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What Is A Parlay?

First off, we’ll deal with Parlays. These are also often called multi-bets and are a way to bet on sports where your risk is greatly increased—but so are your potential winnings.

A parlay is a wager where the outcomes of multiple events or markets are connected to create one bet. It’s something of an all-or-nothing proposition as you must correctly predict the outcome of every event in the parlay to win the bet. When you bet on more than one game at once, your odds of winning decrease significantly, but your payouts skyrocket as well.

For example, if you really like the value on the Los Angeles Lakers’ Moneyline but you feel just as strongly about the spread for the Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets, you can combine all three markets together in a parlay that offers far more value than if you’d bet those three markets separately.

If all three were offering +100 odds and you put $100 down on each and won, you would win $100 x 3 = $300. However, if you put them together in a parlay your odds are far greater. +100 American odds are equal to 2.0 in Decimal odds, so multiplying 2 x 2 x 2 you get a multiplier of 8. Multiply 8 by your $100 bet and your parlay payout comes to $700 after subtracting the initial stake, which is $400 more than if you’d bet them all separately while risking $200 less.

Of course, when you bet them individually, you can win two and get one wrong and still make a profit, while with a parlay you’d lose your whole stake and come away with nothing in that scenario.

The only rule on parlays that you will see no matter where you bet is a restriction on parlays with more than one market from the same event. Some bookmakers have started to allow even this, however, with features such as Bet365’s new ‘Bet Builder’ which allows for parlays on one event in the NBA, NFL, and soccer.

For example, you cannot create a parlay using the New York Yankee’s Moneyline and point spread from the same game, but you can pair the Yankees’ Moneyline with any market from any other game. These restrictions often apply to Moneyline, point spread, and prop bets, but not over/unders.

When parlay betting, you can combine several of one type of market from different events or you can mix-and-match different types of wagers. Some sportsbooks have limits on how many legs you can include in a parlay or restrictions on inter-sport parlays, but most of the top sports betting sites won’t have these restrictions.

You can have a parlay of three MLB Moneyline markets, or a pair of point spread bets on NBA games or you can combine an NCAA football player prop with a UFC Moneyline wager and an over/under bet on an NFL game. The options are endless.

Each outcome in one parlay is referred to as a ‘leg’ and a bettor needs to be successful on each leg to win the bet. For example, if you have a double parlay with two outcomes and you get both, you win your bet, but if you have a five-leg parlay and you miss one of the five, your bet is a loser.

Even if you go 12/13 on a parlay, you lose: It doesn’t matter how many outcomes you actually get right, just that you get every single one correct. Deciding on whether you want to bet on a parlay is a classic case of risk versus reward. It’s also about feeling confident in not one but multiple outcomes, which is a lot dicier.

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