Parlay Betting

Are you looking for a complete guide to break down the parlay bet? Here at Bet Station, we take sports betting seriously. Which is why you can rely on us to help you find the best sports betting sites as well as explain some of the most complex sports betting-related jargon. Our guide will examine every feature that makes up a parlay bet. Including, what is a parlay, how to place a parlay bet, and when is the best time to make a parlay.

One of the hardest things for new players to do is to differentiate between a parlay bet and the various other wagers available at the sportsbook. The easiest way to identify a parlay is to add the bets to the bet slip. This is where the sportsbook displays any wagers that you have selected and you can choose from a variety of different bets as well as adjust your stake. If you were to select two or more over under bets from seperate games, you could combine these bets into a two-leg parlay. The more bets you add to your bet slip, the bigger the parlay the more you could win!

The parlay bet is where you can combine lots of different wagers into one well-paying bet. There is no designated type of parlay. Instead, it’s up to you to browse the various sports on offer and add whichever bets you want into a parlay. There are some wagers which cannot be used in a parlay. But for the most part, a parlay bet is a brilliant way to combine your wagers into one huge bet.

What does Parlay Mean in Sports Betting?

A parlay bet is a unique type of wager that combines multiple bets into one. This is perfect for your day-to-day betting, as you can bet on multiple results in the same sport all in a single bet. It is an exciting wager as you can mix and match with multiple sports and various types of bets. For example, you could pick the over under bet for an NFL game, the spread bet of an NBA match-up, and the moneyline bet for the NHL which makes a three-game parlay.

In parlay betting, it is vitally important that all your wagers come true to win. If any of your legs fail, then your bet is over and you cannot win any cash. This is the case if you pick a two-leg parlay, just as it is if you pick a 15-leg parlay. It is possible that some of the best sportsbooks offer exciting promos if you make a certain type of parlay during certain sporting events, like the playoffs. This can include parlay insurance or money back as a free bet if one leg loses. These promotions are not as common as we would like, but can make the parlay bet even more exciting.

You can keep track of your parlay bet by looking at the bet slip. This is where you can adjust your stake to see how much you could win. Parlay bets do not allow you to combine the moneyline and spread from the same game. You must pick different games to form a parlay bet unless the sportsbook offer a same game parlay. We will go into greater detail about the same game parlay later on, for those interested.

What is a Parlay Bet and How do Parlay Bets Work?

In its simplest form, a parlay bet is a combination of bets into one big wager. This means you can take single bets from multiple games across several leagues and combine them into a parlay. There are many pros and cons in doing something like this, but the primary reason people do it is for the significantly increased potential earnings. Keeping things simple, if you were to put a $5 spread on the Atlanta Hawks to beat the Miami Heat and another $5 for the Memphis Grizzlies to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, you would make $8.93 in profit if both bets win. If you stake the same amount, ten dollars, on a two-leg parlay, you could win $25.84 profit for the same wagers.

How can a sportsbook offer you better odds for the same wagers? Well, the parlay works as one big bet. If you make two separate bets and one team loses, you still win some money. However, if you did the two wagers as a parlay, if either game loses, then you do not win any money. The sportsbook gives you better odds the more games you add to a parlay, as it becomes less and less likely that you will win. Essentially, you are trading your security for better rewards, as it is risky to put everything down as one bet.

A screenshot of the BetMGM sportsbook with a six-leg parlay in the bet slip

How to Place a Parlay Bet

Placing a parlay bet is easy at any of the best sports betting sites. Each sportsbook makes it as convenient as possible to add wagers to your bet slip. If you like to use mobile apps for sports betting, then you might have to flick between the bet slip and the list of sports to ensure what you select is eligible for a parlay. If you like to make your wagers on a tablet with a large screen on a computer, you can often keep track of your bets while browsing for more to increase the odds of your parlay.

