a Sportsbook

There isn’t really any secret to placing a parlay bet. Usually, if you are betting at a casino sportsbook in Las Vegas or anywhere else, you would need to tell the person handling your bet slip that you want it to be a parlay.

However, with online parlay betting, the sportsbook’s interface will usually allow you to tick a box or click on a button that indicates that the bet you are listing is a parlay and not a bunch of straight bets.
parlay betting odds

Parlay Betting Odds Explained

Parlay odds are affected by the number of bets you place in your combination as well as the types of bets. A parlay consisting of only underdogs is going to have higher odds than one that is made up of favorites.

You can use parlay calculators to help you determine how a particular bet may impact your total odds and final winnings.
parlay betting tips

Parlay Betting Tips

So, if there is anything that we have stressed in this guide, it is that parlay bets are hard to win. However, there are some tips that could perhaps help you place better bets on a regular basis. Some things we suggest you keep in mind include the following:

Shop Betting Markets and Sports

A lot of people make the mistake of sticking to one sport or one sportsbook. You shouldn’t be afraid to explore. Football parlays are fun but if you see an opening in an upcoming baseball or basketball game, add it to your list.

With regards to sportsbooks, they all offer different lines on different games. Try to find the book that’s going to pay you out the most for the combination you would like to place.

Avoid Point Spread Parlays

Yes, spreads offer better odds than moneyline bets. But that’s because these bets are harder to predict in and of itself. A bet to win on the favorite to win a game is easier to get paid out on than a bet on the favorite to win by 17-point differential.

Generally, if you combine multiple bets together, you want to look for outcomes that seem pretty much assured. Even if these bets won’t net you big profits as a single bet.

Don’t Overspend on Parlays

While parlays don’t offer true odds, they usually still offer you better winnings. Some people are beguiled by this and keep trying to build perfect parlay tickets. However, this is stupid because your chances of winning are never great.

In the short term, a successful parlay could net you a big win. But in the long term, you are more likely to lose a lot of these bets, even if you do your research and thus bust your bankroll quickly.

Use Your Bonuses

Parlays are a great way to spend your bonus money. A lot of bonuses require you to bet on wagers with a certain odds threshold, so winning with this cash is never easy. You may as well use it to try your luck on some big bets to see if you are lucky enough to win.

Place Parlay Bets Online – FAQs

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