What is a Parlay?

Parlay Betting Guide

Albert Einstein once famously remarked, “The strongest force in the universe is compound interest.” Compounding is one of those things that take small actions every day, to receive a huge payout in the future.

What relevance does this have with gambling you ask? Well, the subject of our discussion today is parlay betting. Often referred to as accumulators or aggregators, this type of betting has taken the betting has captivated the betting world.

As is only fair too, considering the promised benefits. If you’ve always been curious about bets other than “to win” bets, then parlay betting may be just the thing you’re looking for. So, let’s take a closer look into what it is, it’s advantages and disadvantages, and strategies.

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What Is a Parlay Bet?

Parlay bets have been around for a while, and there popularity means that most bettors are familiar with the basics. If you’re a novice, here’s the essence of the matter. A parlay bet involves grouping all your individual bets into one bigger bet.

The catch? All your bets have to succeed for the parlay to be deemed complete. Practically, what this means is that you can bet on 5 matches together rather than making 5 isolated bets. If you win 4 but lose the 5th, you lose overall and don’t get a payout.

The odds for parlay betting are bigger and so is the risk associated with them. This is why, even though you may find the concept appealing, you should always do your due diligence. It would be a shame to lose out on parlay bets simply because you didn’t know what you were doing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Parlay Bets

The advantages of such betting are as follows:

Potential for Greater Reward: Parlay bets can lead to situations where you can make a sizeable profit from lower risk bets.

Combinations: You can amalgamate several leagues and matches into one bet. This improves the payout dramatically.

Play Favorites: There is safety in the expected. Betting on the incumbent, or the heavyweight is rarely profitable but if you combine all the favorites, you can collect a decent win at very little risk.

There are naturally some disadvantages to parlay betting as well, such as:

Harder to Beat the Sportsbook: Since you need to win each bet for the parlay to be a success, it is much harder to win the bets.

Complexity Adds Uncertainty: Increasing the number of bets may increase the payout but also reduces the chances of the parlay being successful. It is easy to be carried away by the potential earnings without realizing how difficult it would be to realize them.

Market Limitations: While parlays are generally available and popular in the US and UK, there are restriction on the markets that are available. You’ll have to find a site that offers what you’re looking for. Consult our guide on the various sportsbooks out there.

Parlay Strategy

As with anything that involves numbers, it’s best if you have a plan in advance. With these bets there’s the added complication of multiple bets. This means that you’re not just forming a strategy for one match, or in other words, one outcome but rather for multiple outcomes.

Now the sportsbook has experts who design their lines in a way to maximize their winnings. To beat them once is already a challenge, to beat them multiple times in the same bet can only be achieved through a sound strategy.

When making parlay bets, you should always remember that beginners luck won’t get you anywhere. The odds of getting lucky multiple times, as would be required to win the parlay, are astronomical. If you don’t want to embark on the world’s most embarrassing dry spell, you should focus on improving the process, which will influence the outcome automatically.

Practically this means calculating true odds for you parlays, which in itself involves quite a lot of math. We recommend using an online parlay odds calculator rather than bothering yourself with the calculations.

When to Use Parlay Bets?

There are situations where a bet can bring you a handsome profit. Here are situations during which you should exploit the bets.

Bonuses: If your sportsbook has offered you a free play, as many do, you should maximize your potential returns by making a bet can return huge wins, but you’ll always be betting more than you win. A free play allows you to take on none of the risk and reap all of the rewards.

Bypass Limits: Many sportsbooks have limits on the amount of money you’re allowed to bet. You can bypass these using a parlay bet. While the winnings will always be lower than the amount risked, parlays can help you earn more than you otherwise would on larger bets (due to the aforementioned limits).

Parlay Betting FAQs

Are Parlay Bets Newbie Bets?

No. This is a widely held misconception amongst a lot of casual bettors. Parlay betting, in combination with other bets form the staple of most professional bettors.

Is Parlay Betting Worth It?

It’s certainly worth it. The added nuance here is that it should not be used exclusively. It is also not a long-term strategy. You should use this bets once in a while when the odds are in your favor.

What’s the difference between Parlay bets and Accumulators?

Yup! Parlay is the U.S. name for accumulators, which is used in the UK.

Final Thoughts

Parlay betting can be an exciting way to bet on your favorite sports. You have to walk a fine line though, as the risk to reward ratio needs to be finely balanced. Looking for more guides on other types of betting? Click here.