What is Parlay Betting?

A Parlay Bet is also referred to an accumulator or a combo bet. This is a single bet that usually combines two or more individual wagers. This bet is that is dependent on all the wagers winning; if one of the wagers fails, the whole bet will go to a loss.

The reason why people go for the parlay bets is because they have the potential to payout highly rather than when you place straight bets for each wager. In case there is a tie in one of the parlay bets or a push, the number of teams will be lowered for that bet, which will result in a lower payout.

In parlay bets, the odds are higher compared to the typical single bet but it is still below the true odds. Let’s take an example, in the case of 2 NFL parlay bets, the payout might be 2.6:1 when the two picks are accurate. When we assume that each bet is a coin flip, then it would be expected that the win would be 1:1 but the true payout would be 3:1 which brings in a considerable difference.

parlay betting explained

Landing Good Parlay Odds

The odds of fixed parlays will differ from one betting site to another.

  • For two team parlays, one bookmaker may give you (2.85:1 * 2.02:1) +5.757:1, while another will give (2.2:1 * 2.0:1) +4.4:1.
  • Three Team parlays are a great deal. Other online betting sites will give you payouts ranging from +595.8 to +600. Whereas others will have their parlay odds lowered to +600 for the three-team-parlay-odds. If you want to go for the 4 team parlay, you will definitely see a reduction in profits. Most betting sites will only pay 10:1, which give them an advantage of 31.25%.

When making a parlay bet, it is recommended that you make a bet of 3 or 4 teams only. Going beyond this number will not be a smart betting move.

Parlay Betting (Team) > Odds

  • 2 Team > 2.6:1
  • 3 Team > 6:1
  • 4 Team > 12:1
  • 5 Team > 24:1
  • 6 Team > 47:1
  • 7 Team > 91:1
  • 8 Team > 175:1
  • 9 Team > 335:1
  • 10 Team > 642:1

What You Shouldn't Do When Parlay Betting

  • All progressive systems in betting are considered to be poor strategies which can hinder bankroll management and growth.
  • Skilled bettors usually make their bets on the quantified edge for each game, since doing the maths for a parlay bet is hard work, sports bettors find it not worth it.
  • The variance in parlay bets is higher compared to the variance in the straight bets. The odds for these bets are the same which the chances of losing a parlay bet are high which makes it a better bet if you went for the low variance bet.
  • Don't put randomly teams together to get a high score.

Money Line Parlays

Money line parlays are the kind of bets that will not make use of the fixed odds. This is so because the odds of winning are different from one team to another. With money line parlays, the entire bet will rely on one team, if it wins, it will recalculate your wager for the team that follows and have the process repeated.

Correlated Parlays

Most of the UK betting sites do not allow correlated parlays. This kind of parlay is where two sports events will directly correlate with each other. In this kind of bet, you can bet that Team C will win in the first half and the game overall, but this is not allowed. I you wish to place a wager of this kind, it will require that you bet on over/under only.

Free Play Bonuses

A online sports book like Betsafe will offer their players free bets which are usually based on the amount you deposit. In parlay bets, you will be allowed to use free play money more than once. Free play money is not the same as cash bets. Cash bets give you a win and the stake but a free money bet will only give you wins.

Circumventing the Limits in Betting

This is another idea in parlay betting that is not liked by online betting sites. This kind of betting can get you banned from an online sports book but you can try it in a brick & mortar betting room. This is where you try to exploit low betting limits to come up with a large parlay value, but it's not advisable to try it online.