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Parlay Betting: What is a Parlay Bet?

19.04.2024, 08:58

Those feeling particularly lucky - or massive-brained - might want to venture beyond simple single bets. Why not combine multiple wagers in just one bet? Not only will it show your expertise in sports betting, but it will also yield massively increased winnings. If this sounds interesting to you, parlay bets might be just right in your alley. Let's take a closer look at this exhilarating wager type with our guide.

TIPS.GG Parlays Betting

What is a Parlay Bet?

The main difference between a parlay bet and setting multiple straight bets is that a parlay requires ALL your selections to be victorious, or the wager is lost. That's right—if you combine 15 bets into one and win all of them but one, the bet is lost!

Parlay bets include two or more bets. Many sportsbooks set the wager amount to 15, but this is not a strict limit - some bookmakers go over it!

The main attraction of parlays is that the more sections are included in a single parlay bet, the greater the odds, to the point where they become simply astronomical. But, again, it also makes the entire bet hella risky, as just a single mistake will cost everything. Finding the balance is key here.

Parlay Bet Examples

Let's take a look at the most basic parlay bet featuring multiple match-winner selections. Let's take two matches in a boxing bout Magnificient Seven:

  • Erik Robles - 2.93 vs 1.37 Liam Davies
  • Owen Cooper - 2.48 vs 1.50 Eithan James

If decimal odds are something you're unfamiliar with, consult our betting odds guide for a quick refresher on how to read them!

If we place two moneyline bets as a straight bet on both favorites of the matches, the potential winnings aren't looking too great - around 50 cents for every dollar we spend. However, as soon as we combine these two bets into a parlay bet, the odds immediately jump to 2.05 - meaning that we will get more than a dollar for every dollar wagered. This is what makes parlay bets so attractive!

Parlay Betting Odds

Calculating parlay bet odds is very simple. Simply multiply the odds on each of the wagers' legs. In our previous example, it's an easy solution:

1.37 x 1.50 = 2.05

If you're using different odds types, like the American Odds, it's best to convert them to decimal odds, since the math won't work that way without those! If you don't know how - or are simply just too lazy to do it by yourself (just like us), use our odds converter tool to make it quick and easy.

Odds converter

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How To Bet Parlay

Those used to simple Straight Bets might not be accustomed to navigating the bet slip to the parlay section. Don't worry; it's all extremely simple. Here's a step-by-step guide on combining bets into a parlay.

  1. Find the match (or matches) to bet on. This step is no different from any simple single bet - just find the sport and bet type you're interested in.
  2. Choose the wagers by clicking on the odds next to them. This immediately adds them to your Bet Slip. Repeat this for all your selections.
  3. Click on "Bet Slip" and select "Combo." For some bookmakers, this section will be simply called "Parlay" instead. Here, the bookmaker will automatically multiply the parlay odds for you and display potential winnings.
  4. Enter the desired bet size and bet. Make sure to finish reading our guide on parlay first!

Types of Parlay Bets

Parlay bets are a serious business, and there are many ways to do them. Some of them are as simple as our previous example, some - go a bit in-depth, and some mitigate some of the risks associated with them.

Standard Parlay

The classic, simple-as-it-gets type of parlay we've discussed previously. If any selection loses, the bet is off. However, the odds are multiplied for each selection.

Push Bets

We've talked about losing one selection, but what happens to a parlay if one selection draws? The concept of a push bet also applies here. However, instead of refunding the entire parlay outright, the bookmaker simply removes one selection from the parlay wager. Unless it's a parlay of two selections - in this case, the entire parlay bet is indeed refunded.

Teasers

Teasers are an easier version of parlay bets. The main and most important difference is the ability to adjust the point spread on the prop bets as you please for an easier time betting.

Pleasers

But not all teasers exist to make betting easier! There's a variation of teasers that actually makes bets harder for the payout of bigger parlay odds. It's a weird name, but it's an interesting idea!

NBA TIPS.GG

NBA is the most-known basketball league in the world. It is also one of the most popular destinations for parlay bets.

Teasers are indeed easier than simple, standard parlay bets. However, as with all things in betting, the less risk there is, the less reward there will be. Read more on teaser bets and their advantages with our guide.

Round Robin Parlays

Round Robin parlays are another variation of parlay bets that makes them easier. It seems like a bit of a complex betting system, but it has the payoff of not ruining your entire day if you get just one selection wrong. It works pretty straightforwardly, actually - a round-robin parlay is really just a series of smaller parlays in a trenchcoat. So, instead of making a giant, 10-leg parlay, we split it into five 2-leg parlays. Sounds simple enough, after all!

Same Game Parlay

Some bookmakers allow punters to set parlays on a single game. These are usually available on bookmakers that have in-depth prop bets options such as player performance, etc. Same Game parlay bets require quite a bit of knowledge of the sport and the team you're wagering on - better know what you're doing if you take a liking to them!

Is Parlay a "Sucker Bet"?

But it's not all sunshine and rainbow in the world of parlay betting! Parlays have a reputation of being a "sucker bet." Obviously, anyone would like to avoid being a sucker.

It's common knowledge that bookmakers love regular parlay bettors. Why? Because, statistically, parlays have exceptionally low win rates. Bookmakers love their free money!

That doesn't mean parlay bets should be avoided altogether. Adding one or two from time to time is a nice way to spice up betting, but if you're looking for a long-term sports betting strategy, parlays aren't quite recommended.

Parlay Betting vs Straight Betting

The difference in performance between a simple straight bet and parlay betting is shocking. According to a report from the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, parlay bets have around a measly 4.5% win rate across all sports in 2021 (data taken in NV, obviously). Just for comparison - the most popular sport for betting in the US, American Football, had a whopping 58.5% win rate in straight bets at the same time.

These stats don't look promising. Parlay bets are exciting, but we don't want to give them up completely and only place single-bet wagers. What can we do to make them smarter?

How To Win Parlay Bets

We have some tips to maximize parlay efficiency. They're nothing too fancy - just simple, time-tested cheatcodes.

  1. Keep parlay bets as simple as possible. While massive parlay odds are mesmerizing, constructing huge 10-item parlays is a grave mistake. If possible, keep parlay bet selections to 2-3 teams or items.
  2. Use Round Robin Parlays. If a 10-team parlay does sound irresistible, at least break it up into smaller selections with Round Robin. This way, we won't be losing our entire bankroll if one wager inevitably goes awry.
  3. Shop around for better odds and bonuses. This is more of a general advice, but it rings especially true for parlays. Since every bet line is multiplied by one another in parlays, small differences in bookmaker odds can result in an astronomically larger payout.
  4. Manage the bankroll. This is another general advice that is perhaps even more important than others. Bankroll management is key when betting on parlays since the large volume of wagers can overwhelm any budget. Use betting units and other ways of managing your bankroll when betting parlays.

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