Understanding Parlay Betting: What Does Parlay Mean in Sports Gambling

When it comes to sports betting, there are various betting types available and one of the most popular ones is parlay betting. Parlays have been around for a long time and are still one of the most enticing betting options for bettors. But, if you're relatively new to sports betting, you may be wondering what a parlay bet is and how it works.

Simply put, a parlay bet is a single bet that involves multiple bets on two or more games. The main advantage of a parlay bet is that it offers a higher payout than betting on each game individually. However, there are also risks involved as you need to correctly predict all the outcomes of the games included in your parlay.

Understanding the basics of parlay betting is essential if you want to take advantage of this type of bet. In this article, we'll explain what a parlay bet is, how it works, and what the advantages and disadvantages are of parlay betting. Let's dive deeper into the world of parlay betting and find out what makes it so popular among sports bettors.

The Basics of Parlay Betting

Parlay betting, also known as accumulator betting, is a popular form of sports betting that involves combining two or more individual bets into one single bet. This type of betting can yield high payouts, as the odds of winning multiple bets are often greater than the odds of winning each individual bet separately.

In parlay betting, all bets included in the wager must win for the bettor to receive a payout. If just one of the bets in the parlay loses, the entire wager is considered a loss. However, because of the increased risk involved, the potential payouts in parlay betting can be much higher than in traditional sports betting LeoVegas.

Parlays can be made up of a variety of different bet types, including moneyline bets, point spread bets, and totals bets. Betters often use parlays to bet on multiple games or events at once, in a single high-risk, high-reward wager.

It's important to remember that while parlay betting can be exciting and potentially lucrative, it's also a high-risk wagering strategy. As with any type of sports betting, it's essential to only wager what you can afford to lose and to always do your research and analysis before placing any bets.

Why Parlay Betting is Popular

Parlay betting is a popular type of betting among sports enthusiasts because it offers the opportunity to win big without having to risk a large amount of money. The basic concept of parlay betting is to combine multiple bets into one single bet. This means that a bettor can place a single bet on multiple games or events, and if all of the bets in the parlay are correct, the bettor can win a significant payout.

Another reason why parlay betting is popular is that it offers a unique opportunity for bettors to get creative with their wagers. With parlay betting, a bettor can combine bets on different sports, leagues, and even betting types. For example, a bettor could place a parlay bet on the winner of a basketball game, the total points scored in a football game, and the winner of a horse race.

Parlay betting is also popular because it offers the chance to win large sums of money with a small initial investment. Since the payout for a parlay bet increases with each additional bet included in the parlay, a bettor can potentially win a much larger payout than they would with a single bet.

Lastly, parlay betting can also be an exciting way to watch multiple games or events unfold. When a bettor places a parlay bet, they have a vested interest in the outcome of several games or events, which can make watching them all the more exciting.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Parlay Betting

Parlay betting is a popular form of sports betting where you combine multiple bets into one. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of parlay betting:


  • Potential for higher payouts - Parlay betting allows you to combine multiple bets into one, giving you the potential to win a larger payout than you would by placing individual bets.
  • Easier to track multiple bets - Instead of having to keep track of multiple bets separately, parlay betting allows you to combine them into one, making it easier to keep track of your wagers.
  • A fun and exciting way to bet - Parlay betting can add an extra level of excitement to watching sports games, as you can root for multiple teams and bets at once.


  • Lower probability of winning - Combining multiple bets also means that the probability of winning decreases, as all bets in the parlay must win in order for you to receive any payout.
  • Increased risk - With parlay betting, there is a higher risk of losing all of your money, as all bets must win for you to receive a payout. This is in contrast to individual bets, where you can still win money even if one bet loses.
  • Less flexibility - Parlay betting usually requires that all bets are placed at the same time, so you cannot make changes or adjustments once the bets have been placed.

Ultimately, whether parlay betting is a good option for you depends on your personal preferences and risk tolerance. It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages before placing a parlay bet, and to only bet an amount that you are comfortable with losing.

