Parlay Betting Explained

One of the many great aspects of sports betting is the choice of betting markets and the different types of bet available for punters.

You are not restricted to betting only on the potential winner of a single horse race or football match, you can choose from a plethora of options.  One of which is parlay betting and, in this article,  we will be explaining parlay betting in simple terms and also looking at some examples of parlay betting in action.

What is Parlay Betting?

In basic terms, parlay betting is a single bet which links together two or more selections.  For those of you who bet on sports regularly, especially football, you will know the term ‘accumulator’.  In many ways, a parlay bet is similar to an accumulator bet in that you add two or more selections to the betting slip and combine the odds to make one overall bet.

So, when parlay betting, you are still placing a single bet but there is more than one selection included in the bet. 

In terms of horse racing for example, if you bet on the winner of the 2:40 at Chepstow, the winner of the 4:15 at Kempton and the winner of the 4:30 at Aintree, you would receive three separate winnings into your account should they all come through for you.

However, if you bet on each of the three races above and used a parlay bet, all three races would come under one bet and the odds calculated accordingly.  When placing a parlay bet at the top online bookmakers, simply add your selections to the betting slip and select the parlay option, which can usually be found at the bottom, to create your parlay bet.

Parlay Betting Example

As parlay betting is common in horse racing, let’s take a look at how it would work if we were to use three different horse races and potential outcomes.

There are three races today on which you would like to place a bet.  These are listed below:

Race One:  Adena Star to win at 6/1

Race Two:  Bird for life to win at 9/1

Race Three:  Sir Gnet to place at 7/2

The first thing to note is that do you do not have to always bet on the horse to win, you can include place bets in a parlay.

Now, let’s say we are going to bet £10 on this parlay, the bet would be worked out as follows:

£10 x 6/1 x 9/1 x 7/2 = £3150 potential winnings.

If you wish, you can change the fractional odds to decimal odds and this can make it easier to understand how the final amount of money has been calculated.  In the case of the example above it would read as follows:

£10 x 7.00 x 10.00 x 4.50 = £3150 potential winnings.

Clearly this is a large sum of money to win for just one bet and we will come to the advantages and disadvantages of parlay betting shortly.

Different Types of Parlay Betting

When placing parlay bets on horse racing online, you will often see Tote bets available, especially at the top bookmakers.  These make it easier to place parlay bets and you can choose from the selections presented by the bookmaker depending on the options available.

For example, you may find Tote Place Pot which will ask you to select a horse from each race at one meeting for that day that you think will finish in the top three places.  You are required to choose one horse from each race and once complete, you can add the final bet to your slip.

Another example includes Tote Quad Pot which, as the name suggests, involves adding four horses to the bet from the races selected by the bookmaker.  Some bookmakers will also offer a Tote Jackpot where the odds will be improved and the potential winnings higher than a standard bet on the same horses.

There are several other forms of parlay betting available and these are often referred to as exotic multi bets.  Lucky 15, Yankee and Trixie are examples of the bets available and let’s take a look at the latter, the Trixie bet.

When placing a Trixie, you will place four bets in total but on three different selections.  If you placed a £1 win only bet, it would cost you £4.  Two of the horses you have selected in this bet must win for a return to be won on the bet.  You can choose three lots of two horses to win and one lost of three horses to win across three different races.

Therefore, you do not need every horse to come in for a Trixie bet to pay off but the stake you must place is higher and the increased probability of succeeding often makes the winnings lower.

Pros and Cons of Parlay Betting

The major advantage of parlay betting has probably become clear to you by now.  Imagine you placed three separate bets using the example of the three horse races above at 6/1, 9/1 and 7/2.  You placed £10 on each race and your bet won each time.  That would mean returns of £70, £100 and £45 which is £215 in total.

Now, imagine you placed this bet as a £10 parlay, you would have received a total of £3150, which is a huge difference and the benefit of parlay betting is obvious.

You also have the excitement of a parlay bet, following the various horses involved in your bet can be a thrilling experience.

However, you must remember that if one of your horses lets you down, the bet will be lost, even if four of your five selections come through.  Thankfully, you can use a Trixie or one of the other forms of parlay betting to make the bet less cut-throat but that comes with disadvantages of its own, such as lower pay-outs.

Nonetheless, parlay betting is a great way to enjoy sports gambling, especially horse racing and can produce big profits when successful.

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