There is a common consensus among the betting community that parlay bets are risky and most betting experts will advise you to stay away from placing your money on parlay bets. But if parlays are that risky, why do sportsbooks avoid offering them? Could it be that there´s a way to use parlays to the bettor´s advantage?
The thruth and lies about Parlay betting
While it’s true that parlay bets are risky then again all bets are risky, aren’t they? In betting you never really have a guarantee that X- event or Y- event will definitely occur.
Have you ever thought of why these Sportsbooks tell you to stay away from parlay bets? No, they are not nice people!!
Every bookie´s eyes are on making profit and if parlay bets can clean their customer’s wallet out and fill theirs, why don’t they encourage you to partake in it?
A quick betting 101: What do you call the profit that a bookmaker makes from a bet?
Answer: – Juice/Vigorish (Vig)
What are parlay bets?
In parlay bets you place a single bet on the outcome of multiple matches in hope that you can get all the results in the parlay correct. So if it’s a three bet parlay, you need to correctly predict all three results in the parlay to win the bet.
Are parlays really that bad?
Consider a three bet parlay with the standard odds of 6-1, it has a total of 8 different possible outcomes. Let’s say there are 8 different bettors who are each placing their money on one of these outcomes.
When the results come in, one of these bettors would have won while the other seven would have lost. Let’s say each bettor had placed a 100 Euro bet at first. So the bookie collects 800 Euros in total from the eight bettors.
When only one of them wins the bet, the bookie has to give the winner 600 Euros as winnings plus the 100 Euros bet he wagered initially, totalling to 700 Euros.
So the bookie collects 800 Euros and gives 700 Euros as winnings. He gets to keep 100 Euros in return. Bookie made huge profit, right?
Now let’s look at this in a different way, let’s consider the winning bettor. In parlay bets he only had to bet once to get the winning of 600 Euros.
He places a single 100 Euros bet on a single game with the odds 11-10. So if he were to win the bet he will approximately get 91 Euros as winnings, a total of 191 Euros.
He again bets 191Euros on a second game with the odds 11-10 and gets a winning return of 365Euros (bet + winning).
Once more the bettor places 365 Euros on a third game with the odds 11-10 and gets a winning return of 697 Euros (Bet + winning).
So by consecutively adding up bets he got a total 697 Euros in return (bet +winning). This is slightly less than the money you get from one single parlay bet were you got 700 Euros in return for correctly predicting the results of three matches.
But money is not the factor here. With single bets you had to risk thrice to win a total of 697 Euros, while with a parlay bet you only needed risk once to win 700 Euros.
In other words, