What is a Parlay Card?

What is Parlay Card Betting? Are Parlay Cards good bets? Sportsbooks offer 3 types of parlay cards. The ½ Point Parlay Card is the most popular. Ties Win and Ties Lose cards are also available. Pick from game spreads, totals or player props. Know your parlay card’s payouts and rules before betting!

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Definition of a Parlay Card Betting

Choose 3-12 spreads, totals or player propositions from a preselected list. Football and basketball parlay cards are most common. ½ point parlay cards exclusively feature ½ point spreads and totals. No ties are possible.

Method

  1. Parlay Cards are readily available at Las Vegas sports books. Some online sportsbooks offer parlay cards.
  2. Review all matchups and player props. Make 3-12 selections. Carefully fill in card.
  3. Ties are subject to parlay card rules. Not applicable to ½ point parlay cards.
  4. Return to sportsbook with winning receipt or stub to collect winnings.

Specs

Popular Exotic Bet. Parlay Cards are available for football and basketball. Sportsbooks offer 3 types of parlay cards. Rules and payouts vary for each:

  • ½ Point Parlay Card
  • Ties Win Parlay Card
  • Ties Lose Parlay Card

Make at least 3 selections. Choose from spreads, totals or player props. Some cards require 4 or more prop selections.

Minimum Bet is $2. Maximum subject to sportsbook approval. Most players bet less than $100 per card.

Maximum payout amounts range $100,000 – $200,000.

Example ½ Point Parlay Card

William Hill NFL ½ Point Parlay Card

Stars indicate home team. Bold text indicates team names and spread. Light text indicates over and under lines. No tie bets are possible with ½ point increments.

Player makes 4 selections from this ½ Point Parlay Card.

  • 2. Broncos 3 ½
  • 77. Eagles 4 ½
  • 86. Raiders 1 ½
  • 91. KC/SD Over 44 ½

Player bets $10 on this card. Winning payout is 13 for 1. 13 x $10 bet = $130 payout.

How to Play Parlay Cards

Each spread, total or player prop wins, loses or ties according to game outcome.

Half point parlay card selections cannot tie. Ties Win and Ties Lose cards have different rules. Each parlay card type pays out differently.

Example: 4 Selection ½ Point Parlay Card from Above

Suppose all 4 selections win. 4 for 4 pays 13 for 1. 13 x $10 Bet = $130.

Any single losing selection means the entire parlay card loses.

Half Point Parlay Prices
Win Payout Win Payout
3 for 3 6.5 for 1 8 for 8 190 for 1
4 for 4 13 for 1 9 for 9 400 for 1
5 for 5 25 for 1 10 for 10 825 for 1
6 for 6 50 for 1 11 for 11 1500 for 1
7 for 7 100 for 1 12 for 12 3000 for 1

Each sportsbook has its own parlay card rules. All cards must be in before game time.

Listed below are the most important rules for each parlay card type. Review all rules before betting.

See a scan of a real parlay card below.

½ Point Parlay Card Important Rules

  1. Tickets must have a minimum of 3 player propositions (4 if applicable) in action or the wager is void and the wager amount will be refunded. Ties are considered “no action” and reduce to the number of propositions with action. Tickets with less than 3 propositions in action are void and the wager amount will be refunded.
  2. Payoffs will be made on the wagering ticket generated from the stub portion of this card only.
  3. Printed point spreads at the time the wager is accepted are used in the determination of winners, losers and ties. This card will have no ties as ½ points are used.

Ties Win Parlay Card Important Rules

  1. Games not played on date specified or invalid selections are considered no action and card will be reduced to next lowest number of plays.
  2. Cards must have three team minimum otherwise wager is void and money will be returned.
  3. Only this card’s point spreads will be used in determination of the winners.

Ties Lose Parlay Card Important Rules

  1. Games not played on date specified or invalid selections are considered “No Action” and reduces card to next lower number of plays.
  2. Tickets must have a minimum of three valid propositions in action or wager is void and money will be returned.
  3. Printed point spreads at the time the wager is accepted are used in the determination of winners and losers.

Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Winning parlay cards payouts are much higher than separate straight bets.
  • Parlay cards are conveniently found at most Las Vegas sportsbooks. Smaller outfits may offer better payouts than popular tourist destinations.
  • Mail winning ticket stubs to sportsbooks to collect payment by mail. Online sportsbooks will credit your account with the winning payout.
  • Small minimum bet. 3 different parlay card types to try.

Cons

  • Parlay cards subject to more risk and variance than separate straight bets. One losing selection ruins entire card. 5 or more winning selections isn’t common.
  • Player may get better odds closer to game time on an “off the board” parlay. Parlay Cards are printed before sharp money comes in.
  • Bettor must retain stub or receipt to collect winnings. Registered mail fees will cut into a modest parlay card payoff.
  • Parlay cards generally considered a losing bet with rare exceptions. Ties win and Ties lose cards are the least advantageous. Some sportsbooks offer a reduced payout even if one selection loses. Player must make at least 10 selections to qualify (9 of 10 Special).

