It's one of the most common alternate bet types.
Big payouts and incredibly fun, but be careful.
What is a Parlay Bet?
A parlay is a sports bet that combines two or more plays into one ticket. The more plays you add to the parlay, the bigger the payout.
In order to win the parlay, all of your individual wagers within the parlay must not lose. If just one of the wagers loses, the entire parlay loses.
Here is an example of a two-team parlay and the range of outcomes:
As you can see from the above chart, a two-team parlay has four possible outcomes; and only one of which results in a successful parlay.
How Much Will My Parlay Pay?
Ok, so you want to calculate how much your parlay will pay you... how do you begin to do this?
Let’s use the following three-team parlay as our example:
Let's assume you want to place a $100 parlay using these three plays. If we convert these American odds to decimal odds, you would have multipliers of 1.4, 2.0, and 2.5 for these individual bets.
Multiplying those odds together gives you 7.0 and with a $100 parlay wager, the return would be $700 (7.0 x $100) – a total win of $600.
Manually calculating the payout of a parlay can be a little complicated for some, and time-consuming for others; especially for someone who is new to the sports betting world. Luckily enough, each sportsbook will do this for you before you place your wager.
What Happens if One of My Wagers is a Push?
If one of the bets in the parlay has a push or tie, that bet will be removed from the parlay and the payout will be reduced to the remaining plays only.
This most often happens in sports where the point spread bets are dominant as those bets are far more likely to fall exactly on the number and result in a push. A push or voided bet is also common in events which may be rained out or canceled due to weather.
Can I Combine Different Sports in My Parlay?
Absolutely. Part of the fun of making a parlay is including different types of bets from a variety of different sports. You might want to include a totals bet in hockey, a money line play in baseball, and even a prop bet in football (if your sportsbook will allow you to parlay props).
This is a part of the fun of making a parlay. It is very common for bettors to include plays from a variety of sports in an effort to make the parlay pay out a greater amount or even to increase their entertainment factor. Remember, the more plays a parlay has, the bigger the payout.
Is a Parlay the same as a Teaser?
A teaser is very similar to a parlay, but the spreads and totals are moved into the bettor's favor, which gives the bettor a greater chance of winning. Due to this advantage, a teaser’s payout can be considerably less than that of a parlay.