A parlay is a single bet which links together two or more selections, in which all of the selections have to win. This generally means that the payouts when winning a Parlay bet will be bigger than your average bet, but the bets will be much more difficult, as one loser will mean that your bet has lost.
In this guide you’ll find out exactly how a Parlay works and you’ll see the two ways in which a sportsbook will give payout odds. Then, two particular Parlay bets are explained – the Teaser and the Pleaser. The article ends with an overview of Parlays, where the pros and cons of Parlays are discussed.
How does a Parlay Work?
A Parlay is a bet of two or more selections, although many online sites will have an upper limit on the number of selections, this usually being eight, although it can be more. To place the bet simply add each selection to your online bet slip and then click on the Parlay option.
There are two different ways that your payout will be calculated. Firstly there is the fixed odds chart. This will be used when placing a Parlay on either the point spread at a game or the totals, these usually being 50/50 chances offered at odds of -110. A look at a fixed odds chart for a site might show that two selections payout at odds of 13/5 and three selections pays out at odds of 6/1. These can quickly add up, as eight selections will pay out at around odds of 150/1.
Parlays are a little more complicated when the odds on each selection differ and this will be the case especially when betting on the money line (hockey is one of the most popular sports for a money line parlay). In this case your initial stake will be placed entirely on the first selection and if it wins you’ll receive the return as you would if placing a single bet. However instead of this money now being yours, this total return will all go on to the next selection, and this will continue until you reach the last selection. Fortunately, when placing a Parlay, the majority of sites will tell you the exact odds you’ll receive, so the work is done for you.
If betting with a European bookmaker such as TitanBet, a Parlay is called a double (for just 2 selections), a treble (for 3) and an accumulator when betting on four or more selections.
Teasers and Pleasers
There are two particular types of Parlays aside from the standard bet.
The ‘Teaser’ is a Parlay where you can move the point spread or the totals line in your favour for each selection. For example, if backing a team on the point spread to win by 12 or more points, you’ll be able to back them to win by just 6 or more, making the win more likely (teasers usually move the line by 6 points). However, when placing a teaser bet, you’ll receive lower odds than a standard parlay, due to the fact that winning is much easier.
The ‘Pleaser’ is the opposite of the teaser in the fact that you’ll move the line the other way, making each selection more difficult. This means that the payout for this bet is larger than a standard parlay. The teaser is a much more popular bet than the pleaser.
Overview of Parlays
A parlay bet is a fun one and is the ideal way to become involved for the casual gambler. For a small stake, you can have a potentially big return and as each successive selection is successful, the excitement grows. This also means that your one wager covers a number of games, making each and every game that little bit more exciting. Parlays and Accumulators are the bets that historically have given the largest payouts in gambling, so they do have a certain mystique.
However there are downsides to a Parlay. Firstly there is nothing more frustrating in gambling than picking a multi-selection Parlay only to see just one of the selections let you down, especially seeing as single bets on each selection might have shown a nice profit.
Secondly and perhaps more importantly, sportsbooks love Parlays! Why? Consider a 3 selection Parlay that pays out at odds of 6/1. If all 3 selections are a genuine 50/50 chance, then you’ll have a 1 in 8 (2^3) chance of winning, meaning that the sportsbook should pay out at 7/1 – meaning you’re only receiving a return of 87.5% of what you should be receiving. Each successive selection makes this number even smaller, an 8 selection Parlay paying out at less than 60%. This means that for the serious sports bettor, a multi-selection parlay is a definite no-no.
Best Sportsbooks for Parlays
You’ll find Parlays available at all Sportsbooks, however one that catches the eye is 5 Dimes, where you’ll be able to place a Parlay of up to 25 selections. If wanting to place a 15 selection Parlay for example, you’ll win over 16,000 times your initial outlay. A 25 selection winning Parlay will see you collect over 10 million times your stake. This might be a little tough to win however... check out the great lines and bettor-friendly options at the US friendly 5 Dimes now - www.5dimes.com.