Close Call Parlays are parlay bets that “almost” win. The sportsbook will still pay, even if you incorrectly predict one matchup.
Close Call Parlays are parlay bets that “almost” win. Instead of hitting 5 out of 5 teams, the sportsbook will award a winning bet to 4 out of 5 correct predictions. Close call parlays come with special terms and restrictions per sportsbook.
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Let’s face it, Parlay bets are tough to win. The more teams you bet, the greater the chance you’ll lose, and frequent parlay betting can be a slow bleed for your bankroll.
Enter the concept of “close call” parlays, a betting option that some sportsbooks offer to players who miss their parlay bet by one (sometimes two teams).
For example, suppose you’ve placed a bet on a 5 team parlay, and your sportsbook pays out for “close call” parlays. Suppose you only guessed 4 out of 5 teams correctly. Instead of losing your entire bet, your sportsbook will modify its odds on the 4 of 5 correct teams, paying out a smaller win.
Overall, close call parlays come with some restrictions that differ per sportsbook. The most obvious restriction is the bare minimum number of teams you can bet in a parlay and still qualify for a "close call payout". In other words, there are no close call parlays on a two team parlay. There are rarely close call parlay payouts on 3 team parlay bets. Instead, you’ll have to wager on 4 or more matchups. Some sportsbooks might offer close call parlays that miss by 2 teams, only if you’re wagering on 8 or more teams in your original parlay bet.
The following is a sample Close Call Parlay payout card, from VIP.com several years back:
8 of 9 pays 4-1
A $50 losing parlay returns $200
7 of 8 pays 3-1
A $50 losing parlay returns $150
6 of 7 pays 2-1
A $50 losing parlay returns $100
5 of 6 pays 1-1
A $50 losing parlay returns $50
Rules: Only available on football and basketball 1st half, 2nd half and full game wagers against the spread and totals. Money lines and proposition bets are excluded. Parlays with pushes not eligible for this promo. Original stake is not refunded. This parlay will not be automatically paid out by our system. You must claim your winnings within 48 hours from when the parlay is graded. To claim your winnings, contact our Customer Service Department. Maximum payout $200. The Company reserves the right to refuse this promotion to anyone at any time. If your account shows a lifetime profit (Deposits withdrawals account balance = any negative number), you will not be eligible for this promotion. Only those accounts that currently have a positive lifetime number are eligible for this promotion.
In this example and its rules and conditions, close call parlays are "closely" monitored by sportsbooks to make sure sharp players aren’t taking advantage of the system. A
cynical examination of the rules above might suggest that the only time you’ll get a close call parlay promotion is if you’re a BIG loser…but generally speaking, most players, even first time depositors, are offered close call parlays as long as the wager amount is reasonable.
If you think you’re going to walk away with $100K on a close call parlay, think again: Most sportsbooks cap parlay payout amounts, and will only change these amounts for VIP players and other high rollers. After all, you do want to get paid, right? Have fun, bet your parlays, and if you miss by one team, you might still win! Good Luck!