A parlay is a combination of two or more selections that you bet on, such that all the outcomes must be correct for you to win the bet. If any of the bet fails, then you lose the entire bet. For instance, in a five team parlay, 0-5 is the same as 4-1. Parlays are thus hard to win, particularly those that entail a lot of combinations. These types of bets are popular among exotic gamblers due to their potential for big returns from small amounts.
Contrary to the common perception, parlays are not bad bets; they just require some special skills or sheer luck. A person playing parlay bets with say, six combinations stands a chance to earn more than the one who places six single bets on the same combination. The popularity of parlay bets are attributed to their high potential payouts.
Accumulator bets are similar to parlay bets. It is thus crucial for any wager to understand how they work, as well as how to calculate potential payouts. In the event that there is a non-runner, then the calculation of returns is based on the assumption that there was no selection contained in the accumulator.
Every sport has accumulator bets, but rules vary from one bookmaker to the other. Common among the rules is the fact a single accumulator cannot have selections from the same event. This makes the selections mutually independent, as it prevents wagers placing several bets on the same runner. With the win dependent on all the wins, there are those who avoid the risk of getting nothing by placing bets on the fold of their wager e.g. a gambler can a 5-folder accumulator and another 5 smaller 4-fold accumulators. This increases the probability of winning one bet, if the other one fails.
How to calculate parlay bets
Before participating in parlay bets or accumulator bets, it is important to understand how they are calculated. However, this is not necessary if you are using online sports betting site, since it is programmed to automatically do the calculations before you place a bet. Calculations can be done in two ways depending on the selection.
Firstly, if the odds for each selection are different, the odds of all the selections in the parlay are multiplied to get the overall odds for the wager. For example, if you have four selections with the odds 1.42, 1.28, 1.85 and 2.41, then the overall odds are got by simply multiplying those numbers, giving 8.10. Therefore, if a wager places $100, the potential winning is $810.
Secondly, the bookmakers use the number of selections to fix the odds. This is mostly used in instances where the odds for each selection are the same in point spread bets as well as the total bets (usually -110 in moneyline odds). For this method, payouts vary from one betting company to another.
Compared to the standard parlays, these ones pose a minimal risk. An incorrect single selection does not lead to an automatic loss of the entire bet. Depending on the number of selections, a wager may still return a payout even if three of the selections are wrong. The payout is, however, less compared to the standard parlay if all the selections are correct. For any wrong selection, the payout reduces even further. Still, the exact payout depends on the betting company.
Advantages of parlay bets
The main benefit of parlay bets is that a small bet has potentially large win. Also, a bettor does not have to wait for the games to end so as get the payout; a better with a limited bankroll can always make straight bets on each game. They very ideal if you want to accumulate your sports bet for higher payout (and risk)