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Unlocking Parlays: A Guide to Maximizing Returns in Sports Betting

Parlay bets are also referred to as “accumulators” or “multis” depending on the sportsbook or region. They are a type of bet that combines multiple wagers into one bet. They roll over the winnings from each individual bet into the next part of the wager. In order to win a parlay bet, all of the individual bets must win.

How to Parlay Bet

Decide on the amount you wish to wager on the parlay. Make sure to keep in mind that the potential payout increases with each selection added to the parlay. However, so does the risk of losing the entire bet.

Use an online parlay calculator to refer to the odds provided by the sportsbook to calculate the potential payout. The calculator will consider the odds of each selection and multiply them together to determine the overall payout on a winning bet.

You can combine different types of wagers or focus on a specific game, team, or player. The parlay bets don’t need to be from the same sport or even the same day. Research is vital, as is analysis, to identifying strong betting opportunities.

If one game in your parlay is canceled or ends in a tie, the bet qualifies as a push and is dropped off of the wager. You will not lose your parlay on a canceled game. In these cases, payouts will be adjusted accordingly.

Types of Parlay Bets

Standard Parlay

A standard parlay bet combines two or more bets into a single bet. In order for the bet to win, all of the selections must win. THe more selections included in the parlay, the higher the risk, but also the higher the payout.


Similar to a standard parlay is the teaser parlay. The bettor can select multiple teams or totals, but there are no moneylines allowed with a teaser bet. A teaser parlay allows you to adjust the point spreads or totals plus or minus a certain number of points from six to 10. However, the same amount of points must be used for each leg of the teaser. The newly adjusted lines allow for a better chance of winning each selection, however there are lower potential payouts compared to a standard parlay.

Round Robin

Round robin parlays allow you to create multiple smaller parlay bets from a larger selection of teams or players. A bettor can select anywhere from 3 to 8 teams or totals for the Round Robin. From there, they choose how many teams or totals they want to tie together. The combination will dictate how many different parlays there are. This leads to more flexibility while reducing the risk of losing the entire bet if one of your selections fails. The downside is that it increases the overall cost of the bet. The payout for each winning parlay in a Round Robin is the same as if the bets were made individually.

Correlated Parlays

Correlated parlays are when you parlay two bets, but the odds of one bet are increased by winning the other. The most obvious example is parlaying the first half over with the game’s total over. This means that if the first-half total wins, the overall total in turn becomes a favorite to win.

Most sportsbooks used to have blocks in place to prevent these types of parlays from being made. However, same-game parlays have become popular in sports betting.


A same-game or single-game parlay is a wager that utilizes correlated bets for the same event for a higher payout. These correlated wagers have the hope that the outcome of one bet can increase or decrease the likelihood of another leg cashing. It is important to check the payouts on same-game parlays and see how they compare to individual bets parlayed together. This strategy works best when betting player props.

Cons of Parlay Betting

Parlays can be a fun way to make sports betting more exciting, however they aren’t quite a viable long-term strategy. This doesn’t mean that parlay betting every so often is a bad idea. However, it is ill-advised to make parlays a significant part of your daily wagers.

There’s a large amount of statistical evidence available to break down why parlays are bad bets overall. For example, a straight NFL bet in Las Vegas during 2021 was over 10x more likely to win than a multi-team parlay. While the winnings are tempting, they aren’t often achievable the way a straight bet may be.

It is important to remember that large parlays, such as 10 legs or more, that you may see hit on social media are real wins, but they are more like winning the lottery. Wins in parlay betting are already few and far between, but most wins come on two or three-leg parlays. The difficulty of hitting all of the legs of a wager is one of the major disadvantages of parlay betting.

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