Tips

  1. Compare integer spreads to ½ Point Parlay Card lines. Look for key numbers 3 and 7. Suppose the Giants are 3 pt favorites vs. the Bears. See if the ½ point is added or subtracted from the spread. If the parlay card has a 2 ½ pt line take the favored Giants. If the card has a 3 ½ pt line take the underdog Bears.
  2. Keep parlay cards to 5 selections or less. Winning parlay cards with 6 or more selections is rare.
  3. Research football and basketball ATS (against the spread) trends before making parlay card selections.
  4. Carefully bubble in your card before submitting it. Each invalid selection reduces total selections by 1. Don’t waste other gamblers’ time hastily scribbling out a card at the ticket window.
  5. Most sportsbooks limit parlay cards to $200 bet maximums. Anything more than $100 will attract unwanted attention from management. Keep bet size reasonable especially if you’re on a hot steak.

Bets to Try

  1. ½ Point Parlay Card against integer spreads. Find 3 or more integer spreads, those without ½ point increments. Compare to lines on a ½ point parlay card. Bet favorite on card if ½ point is subtracted from spread. Take underdog on card if ½ point is added.
  2. Bet 3 or more integer spreads on a Ties Win Parlay Card. 3 straight bet ties would result in 3 refunds. But winning a 3 selection Ties Win parlay card pays 6 for 1.
  3. Super Bowl and March Madness Parlay Card Props. Select player propositions on your parlay card for major sporting events. These selections are commonly found on Ties Lose parlay cards. Choose carefully combining spreads and totals, if possible.

Parlay Card Betting History

Parlay card betting preceded modern parlay sports betting. These cards began surfacing in the USA during the late 1800s as sporting leagues organized. They were commonly found at early baseball games and bars adjacent to ballfields.

The Progressive Movement of the early 1900s initially stunted the spread of parlay card betting. But the arrival of the roaring 1920s, professional football, and better organized gambling syndicates brought them back.

Nevada was the first state to fully legalize casino gambling in 1931. Despite this change, sports betting remained in the shadows. Most bets were booked illegally. Eventually it became better regulated, but not before many legal operators left the market due to a 1951 tax.

In October 1974 this tax was decreased. Legal sports betting operations became profitable once again.

Other Names

  • Parlay Card Bet

Similar Bets

  • Standard Parlay or Off the Board Parlay
  • Progressive Parlay or Close Call Parlay
  • Standard Teaser or Off the Board Teaser
  • Teaser Card
  • Big Teaser Card
  • If Bet Win Only

Tables and Reference

Sample Parlay Card Payouts

½ Point Parlay Prices
Win Payout Win Payout
3 for 3 6.5 for 1 8 for 8 190 for 1
4 for 4 13 for 1 9 for 9 400 for 1
5 for 5 25 for 1 10 for 10 825 for 1
6 for 6 50 for 1 11 for 11 1500 for 1
7 for 7 100 for 1 12 for 12 3000 for 1
Ties Win Parlay Prices
Win Payout Win Payout
3 for 3 6 for 1 7 for 7 75 for 1
4 for 4 10 for 1 8 for 8 150 for 1
5 for 5 20 for 1 9 for 9 275 for 1
6 for 6 40 for 1 10 for 10 600 for 1
Ties Lose Parlay Prices
Special 9 for 10 Bonus
Win Payout Win Payout
3 for 3 6 for 1 7 for 7 80 for 1
4 for 4 11 for 1 8 for 8 150 for 1
5 for 5 20 for 1 9 for 9 300 for 1
6 for 6 40 for 1 10 for 10 600 for 1
9 for 10 20 for 1

William Hill ½ Point Parlay Card Payouts and Rules

William Hill Parlay Card Example Las Vegas Nevada

House Edge on Standard Parlays

House Edge on Standard Parlays
+ Taps out Payout on Mobile
Selections Actual Odds Usual Payout House Edge
2 3/1 2.6/1 10.00%
3 7/1 6/1 12.50%
4 15/1 10/1 31.25%
5 31/1 20/1 34.38%
6 63/1 40/1 35.94%
7 127/1 75/1 40.63%
8 255/1 150/1 41.02%
9 511/1 300/1 41.21%
10 1027/1 700/1 31.54%

Fixed Odds Parlay Table

Fixed Odds Parlay Table
# Selections Las Vegas Payout Offshore Payout
2 13/5 13/5
3 6/1 6/1
4 10/1 12.28/1
5 20/1 24.35/1
6 40/1 47.41/1
7 75/1 91.42/1
8 150/1 175.44/1

References


wizardofodds.com/games/sports-betting/nfl-parlay/
thoughtco.com/beating-football-parlay-tickets-537015
vegasinsider.com/nfl/story.cfm/story/1037055/
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parlay_(gambling)
bovada.lv/help/parlay-betting
books.google.com/books?id=N-RMAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA429#v=onepage&q&f=false
lasvegasadvisor.com/question/sports-betting-history/