Parlay Bet

Understanding sports betting can be challenging, as there are many different ways to wager on sports. One of these methods is parlay betting. This type of bet is a combination of bets, where bettors wager on two or more sporting outcomes.

If all the bets win, the bettor receives a much higher payout than if they had placed individual bets. This is because the chance of correctly predicting multiple events is less likely than wagering on one single event. Therefore, the pay-off reflects the higher probability of losing.

What is a Parlay Bet?

There are ten major types of bets, allowing bettors to find the one that suits them best. For example, one of the most common and straightforward bets is 'Moneyline.' Punters are wagering on a particular team to win by placing this bet.

'Point Spread' betting is another popular form of betting, and however, this is a bet on the team's margin of victory instead of the final result. A parlay bet differs from the other wager types because bettors are gambling on more than one event within one wager.

Parlay bets are also referred to as accumulators, combo, or multi-bets. This is because the bettor wagers on the outcome of two or more games. All the parts or 'legs' of the bet need to succeed for the whole wager to win. Indeed, the payout is much higher than if they place individual bets because the chance of all the legs winning is low. Therefore, the odds of losing are more significant, making the return on a win higher.

The main feature of this type of bet is that the payout can be considerably high. Watching all the games in the accumulator is pretty exciting as you hope to grab a win.

These bets can be very attractive to certain bettors as it allows them to bet a low amount but get a high payout. The more legs there are in parlay betting, the higher the return.

Example: Parlay Bets Explained

  1. Chicago Cubs Moneyline (-155)

  2. Roman Quinn (PHI) to hit a home run (+550)

  3. Atlanta Braves Moneyline (-215)

  4. Tylor Megill (WAS) to have over 8.5 strikeouts (-105)

  5. Texas Rangers +4.5 (-110).

If a bettor wagers $10 on this 5-leg parlay, giving a $663.80 total payout. As explained, the returns are impressive. However, the downside is that the whole bet counts as a loss if any leg loses.

Therefore, users should place this type of bet after understanding the likelihood of all the bets winning. The above example is based on different events happening in baseball, and consequently, bettors would need a reliable understanding of that sport.

How to place a parlay bet

It couldn't be easier to place this bet on an online sportsbook. Naturally, the first step is to log in to an online betting site. Next, bettors must navigate to the sport they want to place a bet on. Afterward, they can start selecting the games and the odds they like.

Once two or more games have been selected, an option to click 'Parlay' should appear on the bet slip. Finally, users can enter the amount they want to bet and click on the submit button. It's as simple as that. However, it would be best for users to do some research regarding the teams or events they gamble on.

Understanding How Parlay Bets Work

Even though on the surface, setting up these bets may seem very complex, they are still incredibly versatile and potentially very profitable. Once parlay is explained, bettors should understand how it works and how they can use it to combine other bets to make a larger wager. If all the events win, the bet wins, but on the contrary, the bet counts as a loss if one or more events fail.

We also refer to this type of bet as an accumulator, multi-bet, or combo. This is because the chances of winning accumulate, and it can combine multiple types of bets to make up the final bet. The strength of this betting format is also its weakness. Adding more events, or legs, to the bet decreases the chance of winning. However, the payout increases because a positive outcome becomes less likely, and these bets can produce high returns.

The bettor needs to consider how likely all the bet elements will win, and they should combine events with a high chance of success. One of the best strategies for winning is to bet on heavy favorites, and another strategy is to bet on fewer events but a big wager on the total bet.

For example, if the legs comprise three heavy favorites, the chances of winning are high. Therefore, the payout will be more significant if a large amount is wagered. The benefit of parlay betting for the bettor is that the payout is much greater than if they had bet on the same events individually.

What happens if events are canceled? 

As described in the previous section, all legs must win for a bet to yield payouts. So how does the cancellation of an event affect the parlay wager?

In this situation, most sportsbooks will remove the event from the bet and re-calculate it. Consequently, the odds will change, affecting the payout, as fewer legs to the bet now exist.

This seems like the fairest way of dealing with event cancellations, as the parlay meaning is retained. The same thing happens when the bettor and the sportsbook tie. We call this a 'push scenario,' which usually ends in a void bet. Again, if the wager is part of an accumulator, the sportsbook will remove that event and re-calculate the payout.

Nevertheless, it is best to read the terms and conditions of the sportsbook to know how they deal with these situations, as they can vary.

How to calculate parlay odds 

Most sportsbooks automatically calculate the payout for players when the bet is submitted, and users can also find many parlay betting calculators online. However, it is not difficult to calculate the payout manually, and it can be helpful to get a quick idea of the payout.

The first thing to do is convert the odds to decimal odds when using American odds. The next step is to multiply the decimal odds to give the multiplier. Then bettors can multiply the multiplier by their bet amount, giving the total payout. It may sound complicated, but it should be straightforward once the odds are in decimal form.

Why are correlated parlays banned on many sites? 

This form of wager is where two bets are tied together, so the other is more likely to win if one wins. For example, in NBA betting markets, a punter could bet on LeBron James to go over on total points and the Lakers to win, which would make a correlated parlay. LeBron's points make it much more likely for the Lakers to win; therefore, one event causes the other event more likely.

Most sportsbooks won't accept these kinds of bets, and this is because the odds are too much in favor of a win, so there is no reason to take the bet. However, some sportsbooks take these bets, which can be highly profitable.

Pros and cons of parlay bets 

With all forms of betting, there are plus and minuses. Most people new to betting tend to stick to more straightforward bets like Moneyline. However, parlay bets can offer an opportunity to create more exciting betting combinations.

One significant pro of this kind of betting is that the payout is much higher than an individual bet on the same events. Another positive side is the excitement of watching the outcome of each stage of the wager.

However, a significant downside is that if one bet loses, the whole thing loses. Also, bettors need to put some research into their choices. It is best to have in-depth knowledge of the sport they are betting on to create a winning strategy. Developing this knowledge does take time, so not all bettors are willing to invest that time and effort.

Is parlay betting a good idea? 

This is the big question. The answer is that it depends on the bettor and their objectives. This sort of bet is not straightforward, but it can give great returns if with the help of an excellent strategy. However, the odds of winning are low in parlay betting, and bettors need to put some thought into the bet.

Therefore, it requires research and knowledge to get a winning combination, and a fair bit of luck is involved. On the plus side, it is exhilarating, making the game more meaningful and enjoyable whenever players wager on a series of games.

Although it's not for everyone, statistically speaking, it's hard to win, it provides a lot of entertainment, and sometimes it's worth the risk.

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Some commonly asked questions (FAQ):

What does parlay bet mean in sports betting?

This refers to a wager that ties together two or more bets to form one wager. With parlay betting, all the predictions must be accurate for the overall bet to win. Therefore, if any outcome fails, it is a loss.

How do parlay bets work in online betting?

Online betting gives bettors many types of bets, from Moneyline to over/under to point spread. Parlay betting allows the bettor to combine these types into one, which is an easy task in most sportsbooks.

Is a parlay bet a smart betting option?

This form of betting is more complex than most other types, and it does require some knowledge and research to create the right parlay combination. There is a high risk of losing, but the payouts are enormous if it's a win.

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