How Does Parlay Betting Work?

Are you a high risk for high reward kind of person? If so, then understanding how parlay betting works is paramount. Simply put, a parlay (also known as a combination bet) is a single bet in which you can make two or more selections, with twelve bets being the max. The more bets, the higher the return but to win, all of your selections have to win. It’s risky, but the payouts can make that risk worth it. Let’s take a look at an example.

How to Calculate the Parlay Payout

Here’s a quick breakdown of how those numbers work when sportsbooks calculate a parlay bet value.

Once you figure out what the multipliers for each matchup are, then you divide what the total payout would be by the bet amount.

Let’s imagine a $100 parlay bet on these teams: Green Bay Packers -150 Seattle Seahawks +170 Tennessee Titans -120

Packers: -150 to win 100 with payout of $250 250/150 = 1.6666

Seahawks: -100 to win 170, with a payout of $270 270/100 = 2.7

Titans: -120 to win 100, with a payout of $220 220/120 = 1.8333

There are your multipliers. Now you multiply those numbers to get your parlay odds. 1.6666 x 2.7 x 1.8333 = 8.2495

That final number is 8.25 meaning your winnings would work out to be 7.25 for every dollar you bet on that particular parlay. Your $100 bet just turned into a $725 win.

NFL Parlay Betting

Let’s say you made a parlay bet on your bet card that the Packers, the Titans and the Seahawks will all win their games on Sunday. If your predictions were correct and all three of those teams won their games, your payout would be more than if you’d bet on each game individually. But, if any of those teams lose, your entire parlay bet card loses.  But what if one of those games ends in a tie? That’s called a push by most sportsbooks, and obviously it will have an impact on your parlay bet card. Using our three team example, if the Packers tied their game, your bet card becomes a two bet parlay, because the tie game is removed from the card completely.

Just like regular betting, you can make a parlay bet on the Over/Under or Total of several games, on the Point Spreads of multiple games, or if you want to keep it simple, you can make a parlay bet on whether your picks will either straight up win or lose their games.

What is a Teaser Parlay?

A teaser bet gives you a little more breathing room on your parlay bet. Naturally, it means your payout lowers a bit, but your chance to win does go up. In a teaser bet, you get to move the point spread or Total between 6 and 7 points. As an example, let’s say one of your bets is on a game between the Patriots and the Eagles.

The sportsbook has priced the Patriots as -3 favorites and the Eagles as +3 underdogs.  If you decide to make your teaser adjustment of 6 points to the Patriots line, you’ll have made them +3 instead of -3, adding 6 points to the spread. The Patriots were already favorites to win, and your teaser bet now wins whether they win the game or if they lose by less than 3 points.

What Types of Bets Can I Include In a Parlay?

A big part of what makes parlay betting so fun is that you can place many different types of bets on one bet card. Point spreads, moneylines, pucklines, totals; you name it, you can parlay it. However, there are some exceptions.  Parlays containing spreads, moneylines or team totals of  the same game are considered correlated and are generally not allowed on sportsbooks. As an example, if you bet the Patriots moneyline of -300, you can’t parlay that pick with a bet on their spread of -8. It’s one or the other.

Can I Include Bets Across Different Sports & Leagues With Parlays?

You can absolutely place bets on different games in different sports on your parlay bet card! You can have a bet on the Patriots to cover their -8 spread, on the Milwaukee Bucks to win, and on the Toronto Maple Leafs to lose, all on a single parlay bet!  Most games, matches or sporting events can be parlayed, and if they can’t, the sportsbook will attach a single bets only allowed notice to the event.