What is Parlay Betting in Sport? Complete Parlay Betting Guide 2024

Parlay betting is a very popular form of sports betting that offers the potential for significantly higher payouts compared to traditional single sports bets. Parlay sports betting enables you to combine multiple selections from any match or game into a single wager. Thus, increasing the odds and increasing your potential winnings.

What is Parlay Betting?

In a parlay bet, you can select two or more outcomes across different events or matches. For instance, you might choose to combine the winner of two NFL games and the total points scored in an NBA game into one parlay bet. Or, why not just wait for NFL Sunday – one of the most popular televised sporting days of the week – to make just one NFL parlay using 5 different bets.

No matter what, each individual selection within the parlay is known as a “leg”. The more legs included in the parlay, the higher the potential payout becomes.

Here is an example of a simple two-leg parlay bet:

What is Parlay Betting in Sport? Complete Parlay Betting Guide [cur_year]

In this example, the Texas Rangers and John Isner both have to win in order for you to win the parlay bet. Furthermore, the odds are increased due to combining each wager. Below, we will dive deeper into parlay odds calculators to further illustrate why the odds for parlay bets increase.

How Does Parlay Betting Work?

Simply put, parlay betting is a way to increase the odds but in turn, you must add more bets into one single betslip. If all of your selections within a betting parlay turn out to be correct, you will win your parlay and receive a substantial payout that is significantly larger than the sum of the individual bets. However, the catch is that if any of the selections within the parlay bet is incorrect, the entire wager is lost. Therefore, parlay gambling is an “all-or-nothing” type of bet. It is important to note that parlay bets can vary in size, ranging from two legs to more extensive combinations involving several teams or events.

When it comes to adding wagers to your betting parlay you can add as many as you’d like and mix and match different matches, games, individual bets, and more. As long as you select “parlay” when building your betslip the choices are virtually endless.

Due to the lucrative nature of parlay gambling, many sports bettors are defaulting towards wagering on parlays relative to just individual sports bets. For instance, in 2022, same-game parlay betting increased across the board, especially for major events such as the Super Bowl. There is no doubt that potential winnings are a contributing factor as to why sports bettors are choosing to bet parlays over individual wagers.

What Are the Advantages of Parlay Betting?

With the commercial gaming industry revenue having grown nearly 8% in April 2023 compared to the previous year, reaching $5.41 billion, there has never been a better time for sports bettors to get involved with parlay betting – and there are plenty of advantages.

It’s no secret that the main advantage of using parlays ties back to the lucrative nature of the bet type. Additionally, there are a couple of other main ones – below are just a few.

1. Bigger Odds

One of the primary advantages of parlay gambling is the opportunity for bigger odds. By combining multiple selections into a single wager, the odds of each selection are multiplied together, resulting in significantly higher potential payouts compared to individual bets – the example shows 3 selections in the parlay. This allows you to leverage your sports knowledge and strategic insights to maximize your winnings. The allure of big odds is enticing to many bettors, as it offers the possibility of a substantial return on investment with a single wager.

What is Parlay Betting in Sport? Complete Parlay Betting Guide [cur_year]

2. Fun & Exciting

Parlay betting adds an extra layer of excitement and thrill to the sports betting and viewing experiences. Instead of placing single bets on separate events, parlays allow you to root for multiple outcomes simultaneously. This amplifies the enjoyment of watching games or matches, as each selection within the parlay becomes an additional source of anticipation. The prospect of winning a parlay bet by correctly predicting multiple results can create a captivating and engaging experience.

3. Larger Profits

Another advantage of parlay betting is the potential for larger profits. Due to the cumulative nature of betting parlay odds, the payouts can grow exponentially with each correct selection. This means that even a modest initial wager can result in substantial winnings if all the selections within the parlay turn out to be correct. The possibility of significant profits attracts both casual bettors seeking a big win and more experienced bettors looking to maximize their returns. Long-term success can oftentimes lead to larger profits.

4. Secondary Forms of Parlay Bet Types

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning there are two other types of advanced parlay bets – teaser bets and round robin bets. Teasers are a form of parlay bet that allows you to adjust the point spread or totals in your favor but at the cost of reduced odds. This can be advantageous if you believe they you can exploit favorable betting lines by shifting the point spread or totals. Teasers are common among NFL parlay bettors and NBA parlay bettors.

