Last updated: 10/04/2024

What Is A Parlay Bet: Guide For Beginners

What Is A Parlay Bet

If you’re learning how to bet, you’ve probably investigated the different types of wagers you can make. From moneylines to totals, plenty of unique bets are available – including parlays. But what is a parlay bet? And how do they work?

If these questions have been on your mind, you’re in luck! Today, we’re looking at everything you need to know about parlay bets before you confirm your betting slip. From how they work to expert tips that’ll help you win, everything you need to know is on this page. Keep reading on!

Understanding Parlay Bet Basics –  What Is A Parlay Bet?

A parlay bet combines two or more different wagers into a single bet to give you a potentially higher payout. These are also known as accumulators or combo bets.

To have a successful parlay bet, all of the individual predictions within the bet must be successful. If any fail, the whole bet loses.

How Parlay Bets Work

Parlay bets work by combining different wagers into one single bet. One of the benefits of parlays is that they can be personalised to each bettor. Your parlay doesn’t have to include the same amount of bets as your buddy’s. 

Here are the main factors that create a parlay bet:

  • Selections – Each parlay must contain two or more different bets. While they’re usually based on the same event, you can sometimes combine bets on different games. This is popular for World Cup betting not on GamStop.
  • Odds – Odds are a critical aspect of any bet, including parlays. Because parlays combine multiple bets, the odds aren’t so simple. To determine the overall odds of your parlay, you need to multiply the odds of each individual bet. Generally, this means that your potential winnings increase with each extra selection.
  • Winnings – You can only win a parlay bet if all selections are correct. If you win, you’ll receive your winnings in a big combined payout. 
  • Risk – Since all selections must be correct, parlay bets are more risky than other wagers. Even if all but one selection wins, you still lose your stake. So, research and think wisely when creating your parlay.

Benefits of Parlay Bets

If you’ve been researching “What is a parlay bet?” you should also explore the benefits of this wager. This will help you learn whether it’s the route for you before going all in.

Our experts have listed the top benefits of parlay bets below:

1. Higher Potential Winnings

The main attraction of parlay bets is the potential for big payouts. Since the odds are combined and higher, you receive more money when you win. The payouts are also juicier than when you place individual bets, making this a good option if you’re already planning on placing multiple wagers.

2. Personalisation 

Parlays aren’t a one-size-fits-all wager. You can add different markets and as many selections as you want (within the sportsbook’s limits). Ideal if you like to shake things up from time to time. 

3. Entertainment Value

Since parlays allow you to bet on different outcomes, they can increase your enjoyment and immersion in the game. This is because you have a stake in different outcomes at the same time. 

4. Less Management

Though the bet includes multiple selections, a parlay bet is still technically a single wager. This means the betting process is simplified, leaving you more time to relax as you’re not managing multiple bets. 

5. Strategic Opportunities

Parlay bets allow you to leverage your in-depth knowledge and research by combining multiple favourable selections. It’s ideal for punters with a wealth of knowledge of a particular sport or event.

Tips for Successful Parlay Betting

Once you understand what a parlay bet is, it’s time to move on to expert-approved tips to increase your chances of a big payout. Here are some tried and tested tips from industry professionals:

  • Diversify your selections – Adding a mix of “safe” and risky selections into your parlay will help you balance the risk and maximise your chances of success. 
  • Be picky – Don’t add any old selections to your parlay. Be selective and think critically of each wager. 
  • Focus on research and analysis – As all bets within a parlay must be correct for a payout, you must be as accurate as possible. Extensive research and analysis will put you in a good position for a win. So, look at all relevant factors, the odds, and last-minute news for a deeper understanding.
  • Shop around for odds – Each sportsbook or betting site not on GamStop creates its own odds. Sometimes, there are discrepancies between different sites, and bettors with a keen eye can take advantage of these differences.
  • Be disciplined – Finally, you should always approach parlay betting with patience and discipline. Make informed decisions and stick to your strategy for the best results.

