Parlay Bets

With online sportsbetting’s growing popularity, more and more people are trying their hand at online sports wagering. The newest sports betting sites make it as easy as possible to place wagers. But how do you understand all of these terms? Almost everyone is familiar with wagers to “win”, but new bettors can be easily overwhelmed by all the new terminology. Parlays are very popular, but like any wagering, bettors should familiarize themselves with it before risking any cash.

What is a Parlay?

Parlays have gained their popularity because they are not only an easy wager to understand and place, but offer a large payout for a small financial risk. The basic idea of a parlay is it is a group of wagers. In order to win, all of your choices within this wager must be correct. The minimum is two teams, but some sportsbetting sites will offer up to 10 teams in a parlay! Obviously the more teams you choose, the longer the odds. And of course, the higher the payout.

A parlay will pay out if all the choices in the wager must win, or at least tie. Some sportsbooks will state ties lose, so reading the fine print is important. If something happens, like a pitcher is changed out, or a game is called, it can be declared No Action by the sportsbook. With 3 or more teams, this simply drops the No Action team, and the Parlay goes down one set of odds. For example, if a 5 team Parlay has one game declared No Action, it simply turns into a 4 team Parlay. However, if you have only a 2 team parlay, many times the sportsbook will simply convert the wager into a straight bet instead.
Types of Parlay?

Now that you have the idea of what a Parlay is, how do you wager one? Parlays are not uniform to every sportsbook. The odds offered will vary, and you want to chose a sportsbook with the sharpest lines.

There are different types of parlays available. Some used fixed odds, others use a point spread. The point spread parlays operate under the idea that there is a 50/50 chance that either team will win the match. Money line parlays operate differently, taking into account the increased likelihood that the favorite team will win the match.

Point Spread Parlay – These parlays typically operate under the idea that there is an equal chance for each team to win. These parlays are generally posted with odds, for example a 5 team Parlay will pay 30-1. This means for every $1 wagered, players will win $30. In order to win this, however, all 5 teams chosen must win for the wager to pay out.

Money Line Parlay – This type of Parlay takes into account the favorite. Instead of simply waiting for each wager to see if you win the final amount, this bet rolls over. For example in a 3 team Parlay, if the bettor’s initial wager is $10 on Team A, then the winnings from this wager will be applied to the wager on team B. The winnings from Team B will be applied to Team C. Just like the Point Spread Parlay, if one of the teams selected by the bettor doesn’t win, they do not win the Parlay wager.

Is a Parlay a good wager?

The reason why parlays are such a popular wager is because the odds are so much higher than placing a number of separate straight wagers. The payouts are higher because of the difficulty of selecting a number of winning teams correctly. And the more teams, the higher the difficulty. But that is also a higher payout!

Many people would consider parlays not a good wager to make. This is not only because of the difficulty of selecting consecutive teams to win, but also because many sportsbooks will have rules in place to make their odds better. One of these rules is Ties Lose. Not every sportsbook will use this rule, so it’s always a good practice to read the fine print of every sportsbook, and on every wager before placing any cash on it.

Brad McGrath

About Brad McGrath (All Articles)

Brad McGrath

About Brad McGrath (All Articles)

Brad is a keen sports follower and punter. He REALLY loves the AFL, horse racing, winter sports and cricket and just loves the other sports. He grew up in the country where it was mandatory to play at least one football code and the choice was AFL. Brad is the executive editor of Race Media and has worked at various Fairfax publications as a reporter and editor.

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