What is a Parlay in Sports Betting?

What is a Parlay in Sports Betting?

betJACK Training Camp
3 years ago
3 min read

There are so many betting terms that it is hard to keep them all straight. Let’s deep dive into one kind of betting that is high risk/high reward: parlay betting.


A parlay is one big wager that involves two or more bets. There is a potential for a higher reward because every bet that is made needs to be correct to win the payout. If any of the bets lose, then you lose the money you initially put in. Parlays can include bets that involve point spreads, totals, futures, moneylines, and prop bets.

How to Win

It is pretty simple in that the better wins if all bets are correct. There are also ways to win, although unlikely if games end up in a tie due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather. In this case, the original payout would only pay for the bets that won, not including the unforeseen result.

Odds to Win

Each parlay payouts are different depending on the expected odds. If a bettor chooses a more risky/unlikely series of bets, the payout will be higher, just as in normal singular bets. Different sportsbooks can also have different odds for the same parlay, so it is best to look at different sportsbooks if the bettor wants to ensure that they are paying the lowest price.

The lines and odds can change for a parlay just as they do for individual bets at any given time before the game begins. Once a parlay is placed, the payouts, lines, and odds will remain fixed for that original parlay.

A bettor can make an identical bet if the lines end up changing for the games, which can act as a way to protect the bettor if the original bet doesn’t win or possibly win them both. Be careful, though, because this adds a level of risk, as well, if the bets don’t go as planned.

Kinds of Parlays

The first kind of parlay is called a round-robin. In this type of parlay, a bettor places multiple wagers at one time. This is the most simple of the two kinds of parlays.

Anywhere from three to eight teams or totals can be selected in this type of parlay where the bettor has the ability to split up the teams/totals into as many three-team combinations as they would like. The amount of parlays is the amount of “splits” the bettor creates.

A teaser is very similar where it is often grouped in the parlay discussion. It is the same as a round-robin in that the bettor can select multiple teams/totals, but there are no moneylines allowed. The bettor has the ability to move every point spread, total plus or total minus a set number of points.

Point totals must remain even so; for example, if a bettor moves or teases down, the odds from -5 to -3 for one team, they must move, or tease up, the odds for another team that is, say, +1 to +3 to keep it even.

Should You Make Parlays?

Obviously, this is entirely up to you. It depends on what type of bettor you are. If you like when the stakes are high, and there is a potential for a higher payout, then go for it. Bettors tend to use this tactic when they feel confident in multiple games but may not use this all the time. 

The more confident you are in multiple bets, the more likely you should be to make a parlay. Parlays add a level of complexity with betting and excitement with the possibility of winning big if games go in your favor.

So parlays are "multi-legged" bets you can in order to spice up betting. This bet also involves a fair bit more risk, so be careful on how you decide to set up your wagers. For more articles and ways to bet and understand betting, we have our training camp page set to help! Check it out by clicking here

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