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Parlay Betting Explained: What Is a Parlay Bet?

Publish Date: 25/01/2024
Fact checked by: Drew the DFS Guy

Our latest parlay sports betting guide will appeal to almost all bettors. For betting newbies who are intrigued to find out more about sports betting, the lingo, and how to place a range of bets, this guide will certainly help to bolster your knowledge.

Those of you who have already established themselves as seasoned single bettors may be looking for a way to up the odds without always seeking a bonus. In which case, this one is for you, too.

Finally, for those who are well-versed, who says you can’t teach a dog new tricks? As you make your way through our parlay sports betting guide, you’ll be able to refresh your memory on the different types of parlay betting, understand which parlay bets are more likely to appeal to you, and also unlock some top tips from our experts to improve your overall experience with sports betting parlay bets.

What is Parlay betting?

Parlay bets make up an important part of sports betting and allow bettors to wager on more than one fixture, or outcome, at a time. They are particularly popular amongst those who have a smaller starting budget as the potential returns increase significantly as more and more outcomes are added. Often referred to as accumulators, parlay bets can be made across one fixture using numerous outcomes, across one sport using numerous fixtures, or across one day using numerous sports.

Same-game parlays

When it comes to building a same-game parlay, you will be looking at selecting various different outcomes from within one game. If we use same-game soccer parlays as an example, we may look to create a four-fold parlay that consists of a match-winner, first goalscorer, number of cards, and final score.

Same-sport parlays

This particular type of parlay is the most common and will often be used across the moneyline, spread, or over/under market. To build a same-sport parlay, you’ll need to focus on the upcoming fixtures and choose two or more outcomes. When looking at basketball parlays, we may consider selecting the 76ers, Magic, and Bulls to be match winners.

Same-day parlays

A same-day parlay can be used across just about any sport available, including those lesser-wagered table tennis, MMA, and handball markets that we see across some of the top online sportsbooks. When creating your same-day parlay, you may look at the early morning soccer fixtures, the mid-day tennis fixtures, and evening football fixtures, to help create an intriguing wager.

The appeal of parlay bets is mainly based on the potential for minimal stakes and maximum rewards; however, it is important to remember that there are no guarantees within the world of parlay sports betting.

How Do You Make a Parlay Bet?

The initial step in parlay betting is selecting multiple individual bets, also known as “legs” or “selections.” These can include various types of bets such as moneylines, point spreads, totals (over/under). It can even be a combination. After making choice, combine them into one parlay. The more selections you add to the parlay, the more the potential payout. This increases the overall risk.

Each selection within the parlay contributes to the overall odds. The odds are computed based on the individual odds of each selection and the number of selections in the parlay. Several sportsbooks offer parlay calculators to help bettors evaluate potential payouts based on their selections.

The essential principle of parlay betting is that it brings on a higher risk level than individual bets. The failure of just one selection results in the loss of the entire parlay. Conversely, successful parlays can lay hold of substantially larger payouts compared to individual bets.

Tips to improve your sports betting Parlay Bets

While there may be no guarantees when parlay sports betting, you can set yourself up to have the best experience possible. Below, our experts have been busy conjuring up their top tips on how to improve your parlay bets.

Select a top online sportsbook

It all starts at the very beginning, choosing a solid sportsbook. You shouldn’t even be considering your boxing parlays if you haven’t made use of our online operator reviews and found yourself a credible platform. Throughout our reviews, we will discuss the many pros, cons, and perks of each platform that help to set them aside from the competitors. If you are after a same-game parlay, you may wish to find yourself a sportsbook that provides ample markets across popular fixtures. Of course, if you are after a same-day parlay, it may be worth searching a little harder, in order to find a sportsbook that provides a wide variety of sports.

Focus on sports you enjoy

Our experts always recommend placing parlay bets on sports you enjoy. The main appeal for parlay bets is of course the chance for larger rewards; however, it is worth remembering that nothing is concrete in the sports betting world. With this in mind, we recommend focusing your parlays on teams or sports that you are particularly interested in, allowing you to add further excitement to any games you plan to watch. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t wager on a range of markets, we would just suggest you take advantage of our next tip, if that is the route you choose to go.

Do your research

Although we highly recommend researching further before placing your parlays on unknown sports, teams, or players, we would also suggest doing a little research before placing parlay bets on teams and sports you follow religiously, too. We have created great sports betting resources over at CaptainGambling.com and you can always do some external research into form, stats, and injuries before placing your parlay bets, too. Again, nothing is guaranteed but it certainly helps to give yourself the best head start!

Use a Parlay calculator

Once you’ve sorted your sportsbook, focused on sports you enjoy, filtered out your preferred fixtures and tournaments, and done your research, it’s time to make sure that your parlay is as potentially profitable as possible. To help you along the way, we have created an on-site parlay calculator that will enable you to put in the odds for each outcome and see the final offering. You can then double-check with your chosen sportsbook as to whether they are offering fair and just odds.

Find a Parlay odds boost

Should your chosen sportsbook tick all of your boxes but fall short when it comes to the final odds of your parlay bets, it may be worth checking whether they have any promotions currently running that help bring them up to speed. When reviewing top operators we found that plenty of credible sportsbooks offered some form of parlay boost throughout the week, you’ll just have to make sure you check the small print before opting in!

Is Parlay Sports betting for you?

As with all elements of sports betting there are many pros and cons involved. As we have detailed throughout this parlay sports betting review, the most obvious perk of using parlays is the chance to create a wager with a far greater payout. However, while this is a great perk, many often overlook that the risk is also far greater, too, requiring all outcomes of the bet to come in before being deemed successful.

In our eyes, parlay sports betting is just as well suited to the cautious bettor as it is the high roller, provided the above top tips are followed. However, if you are new to sports betting, it may be worth building up your knowledge and understanding with singles or doubles first before testing any research-driven parlays.

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Conclusion - build your parlay bets today

That brings us nicely to the end of our Parlay sports betting guide. We hope it has been as enjoyable and educational to read as it was to create.

Before we wish you every success when placing your next parlay bets, let us quickly recap on the key pointers detailed above. Firstly, a parlay bet is a sports bet that is made up of more than two outcomes. It is often called an accumulator and can feature outcomes from the same game, same sport, or same day. In order to enhance your overall parlay sports betting experience, we suggest finding yourself a reputable sportsbook, making use of our on-site parlay calculator, focusing your efforts on sports and teams you are familiar with, and keeping your eyes peeled for a parlay odds booster.

Parlay Bets for Sportsbetting FAQs

🏈 What is parlay sports betting?

The appeal of parlay sports betting revolves around the chance to increase your potential payout by adding additional outcomes to a single bet. For example, you may look to wager on the first TD scorer, match winner, and combined over/under points.

🌟 How do I place my parlay bets?

In order to have the best parlay sports betting experience possible, you must find yourself a reputable sportsbook that works for you. Is it user-friendly? Does it allow for mobile wagering? Can you build parlays swiftly? Thankfully, our experts have created plenty of online operator reviews that will answer the above and plenty more.

💯 Can I make a parlay across one game?

Parlay bets are often called accumulators and allow bettors to wager on a cluster of single bets at once. Make sure to read our expert guides to learn everything you need to know about placing parlay bet.

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