What Is A Parlay Bet?

Our team at Betastic.com is made up of experts in different betting-related sub-niches. But whether one person is more knowledgeable in poker, casino gaming, or sports, we all understand and have placed several parlay bets throughout our careers.

Many bettors who’d like to place more lucrative wagers don’t fully know one end of parlay bets from the other. Based on that, we’ve put together something of a ‘sports betting how to‘ guide to  explain these popular bets as simply as possible. We also zoned in on the nitty-gritty, in case you want to become an expert on the matter as well.

Basic parlay net explanation

Parlay bets are a combination of two or more individual wagers grouped into one single sports bet. The beauty of parlay gambling is in the flexibility it offers. You can bet on multiple games at the same time, as opposed to just one, adding an extra layer of suspense and excitement to your betting exploits.

But the cherry on top with parlay sports betting is that, by combining your wagers, you significantly boost your potential payout. However, there’s a catch. To bag the lucrative parlay payouts, all bets or “legs” in that parlay have to win. In other words, if a single bet within the sports parlay loses, the whole parlay loses. There are, however, certain exceptions where you can win. But we’ll explain those a little later in the article.

An example of parlay betting is if you wager on the Lakers from the NBA, Boston Bruins from NHL, and Dallas Cowboys from NFL. If all teams win, you win. That, by the way, is a classic example of a 3 game parlay in parlay sports betting.

Parlay bet types

As we mentioned before, to make your fortune with parlaying bets, there are different types of wagers you can pair together. Regardless of the combination you go with, sports betting parlay comprises single straight bets, the most basic wagers in the sports betting world. What this means, in a nutshell, is you can only bet on one single outcome of the sporting event. Let’s go through the explanations of the popular parlay bet types.

Round Robin

Round Robin bets are among the most popular types of wagers in parlay betting. In this case, you place multiple parlays at once. You select anything between a 3 team parlay and an 8 team parlay or totals to be in the Round Robin. The combination of teams you choose dictates the number of parlays you have and the parlay tickets you can buy. And the ticket will cost the amount selected for each parlay.

Teaser

With Teaser bets, gamblers can choose multiple teams or totals in single parlay bets. However, you can also include picks against the game totals or spread. Plus, you can adjust the point spread for each game you select. You can adjust each point spread or total plus or minus a specific number of points. Note that teasers typically restrict to football and basketball games. Also, their payouts are predetermined by the number of teams involved and the points by which you adjust the spread.

Over/Under

Over/Under parlaying bets—also known as totals—are wagers you place on the total amount of points to be scored during a particular game by both teams. The sportsbook parlay sets the number you should base your prediction on, which is known as the line. Your goal is to predict whether the total amount will be over or under that number. Such bets are pretty popular because they allow you to make multiple bets on the same game.

Point Spread

Point spreads, popularly referred to as just “the spread” in parlay betting circles, are also among the most common. Plus, they undoubtedly make sports wagering more interesting. That’s because Point Spreads basically level the playing field by taking points from the favored team and handing them over to the underdog. That’s why they are also termed equalizers by some bookies. Point Spreads are the numbers assigned by sportsbooks to create opportunities to bet on parlay odds on different events.

How to place a parlay bet

Now that you have an idea of what a sportsbook parlay is and the different types of bets you can place, you’re probably wondering how to bet parlay. Here, you have two options. The first is to populate your bet slip with the teams and totals you want to bet on and how much. You can also fill out parlay cards. Whatever method you use, make sure you do your due diligence by completing the following steps:

  • Start by checking the moneyline betting odds for the game.
  • Research the best picks.
  • Consider your bankroll and calculate the payouts using the free parlay calculator.
  • Place your bet by adding each bet to the bet slip as part of a parlay.

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Understanding how parlay bet odds work

From the onset, we’ve been raving about how parlay bets spice up sports wagering. Like any sports wager, bookies offer odds you can take advantage of when placing your bets. Generally, parlay betting odds are put together to create more lucrative payouts for bettors. However, you need to understand that parlay odds payouts differ. That’s because bookies may have different odds for the number of teams you bet in a parlay.

In addition, parlay betting odds change quickly and at any time based on the type of wagers and the number of games. That’s why it’s always advisable to check the parlay card odds on offer before putting your money on the line. For instance, picking a 2 team parlay with numerous favorites presents very competitive odds. On the other hand, a 4 team parlay bet featuring an underdog lessens your winning chances.