Common Parlay Betting Mistakes to Avoid

Alongside knowing the best tips and tricks for a parlay bet, you should also remember common errors. Knowing parlay pitfalls will put you in a better position than novice bettors and enhance your luck. 

Make a note of the top parlay betting mistakes below:

  • Chasing losses
  • Emotional or impulsive betting
  • Betting without research
  • Including too many low-quality selections 
  • Neglecting bankroll management
  • Not watching the odds up until the start of the event
  • Chasing longshots

When it comes to sports betting, practice makes perfect. So, don’t worry if you’ve made one of these errors before. Simply reflect on your strategy and adjust it accordingly. 

Parlay Betting Strategies

Many bettors use curated strategies to organise their parlay wagers. These strategies are designed to reduce risk and increase the chances of success through calculated rules and limits. Here are some you should consider:

1. Combination Bets

Parlays allow you to combine different wagers into one bet. But these don’t have to be the same type of bet. Many bettors include a mix of different types of bets into one parlay to diversify the risk and maximise returns. For example, you might want to mix moneylines and totals into one wager.

2. Selective Parlays

A selective parlay strategy focuses on high-quality and well-researched bets over many low-quality bets. The aim is to include fewer bets, as each extra selection increases the risk of the parlay. 

The trick to nailing a selective parlay is focusing on a sport or event you know well. This will give you the insight and confidence to create a successful parlay.

3. Value Betting

Value betting is a popular strategy for lots of sports bettors, and it focuses on assessing whether the potential payout justifies the risk of the odds. So, for each selection, you need to compare the odds and calculate the expected value (EV).

The aim here is to identify overvalued or undervalued odds. To do this, you’ll need to complete your own research and know which side has a better chance of winning. 

Choosing the Right Sportsbook for Parlay Bets

If you’ve Googled “What is a parlay bet?” we’re going to assume you might also benefit from a few tips on finding a reputable sportsbook. 

Sadly, not all online betting sites have your best interests at heart. Some provide low-quality odds, lack licences, and have weak security features. To help you avoid bad experiences, we’ve created a checklist to ensure you play with a legitimate website.

  • Legitimate licences – Licences ensure a regulatory body is keeping the sportsbook fair and players protected. Plenty of UK and international betting websites have genuine licences, and you can find this information on the homepage footer.
  • Robust safety features – Staying safe while betting is critical. Look for sportsbooks with SSL encryption, two-factor authentication, and other online safety tools to hide your personal information.
  • Parlay bet availability – Most sports betting websites have parlay bets. However, they’re never guaranteed! Check the sportsbook before you sign up to see if they’re available.
  • Extensive sports and market – Likewise, you should also check the sportsbook to see if a large selection of sports and markets are on offer. You don’t want to sign up and realise the selection is limited!
  • Varied payment methods – You should also look for a good mix of payment methods from reputable providers. Most good betting websites offer bank transfers, debit cards, e-wallets, and other high-quality options.
  • Bonuses and promotions – High-quality sportsbooks offer bonuses and promos to help boost your first few wagers. Look for generous welcome packages and free bets on the sportsbook “Promotions” page before you sign up to be sure.

If you’re unsure whether a sports betting website is for you, check out expert reviews for a professional opinion. When in doubt, it’s best to move on and explore other options. Better safe than sorry!

Conclusion: Is Parlay Betting Right for You?

Parlay bets are an exciting option that allows you to put your strategy to the test while giving you the chance of a significant payout. However, never jump in without doing your due diligence. Always research your bets and calculate potential payouts before the game. 
Learn more about popular sports betting techniques on the Non-GamStop Betting blog now.

Meet Our Team Of Gambling Specialists

Hello! I’m David Goldblatt, the lead author at I’m an experienced sports journalist who transitioned into making online gambling content in the mid-2010s. It’s something that fascinates me and I’ve always loved the way sports betting can make any event more exciting!

When I’m not researching the latest non-GamStop bookies, I’ll be playing football in the park or watching the local cricket club with my mates. I’m a massive advocate for responsible gambling, so feel free to message me if you need help. Other than that, I hope you enjoy my stuff and can find some trustworthy betting sites to join!