How To Bet

What is a Parlay Bet and How do You Place One?

A parlay is a sport bet which combines between 2 – 10 bets into a single bet or betting card. By combining 2+ teams, sports bettors can enjoy significantly larger payouts than a straight bet.

For a parlay to win, all teams must either cover the point spread, or win. By linking together multiple bets, players can enjoy much bigger payouts. With parlays, the betting odds improve significantly as more teams are added.

If any of the bet selections in a parlay lose, the entire bet loses, irrespective of the results of the other games. In this guide we explain you everything you need to know about Parlay Betting.

Parlay bets are really exciting because bettors place multiple bets, tie them together in the same bet, and enjoy huge payouts when the bets come in. Since the bets are dependent on one another, they must all perform for players to win.

Parlays are particularly challenging for bettors, that’s a big part of their appeal. When you call it right, the payouts are big – much bigger than straight bets. These high-risk bets offer high rewards.

Let's take an example to illustrate the payout potential of 3 individual winning games with a bet of $100 per game, at odds of -120 for each game:

  • Game #1 -> Profit of $83.33
  • Game #2 -> Profit of $83.33
  • Game #3 -> Profit of $83.33

The total profit for straight bets on these 3 games individually is $250. The payout of a 3-team parlay when the decimal odds are 1.83 each is calculated as follows: 1.83 x 1.83 x 1.83 = 6.16.

This figure is then multiplied by the total bet of $300 to get your parlay payout when all three bets come in. That figure is $1,848.60 - $300 (the cost of the bet) -> $1548.60

Simply fill out a parlay card to place a parlay bet. That's precisely how it's done at 888sport, and that's why it is such a potentially lucrative bet for sports betting fans.

What Does It Mean to Parlay Something?

According to Grammarist, '... To parlay is to place a bet as part of a series of bets using cumulative winnings; more simply, just to bet'

Parlays are exotic bets. They offer a potentially large payout for a small bet. A parlay bet is a sports bet that requires at least 2 teams to win, for the parlay bet to pay off. It is impossible to have a parlay bet on 1 game – that's simply a straight bet.

The big appeal of a parlay bet is that the payout is always bigger than picking individual bets. It is exceptionally difficult to correctly forecast the results of multiple sports bets, but that's precisely what a parlay is all about.

These bets are really profitable because sportsbooks recognize that it is difficult to win parlays, and they offer incredible odds on them. Once you've filled out your parlay card, and placed a bet, sit back, relax, and watch your teams perform. If everything goes like clockwork, the parlay bet will win and you will be flush with cash.

A caveat is in order: If you've placed a 4-team parlay bet and the results of all four matches are 3 wins and 1 loss, it's as good as 0 wins for a parlay bet. All teams need to win for this bet to pay off, or at least tie, for you to win. Start betting online at 888sport NJ!

How Does a Parlay Bet Work?

Now that you know exactly what a parlay bet is, let's crank it up a notch and show you exactly how a parlay bet works. You may be interested in MLB picks and parlays, or NBA picks and parlays – whatever your preference, you will find everything you need to know about how parlay bets work in this section.

Let's kick things off with some MLB picks and parlays:

  • LA Dodgers (+180) at New York Yankees (-200)
  • Atlanta Braves (+150) at Colorado Rockies (-160)

What do the numbers in parentheses mean alongside each team? This example is a 2-game parlay between 4 teams. The first match is the LA Dodgers versus the New York Yankees, and the second match is the Atlanta Braves versus the Colorado Rockies.

In order for your parlay bet to win, both selections must win. FYI, the New York Yankees are heavily favored to win over the LA Dodgers in our example, and the Colorado Rockies are slight favorites to win over the Atlanta Braves.

In order for your parlay bet to win, both selections must win. FYI, the New York Yankees are heavily favored to win over the LA Dodgers in our example, and the Colorado Rockies are slight favorites to win over the Atlanta Braves.

For simplicity's sake, we're going to place a $100 bet on the New York Yankees to beat the LA Dodgers. Our calculation looks like this 150÷100 = 1.5. To calculate a bet on the Atlanta Braves at +150, we can place a $100 bet for a return of $250, so our formula is as follows 250÷100 = 2.5.

