Introduction to Parlay Betting

Depending on where bettors are from, the terms ‘parlays,’ 'accumulators,' 'multi-wagers,' or 'combo bets' may be familiar. These popular sports bets may have different names in various regions, but they are all the same; one bet made up of separate wagers.

Parlays allow sports enthusiasts to bet on the odds of their favorite teams winning, and because parlays work by adding to each winning bet's bankroll, they offer larger payouts.

But, with bigger rewards comes higher risks for sports lovers, because parlays only win if every leg wins. Below is a helpful guide to help gamblers understand how parlays work.

Samuel Kiprop
Written bySamuel KipropWriter
Parlay Sports Betting Explained

Parlay Sports Betting Explained

A parlay is a type of sports bet that lets a bettor link two or more individual wagers on different games or sports teams and combines them to form one bet.

For bettors to win parlays, all the bets or legs involved in the parlay must win, and the winner receives a larger payout.

Parlays sound like a great way to increase winnings or receive a much larger potential payout; however, adding more individual bets to a parlay means the odds and the risk of losing are much higher for the person making the parlay bet.

What happens when the entire parlay bet is lost?

Compared to an individual wager, parlays are much harder to win. A parlay works by grouping sports bets together, meaning if a single bet on a parlay loses, the entire parlay loses.

These odds make fairness in parlay sports betting and choosing the right sportsbook extremely important because the odds of losing are much higher.

It's easy to spot if online casinos and sportsbooks are trustworthy parlay betting providers. A reliable website will have a secure domain, offer well-known payment options, and provide resources dedicated to responsible gambling.

Credible parlay websites will have clear terms and conditions and won't promise bonus offers that are too good to be true or unrealistic payouts.

When choosing between different sportsbooks, gamblers should always look for one of the top global gambling licenses in the industry. These licenses include licenses from Curacao, Kahnawake, Malta, the Isle of Man, and Costa Rica.

Parlay Sports Betting Explained
Types of parlay odds

Types of parlay odds

Over-Under totals, moneylines, and point spreads are popular parlays for football, basketball, and ice hockey.

Over-Under sports betting:

A sportsbook predicts statistics for both teams. Bettors wager on combined scores and if results are higher or lower than projections.

If the wager is Team A scores 20 and B scores 30, the predicted total is 50. If the actual score is 55, over bets win, but if it's 40, under bets win.

  • Plus odds show a 50% or less probability of winning and how much a person wins, i.e., +120 means every $100 wins $120.
  • Minus odds mean over 50% chance of winning and how much bettors risk, i.e., -110 risks $110 to win $100.
  • +100 odds means a bettor wins what they risk, and sportsbooks pay even on winning bets, i.e., $100 bets with +100 odds win $100.
  • A push is a tie with the sportsbook, and money spent on a bet is returned.

Moneyline sports betting:

Sportsbooks put all the bettor's money on the first bet. If it wins, the sportsbook recalculates the wager, places it on the next bet, and so on, until the bettor loses or wins the parlay.

  1. Moneyline odds = Against success ÷ For success
  2. Convert to a decimal number (𝑥).
  • If 𝑥 is less than 1, use: 𝑥 x 100

  • If 𝑥 is more than 1, use: -100 ÷ 𝑥

     3. Convert odds:
  • Pluses: Odds ÷ 100 + 1

  • Minuses: 100 ÷ Moneyline + 1

     4. Multiply odds together

Point spread sports betting:

These are wagers on how many points two teams will win or lose by, i.e., victory margins.

  • Team A:
  • Team B:

If Team A and B play each other and sportsbooks know A is better, they'll predict A wins by 7 or 8 points. The first row is the wager, and the second is the point spread, with both paying -110.

