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.

TOP #1 Sports Betting Site to Bet Online

250% Welcome Bonus
Bonus Code “WELCOME1”
1st Time Deposit
5.0 rating
T&Cs Apply
1st Time Deposit Bonus

Get a whopping 250% slots bonus up to $2,500 on your first deposit. Use code WELCOME1 The 250% match bonus is for new members and is applicable to their first deposit. Read more T&C in promo page

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).

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. Read our guides for other types of betting.


Check out the best betting sites to wager online at Online Betting Sports. Stay with us to keep up with the best offshore sportsbook reviews and sports betting bonusesFollow us on Twitter.

Parlay Betting FAQs

A parlay bet is a type of sports bet where you group multiple individual bets into one larger bet. To win a parlay, all of your individual bets must be successful. If one of them loses, you lose the entire parlay.

Parlay bets offer the potential for greater rewards, as you can combine multiple bets into one, leading to higher payouts. They also allow you to mix and match bets from different leagues or matches.

Parlay bets are harder to win because all the individual bets within the parlay must be successful. The more bets you include in a parlay, the harder it becomes to win. Additionally, parlay bets may have limitations on the available markets, and not all sportsbooks offer them.

Yes, having a strategy is crucial for parlay betting. Since you’re combining multiple bets, it’s essential to calculate true odds and make informed decisions. Beating the sportsbook multiple times in a single parlay bet requires a well-thought-out strategy.

Parlay bets can be beneficial when you want to maximize potential returns, especially when using free plays or bonuses offered by sportsbooks. They can also help you bypass betting limits imposed by sportsbooks, allowing you to earn more from larger bets. However, it’s essential to use them wisely and assess the risk-to-reward ratio carefully.