How to Calculate Parlay Bet Payouts

If you're thinking of placing a parlay bet, it's important to understand how to calculate the potential payout. A parlay is a bet that combines two or more individual bets into one wager. The more bets you add to your parlay, the higher the potential payout.

To calculate the potential payout for a parlay bet, you'll need to know the odds of each individual bet. The odds are typically displayed as either American or decimal odds. American odds are expressed as either a positive or negative number, while decimal odds are expressed as a number greater than one.

To use American odds, you'll need to convert them to a decimal format. To do this, you can use an online odds converter or manually calculate the decimal odds by adding one to the fractional odds and then multiplying by 100. For example, if the odds are +200, you would add 1 to 2 (the fractional equivalent of +200) to get 3. Then, you would multiply 3 by 100 to get 300 as the decimal odds.

Once you have the decimal odds for each individual bet in your parlay, you can multiply them together to get the overall odds for the parlay. For example, if you have two bets with decimal odds of 2.00 and 2.50, the overall odds for the parlay would be 5.00 (2.00 x 2.50).

To calculate the potential payout for the parlay, you'll need to multiply the overall odds by the amount of your wager. For example, if you bet $50 on a parlay with odds of 5.00, your potential payout would be $250 (5.00 x $50).

Single Bet vs Parlay Bet

When it comes to sports betting, there are two main types of bets that you can make: a single bet and a parlay bet.

Single Bet

A single bet is a bet on one event or outcome. For example, you might bet on which team will win a basketball game or which player will score the first touchdown in a football game. If you win your bet, you receive a payout based on the odds that were set for that particular event.

Parlay Bet

A parlay bet is a bet on multiple events or outcomes. This type of bet allows you to combine two or more bets into one, with the potential for a larger payout if all of your selections are correct. However, if any of your selections are incorrect, you lose the entire bet.

  • For example, you might place a parlay bet on three NFL games. You predict that the Cowboys will beat the Giants, the Colts will beat the Titans, and the Saints will beat the Falcons. If all three of these predictions are correct, you win the parlay, with a higher payout than if you had placed individual single bets on each game.
  • However, if even one of these predictions is incorrect, you lose the entire parlay bet.

While single bets are typically considered safer and more reliable, parlay bets offer the potential for a larger payout if you are able to correctly predict multiple outcomes. It's important to weigh the risks and rewards of each type of bet before placing your wager.

Types of Parlay Bets

There are various types of parlay bets available in sports betting. The most common type is a traditional parlay, where a bettor chooses multiple outcomes and places a single wager on the result of all selections. If all selections are correct, the bettor wins the parlay. However, if just one selection loses, the entire parlay bet is lost.

Another type of parlay bet is a round-robin parlay. With this type of bet, a bettor chooses multiple teams and creates all possible parlay combinations with those selections. The bettor then places a wager on each combination. The advantage of this type of bet is that a bettor can still win even if some of the selections lose, as long as enough parlay combinations win.

Teaser parlay bets are another popular type of parlay bet. A teaser bet allows a bettor to adjust the point spread or total of each game they select. This adjustment comes at the cost of a lower payout if the bettor wins. Teaser bets are an excellent choice for players who want to reduce risk or increase their chances of winning.

A moneyline parlay bet is a bet placed on multiple moneyline selections. Instead of betting on a point spread, the bettor is betting on who will win the game outright. Moneyline parlays can often be more challenging to win, as the odds of each selection are often closer to even money.

Lastly, proposition or prop bets can be included in a parlay. Prop bets are more exotic, and they can include anything from the first team to score to the number of yards a particular player will rush for in a game. These types of bets can offer more substantial payouts but are also riskier than more traditional parlay bets.

How to Place a Parlay Bet

Step 1: Choose Your Sports and Games

To place a successful parlay bet, you first need to choose the sports and games you want to bet on. It’s important to keep in mind that a parlay bet requires you to make multiple selections, so choose carefully.

