What is a Parlay Card?
A parlay card is a list of payouts based on the total number of teams bet in a parlay. Most sportsbooks use a "traditional" parlay card, while others will sometimes customize their parlay cards to attract players through promotions or special sporting events.
If you're interested in betting a parlay, ALWAYS read your sportsbook's parlay card first, so you know how many teams you can bet, what the payout is, and if there are any conditions associated with your parlay. Don't bet a parlay blind: educate yourself carefully and be mindful that rules and conditions may vary between different sportsbooks.
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The following is an example of a traditional Las Vegas Parlay Card, which shows the payouts for up to 15 teams:
2 Team Parlay: 13 to 5
3 Team Parlay: 6 to 1
4 Team Parlay: 10 to 1
5 Team Parlay: 20 to 1
6 Team Parlay: 40 to 1
7 Team Parlay: 75 to 1
8 Team Parlay: 100 to 1
9 Team Parlay: 150 to 1
10 Team Parlay: 300 to 1
11 Team Parlay: 450 to 1
12 Team Parlay: 600 to 1
13 Team Parlay: 750 to 1
14 Team Parlay: 900 to 1
15 Team Parlay: 1500 to 1
How do I read this example? Simple... Suppose you bet a 10 team parlay. If you win the bet (picking all 10 winners correctly) you get 300 to 1 on your money. A $5 10 team parlay bet would pay out a cool $1500. Not bad, eh??
It's important to note there are some conditions associated with parlay bets that every bettor should know. Rules may vary by sportsbook. The following are the most common:
- If you lose any game in your parlay bet, the entire bet loses.
- If you bet a 2 team parlay and any of the games tie the spread, the parlay becomes a straight bet (essentially the game that ties is null and you get standard odds on your remaining game).
- If 2 or more teams push in a multi-contest parlay, you don't lose: the parlay drops down to the next payout level. For example, a 4 team parlay with one a game push becomes a 3 team parlay. Likewise, a 10 team parlay with a one game push becomes a 9 team parlay. If two teams tie the spread, you subtract 2 games from your parlay game total: a 6 team parlay bet with 2 pushes becomes a 4 team parlay. Two or more pushes is rare, and most of the time, if there is any adjustment in the parlay, it will be the result of one team pushing.
- Maximum Parlay bet payout: Most sportsbooks specify a Maximum payout on any one parlay bet. Usually, this amount is in the neighborhood of $100,000 USD (or whatever currency you're using). This provision is meant to protect the sportsbook from paying out a huge win, especially in the rare event that a huge parlay bet comes in. If $100 was bet on 15 teams, the potential payout would be a staggering $150,000. The maximum payout rule is a sportsbook's insurance policy against run-away parlay bet wins.
Remember: ALWAYS read your sportsbook's parlay rules FIRST before you bet. There's nothing worse than thinking you just had a big win, only to realize there are special terms and conditions that either cancel or reduce your payout. Being an educated bettor will put the odds greatly in your favor.
Have fun and Good Luck!