The first bet: Team A will win by more than 7.5 points and bets:

  • Lose if A loses
  • Win if A wins by 8 or more
  • Lose if A wins by 7 or less

The second bet: Team B wins outright or loses by less than 7.5 points and bets:

  • Win if B wins
  • Win if B loses by 7 or less
  • Lose if B loses by 8 or more

If the score is A: 30 vs. B: 24, B wins as the loss is 7 or less.

Types of parlay odds
How to Make Parlay Bets on Sports Online?

How to Make Parlay Bets on Sports Online?

Online sportsbooks and casinos use betting software to predict outcomes and statistics for players to wager on. The software also creates easily accessible digital parlay cards for multiple parlays.

There are many different types of software used on online parlay betting sites and how they work is usually a well-kept secret to prevent cheating. However, it is common knowledge that they all use data on the total number of points scored and games lost and won to calculate parlay odds for an individual bet on a parlay card and the odds of multiple parlays.

Most online betting software uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), historical data from teams in parlay picks, and predictive algorithms to calculate parlay odds and the probability of teams winning.

Online sports gambling sites then allow players to access this information to assist them while setting up multiple parlay bets on their favorite sporting or racing events over the internet.

Unique features of popular parlay software

  • Compliance with global gambling standards and internationally recognized online sportsbook licenses
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) integration to assist with user betting strategies
  • Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) integrations to create immersive user experiences
  • Connections to reliable data partners for accurate calculations based on statistics
  • Historical data on points scored and team odds for more informed betting decisions
  • Analytical analysis of selected teams and games for more accurate odds calculations
  • Risk management modules to eliminate risks during sports betting
  • Built-in anti-fraud protection for bettors
  • Robust data security to protect privacy, personal information, and financial details
  • Fast and easy customer account registration, setup, authentication, and age verification
  • Customer dashboard versatility and customizations
  • 24/7 accessibility, availability, and customer support
  • 100% mobile responsiveness and access to parlay picks and parlay cards via mobile devices
  • Data-backed potential payout calculations on a single bet on a parlay and entire parlay cards
  • Global comparative data on bets and results on the same game
  • Tailored recommendations and guidance for a user's next bet and improved potential payouts
  • Support for multiple parlays, including two team parlay bets, three team parlay wagers, and more
  • Effortless digital parlay card, bet slip, and ticket generation
  • Fully customizable parlay cards
  • Simplified bet creation
  • Real-time and live betting capabilities
  • Access to sports betting in multiple languages
  • Numerous trusted online payment gateways
  • Multi-currency capabilities
  • Personalized updates on the latest games and parlays available for bets
  • Third-party integrations to share parlay bet progress and achievements on social media
How to Make Parlay Bets on Sports Online?
How to Pick the Best Online Parlay Bet Site

How to Pick the Best Online Parlay Bet Site

Choosing the best online site is essential if bettors want to protect themselves from illegal gambling and fraud.

The best parlay sites have trusted domains easily recognizable by the website's link. Website URLs ending in .com, .io, and .top, for example, are trustworthy, while casino sites with .lv, .ro, .ru, .ag, and .eu aren't regulated.

Gambling sites ending in .org, .zip, and .gov aren't trustworthy because .org is reserved for nonprofit organizations, .zip for storage services, and .gov for government organizations and entities.

The best sites will display seals of approval from official regulators and independent auditors like the GREF, IAGR, and NAGRA, for example.

These seals indicate sites and parlay software have undergone the correct licensing processes and background checks to ensure players' data and money is safe.

Payment options and parlay bonuses also reveal the best websites for fair and legal parlays. If a site offers unknown payment gateways to accept money or parlay payouts are restricted to volatile cryptocurrencies, it's a big red flag.

Promises of extremely high bonuses, point spreads, and payouts that look too good to be true are other red flags. These websites are designed to lure customers but will likely not payout winnings.

How to Pick the Best Online Parlay Bet Site
Different Sports to Parlay Bet on

Different Sports to Parlay Bet on

Three of the most popular types of sports for parlay bets are ice hockey, football, and basketball.

What is ice hockey parlay betting?