Step 2: Determine Your Wager

Once you’ve chosen your sports and games, it’s time to determine your wager. Remember that a parlay bet is a single bet that combines multiple selections, so you will only need to make one wager for all of your chosen games.

Step 3: Make Your Selections

When making your selections for your parlay bet, be sure to take into account all relevant factors such as player injuries, team performance, and current odds. You can add as many selections as you’d like, but remember that the more games you add, the more difficult it will be to win.

Step 4: Confirm Your Bet

After you’ve made your selections and determined your wager, it’s time to confirm your bet. Double check your selections, your wager, and the odds before submitting your bet. Once you’ve pressed the “confirm” button, your bet is locked in.

Step 5: Wait and See

After placing your parlay bet, all you can do is sit back, relax, and wait for the games to play out. If all of your selections win, you’ll receive a higher payout than if you had placed individual bets on each game separately. However, if even one of your selections loses, your entire parlay bet will be a bust.

Sports to Place Parlay Bets on

Parlay betting is a popular form of sports betting which allows you to combine multiple wagers onto a single betting slip for a potentially higher payout. It's available across various sports, and many popular options include:

  • Football - You can place parlay bets on NFL and college football games, and some of the popular options include point spreads, moneylines, and over/unders.
  • Basketball - NBA and college basketball games are also popular for parlay betting, and the options are similar to football, including point spreads, moneylines, and totals.
  • Baseball - You can combine multiple baseball bets such as moneyline, run lines, and over/unders onto a single parlay ticket.
  • Hockey - NHL games offer parlay betting options that include puck lines, moneylines, and totals.
  • Soccer - There are various soccer leagues around the world where you can place parlay bets on games, including the MLS, EPL, La Liga, and more.
  • Boxing/MMA - Many sportsbooks allow you to place parlay bets on boxing and MMA fights, with options such as the winner, method of victory, and round betting.

Remember that when placing a parlay bet, all of your selections must win for you to receive a payout. This makes it a high-risk betting option, but also one that offers potentially high rewards. So, make sure to do your research and choose your bets wisely!

What are the odds of winning a parlay bet?

Parlay bets can offer the potential for big payouts, but they also come with increased risk because all the selections in the parlay must win for the bettor to cash in on the wager. The odds of winning a parlay bet can vary depending on the number of selections and the odds of each individual pick.

A two-team parlay will have odds of 13:5 (or +260 in American odds). This means that a $100 bet on a two-team parlay would pay out $360 if both selections are correct. However, the probability of correctly picking two separate outcomes and having them both come to fruition is significantly less likely than just one.

The more teams selected in a parlay, the higher the odds become, and the less likely that a bettor will win the bet. For example, a four-team parlay has odds of 10:1 (or +1000 in American odds). This means that a $100 bet on a four-team parlay would pay out $1,000 if all four selections are correct. However, the chances of hitting a four-team parlay consistently are relatively low.

The odds of winning a parlay bet are ultimately determined by the selections made and the odds attached to each pick. Bettors should always consider the level of risk they are willing to accept and make informed decisions based on their knowledge of the sport and the teams/players involved.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Parlay Betting

Not understanding the odds

One of the most common mistakes in parlay betting is not understanding the odds. Each individual bet in a parlay has its own odds, and those odds are multiplied together to determine the overall odds of the parlay. It's important to understand the odds of each individual bet and how they affect the overall odds of the parlay.

Adding too many bets

Parlay betting allows you to combine multiple bets into a single wager. However, adding too many bets to the parlay can be a mistake. Each additional bet increases the overall odds of the parlay, making it harder to win. It's important to be selective when choosing which bets to add to the parlay.

Not diversifying bets

Another mistake in parlay betting is not diversifying bets. It's important to not only choose different sports and leagues to bet on, but also to select different types of bets within the same sport or league. This helps to spread out your risk and increase your chances of winning.

Chasing big payouts

It's easy to get caught up in the idea of a big payout in parlay betting. However, chasing big payouts can be a mistake. Adding too many bets with long odds can decrease your chances of winning. It's important to balance the potential payout with the likelihood of it actually happening.

