How Parley Bets Work In Online Sports Betting

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In online sports betting circles, the parlay is one of the most live popular bets for both seasoned experts and recreational bettors.

What exactly is a parlay? A parlay is when a bettor makes multiple wagers on two or more sports teams winning that’s tied into the same bet or card. A parlay can be a duel-edged sword too because if all the bets win, the payout can be huge. However, if the parlay bet loses, all wagers on it will be lost.

Parlay bets are popular with online sportsbooks because it’s difficult to win on them. Since 1992, sportsbooks in Nevada boast a win percentage of 31.17% on all parlays. Interestingly, they only won 7% on the other bet types. As you can see, parlay bets can be very risky, and discretion is advised.

Best Sportsbooks To Bet Parlay

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Placing A Parlay Bet

Parlays (also called combo bets) can be made in two ways, and both of them are quite easy. The first option is to approach the ticket writer by telling him on which teams and the totals you’d like to place your bets on. The second option is to fill out a parlay card, and once done, you can ask the sportsbook to place your bets. The top online sportsbooks at now have mobile apps that cover both types of parlay bets.

parlay at sportsbook

Types of Parlays

Here’s an example of how a parlay bet works. If a bettor bets $100 on a three-team parlay with the Pittsburgh Pirates +150, Texas Rangers +100, and the Cincinnati Reds +203. Let’s say the bettor is super lucky and all three teams win; he will pocket a magnificent $1,515. If one looks at these figures, it seems pretty decent, not so?

Parlays are popular with public bettors because it offers them an opportunity to strike it rich. This is why sportsbooks post screenshots of the parlay winners on their social media pages. More often than not, this is how their postings look:


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• “Bettor turned $300 into an amazing $20,000 with his 6 team parlay.”

• “Today there has been plenty of big winners, but nothing tops this guy. He turned $50 into $70,000 with a fifteen-team parlay.

There’s no denying that the above figures look great and are very enticing. It is the ultimate fantasy to online bettors to hit a parlay in such a manner. There is a good reason why the sportsbooks so eagerly share this information. It is because they know that parlays give the house a massive edge. To get a handle on the edge, let’s look at the term ‘Hold.’

The hold is the percentage of money the sportsbooks retain after they have paid out all the bets to their players. It is calculated by dividing the gross winnings by the total amount from the bets.

From 1992 to 2017, Nevada sportsbooks flaunted a hold of more than 30 percent on all parlays! Therefore, on every $1 bet that is made on a parlay, 30 cents goes towards the house. On standard individual bets of $1, sportsbooks only retain 5 cents.

In this same period, a total of nearly $82 billion were wagered at sportsbooks in Nevada. Of this figure, the sportsbooks retained around $3.9 billion, which is roughly a hold of 5% while the hold for parlays was more than 30 percent. Frankly, sportsbooks make a killing on parlays, and it’s their most significant source of revenue.

This is why it is important not to get carried away when you keep on layering your bets on the same wager. Sure, you’ll hit it big on a parlay one way or the other, but you also need to remember this only happens once in a blue moon.

Even if you have won four out of the five bets on a five-team parlay, you’ll still lose. We don’t have a problem with placing a parlay bet now and again, it does become a problem when it becomes a habit. Rather stick to individual game bets.

sports betting site parlay


Teasers is another bet which novice and seasoned bettors prefer, and it’s similar to parlays. The difference between them is that with teasers, bettors can adjust the point spread or the total to their advantage by moving the line up (“tease up”) or down (“tease down”).

The payout becomes lower when the bettor adjusts the line from the original total or spread. For the teaser to win, all bets involved must win, and just like parlays, if one bet loses, the entire teaser loses.

The only sports where teasers are available are on basketball and football because their point spreads can be adjusted. The most popular teasers in football are 6, 6.5 or 7 points. Each sportsbook has its own payouts for teasers, and they allow you to combine up to ten bets on a single teaser.

The more teams involved with the teaser, the larger the payout. For example, the Bills is the underdog at +2.5 against the Dolphins, and the total is 45.5. You can bet a 6-point teaser on the spread and the total, teasing the Bills up from +2.5 to +8.5 and teasing the total up from 45.5 to 51.5. The price of a 6-point, two football teaser is in the vicinity of -110. Should the 6-point teaser increase from two teams to six teams, the price shoots up to +610, which pays +2,600.

Round Robin

A Round Robin is where the bettor places multiple parlay bets on 2 to 8 teams. He can decide how many teams he’d like to include in the Round Robin which also tells him how many parlays he has at his disposal. The parlays can be tied to as many as three-team combinations. If he decides to Round Robin eight teams, and if he sticks to two teams, there will be 28 different parlays. If the bettor chooses to bet on three-team parlays, he will have 56 different parlay tickets.

5dimes parlay

Point Spread

Point Spreads are referred to as just the “Spread.” It’s when the oddsmakers set the line and when they decided who the favorite and the underdog are. Bettors have two options on how they can bet on them. The first is the Spread (SPD). It is a specific number of points that are taken away from the favorite and given to the underdog. The reason for this is that it evens up the odds a bit.

An example would be when the Chiefs are up against the Colts, and the Colts are the favorite to win by a field goal. The Spread will be indicated as “Colts -3” or “Chiefs +3”. If the bets were made on the Colts who is a -3 and the Colts win by 1, you lost 2 points. If you placed your bets on the Chiefs, you’re a winner.


The moneyline bet is based on whether the favorite or the underdog will win the game. The margin of victory is not important because the oddsmakers set a price on every team.

The moneyline determines how much money you must risk, and it defines the payout you’ll receive if you win. Moneyline prices start with even money and are depicted as +100 or -100. It does not matter on which team you place your bets on, you’ll win or lose the same amount of money that you risked.

The moneyline’s favorite is assigned a minus price while the underdog is given a plus price. Another vital feature of moneyline bets is that they remove the point spreads from the equation. Moneyline bets can be very lucrative if you place a bet on the underdog, and they win.