There are few wagers in the sportsbook that are as misunderstood as the parlay. Granted, it is one of the more exotic wagers on the board, and it is also the basis for other multi-bet wagers.
However, it has gotten a reputation as a wager that pays out huge odds on small amounts. Of course, that is true, but it’s nowhere as easy as people make it out to be.
What Is A Parlay?
The first step in understanding the parlay is to correctly define it. A parlay is a single wager which links together two or more individual bets. To win the parlay, all of those bets linked together must win.
If any of the bets in the parlay lose, the parlay loses. On a winning parlay, the winnings from the first bet roll over to the second, which then rollover to the third and so on. This is why the payouts can often be very high.
The Art of the Multi-Bet
Many sports bettors don’t like the parlay at all. Others will swear by it. Everyone may not agree, but the parlay can be a good wager when used properly.
It takes a fair amount of discipline to not get in over your head, but that is true for every sports wager in the sportsbook. Employing the same strategy you apply to any wager will work for parlays too.
The parlay is a multi-bet, but that doesn’t mean it is more difficult than any other wager. Plus, you are rewarded when it comes in.
The trouble most sports gamblers get into when using a parlay is putting up too much money or putting in too many games. This essentially makes every parlay a long shot. It’s the trap of the parlay because, once you see how much it can pay, it’s hard to resist adding a few more games or a few more bucks.
However, this is not the smart way to play a parlay. After all, any gambler will tell you, betting only long shots is a terrible way to gamble and an easy way to lose.
Yes, parlays can be considered smart plays if used correctly. However, the first thing you must do is eliminate the idea of a huge payout. Parlays work best when they are used to better your odds, not increase them tenfold.
One parlay on two home favorites is better than betting them separately. Finding the right time and place to use a parlay is the key. Otherwise, you’re basically just playing the lottery.
Keep It Simple
To avoid the parlay trap, remember to keep it simple. Don’t wager a large amount on any parlay. Don’t parlay many bets together.
Many say to never bet more than three games on one parlay, while others say two. Remember, you play parlays because you want to better your odds, not remake them.
Placing a small wager on a few games in one parlay is a great way to start and learn. The parlay is its own wager, just like the Over/Under or Moneyline or Point Spread, and should be treated as such.