Not managing your bankroll

Finally, not managing your bankroll is a common mistake in parlay betting. It's important to set a budget for your bets and stick to it. Don't bet more than you can afford to lose, and don't chase losses by increasing your bets. Stick to a consistent betting strategy to increase your chances of long-term success.

Parlay Betting Strategies

Diversify Your Bet

One of the most commonly used strategies for parlay betting is diversifying your bet by choosing teams from different leagues. This spreads your risk across different games and can increase your chances of winning. Another way to diversify is to include different types of bets in your parlay, such as point spreads, totals, and moneylines.

Stick to Small Bets

Parlay bets can offer a big payoff, but they are also a high-risk bet. To minimize your losses, it's best to stick to smaller bets and keep your parlay to just a few games. This reduces the risk of a total loss.

Do Your Research

To increase your chances of winning, it's important to do your research before placing your parlay bet. Look at team stats, recent form, injuries, and other factors that may affect the outcome of the game. This will help you make informed decisions when putting together your parlay bet.

Understand the Odds

Understanding the odds is crucial in parlay betting. It's important to know how much you stand to win and what the potential risks are. Pay attention to the payout odds for each team in your parlay and figure out the overall payout if all your teams win.

Consider Hedging Your Bet

Hedging your parlay bet means placing additional bets to reduce your risk. For example, if one of the teams in your parlay bet is losing, you could place a separate bet on them to win outright. This reduces your overall risk and can help you secure a profit, even if your initial bet doesn't win.

Managing Your Bankroll in Parlay Betting

Parlay betting can be a fun and exciting way to increase your potential winnings, but it can also be risky if not managed properly. One of the most important factors to consider when placing parlay bets is bankroll management.

The first step in managing your bankroll is setting a budget for yourself. Determine how much money you can afford to lose without any significant impact on your finances. This amount should be the maximum you are willing to wager on parlay bets in a given period, such as a week or a month.

Once you have set your budget, it's important to divide it into smaller units or bets. This will help prevent you from wagering too much money on a single parlay and potentially losing your entire bankroll. A general rule of thumb is to limit each parlay to no more than 5% of your total bankroll.

Another strategy for managing your bankroll in parlay betting is to use a "winning percentage" approach. Determine the percentage of bets you need to win in order to break even or make a profit, and adjust your wagers accordingly. For example, if you need to win 55% of your bets to make a profit, adjust your wager size to reflect this goal.

It's also important to resist the temptation to chase losses by placing larger and riskier parlay bets. Stick to your predetermined budget and strategy, and avoid making impulsive or emotional wagers.

  • Set a budget for yourself
  • Divide your bankroll into smaller units or bets
  • Limit each parlay to no more than 5% of your total bankroll
  • Use a "winning percentage" approach to adjust your wagers
  • Avoid chasing losses by making impulsive or emotional wagers

Overall, managing your bankroll in parlay betting is essential to maximizing your chances of success. By setting a budget, dividing your bankroll, and sticking to a strategy, you can minimize your risk and potentially increase your winnings.

How to Use Parlay Betting to Maximize Profits

Parlay betting can be a very profitable way to increase your winnings from sports betting. Here are some tips on how to use parlay betting to maximize your profits:

1. Choose the Right Teams

The key to successful parlay betting is selecting winning teams. Do your research and choose teams that have a high win rate and a good track record. Avoid including teams that are unpredictable or inconsistent in your parlay bet.

2. Manage Your Bankroll

Make sure you have enough funds to cover your parlay bet, and don't go overboard with the number of teams you include. It's important to have a strategy in place for managing your bankroll, so you don't end up losing more than you can afford to.

3. Maximize Your Odds

Look for sportsbooks that offer the best odds for your parlay bet. The higher the odds, the greater your potential payout. However, it's important to balance the odds with the likelihood of the teams winning.