A round robin bet is a way to create multiple smaller betting parlay bets from a larger selection of teams or events. This allows you to cover various combinations and potentially hedge your bets. While the stakes are spread across multiple smaller parlays, the advantage is that a single incorrect selection doesn’t lead to a complete loss, making it a popular choice for risk management.

Parlay Betting vs. Parlay Extra

When browsing sportsbooks you may come across Parlay Extra. This is when you are able to combine multiple single bets as well as same-game parlay (SGPs) bets into one parlay ticket known as a Parlay Extra, or SGPx. This feature can oftentimes yield some of the highest winning potentials if you add a large number of selections.

Also, Parlay Extras are great in terms of spicing up your parlays experience and viewing experience. This is because you can diversify your bets across different events in addition to including a same-game parlay, which traditionally isn’t always available.

When it comes to traditional parlay betting, many sportsbooks do not allow for same-game parlays. In other words, they require you to add selections from separate events. Thus, Parlay Extra takes the concept of same-game-parlays and adds to it by combining the elements of both SGPs and traditional parlays into one betting experience.

Most Popular Sports for Parlay Betting?

Parlay sports betting is fairly popular across all of the major sports including football, basketball, baseball, combat sports, and others. The two most popular sports are basketball and football. However, fans of other sports certainly indulge in parlay wagering – you can also bet on parlays when on-the-go via some of the best betting parlay apps out there. Below is a quick recap of a the most popular sports for parlays.


When betting NFL parlays you can include point spread bets, over/under bets, moneyline wagers, halves, quarters, individual props, team and game props, and much more. You can mix and match across any game no matter what day it is on.


The most common bets for MLB parlays include the run line, moneyline, prop bets, and totals. However, you can add alternative lines such as the first 5 innings as well as game prop among other options.


Like the NFL, NBA parlays mostly consists of point spreads, totals, moneyline, and the various types of prop bets. That said, there are also options for quarters, halves, and other smaller alternative bets.

MLS & International Soccer

Parlay wagering is available across all international soccer leagues as well as the MLS. Bet types include the goal line, moneyline, game props, over/under bets, and much more.

What is Parlay Betting in Sport? Complete Parlay Betting Guide [cur_year]


Tennis parlays typically include match winners, set winners, and/or total games played. You can add bets from different singles or double matches, which makes viewing tournaments fun and exciting.


When it comes to NHL parlays, most bettors will choose between the puck line, moneyline, and/or the totals bets. You can get these lines for the full game or individual periods. Additionally, game and player props are also available.

How to Calculate a Parlay?

As mentioned, a betting parlay requires all sections within a parlay ticket to win in order for you to win your bet. The more selections you add to your parlay, the greater the odds become. Understanding how to calculate parlay odds is critical to success. Below, is an example of an NBA parlay with a parlay odds calculator to help further explain how betting parlays and parlay odds work.

Three-leg parlay bet example:

NBA Team Moneyline Odds to Win
Los Angeles Lakers +100
Philadelphia 76ers -125
New York Knicks +150

In this NBA parlay example, the Lakers have 2.0 odds to win, the 76ers have 1.80 odds to win, and the Knicks have 2.50 odds to win. Multiply each of these values together and you will get 9.00. Thus, your potential payout per the parlay calculator is 9.0x your original wager. For example, if you bet $100, your potential winnings equal $900 ($100 x 9x) or $800 net after you get your $100 wager back. Note, you should always factor in returning your original wager when viewing any sort of parlay calculator.

It is worth noting that we converted the +/- odds to decimal odds, which can be done by dividing the +/- odds by 100. Additionally, these principles can be applied to any parlay bet, including NFL parlays and mix-and-match parlays, etc.

Is Parlay Betting Legal?

In short, parlay sports betting is legal in the United States. The best way to access legal parlay sports betting is via any of the top offshore sportsbooks. Here, United States players can access parlay odds without having to live in a state that offers in-person sports betting and/or in-state online sports betting.

If you happen to live in a state with regulated in-state online sports betting, you may be able to find US-based betting sites with betting parlay odds. These states include Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

All-in-all the simplest and quickest way to legally bet parlays is by signing up for an offshore betting site and leveraging their odds and sportsbook.

