A parlay bet is a type of wager that allows punters to make multiple selections and incorporate them into one overall wager. Although these bets are more difficult to win the payout can be significantly increased which is the sole purpose why this type of wager attracts so many punters.
The term "parlay" is mostly used in Americanized countries whilst the term "accumulator" is mostly used in British and European countries.
Check out our guide about parlay betting if you are interested in such accumulator bets!
Parlay Bets Explained
Parlay bets are by definition a group of individual bets that come together to form one big overall wager. In order to win a parlay bet all of these selections will need to be correct. Even in the scenario where one selection lets you down, you will receive no profit.
Technically, a parlay bet only needs to consists of two selections or more but in the gambling world, a parlay bet is often referred to as multiple bets of 4 selections or more. A bet with two selections is a double, and a bet with three selections is a treble.
Before choosing your selections for a parlay bet it is important you understand what constitutes a winning parlay bet. Below we have provided two examples. For the purposes of both examples, we are going to presume that we have staked $100.
Winning Parlay Bet Example
Consider these following NFL games. We have decided to choose American odds and an American-dominated sport as the term parlay is most commonly used in this region.
- Miami Dolphins (-6.5) over New England (-110)
- Green Bay (+3.5) over Chicago Bears (-110)
- Tennessee Titans (-7) over Kanas City (-110)
- Jets (-4) over Colts (-110)
Instead of making single bets on each team, we can place a bet on all of these teams to win their games to form our parlay bet. In this example, if you had placed a bet of $100 you would see a return of $1,000 as all of these teams won their respective games.
Losing Parlay Bet Example
In this example, we have once again decided to bet on the outcome of four matches in the NFL. Only this time we are not successful and one of our selections lets us down. This means that unfortunately for us our stake of $100 is lost and although all our other selections were successful the fact that not all of our selections won means that this is ultimately an unsuccessful bet.
Odds & Payouts in Parlays
Knowing how the odds for a parlay bet are calculated is crucial if you wish to understand how parlay bets work. To calculate the payout for parlay's it is much easier to convert the odds you are betting on into decimals. Once you have done this you can multiply these decimals all together and then you will get the final payout for your bet.
If you bet online however there is no need to do such calculations as your potential payout will be clearly displayed for you in your bet slip before you decide to go out and submit your bet.
Parlay Odds Formula
The money gained from one selection will then accumulate to the next selection. This means that every time you add new selections to your bet slip the money won will then be multiplied by the odds of this new selection. This might sound complicated but basically, the money won just accumulates and moves on to the next selection until all of the selections have been covered.
Parlay Payout Formula
Payouts can be calculated with an online calculator, but you can also look at the parlay payout chart provided by bookies. On the other hand, payouts can be calculated manually as well with decimal odds. Simply multiply the odds of each selection, and multiply that with your wager.
For example, in a three-team parlay, the odds of each team are 1.32, 1.66, and 2.20, and your wager was $50. Therefore, the payout would be (2.20 x 1.66 x 1.32) x 50 = 241.
Parlay Payout Table
The following table shows parlay payouts based on specific odds for parlays that range from two selections to four. For the purposes of this example, we are going to presume we have staked $100.
|Number Of Teams||Odds (decimals)||Profit||Returns|
|2 team parlay||2.6||160||260|
|3 team parlay||6||500||600|
|4 team parlay||11||100||1100|
Parlay bets can be ideal for those of you who like to make multiple selections of a similar nature. People use parlay betting for a variety of reasons. There are those who use it as a bit of fun with the hope that one day they will strike lucky and hit that miracle bet. It is also possible to use them in a more strategic way which can lead to profit in the long run.