Some sportsbooks offer you the opportunity to make a same game parlay, where you can choose multiple wagers from the same event. They usually have a dedicated section just for same game parlays, to make your life easier. These wagers can include the outright result, who scored first, the total number of points, assists, penalty minutes, and many more.

Unfortunately, sportsbooks do not allow every single type of bet for the same game parlay, which you can see inside the bet slip. This may sound restrictive, but there is a huge variety of bets across multiple sports to select. You can choose a soccer game in the states, a rugby match from the United Kingdom, and the result of a basketball match in China. These games can be on at the same time or weeks apart. The further apart the games are, the longer you will have to wait for them to settle your bet.

How to Win a Parlay Bet

We here at Bet Station want to help you be as successful at betting as possible. However, there is no guaranteed way to win anything. The entire point of gambling is to risk your money, hoping to come away with more than what you spent. If we could guarantee this, then it would not be a gamble! Anyway, there are a few useful tips you can find below which may help you win or avoid losing your next wager.

  • Check the odds: If you are new to parlays, you might grab a few games, go to place a $10 bet, and see the potential winnings are not as good as you would hope. This is because if you just add “sure things” to your bet slip, you have taken a small risk and therefore won’t win much. Some games will be the exact opposite, adding massive returns to your bet slip, as they are very unlikely. Make sure you check the odds before adding them to your bet slip.
  • Make adjustments in the bet slip: The bet slip is the perfect space to tinker with the size of your stake and which legs are worth keeping or removing. You might add 15 legs to the bet slip and then remove more than half the games after you entered your stake. This is because some of your picks might not be worth the risk, so take them out!
  • Keep it simple: Sure, you can make a parlay using sporting events from across the world, but will it help you win? Your best chance of winning is to pick sports you know and to research the teams before the game. Remember, nothing is guaranteed in sports, however, that does not mean you have to go in blind.

Parlay Betting Examples

One of the best ways to explain how and what exactly a parlay bet is with some examples. Below, you will find a range of examples we have put together across some of the most popular American sports. We won’t be able to cover every example under the sun, but after you check these out, you should have an even better understanding of the parlay bet.

NBA Parlay Bet Example

If you are a fan of the NBA, then you might be interested in placing a parlay based on the next round of fixtures. Let’s say you had a hunch across eight NBA games and placed either a spread or moneyline bet for an outright winner in each game. The return from a $10 wager on FanDuel for this eight-leg parlay is over $1,000 in profit. These are especially good returns if you were to place these wagers individually. Let’s say you bet on the Phoenix Suns to beat the Pelicans; your $10 would only win around $2.04. You can see how much more valuable the parlay bet is if combined in the right way.

Parlay Bet Example NFL

During the regular season in the NFL, you can make wagers like the ones we outlined above for the NBA as well as same game parlays. However, if you are looking to place football bets before the season starts, it can be very difficult to make a parlay with futures or draft picks. Futures are rarely eligible for parlays as they already have typically high odds, as you are predicting an event like the division champions or Super Bowl winners.

Depending on the sportsbook you join, you can make a two-leg parlay with the AFC and NFC championship winners. Or you can make a parlay with each division winner. Placing a $10 wager on each of the favorites across eight NFL divisions will see over $2,255 in profit. This may not sound impressive, but the Buccaneers have -320 odds, which would return $3.13 if you wagered the same amount.

Caesars Sportsbook with a seven-leg parlay

NHL Parlay Bet

The NHL is another sport where you can combine the outcomes of games into one big parlay. Most online sports betting sites don’t support same game parlays for the NHL, meaning you can only make a parlay using one bet per game. That does not mean you have to stick to the iconic three sports wagers, the moneyline, over under, and spread. Instead, you can browse for more specific wagers and create an exciting parlay based on the scoring in the first period, for example.

