Parlay Betting Strategy 2024

In this parlay betting strategy guide, we explain the benefits of parlay bet, like potentially higher profits and excitement. Also, there are downsides, such as higher risks and complex calculations. 

Here, we discuss how payouts work, when parlay betting can be a good choice, and which sports are best for it. 

Table of content

Parlay Betting Guide: Pros & Cons

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of parlay betting system to help you make informed decisions:


✅ Bigger potential returns compared to single bets.

✅ It’s ideal for using free play bonuses.

✅ Offers a high-risk, high-reward scenario.

✅ Allows for correlated parlays, which can increase winnings.

✅ It adds a lot of excitement to betting.



❌ High risk can also mean increased chances of losing.

❌ Some bookies don’t accept correlated parlay bets.

❌ Fixed odds generally benefit the bookmakers.

❌ There is a higher chance of experiencing periods without wins.

Parlay Bet Meaning

Parlay betting, also known as accumulator betting in Europe, is a popular type of regular sports bet or crypto sports betting. Instead of making separate bets on different matches, a parlay bet combines them into one large bet. 

This means higher odds and more risk. If all your chosen matches win, you win the parlay. But if even one bet loses, the entire parlay is lost.


⭐ How much should you invest in parlays?

Parlay bets seem like a way to win big, but winning them regularly is not very likely. It’s good to be realistic and not expect too much. If you do try parlay betting, be careful with your money.

⭐ Is parlay betting legal?

Parlay betting is legal. Most well-known bookmakers offer parlay betting options.

⭐ What is the best way to bet parlays?

The best parlay strategy for betting involves using correlated parlays. Another approach is to mix bets on less specific outcomes with stronger ones.

⭐ Is parlay betting profitable?

Parlay bets are more complex to win than individual bets, and sportsbooks tend to earn more from parlays. Individual bet odds are set to ensure a small profit for the sportsbook, giving bettors a 50% chance to profit on standard bets.

⭐ How often do people hit parlays?

The frequency of winning parlay bets varies, just like with straight bets. It depends on each bet’s odds and the number of selections in your parlay.

⭐ What is a parlay betting?

Parlay betting involves combining multiple individual bets into a single wager for increased odds and higher potential payouts.

⭐ Is parlay betting worth it?

The worth of parlay betting depends on personal preferences, risk tolerance, and betting strategy. It offers higher potential payouts but comes with increased risk.

Calculating Parlay Bet Payouts

Parlay bets can pay out differently, as odds in sports are dynamic. Here’s how to calculate your potential winnings:

  • Using Decimal Odds: Multiply the decimal odds of all your bets by your stake. For example, for a three-team parlay with 1.2, 1.5, and 1.4 odds, you’d calculate 1.2 x 1.5 x 1.4 x $100 = $252 total payout, or $152 profit after subtracting the $100 stake.
  • Using American Odds: If you’re more familiar with American odds, convert them to decimal odds first. You can use an online betting odds calculator to multiply as above.

In a parlay bet, if one of the games ends in a tie (or a ‘push’), that game is removed. This reduces the total number of bets and, as a result, decreases your potential payout. 

For instance, if you have a five-team parlay and four win but one ties, your odds drop (e.g., from 22 to 1 to 11 to 1), and you get paid based on these adjusted odds.

When to Consider Parlay Betting?

Parlay betting isn’t always fair. For example, in a two-team parlay with both odds at -110, you should get +300 odds, but usually, you only get +260. In a three-team parlay, instead of +700, bookies often offer +600.

Despite this, there are some scenarios where sports parlay betting can be beneficial:

  • Free Play Bonuses: A three-team parlay with bonuses or free bets can be a good parlay betting strategies. These parlays offer better returns than individual bets and are great for using welcome bonuses, often based on your first deposit.
  • Correlated Parlays: These are bets with linked outcomes, like betting on a team to win and a player to score a certain number of points. However, many sportsbooks don’t allow these bets because they’re closely related.
  • Reduced Juice in NFL: In NFL betting, you sometimes find better odds for three-team parlays, like 6.5 to 1, which can be more valuable than standard bets. This is known as “reduced juice,” where bookies lower their commission on bets.

Risks of Parlays

Parlay in sports betting can seem appealing with the promise of high payouts, but there are some reasons why there might be better choices for some bettors. 

Here are the top reasons why you might want to think twice before placing parlay bets:

  • Bankroll Strategy: Using progressive betting systems with parlays is often seen as a bad parlay strategies for managing and growing your bankroll. Professional bettors prefer single bets based on their calculated advantage in each game. 
  • Higher Variance: Parlay bets come with higher variance compared to straight bets. While you may get similar odds, your chances of hitting a losing streak are higher. Usually, it’s safer to choose the option with lower variance, which would be straight bets.
  • Difficulty in Line Shopping: Sports bettors often look for the best odds to maximize profits, like a -4 instead of -4.5 or a -104 instead of -110. With parlays, you need to find the best odds for each team on the same site, which is rare. Usually, you’ll get better odds by placing straight bets across multiple sites.

Best Sports for Parlay Betting

Parlay betting is popular with various sports. Some marks, however, are more suited for parlays:

✔️ Football: With many weekly games, football offers numerous options to create parlays, including bets across different tournaments or leagues.

✔️ Basketball: The NBA and NCAA basketball have frequent games, making it a popular parlay choice. You can mix bets from the same or different basketball games.

✔️ Baseball: Though less popular than football or basketball, baseball’s long season with many games provides ample parlay betting opportunities.

✔️ Soccer: Its global appeal and numerous yearly leagues and tournaments make soccer ideal for creating diverse parlay bet.

✔️ Tennis: Tennis, hosting many tournaments year-round, offers chances to combine bets from various matches or games into a parlay.

Game is Canceled?

When you place a parlay picks bet, which combines multiple bets, you might wonder what happens if a game doesn’t finish. 

If one part of your parlay bet neither wins nor loses, here’s what usually happens:

  • Push: If a part of your parlay bet results in a push (neither win nor loss), like a team losing by the exact point spread, that bet is dropped. For example, if you have a four-team parlay and one bet pushes, it turns into a three-team parlay.
  • Canceled or Rescheduled Games: Sometimes, games might be canceled or rescheduled. Usually, if this happens, that game is just removed from your parlay, and the bet becomes smaller.
  • Ties in Moneyline Bets: In the rare event of a tie in a money line bet, it’s usually taken off the parlay, except in specific three-way markets (common in soccer).

Parlay Betting Strategy: Conclusion

As we learned from parlay betting strategy guide, it combines multiple sports bets, for example winter sports bets, for potentially larger payouts but with higher risks. It’s more complex than single bets, particularly in calculating payouts and managing risks. 

Due to frequent games, some sports like football and basketball are popular for parlay betting. Successful parlay betting requires strategic thinking and responsible betting practices.

Dalius Mikalauskas

Sports Betting Expert

Dalius became interested in sports betting at the age of 16, although he could not place bets at that time (bets accepted from the age of 18). However, it was not forbidden to sell betting picks, which is what the author did actively on sports betting forums. Today, he has more than 18 years of experience in sports betting. In school, the auth ..
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