A Parlay is a grouping of multiple wagers on one ticket that can result in bigger payouts. Most sportsbooks offer parlays for moneyline, point spread, and totals bets on the four most popular North American sports (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey). Parlays can have as few as two wagers or, depending on the book, up to a dozen or more.
The risk/reward of a parlay always depends on the odds of each individual pick. A three-team parlay consisting of moneyline bets on heavy favorites is a good example. The first two teams are favored by -110 odds while the third is a +200 underdog. All of these odds combine to give the gambler a potential return of $596 for a $10 bet on the entire parlay.
However, if any of the parlay’s legs lose, then the entire bet loses. The payout amount also varies by the number of teams in the parlay and the total amount wagered on the entire parlay. For instance, adding a fourth game to the previous three-team parlay would increase the potential payout to $2,441.
Each sports book has its own rules and pay charts for parlays. The best place to check out these rules is with the sports book in which you plan to bet on a parlay. Some have special policies regarding ties and other issues that may arise when betting on parlays.