Tips For Parlays and Strategy

Betting on a parlay should not be taken lightly. In fact, if you are looking to set yourself up for success you really should be carefully planning and researching each of your bets. To that end, below are a few helpful tips to consider before you place your next parlay bet.

1. Do Your Research – Check T&C’s

Firstly, take the time to research the best you’re interested in adding to your parlay ticket. Make sure you understand the odds, the teams or individuals involved, their strengths and weaknesses, and more. This will ensure you have made the best, most informed decision possible. Additionally, read the terms and conditions at each betting site so you understand how they operate and what to expect in terms of payment, etc.

2. Take it Slow

Don’t go overboard when it comes to betting parlays. Be realistic about the fact that you will not win every bet, as such, don’t go chasing losses straight away. Try to focus on tip number one and do your research so that you can find a few simple parlay bets to start in order to give yourself the best chance to start off your parlays streak with a few nice wins. Then, consider increasing bet sizes and frequency – but only after you take it slow.

3. Manage your Bankroll

A major key to succeeding in sports betting is to know how to manage your bankroll. Only wager what you’re willing to lose, don’t chase losses, and especially don’t chase losses with larger bets. Make sure you understand that betting wins will come and go and you should focus on being strategic in order to maintain a positive win percentage long-term rather than betting big to win big all the time.

4. Be Strategic about Selecting Parlays

When selecting parlays, adopt a strategic approach by carefully analyzing the odds, considering the teams’ strengths and weaknesses, and identifying favorable betting opportunities. This thoughtful selection process will enhance your chances of winning parlays.

The Best Parlay Betting Sites Ranked

Below is a list of the best parlay betting sites, all of which you have reviewed and tested by our team of experts.

1. BetOnline – No.1 parlay site with a ton of global betting lines daily
2. XBet – Great for adding alternative line bets into parlays
3. MyBookie – Known for offering competitive NFL odds and NFL parlays
4. BetNow – Offers parlay insurance on all parlay bets
5. Bovada – Large variety of NBA and NFL betting lines

Parlay Betting – The Pros and Cons

Like anything related to sports betting and betting in general there are both pros and cons. Below are a few of the main pros and cons to parlays.

Pros of Parlay Betting

1. Higher Payout Potential

Parlay betting offers the potential for significantly higher payouts compared to individual bets. By combining multiple selections into a single wager, the odds are multiplied, leading to the possibility of substantial winnings if all selections are correct. This is by far the biggest pro to parlays.

2. Added Excitement and Engagement

Parlay betting adds an extra level of excitement to the sports betting experience. With multiple selections in a single bet, each outcome becomes interconnected, enhancing the thrill and engagement as you watch a game or match.

3. Flexibility and Customization

Parlay betting allows for flexibility and customization in wagering. You will have the freedom to choose a variety of selections, including different sports, events, or bet types.

4. Risk Management Opportunities

Parlay betting offers an opportunity for risk management. Bettors can hedge their bets by including selections with different levels of confidence, minimizing potential losses if one or more selections don’t go as planned.

5. Large Returns From Small Bets

Parlay betting allows you to make small bets while having the potential for substantial returns. This can be appealing to those seeking bigger wins with a smaller upfront commitment. For example, many bettors have profited big off of $5-$10 parlay bets.

Cons of Parlays

1. Higher Risk

Parlay betting carries a higher level of risk compared to individual bets. This is because all selections must be correct for the parlay to win. A single incorrect prediction will result in the entire bet being busted.

2. Decreased Probability of Winning

Due to the cumulative nature of parlay bets, the probability of winning decreases as more selections are added. With each additional selection, the likelihood of all outcomes being correct diminishes, making it more challenging to win consistently.

3. Limited Control over Odds and Lines

Parlays may limit your choice and/or control over odds and lines. Since parlays combine multiple selections, the odds and lines offered for individual selections are combined, potentially reducing your ability to find favorable odds for each individual event.

Conclusion: Best Site For Parlay Betting?

Nowadays, betting sites and sportsbooks feature a ton of variety when it comes to individual wagers for both domestic and international sports leagues. However, one stands out from the pack and that is BetOnline. BetOnline holds its own in terms of the variety and volume offered. But more importantly, their odds are competitive. Thus, it’s a great option for parlay betting as you can potentially win large amounts off of parlay bets due to the odds.

Furthermore, their interface is easy to navigate across desktop and mobile and they offer competitive bonuses for both new and existing customers.


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