4. Consider Teasers and Pleasers

Teasers and pleasers are variations of parlay bets that can help you increase your odds of winning. A teaser allows you to adjust the point spreads for the teams in your parlay bet, whereas a pleaser increases the point spreads, but also increases the payout.

5. Don’t Get Greedy

It's important to set realistic expectations and not get too greedy with your parlay bets. While it's tempting to include more teams and increase your potential payout, remember that the more teams you include, the lower your chances of winning.

By following these tips, you can use parlay betting to maximize your profits and increase your winnings from sports betting.

Parlay Betting Tips

If you are interested in parlay betting, it is important to remember some tips that could potentially help you win big. Remember that with parlay betting, you are making multiple bets on different events, which means the potential for higher payouts, but also higher risk. Here are some parlay betting tips:

  • Limit the number of selections: The more bets you include in your parlay, the harder it is to win. It is recommended to limit your selections to no more than four or five events.
  • Do your research: Make sure to do as much research as possible on the teams and events you are betting on. Look at their statistics, past performances, and any injuries or other factors that could affect the outcome of the game.
  • Take advantage of promotions: Many sportsbooks offer promotions and bonuses for parlay bets. Make sure to take advantage of these offers to increase your potential winnings.
  • Consider hedging your bets: Hedging your bets means betting on the opposite outcome of your original parlay bet to reduce your risk. While this can lower your potential winnings, it can also reduce your chances of losing everything.
  • Set a budget: Parlay betting can be addictive and can lead to heavy losses if you are not careful. Set a budget before placing your bets and stick to it.

Remember that parlay betting is a high-risk, high-reward type of betting. While it can be tempting to chase big payouts, it is important to be responsible and not bet more than you can afford to lose. Use these parlay betting tips to increase your chances of winning and minimize your risk.

Parlay Betting vs Other Betting Strategies

Parlay betting is one of the most popular and effective sports betting strategies. It involves placing a single bet on multiple outcomes, with all outcomes needing to be successful for the bet to pay out. This can lead to higher payouts than single bets, but also carries increased risk. Other betting strategies, such as straight bets or teaser bets, may offer lower payouts but also lower risk.

Straight bets are the simplest form of sports betting, where a bettor places a wager on a single outcome. This type of betting carries a relatively low risk, but also offers lower payouts. Teaser bets are similar to parlay bets, with the main difference being that the bettor is allowed to shift the point spread in their favor. This reduces the payout compared to a parlay bet, but also decreases the risk involved.

Another popular betting strategy is futures betting, where a bettor wagers on the outcome of a major event in the future, such as the winner of a championship series or the MVP of a league. This type of betting can offer high payouts, but also carries significant risk as the outcome is not immediate and can be affected by many external factors.

In the end, the choice of betting strategy depends on the bettor's individual goals, risk tolerance, and knowledge of the sport or event being wagered on. Regardless of the strategy chosen, it is important to always bet responsibly and within one's means.

Final Thoughts on Parlay Betting

When it comes to sports betting, parlay bets can be exciting and potentially lucrative for bettors. However, it's important to understand the risks and limitations of this type of betting.

One of the main advantages of parlay betting is the opportunity for bettors to increase their potential payout by combining multiple bets into one. However, the downside is that all bets in the parlay must win in order for the bettor to receive a payout. This makes parlay betting a high risk, high reward option.

It's also important for bettors to carefully consider the odds and payouts offered by their sportsbook for parlay bets. Not all sportsbooks offer the same odds and payouts, so it's worth shopping around for the best options.

As with any type of sports betting, it's important to bet responsibly and within your means. Parlay bets can be exciting, but they should always be treated as a form of entertainment rather than a guaranteed way to make money.

  • Remember: Parlay betting can be a fun and potentially profitable way to bet on sports, but it's important to understand the risks and limitations.
  • Consider: Carefully consider the odds and payouts offered by your sportsbook before making parlay bets.
  • Bet Responsibly: Always bet within your means and treat parlay betting as a form of entertainment rather than a guaranteed way to make money.