Parlays are commonly used in NHL ice hockey game bets. These bets combine multiple ice hockey bets, and each individual bet within the parlay is called a leg, and each leg must win for a payout. The more legs added, the higher the risk and the potential money in the final payout.

For example, a two-team parlay in ice hockey means two moneylines for two different ice hockey clubs playing on the same evening. Should both ice hockey teams win their games, the parlay bet 'hits,' and the bettor wins.

But, if only one of the ice hockey teams wins their game, the bettor loses the entire parlay bet and won't receive any money.

What is Football Parlay Betting?

NFL football parlays are extremely popular in sports betting. A football parlay includes multiple individual wagers on different football teams, and these bets combine to make up the legs of a single parlay bet.

A three-team parlay in football includes three different point spread bets on three football teams. For a three-team parlay to 'hit,' each team must win outright, win by a certain number of points, or be defeated by less than the predicted number of points.

If two bets of the three legs win and only one loses, the person loses the entire football parlay.

What is basketball parlay betting?

Basketball parlays are often made for multiple NBA basketball teams.

A basketball parlay bet is usually an NBA basketball wager with multiple teams selected to create a single bet. The basketball team selection is then multiplied to offer much higher odds.

For basketball parlays to win and cash out, each basketball team chosen must win their game.

Different Sports to Parlay Bet on
Sports Betting Tips & Tricks for Successful Parlay Payout

Sports Betting Tips & Tricks for Successful Parlay Payout

Numerous sports betting strategies exist for smarter bets and larger payouts. Below are some helpful parlay tips:

1) Set smaller parlays

Parlays work by grouping several bets, and the more wagers added, the higher the losing odds. Keep parlays small and expectations realistic to stand better chances of winning.

2) Don't restrict parlays

The legs of a parlay bet don't need to fall on one day, so there's no need to restrict sports bets to a single date or event. Parlays work on different days, and the best outcomes are often from bets on different days.

3) Hedge parlays

Hedging is used when all except one bet forming a parlay has won. To hedge a parlay bet, bettors set a single wager that conflicts with a leg making up the initial parlay bet. This strategy can ensure a payout by winning the hedge bet or the final parlay leg.

Sports Betting Tips & Tricks for Successful Parlay Payout
About the author
Samuel Kiprop
Samuel Kiprop

Born in Nairobi, Samuel Kiprop expertly marries the world of online casinos with the pulse of Kenyan life. Fusing urban flair with cultural wisdom, he's a name to know in East African digital gaming.

Send mail
More posts by Samuel Kiprop


Everything you need to know about casinos

Which sports are the easiest to parlay bet on?

MLB baseball is one of the easiest sports for beginners learning how a parlay works. In terms of accessibility, the easiest sport for a parlay bet is NFL football. But, when it comes to beating a sportsbook's odds and winning, college basketball is the easiest sport for a parlay bet.

Do you have to win every game for a parlay payout?

Yes, a bettor must win each and every smaller bet that makes up the legs of a parlay bet to win the entire parlay. If one of the smaller bets is lost, the whole parlay loses, and the online sportsbook or casino website wins the bankroll placed on the parlay.

Can you cash out a parlay bet early?

Yes, a bettor can cash out of a parlay bet early, but the cash out needs to occur before the last game in the parlay is over. It's also important to note that different sportsbooks operate using different rules, so it's best to check the terms and conditions of operators.

Are parlay bets and teaser bets the same?

No. Teaser bets are a type of parlay bet that lets a bettor pay to increase the parlay odds in their favor and improve their overall chances of success. Paying towards a teaser wager changes the point spread or totals to make the entire parlay bet much easier to win.

Can you parlay bet on the same game?

Of course! Same bet or same-game parlays (SGP) allows a bettor to pick and link multiple bets on the same game. For example, a bettor can place an Over-Under total bet on the final score, a prop wager on a player, or a moneyline bet on which team will win.