MLB Parlay Example

In the MLB, you can place a same game parlay and traditional parlays. The difference between the two is pretty simple: a same game parlay (SGP) combines multiple bets all on the same game. The best sports betting sites, like FanDuel and Caesars Sportsbook, have an indicator next to each game eligible for a SGP. If you were to bet on the MLB game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Washington Nationals, there is a variety of wagers to choose from. This includes the outright winner, the first player to hit a home run, each player’s RBIs, and even the total number of runs scored for every player.

What are the Odds for Parlay Bets?

If you are new to parlay bets, you may wonder about the odds and if the bet is worth placing. The short answer is; no two parlays will have the same odds. Each parlay combines a series of bets and, therefore, will create a different outcome. If you bet on baseball, you would expect to see different odds compared to basketball and football. Plus, the teams you pick will drastically alter your odds.

How do you calculate the odds? While adding wagers to your bet slip, we recommend looking at each game’s odds. It’s helpful to remember whether you bet on the favorite or underdog, but even more useful if you can remember how much of an underdog the team is. If you were to bet on a team that has a clear favorite, it will do almost nothing to your parlay. All you would do is add more risk to your bet without adding more rewards.

The bet slip will usually tell you the bet you selected and what odds it will give outside the parlay. But the best way to save time is to look at it before you add it to the bet slip. Yes, making a 10 or 20-game parlay is fun, but it is unlikely to win. Odds are, if you picked five good games rather than 15 obvious choices, you will have better returns; plus you might actually win!

Moneyline Parlay Calculator

When looking to create a parlay, it is important that you know exactly how much you can win from your stake. That’s why all the best sports betting sites have a moneyline parlay calculator inside the bet slip. Simply add the bets you want to your bet slip and you can adjust your stake and see your winnings in real-time. They do not always lock your odds in place while in your bet slip, so you will need to place the bet to lock things in place.

This calculator applies to most online sportsbooks and they often don’t even require you to log in. Simply add whichever wagers you want and the sportsbook will do all the hard work. This calculator does more than just parlay bets; it also allows you to experiment with round robins and various other wagers. The bet slip is the perfect place to calculate the wager before you submit your bet.

A lot of players use standalone parlay bet calculators before building a bet on the sportsbook. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it’s an unnecessary step. When you use one of these calculators, you will need to input the odds for each leg you wish to include in your parlay bet; something the sportsbook does for you. Odds at sports betting sites change regularly, so you could build your bet on a calculator, go to do it for real, and get a different result. You may as well just build your bet on the sportsbook.

When to Make a Parlay Bet

A parlay bet is a great option when there is a round of fixtures. When we say round, we mean a variety of games that occur over a few days. Why do we want the games to be all close together? Otherwise, you will wait ages for your bet to finish, if all of your legs are winners! Below, you will find several tips to help you choose the parlay bet at the right time.

  • Is the game part of a series? Most sports have a series of games that lead up to a big event. This can include the NBA, MLB, and NFL, as teams go head to head several times to come out on top. Games like these seem perfect for parlays, but they are hard to get right. When the occasion is big, there is no way of knowing who will turn up or who will make a mistake.
  • Who is in form? If the games you’re betting on take place during your average game week, then you want to check out the teams before you bet. The sportsbook will make it abundantly clear who is in form by making them the favorite. However, they can overlook a team from time to time. Do some research, see who is playing well, and find out if any major players have an injury.
  • When in doubt, cash out! There is no harm in taking some money from your parlay. Odds are, at some point in your betting career, you will have the choice between taking some money or letting it ride for even more. Remember, all it takes is one game to cost you all your winnings. When a parlay goes right, you can cash out for a tasty sum.

Why Choose Parlay Betting?

Whether you are new to sports betting or have a few years under your belt, one of the most challenging tasks is to select the right wager. For the parlay bet, arguably, the hardest task is to select the right games. It is quite rare to have a game week where all the favorites win. There is usually an upset or two thrown in somewhere.

