Sports betting enthusiasts are more than likely familiar with various types of bets like over-under, moneyline, totals, futures, point spreads. But what is a parlay bet? If you don’t already know, you’ve come to the right place to find out.

A parlay bet is one of the most popular and profitable sports wagers, bringing high-risk and high-reward play. In a nutshell, combining several wagers into a single one is what a parlay bet is all about.

Most online sports betting venues support parlay betting, so we’ll cover the essential aspects of it before you dive in and start betting on your favorite teams.

How Do Parlay Wagers Work

Rules for parlay betting are simple, even though beating the odds isn’t. Parlay sports bet requires that you win each wager on your betting slip to win the overall bet. A single loss on the ticket will lead to an overall loss. The parlay can include multiple moneyline bets, spreads, totals, and other types of bets.

Professional sports gamblers typically don’t look at parlays all too favorably. Combining several bets will significantly reduce your odds of winning unless you are careful with your research and play it “safe.” While they certainly try them from time to time, most experienced punters stay away from playing parlay bets exclusively.

How to Place a Parlay Bet

Creating a ticket for a parlay bet is a simple matter at any online sportsbook:

  • Log in at your betting website or open a mobile betting app.
  • Choose two or more matches you want to bet on.
  • After you are satisfied with your selection, open the betting slip and select the parlay option.
  • Choose the amount of money you want to wager and submit your ticket.

When playing parlays, the crucial thing to remember is not to go overboard with the number of matches on your ticket. After three games, the house starts getting a significant edge over the player.

What Is a Parlay Bet in Practice and What Are the Odds of Winning?

Calculating odds for parlay bets requires you to have a general grasp of the different types of odds. More than likely, you are used to American odds, but some betting websites also use fractional and decimal odds to represent the chances of winning or losing.

The best way to calculate how much you would win is to convert your odds to decimals. The formula below shows how to convert them to decimal values.

Decimal odds for the favorite:

|Odds|/(|Odds| + 100) = chance of winning

1/chance of winning = decimal odds

Decimal odds for the underdog:

100/(Odds + 100) = chance of winning

1/chance of winning = decimal odds

To get parlay odds, you just need to multiply the decimal odds of all games on your ticket and multiply the result with your wagered money to see how much you would win.

Our example will include three matches with one team having -110, the second 350, and the third one of -230. After converting them, we get 1.91, 4.5, and 1.43. Therefore the parlay bet including these odds would net you $1,229 for a $100 wager.

Remember that underdog odds always come up as positive numbers, so we do not need to use absolute value brackets in the calculation. If you prefer not to calculate for yourself, there are plenty of odds calculators online that can do the job for you.

What Is a Parlay Bet Result If a Match Ends With a Push?

Push is a result you might get if a match ends with the exact result for the spread or the points total. It effectively leads to a tie between the bookie and the player. If you wagered on a single game and it resulted in a push, you would get your money back.

If a match on your parlay ticket ended in a push, the bet is removed from the total parlay bet. Effectively, your winnings are calculated without that match.

Different Types of Parlay Bets

With parlay betting explained, let’s look at the differences between various types of parlays.

Round Robin

The simplest explanation for Round Robin bet is that it consists of multiple parlay wagers. They are safer options than traditional parlays since they allow you to split your bet into smaller parlays.

If we have three teams on our betting slip, we would need all of the teams to win in a traditional parlay bet. For Round Robin, We would create three separate wagers and pair up each match on our betting slip. Each pair would have to be wagered separately, and theoretically, a single win could cover two other losses, and losing on any one bet wouldn’t affect the others.

That being said, the rewards for winning all three bets are lower, too. Parlay sports betting carries more risk but ends up being more profitable than Round Robin if all of your bets come through.

Teaser Parlays

Teaser parlays are aimed explicitly at sports that play the spreads. So if NFL betting or NBA wagers are to your taste, teasers may be an exciting option for you. Teaser bets allow bettors to adjust the spread or over-under bets and, therefore, the odds. Furthermore, teaser parlays require you to bet only on one type of sport. Teasers allow you to adjust the points in your favor, increasing your odds of winning but also reducing your potential winnings. Safety comes at a cost!

Parlay Strategy

The prospect of a big win is the most attractive aspect of parlay betting. However, a careful approach will save you a lot of headaches. Don’t lose from sight that the parlay bet is lost if you lose one match on the ticket.

Keeping up with the latest news on teams, statistics, and results will give you a general idea of their current form. Fatigue is an issue even for professional athletes, so be mindful when a team has a long run of away games since it can impact their performance.

If you are not wagering a large sum of money, including an underdog in your betting slip can net you a hefty sum. Sports parlay bet is a perfect opportunity where such a wager could skyrocket your winnings. Sometimes even a lousy poker hand could win you a huge pot, as patrons of online poker venues can confirm.


How does a parlay bet work?

A parlay or accumulator bet is a wager where all games listed on the ticket need to go through for a bettor to collect its winnings. If just one bet doesn’t go through, the parlay bet is lost.

Are parlays a good bet?

Parlays can win big for lucky bettors and are loads of fun. Before diving in, we recommend reading our “What Is a Parlay Bet?” guide to better familiarize yourself with the options and strategies you have available.

Do you have to win every bet in a parlay?

Winning a parlay bet requires you to win each line on your betting slip, and because of the increased risk, the winnings are much higher than with traditional bets.