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Understanding betting Parlays

The best way to define a Parlay bet is that it is a wager that combines two or more bets. But to win the Parlay bet, all the included bets must be won. It’s much different than placing a single bet, so we've put together this helpful guide to explain the key aspects of Parlay betting.

How do Parlays work?

How are Parlays different from simply placing multiple separate wagers? And how does a Parlay work in sports betting?


Imagine you wanted to place a wager of $10 with -110 odds on two separate matches. Placing two individual wagers costs you $20 ($10 x 2) and you stand to win an additional $18. But if you combine the two wagers into a Parlay, it will just cost you an initial $10. The winnings of the first bet are carried on to the second wager and if that wins, you get a combined reward of $26.45.

How to place a Parlay?

With all that in mind, if you were to take advantage of the best Parlay bets today, how would you set your wagers?


You can spread your Parlay bet across days, weeks or even months. Add all the different bets you want to place into your bet slip and enter the Parlay slip. Parlay bets are incredibly versatile, so you can combine all kinds of wagers, also known as legs, on one betslip. With the basics of Parlay betting covered, it's time to move on to more advanced tips and tricks.

What to know about Parlay betting?

We've covered what Parlay betting is and how it works. Now it’s time to look at the different types of bets that can be added to a Parlay, each offering different odds and potential rewards.

Totals Parlay

In a Totals bet, you set a wager on a specific score, betting that it will go over or under a certain amount. It’s also known as an Over/Under bet and you can use it to wager on total points in a football game, total runs in basketball, goals in hockey, and more.

Moneyline Parlay

Moneyline bets are the most standard wagers that can be placed on a sportsbook. They’re straight-up wagers where you bet on a specific game’s outcome, specifying if a specific team will win, lose, or if it will end in a tie.

Point Spread Parlay

The most popular bet type in the United States, Point Spread Bets are wagers placed on different elements within a sporting event. You could bet on the number of goals a specific player will score, the number of points accumulated or conceded by a team, the number of runs a player performs and more.


A Parlay+ Bet is a unique wager that allows you to combine several selections within one game, rather than across several games or events. Betting using Parlay+ allows for greater customization and more creative strategies when placing bets.


Parlay betting markets

With its flexible setup, Parlay betting can be spread across multiple betting markets. You can fit wagers from different sports all in one Parlay betslip, including the following.

American Football

American football is a great sport to place your Parlay bets on, and a few top NFL Parlay picks could be a great option. For example, let's consider a showdown between Kansas City and Tampa Bay, where Kansas City closes -3 on the spread with a betting total of 54.5 between them.


If someone placed a bet of $100 on both the spread and the total, they could place $50 on Tampa Bay for +3 and place $50 on the under 54.5. If both bets at a -110 price are individually successful, they win $90.90. But if they go for a $100 Parlay instead, the two wagers become linked, and if both of them are successful, they can walk away with a much larger $264.


You can add wagers to your Parlay betslip based on who you think will win the next NBA fixture, which player will score the most this season, and more. Point spread bets are the most popular NBA wagers, so you can place multiple spread bets into a Parlay for a better potential payout. 

Ice Hockey

With a massive number of hockey games being played every season, it’s the perfect sport to place Parlay bets on. The most popular hockey Parlay picks are generally made up of match line bets across a large selection of games during the season.


MLB Parlay picks work very similarly to NHL setups. The most popular baseball Parlay picks are made from match line bets that predict the outcome of multiple games across the season. With multiple games being played on any given game day, you have plenty of opportunities to set Parlay bets.


Soccer is one of the most popular sports in betting around the world. Money line bets are the most popular wagers in soccer, so be sure to add some researched bets to your Parlay slip.

How are Parlay bets calculated?

Each Parlay bet is calculated differently, based on the number of wagers you add to it, as well as the odds for each bet. But let’s look at how this works for a Parlay bet of $100 across three -110 wagers.


  • First, these wagers are converted into decimal odds: (-1 x -110 + 100) / -1 x -100 = 1.909.
  • All three bets are then multiplied against each other, subtracted by 1 from the total and multiplied by the bet amount: (1.909 x 1.909 x 1.909 – 1) x $100 = $1,228.


Of course, although the potential payout here is quite high, so is the risk that comes with it.

True odds

When Parlay betting, you’ll need to do the following to come up with the accurate odds of a bet. We’ll use the same example of a $100 Parlay bet across three -110 wagers.


  • With odds of -110 on $100 the potential payout is $210. So, divide the potential payout by the odds themselves: $210 / -110 = 1.909.
  • Then multiply all three figures together to get the true odds: 1.909 x 1.909 x 1.909 = 6.957.


theScore Bet allows you to simply use their Parlay bet calculator to find out your Parlay bet payouts within your betslip. As we’ve shown, you can do the math to determine your potential payouts as transparently as possible.

What are the advantages of Parlay betting?

The best thing about Parlay betting is that you can potentially win big for relatively low wagers. The more wagers you add to your Parlay slip the bigger the win you can potentially land. 


However, Parlay bets are also much riskier than single moneyline bets, because each individual leg of the Parlay has to hit for your overall Parlay to win. And the risk increases in parallel to the potential with every wager you add to the slip.

Parlays strategies to consider

Rather than making random Parlay bets on the fly, there are several strategies that you can use when betting on Parlays. Have a look at some of the best steps you can follow.

Correlated Parlays

With Correlated Parlay betting, you combine two related wagers on one betslip. For example, if the team you bet on can cover the spread in the first half, they will likely do the same for the second and the whole game.

Setting limits

While the more bets you add, the higher your potential win, it’s always good to set limits and get realistic with your betting. Parlay betting doesn't guarantee wins, so setting limits to the amount of money you wager on these bets is a great way to manage your bankroll.

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Parlay betting FAQs

Still, have more questions about Parlay betting? Check out our intuitive FAQ section.

Are Parlay bets popular?

Yes, Parlay betting is very popular because of the high potential they offer compared to their low wagers.

What are Parlay bets?

Parlay bets combine multiple wagers, or legs, on one slip. All the wagers must succeed for you to get the final payout.

How do Parlays work?

Parlays multiply the odds of each bet on the slip and could increase the maximum payout you recieve. If one leg loses, the entire Parlay is settled as a loss.

Can you use strategies in Parlays?

Yes, you can use several strategies in Parlay betting, including the correlated Parlays setup, which features a two-bet Parlay, where the success of the first bet could double the chances of the second.

Are Parlay bets risky?

Yes, Parlay bets can be risky when compared to single moneyline bets, because all of the legs on the betslip need to succeed for you to ultimately get your payout.

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