So, why choose a parlay over several singles? The answer to this is in the rewards. Let’s say you were right. All your predictions came true, and each bet was a winner. Hooray, right? Well, in this situation boo for you. Although picking several singles was safer, you only won a fraction of what a parlay would pay. You could say the parlay bet is the hardest to manage, as it requires you to mediate yourself. How happy would you be to win $50 compared to losing out on $500? If you can live with missing out, then singles are the way to go. If you are like us, then you won’t be able to sleep well knowing you missed out on a big payday.

While we wish we could give you advice on every parlay, that is just not possible. Instead, think of it as a balancing act. How much are you prepared to lose? How big a risk are you willing to take? Are you going to back any underdogs? Finding a balance among these three questions should see you, at the minimum, cut down on your losses.

FanDuel Sportsbook with a 4-leg same game parlay

Same Game Parlays

We touched on a same game parlay a little, but what exactly is it? A same game parlay is where you can make a parlay on one individual game. This means you place a variety of wagers on one sporting event, such as the first goalscorer, overall game-winner, or how many points scored in total. Not every sport has the option for a same game parlay, but most sportsbooks mark the eligible games.

There are several rules to follow when creating a same game parlay. The most important rule to remember is your predictions can’t contradict each other. This means you can’t pick a spread bet for the Nets to beat the Celtics, and then also pick a spread for the Celtics to win. This also applies to sections, such as the first goal scorer or first basket. As there can only be one person who scores first, the same game parlay will only allow one prediction.

Not every sport has the ability for same game parlays, but the best sports betting sites have additional parlay bet promotions you can enjoy. This includes risk-free same game parlays and parlay bet insurance, occasionally. Be sure to check out the sportsbooks promotions for more information.

Best Sportsbooks to place Parlay Bets

There are many online sportsbooks to place parlay bets. However, some are better than others. If you are looking to join a new sports betting site, then you should check out some of our Bet Station reviews. Here we examine sports betting sites and compare them to see where you can get the best promotions and odds. Below are just a few sportsbooks offering brilliant parlay bets.

DraftKings Parlay Bets

One of the biggest sportsbooks in America is DraftKings. They have a fantastic reputation for fantasy sports, and that reputation has extended into the world of sports betting. They offer brilliant odds across a wide range of sports, making them perfect for parlay bets. If you want to know more, check out our DraftKings review.

Parlay Bets at Betway

Our Betway review covered the casino and the sportsbook. We found they offer one of the best sports betting services in the states if you are in the eligible regions. To check what states Betway currently supports, check out the review and sign up to the Betway Sportsbook.

FanDuel Parlays

The FanDuel Sportsbook is one of the best for sports betting as well as for daily fantasy sports. This is because of the wide range of sports they offer plus a wonderful variety of promos to enjoy. Whenever there is a big sporting event, you can bet there is a good promo at FanDuel.

PointsBet Parlays

PointsBet offers parlays and the famous PointsBetting wager. If you are unfamiliar with PointsBetting, then you should read out PointsBet review. If you wanted a quick summary, it’s a unique type of bet where you can win more the more correct your prediction is.

Final Thoughts on Parlay Betting

The best way we can summarize the parlay bet is to think of it as a line of dominos. The more dominos you have in your line, the bigger the payoff is at the end. However, if one of your dominos fails to topple, then there is no payoff at the end. This is the same in the world of sports betting. You need each of your legs to win to come away with a payout. If any of your legs let you down, then you can’t get a payout.

It is a useful wager when you have a busy game week full of fixtures. Combining games from multiple sports can make a parlay bet, as you don’t have to stick to just the NBA or MLB. You can add in soccer games plus various other sports. Some of the best sportsbooks offer certain promotions to make your parlays even more exciting. This can include parlay insurance or money back as a free bet if one leg loses. Overall, the parlay is a fantastic bet to place and is often the most rewarding.

Enjoy a DraftKings Bonus
$520 Sign Up Bonus
  • College Football Picks
  • Get your deposit matched 20% up to $500
  • Enjoy $20 Free on your first deposit
  • Click Play Now to activate your bonus