What Is Parlay Betting and How to Use it?

Many sports betting enthusiasts have likely heard the term parlay betting, but may still be a bit confused as to how exactly it works. Or, more specifically, if it is worth partaking in this method of betting. The short answer is that parlay betting is best left to those who are experienced with sports betting, and understand how it all works on a deeper level.

For those who think they are ready for advanced betting, we will break down how it works in brief here.


Parlay betting is also often referred to as an accumulator bet, multi-bet, or combo bet. This gives a much better idea of what the basic idea involves. Simply put, a parlay bet is a series of bets placed on a number of different outcomes. If all the outcomes are achieved, a payout significantly higher than normal is won. However, if even one of the bets fails, all other bets in the parlay also fail, regardless if they are individually successful or not.

As is always the case in gambling, the rewards are equivalent to the direct risk. Obviously, a parlay bet comes with enormous risk attached, and hence pays out accordingly.

Type Of Parlay Bets

Parlay bets can be placed with a few variances in the finer details. For example, a bet can be placed that will still payout, even if some of the results are a tie, or a push. In this case, the final payout amount will be reduced, but at least some money will be paid out.

Parlay bets can also be placed with enormous odds, including as many as 10 bets placed on 10 different outcomes. Though, most betting enthusiasts would not take such steep odds, the option does still exist to engage in this sort of extreme longshot bet making.

In most cases, however, parlay bets are generally placed on around 3 or 4 outcomes, often in relation to a league, such as the NFL.

Payout Amounts

If it is assumed that the bet placed is $100, then the following gives an idea of how much is paid out on a successful parlay bet.

On a 2 parlay bet, 2.6 to 1 odds, a success would result in a payout of $360. On a 5 parlay bet, 22 to 1 odds, payout would be $2,300. On a 10 parlay bet, 720 to 1 odds, the payout would be a stunning $72,100.

Is It Worth it?

Most enthusiasts that take the prospect of betting seriously have mixed perceptions about the idea of betting in this fashion. The obvious draw is the big payout potential. But, as is clear to see, the odds of succeeding are substantially more questionable, when compared to a straight up bet on a single outcome.

Some have argued that parlay betting can be profitable in the long run, if bets are chosen and placed very carefully. Others have pointed out, however, that simply placing separate bets on the same outcomes would always be the smarter choice, even if paying out less.

Either way, the choice to place bets in this fashion is open.

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