Parlay Betting Guide
Pros & Cons
- Potentially higher payouts – As the odds of each leg are multiplied together, parlays can lead to larger wins from relatively small stakes.
- Flexible way to bet – You can construct the betslip yourself, from simple same-game doubles to behemoth 15-leg parlays.
- Suits big and small budgets – You don’t need a large stake to place a parlay bet.
- Can be more exciting – Whether it’s lining up your predictions at the start of the season or a stat-savvy same-game parlay, many bettors enjoy the rising tension as each pick comes in.
- Take advantage of parlay promotions – Some sportsbooks offer payout boosts that increase with each leg you add.
- Parlay insurance – When these promotions are available, you’ll get your stake back as cash or a bonus bet if just one leg of your parlay fails.
- Higher risk – The chance of your parlay winning is usually much lower than a regular bet.
- Can be frustrating – Even if you get every other pick correct, lose a single leg and you won’t get anything from your parlay.
- Tends to lose money in the long term – Parlays tend to have negative expected value, so bettors focused on getting the most out of their money may want to steer clear.
- Probabilities aren’t as clear – It can be more difficult to ascertain the chances of a parlay bet winning, especially if you’re new to sports betting.
What is a parlay bet?
A parlay bet is a selection of at least two bets — but often more — rolled into one wager. Each individual bet is called a ‘leg’ and must succeed for the parlay to win. The odds of each leg are multiplied together to calculate the final payout if the parlay wins. As a result, parlays can lead to large payouts from relatively small stakes, but there’s a much slimmer chance of the bet winning.
How do I make a parlay bet?
Usually, all you have to do is add multiple wagers to your betslip. If they’re eligible, you’ll see a checkbox to combine them into a parlay. Then, enter the stake and confirm the bet.
Are parlay bets worth it?
It depends. While parlay bets can potentially lead to massive payouts, the odds of them succeeding are much lower. Parlays are high risk, high reward, so you should think about your preferences as a bettor when deciding whether to place one. Ultimately, betting on sports is a form of entertainment and not a way to make money — so if you enjoy parlay bets, they’re definitely worth it from that standpoint. As always, be sure to stay within your budget and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.
Can I win real money with parlay bets?
Yes. Parlay bets are just like any other real money bet at a sportsbook, and are paid as cash when they win.
Can I cash out a parlay bet?
Sometimes — it depends on the sportsbook. Many top brands such as BetMGM allow bettors to cash out parlays early if a certain number of legs have hit. For example, you could cash out a five-leg parlay with four successful legs in return for a smaller but guaranteed win, rather than waiting for the fifth leg to settle.