Parlay VS. Straight Bet: Are Parlays Bad Bets?

Do you know what a parlay bet is? If not, perhaps you’ve heard the term “accumulator” before? These are essentially the same thing. A parlay is a type of stake that allows you to make several choices on the same ticket. So, are parlays bad bets?

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What Are Parlay Bets and How Do They Work?

A parlay bet can only be successful if all of the wagers win. If even one of the chosen wagers loses, the entire bet is gone. So, what will happen if one or more of the selections results in a push (tie). In this case, the payout is lowered to the amount that would have been paid if those options were not included.

Parlay bets are appealing because they offer large returns and expose the bettor to a high level of risk. Moreover, it allows punters to combine two or more stakes into a single stake, such as:

As a result of mixing many wagers into one, the risk of the bettor increases in exchange for a bigger return. In short, the main attraction of parlay gambling is the higher return that it brings when you make 3 or 4 good picks in a day.

So, are parlays bad bets?

Punters are not the only ones who see money in parlays. Bookmakers also adore them since they make it more difficult for their players to win. Remember, you must be flawless in your parlay picks. Because, even one of your selections is incorrect, the entire ticket is a loser.

When betting on sports, picking a winner is difficult enough. What’s more, if you need to pick multiple winners in one day…

Besides, parlays are a high-risk wager. The truth is, some punters regard them as a fancier version of prop betting. So, if you are asking if parlays are bad bets, then you’ll be the judge. The risk might bring a significant financial return for bettors who believe they notice patterns emerge in many games at the same time.

The Problem: Are Parlays Bad Bets?

What is a parlay bet and how does it work?
What is a parlay bet and how does it work?

One of the most serious problems with parlays is that they are difficult to win. The fact is that winning consistently with any form of sports wager is difficult. Therefore, this isn’t an issue specific to parlays. But there’s another issue with them, and it’s one that you should be aware of.

The Problem: True Odds Are Rarely Available In Parlays

However, there’s no need to get heated up about it because no sports bet gives actual odds. Besides, the odds that bookmakers provide to their customers include a commission. Juice or Vig is one of the key advantages that bookies have over their customers. Furthermore, it is also one of the most challenging parts of becoming a successful bettor.

The difficulty with parlays is that the odds are frequently “shaved” by the bookies. Instead, they charge a greater commission than normal.

We know that this is a little troubling. Let’s put sports betting aside for a time and concentrate on the casino game of Blackjack instead.

Consider this scenario.

You buy in for $100, wager it all, and then win. Now, you have $200 chips in your pocket. Then, you decide to go all-in again, win, and walk away with $400.00. You go through the process four more times, increasing the price to $800, $1,600, $3,200, and eventually $6,400.

You’ve transformed your $100 into $6,400 by going all-in six times in a row, with $6,300 being pure profit.

Then, imagine going to the same casino the next day and discovering a new game called Blackjack Parlay.

The game’s fundamentals are straightforward, so you place a bet. In Blackjack Parlay, if you win six consecutive hands, the bet pays 60-1. However, you lose your whole investment if you lose any hand before winning six in a row.

Would you be interested in playing this game?

Probably not… Given that you only found out yesterday that winning six consecutive bets effectively paid 63-1.

Parlay VS. Straight Bet: How Are Parlay Odds Calculated?

By not using a parlay calculator, figuring out how much you stand to win is impossible. Thankfully, sportsbooks made everything easier for you. When you add selections to your betting slip, it calculates your potential payout for you. So, you don’t have to trouble yourself with guessing and calculating.

Do you want to improve your parlay math skills?

The calculation of parlay odds is straightforward when using decimal odds. In addition, you can compute the parlay odds by adding the odds from each leg together. However, things become a little more tricky if you use American odds.

Before multiplying in American odds, you must convert each leg to decimal odds first. To make it easier for you, you can use an odds converter. On the other hand, if you want to do it manually, here’s how to go about it:

What is the formula for converting American odds to decimal odds?

To convert American odds to decimal odds, multiply the total payment of your investment by the amount gambled.

Use the following formula to get negative American odds:

Decimal odds = total payout/amount of your bet

You need to bet $130 to win $100 at -130 odds, for a total payoff of $230.

Therefore, divide the total payout by your bet to get the decimal odds: 230/130 = 1.77.

For positive American odds, use the following formula:

Decimal odds = total payout/amount of your bet

With +150 odds, you need to bet $100 to win $150 and receive a total payoff of $250.

Therefore, divide the entire payoff by your investment to find the decimals odds: 250/100 = 2.50

Are parlays sucker bets or bad bets?

Are Parlays bad bets?
Are Parlays bad bets?

Bookmakers serve as the middleman for anyone interested in betting on sporting events. In addition, they determine the odds, accept bets, and profit from the game (juice).

For their services, the bookmaker charges juice as a fee. Most of the time, they don’t take a significant portion of the action. Parlay bets, on the other hand, are an exception.

Many factors can affect the payout of a regular parlay, including:

  • Bookmaker
  • Gambling kind
  • Market for betting

Additionally, sportsbooks normally award the losing team just approximately 10% of the advantage. Furthermore, this figure accounts for around 5% of all betting activity. If you were playing a casino game, the “house edge” on a normal sports bet would be around 5%.

Sports Betting: What Does A 3-Team Parlay Payout Mean?

The odds of three picks determine the payoff for a 3 team parlay bet. We’ve opted to go with somewhat high odds for this wager.

Parlay OddsPayout For Each BetProfit
Pick 1: 2.5$250$150
Pick 2: 2.0$200$100
Pick 2: 2.0$200$100
Parlay odds: 10.0$1,000$900

According to the parlay chart above, we would have made a $350 profit, more so, if we had put three separate $100 bets on each pick. If we wager $100 on a single parlay bet, we can win up to $900.

Here’s what to expect in terms of payouts when betting $10 on a parlay:

# of Team in ParlayTrue OddsPotential Payout
2-team parlay$26 profit3/1
3-team parlay$60 profit7/1
4-team parlay$110 profit15/1
5-team parlay$220 profit31/1
6-team parlay$450 profit63/1
7-team parlay$900 profit127/1
8-team parlay$1,800 profit255/1
9-team parlay$3,600 profit637/1
10-team parlay$7,200 profit1275/1

Parlay VS. Straight Bet: Are Parlays Bad Bets?

Things are starting to become somewhat trickier. Also, you’ll feel motivated to bet on as many teams as possible after you’ve learned the basics of betting. Because the more teams you bet on, the more money you’ll win. However, don’t forget to choose your bets carefully.

When it comes to parlays, the more teams you put on a single ticket, the less likely you are to win. Despite that, the overall reward will be greater.

Large parlay tickets are extremely tough to win, as seen by the odds listed above. Thus, it’s critical to remember that if one of the teams loses, you’ll forfeit your entire betting ticket.

Yes, even if you go 11 for 12 in the 12th game and lose by 12 points.

Thus, parlays are a great way to win a lot of money if a gambler just wants to put down a small amount of money.

On the other hand, straight bets are much easier to comprehend.

It’s a one-time bet for a single game. In most cases, a bettor will win about the same amount as they wagered. Furthermore, the number of winnings depends on the sports’ odds.

Look at the run line or moneyline on the board. You’ll notice that the odds are written next to the teams, such as +150 or -190. The underdog is represented by the plus sign (+), while the favorite is represented by the minus sign (-). In addition, it also implies that if you bet $100 on the favorite, you’ll get back $90. So, if you invest $100 on the underdog, you will win $180. The odds fluctuate as more bets are made in the sportsbook.

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