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Parlay Betting - how does parlay bets work explained


 The majority of people betting on sports go with the straight bet, but the parlay betting could offer many benefits and should not be shun. Before we get to the meat of it, let's briefly look at what is "parlay betting" and explain how it works. Most of the bettors are quite familiar with the straight bet, that is a single bet on the outcome of a sporting even. An example of straight bet is the point spread on a football game. You only win if the team you bet on covers the spread and you win according to the odds.

 What the parlay bet offers you is to drastically increase your payout odds, while increasing the risk you take, as well. In its essence a parlay bet is a wager on two or more different events and the bettor wins only when all wagers are winners. There are different forms of parlay bets that would allow you to win even if one or more of the bets in the parlay are losers, but we will focus solely on the regular parlay in this article.


 The major benefit of going with a parlay bet instead of straight bet is the chance to increase your winnings significantly. This is because the payout of the parlay bet is calculated by multiplying the odds of each individual bet in the parlay and the final result is multiplied by your wager. Let's look at an example and you'd be able to instantly see how much more money one could win by placing a parlay instead of straight bet. For this example we will use decimal odds, instead of American odds, as the decimal odds are much easier to calculate in a parlay. Don't worry, every sportsbook has the option to display the odds in decimal form and if you are going to place a parlay bet we advise you to switch the odds display to decimal to make it easier to calculate your possible payout.

 Back to the example of parlay betting. Let's say we have decided to place a parlay bet on three basketball games. All the bets are on the over/under outcome of the three NBA games and we have decided that they all will be "over" the total. Let's say that the odds on the first game to go over the total are 1.91 (or -110), the second game 1.87 (-115) and the third game 1.95 (-105). As we mentioned earlier, the payout of a parlay bet is calculated by multiplying the odds of each game and then multiplying the total by the amount wagered. So in this case, if we bet $100 on the above parlay wager, the payout would be calculated as follows: 1.91x1.87x1.95x100=$696.4, so the payout on this parlay bet would be roughly around $696 while risking $100, thus the actual winnings are $596 (since we risked $100 out of our pocket). On the other side, if you were to risk $100 on every single game as a single bet instead, your payout would be calculated as follows: 191+187+195=573, but we would have wagered $300, which after we subtract from the total payout of $573 leaves us with just $273 in actual winnings.

 It's obvious that if we went with the single bet on the three basketball games we not only wagered 3 times the amount, as compared to the parlay, but we won barely half the winnings we would've gotten with a parlay of only $100.

 So where is the parlay betting catch? Simple - you must win all the bets in the parlay in order to collect. In other words, if we use the previous basketball parlay as an example, you must guess all three games correctly to win. If one of the games finished as "under", you would've lost your bet. Naturally the risk is higher with the parlay but the winnings are much, much bigger.

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