From here on in, it's relatively straightforward to determine how the parlay bet works. We simply take the decimals and multiply them together.

In this example, the MLB picks and parlays indicate the following: (150/100) x (250/100) = 3.75. We then have to deduct our original stake to get 2.75. Next, we multiply that decimal by $100 to get a payout of $275.

Note that this includes the original bet amount, resulting in a profit of $175. This is the way that all parlay odds are calculated; it doesn't matter how many teams are participating in the parlay.

Ready to give it a go? Add a parlay bet to your ticket!


What Happens if You Push a Bet in a Parlay?

In a multi-bet parlay, it's certainly possible that one or more of the bets will end in a tie result, otherwise known as a push.

Now we will turn our attention to NFL lines and consider what happens if teams tie in a parlay. In the case of a tie, the bet will get downgraded. In a 2-game parlay with 1 push, the bet will be rewarded with a win on the original bet.

If you are betting on a 3-game parlay and all 3 games win, you will get the maximum payout. In the case of a push, that tie bet is removed from the parlay, and it becomes a 2-game parlay. If the remaining games win, then the bet will pay as a 2-team parlay. Naturally, the payout on a 2-game parlay is substantially smaller than the payout on a 3-team parlay.

It's worth emphasizing that the payout on a 5 – 10 team parlay bet is the product of the decimal odds for each team multiplied together, multiplied by the bet size, less the original bet to get the total payout.

Here's an example to illustrate a multi-team NHL parlay bet with a push:

  • Boston Bruins (-150)
  • Pittsburgh Penguins (-170)
  • Montréal Canadiens (-185)

This is an example of a 3-team NHL parlay bet. If these teams all win their games, the total odds are the product of the decimal odds on the Montréal Canadiens x decimal odds on the Boston Bruins x decimal odds on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Now let's calculate the decimal odds on each of these teams winning:

  • Boston Bruins (-150) | (100 divided by 150) +1 = 1.67
  • Pittsburgh Penguins (-170) | (100 divided by 170) + 1 = 1.59
  • Montréal Canadiens (+185) | 285 divided by 100 = 2.85

1.67 X 1.59 X 2.85 -> 7.57

For a $100 NHL parlay bet on these selections, the payout is $757. If one of these teams ties, that is removed from the parlay, and the payout is the product of the remaining two teams which win.

Nice to Know: You can bet on parlays at 888sport NJ with our sports betting apps for Android and iOS!

What Happens on a Parlay when One Bet is Voided?

It's challenging with picks and parlays because anything can happen with one of your selections. If one team loses, the parlay loses. If one team ties, that part of the parlay is voided and the overall parlay is downgraded by one match. This decreases your payout potential substantially.

Consider that on a 12 game NHL parlay – a reckless wager for a novice bettor – the payout with odds of -110 would be 2,000:1.

If you put down $1,000 on that type of bet and it came in, you would be up $2 million. Rather than risking a loss in a 12-game NHL parlay, or an NBA parlay, most bettors opt for 3-team parlays. These are easier to anticipate and generally safer to bet on.

It happens that a game gets cancelled during the season. There are many different reasons why games get cancelled. Sometimes it's the weather, sometimes it's a scheduling issue. Fortunately, many sportsbooks won't penalize players if a game gets cancelled. First of all, it’s not the player’s fault that a game was scratched so why should the player bear the responsibility of the cancellation?

The sports betting ticket typically continues as if there was no canceled game. In other words, the parlay will be reduced by the amount that would have been added by the canceled game. If you were betting on a 6-team NBA parlay and 1 game got canceled, then it would be a 5-team NBA parlay. The overall payout will be reduced accordingly.

It's important to refresh your mind with some NBA betting tips to help you make informed decisions when it comes to NBA picks and parlays. Check out the sports betting tips at 888sport NJ to get started!

How to Determine the Payout on a Parlay Bet Formula?

The payout on a parlay bet is the reason why so many people are interested in these combination bets. They are risky by their very nature, but the payout is the very reason players are so keen to try their luck.

