What is a Parlay Bet?

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Parlays allow you to wager on more than one contest at the same time

Parlays are considered to be an “exotic” bet. Put simply, parlays allow you to place a bet on the results of 2 or more events. For example, if the Jets were playing the Patriots in one game, and the Texans and 49ers were playing in another, you could make a 2 team parlay bet that the Jets and Texans would win. In the event this occurs, you will receive a much higher payout compared to a straight bet on a single game.

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The previous example is a basic parlay. Many sportsbooks offer a variety of parlay options: you can bet on outcomes across multiple sports, multiple days, or seasons. Moreover, it’s possible at many online sportsbooks to place parlay bets on up to 12 teams. If you win a 12 team parlay, you will make an astronomical amount of money at a minimal investment. For example, one 12 team parlay was advertised to pay $2040 per $1 bet. So if you bet $100, you’d make a whopping $204,000!

Caution: Better Safe Than Sorry!

But Wait…. Before you place a parlay bet, remember that while the parlay bet can pay big, many sports bettors also consider it a sucker’s bet. The odds of predicting multiple outcomes in one bet are stacked against the player. Most players only bet a couple dollars on 5 team parlays (or more), while it is common to see higher bets placed on 2 to 4 team parlays. These are much easier to win. If you really study sports carefully, and know how a couple teams are going to play, sometimes you can make off like a bandit and crush the book completely. Most times, however, you’re going to walk away empty handed.

One real life example of a huge parlay are March Madness bracket contests. The goal is to correctly predict the result of EVERY game. A more simple example is a 2 team parlay on the Final Four. If UCLA is playing Memphis, and LSU is facing UCONN in the Final Four, many bettors will pick the two winners that proceed to that NCAA National Basketball championship contest.

For Joe Average bettor, when is a parlay a good bet? Only for a small number of contests and if you’re relatively confident about the outcomes. Baseball parlays are popular, since much of baseball is determined by pitching matchups. One can make an informed decision about who will win. Soccer parlays are also popular with Europeans, especially during play-off or league championship matches. Many sports bettors like to bet the local favorite for the hell of it, and if they get lucky…well, let’s just say they’ve made a few more Euros on their bet than usual.

So, if you’d like to try a Parlay bet, simply signup or visit your online sportsbook, browse the betting options, and select “Parlay”. Then, choose the number of matchups you want to bet. Finally, pick the winning team in each contest. We recommend you start small. Most sportsbooks will accept $1 Parlay bets, in part because the advantage is in their favor. Have fun and Good Luck!