How to calculate parlay bets

While sportsbooks generally calculate your potential parlay winnings, you can also do it yourself for added transparency. Start by converting the American/ Moneyline odds on each game into decimal and multiply them together. Multiply the answer with your wager to get the amount the bookie will give you if you win. To figure out the profits, subtract that amount from your original bet. Don’t worry if math isn’t your strongest point, you can always use a money line parlay calculator to do the tough part for you, buy here’s an example for reference:

If you find the decimal odds from a 3 team parlay to be 1.91, 1, 91, and 1.91 respectively and wager $300, you calculate the decimal odds as follows: 1.91 x 1.91 x 1.91 = 6.97

To get the money total payout:  6.97 x $300 = $2,091.

And to get your profit: $2,091 – 300= $1,791.

Parlay bets in different sports

You’ll notice that in parlay sports betting, bets play out differently depending on the sport. For this reason, it will be to your advantage to place bets on one sport over the other. Let’s say you want to wager $50 on three huge favorite teams in parlay bet football. It means you’ll possibly win a 6-1 payout for a $300 profit if all three teams cover the Point Spread. On the other hand, NFL parlay spreadbetting odds tend to be riskier than football parlay odds. But the riskier the bets,  the greater the odds and the higher your payouts.

In basketball and college football, you have to keep to 2, 3, or 4 team parlay to win. Here, you should ideally use parlays to combine multiple favorite odds. To win MLB parlay bets, you must wager on large favorites, home favorites, and Under.

Winning a parlay bet

The reason why bettors find parlay bets interesting is because of their versatility.  And the fact that there are different circumstances in which a bettor can win a parlay bet. Ideally, you win a parlay bet if all the teams on which you wager end up winning. However, other scenarios can give you that payout by default.

If one of the games you bet on results in a tie or a “push”, you can still win. The bet is simply removed from the parlay. Also, you can still win if a game is canceled. For example, if you bet on a 10 game parlay with nine winners and one game is canceled due to bad weather. Of course, under such circumstances, you won’t receive the full payout you’d have received if all the teams you’d bet on were playing. The payment goes down a notch.  For instance, using our last example, you won’t receive a 10 team parlay payout as originally planned, but it’s based on the nine teams. Some bookies also offer promos for parlay betting where you can win or get your stake if one selection in a parlay loses.

Conclusion – now you know how parlay bets work

Parlay betting is increasingly popular among bettors because of the potentially huge payouts it brings to the table. Instead of betting on one event, you get to place two or more straight wagers on different sports, which can be in the form of a teaser bet, Point Spreads, Over/Unders, or Round Robins. Whichever option you choose to go with, it’s in your best interest to compare the  odds first before placing your wagers, be it 4 team or 8 team parlay odds. Payouts always differ depending on the number of teams involved. Naturally, a 4 game parlay payout will be higher than a 2 game payout, etc. Now that you understand how parlay bets work, you can decide if this is a technique you want to add to your betting strategy repertoire!

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Parlay betting FAQ

⚽ What is a parlay bet in football?

In traditional sports betting, you only get to wager once on a single game. But to make online betting even more exciting, bettors now go for betting options at their disposal that allow them to enjoy even bigger payouts. Football is one such sport where you can enjoy lucrative football parlay payouts. The guides at Betastic.com provide a better understanding of how placing parlay bets work in football.

‼️ What does a 2 team parlay pay?

The thrill associated with potentially bagging greater payouts is why parlay betting is becoming more popular among bettors everywhere. However, the payouts you receive aren’t standard and will differ based on the number of teams you select. We explain how payouts associated with parlay wagers differ between 2 team parlays and other numbers of teams like a 4 game parlay payout in a few of our guides.

🧮 How do you calculate NFL parlay payouts?

Most bookies take the liberty to calculate parlay bets payouts for you. You can look the payouts up before placing your bets to check if they are lucrative or not. However, you also have the option to calculate the payouts yourself to eliminate any bias or doubt. Thankfully, the process of calculating your payouts is pretty straightforward, and we walk you through the simple steps in our guides.

❓ How do you place bets in parlay gambling?

While the concept of placing parlaying bets is exciting given the high payouts involved, it pays to know how the wagering process works. That way, you can maximize your winning chances by placing promising bets. We give you a step-by-step guide on how to do just that in our guides, so you can parlay bet like a pro.

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