There are typically 2 ways that oddsmakers determine the payouts on parlay bets. The first way is to simply multiply the odds of each selection in the parlay by the bet amount and then subtract the original bet from that amount to determine your take home profit.

As an example, let's consider the following random teams: Team X, Team Y, Team Z with odds of 1.51, 1.27, and 1.95. If we placed a $100 bet on this parlay, the product of these decimal odds is 1.51 X 1.27 X 1.95 = 3.74. The $100 bet would return $374 -$100 (original stake) = $274 in winnings.

That's how easy it is to determine the payout on a parlay bet using the formula above. However, if one of the selections results in a tie – let's say Team Y ties, that could be removed from the equation and the following results: 1.51 X 1.95 = 2.94. The $100 bet is removed for a total profit of $194.

Ready to put the theory to the test? Place your parlay bet NOW!


What Sort of Odds are offered on 2 and 3-Team Parlays?

Remember that you can generate big returns on parlays, provided all your selections win. Typical bookmakers offer odds of +260 when 2-team parlays are considered. If the number of teams competing rises to 3, then you can expect parlay bets to pay +600.

Let’s consider an example of a straight up bet of $60 to win $55 on Tampa. The odds on Tampa are -2.0 (-120), and $60 to win $55 on Washington +4.0. If both these bets come in, you would generate a profit of $110 in total.

Now let’s assume that you place a 2-team parlay bet on Tampa -2.0 and Washington +4.0, and both these teams win their games, the parlay of +260 would generate a profit of $260 for you.

For bookmakers, parlay bets are a hot favorite. You must get things 100% correct from these parlay bets. Consider what would’ve happened if you were correct in one of the straight up bets with either Tampa or Washington – you would have generated a profit of $55 on the one game, and lost $60 on the other, for a total loss of $5.

Now consider what happens with the parlay bet. If either of these teams loses, you lose your first $60 and your second $60 for a total loss of $120. Even if one of the team’s wins, and you don’t have a straight up bet on that team, you will lose the entire parlay bet.

For a 3-team parlay bet, all 3 team results must come in for you to score wins on the parlay bets. A sports bettor would probably be very happy with a record of 2 wins and 1 loss off 3 bets, but with parlays just one mistake costs you everything. It’s a good idea to plan ahead with parlay bets.

How to Bet on Multi-Sports Parlays?

Did you know that you can mix things up with parlays in sports betting? You don't have to pick one sport exclusively; you can bet on multi-sports parlays too.

A mixed parlay is typically made up of at least 2 different types of sports. These could include any combination of NBA parlays, MLB parlays, NHL parlays, or NFL parlays. It's your call.

Different types of mixed parlay combinations are available at 888sport, so it's worth doing your homework to find the combinations that best suit your needs.

There are various combinations of multi-sports parlays that players can bet on. These include two-sport mixed parlays, three-sport mixed parlays, and special mixed parlays.

The more sports you mix, the more complicated the parlays become. It is challenging to bet on a one-sport parlay, let alone two or three. It is exceptionally difficult to succeed in parlay bets, and that's why many experts advise against them. The odds of winning a 2 – 12 parlay are slim.

When you mix sports in a multi-sport parlay, you decrease your probability of success even more. Regular parlays pay out at -110 per game, and if you mix your parlays, the returns can be substantially bigger, but it's really challenging to succeed in these types of bets. It's difficult to handicap 2 sports, or even 3 sports.

That's why you need to know your stuff if you are going to go down this rabbit hole. You may want to check out our round robin betting selections before you place parlay bets, since you can lose a round robin bet and still make a profit!

How to Bet on Multi-Sports Parlays?

A parlay is a great paying multi-bet, but it's definitely not a good bet to make. There are too many unknowns and it's all contingent upon every bet succeeding in order for the parlay to pay out.

If you miss one leg of the parlay due to a loss, the whole bet is worth zero. If one of the parlay bets ties or is scratched, the odds are reduced accordingly and the parlay is downgraded.

When deciding between sports betting picks and parlays, you may want to try your luck on straight bets before you move to parlays. While the overall odds are better, your odds of winning parlays are slim to none.

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