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Parlaying Bets

What does parlaying mean?

The word parlay is not only used in the context of betting. It is a word in the English language that means “using something to get something else of greater value“.

The key phrase here is the greater value.

Because bettors always want to win more, the word parlay is normally associated with sports betting.

Some punters might say that parlay bets are more common in the USA, whereas in the UK, they are called accumulator bets.

In this betting tip, we will explain what a parlay bet is and what it means in betting. We will also discuss the various types of parlay bets available on betting sites.

Most importantly, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of parlaying bets to see if they are a good choice or not.

Let’s crack on…

What is parlay betting?

A parlay bet, accumulator (acca), combo/multi bet is a single wager that combines two or more bets (separate selections or legs) into the same bet, and is reliant on each of the selections winning parlay for the bet to pay out.

Of course the odds of this happening decrease with the more individual selections you add to a parlay bet.

The big advantage of a parlay bet is that the payouts are substantially bigger than if you placed each wager separately in two or more bets.

But you have to keep in mind that even if one of the parlay’s legs fails to win, the entire parlay loses. In the event that any of the parlay bet legs end up in a draw, the parlay’s number of legs is reduced, and the odds are reduced proportionally as well.

Whilst it is possible to build a parley bet with a number of legs, selecting two or more from the same event is generally not permitted by most online bookmakers (these are referred to as correlated/connected parlays).

This is because the sportsbooks will lose a lot of money if multiple legs from the same (or closely related) event/matches come up.

Parlay Sports Betting Strategy

Some sports bettors approach parlay bets with a great degree of seriousness and apply betting strategies to help them win, whereas other punters treat it as a mere lottery-like event.

No matter what your approach is, it is essential to know the basics about parlays if you want to try placing these types of sports bets.

Let’s delve into the four main types of parlays:

1. Moneyline Parlay

When a sports punter makes a Moneyline bet, they simply predict which team will win the game. This is the same when betting on individual athletes to win a match, such as a boxer or F1 driver – in these cases, punters will use a Moneyline bet.

It is that simple, with a Moneyline bet, all you have to do is pick a winner!

While a Moneyline bet appears to be the most straightforward wager, there are certain nuances to be aware of. The bookmaker will score a bet in one of these three ways – a win, loss, or draw.

2. Point Spread Parlay

Spread betting, on the other hand, uses a handicap to balance the chances of both sides winning the sports bet.

With a point spread bet, you are betting on how many points or goals a team will win or lose by. Point spread betting is especially popular in American football, basketball, and ice hockey where teams score a high number of points. Whereas with football in the UK, the goal-scoring tends to be much lower.

Point spreads are the oddsmakers’ best predictions about the number of points difference between two opponents. The spread might be as small as half a point at times.

A parlay point spread bet is made up of more than two spread individual bets.

3. Teaser Parlay

A teaser is similar to a standard parlay in that the punter can choose from a variety of teams. But the multiple selections must be made from point spread bets.

A teaser parlay gives the bettor the option of moving each point spread or total by a certain amount of points. This offers a better chance of each leg winning.

These teaser wagers pay less than a standard parlay because the ability to move around extra points on the spread bets makes them easier to win.

Please note, in the case of a teaser parlay, no moneylines are permitted.

4. Round Robin Parlay

A Round Robin is a sequence of smaller parlays built from a bigger list of bets in sports gambling. It is named after a Round Robin tournament, in which each team competes against the other teams in their group.

It normally contains three selections consisting of 3 doubles, 3 single bets (made up of 2 bets each = 6) and 1 treble bet, making a total of 10 bets.

However, certain bookmakers allow you to choose multiple games to wager on, the more games you choose, the more parlay bet combinations you will be able to make.

Round robin parlays can be displayed differently by each bookmaker. And can become complicated, so it’s best to use a free bet calculator to work out the permutations and odds.

Advantages Of Parlays

Like any other betting system, there are both advantages and disadvantages to parlay bets.

The most obvious advantage of parlays is the possibility of winning big by only placing a small wager. Everyone wants to hit the jackpot by only risking a small amount of money, we guess that’s why so many people play the lottery across the world.

Since you are only risking a small amount of money, losing it may not seem like a big deal. But if you end up winning, a parlay bet, you will stand to get a much larger return.

Parlay bets are ideal for passive bettors, that is, those who want to have a bit of fun and do not see gambling as a way to earn their main income.

Instead, they treat it as a way to win big even if they do not spend a lot on the initial bet. That is why parlays (or accumulators) are popular across the world.

Disadvantages Of Parlays

Betting on a parlay is not a long-term betting strategy, and that’s also the reason most expert punters would not recommend it to you.

The chances of winning a life-changing amount of money are very low.

On the other hand, even if bettors only see it as losing a small sum of money, if you keep losing every bet, the total losses will soon add up.

The more selections that you add to a parlay (to get better and bigger odds), the more chances there are of losing.

Calculating Parlay Odds

Calculating parlay odds is not easy, and it requires some degree of “betting” competence.

But there are a few hacks that anyone can use to calculate parlay odds. Firstly, let’s discuss the easiest way.

The easiest way of calculating odds is to let your chosen betting site calculate them for you. Every reputed bookmaker will calculate the parlay odds based on your selections and initial wager. So why not leave it to them!

If you don’t want to interact with a bookmaker directly, the second way to calculate odds is to use a free online parlay calculator.

You simply need to enter the odds for your various selections and your starting wager, and the calculator will do the rest for you. Ok, this is a bit more involved, as you have to do the inputting yourself, but it gives you the chance to play around with your selections before you place the bet.

The third way for determining parlay winnings is to consult the bookmaker’s parlay payout chart. These are standard tables that show the likely payout based on 5 team parlays, 6 team parlays etc based on different odds such as 22 to 1, 45 to 1 etc.

Parlay payouts tend to be very similar at most online bookmakers, but they could differ quite a bit, so it’s worth checking different sportsbooks for their odds.

Parlay Bets Conclusion

As we can see, parlays are an interesting betting system.

Does it work for everyone? No.

The advantages of placing small wagers with the chance to win large amounts of money are appealing – but the chances of losing a parlay bet are also high.

If you are interested in parlaying, start small, do your homework on the selections that you pick – then see how you get on.

The more you know about betting, the better your bets turn out to be. And always remember to gamble responsibly!

David Reid

David Reid

About The Author

David has been involved in sport for many years – as an avid footballer, racing driver, cyclist and snooker player. He keeps abreast of most sports and is fascinated by using data to improve performance. As a regular attendee at gambling conferences such as SIGMA and ICE, he shares his knowledge of the gaming world through Betting Punters.

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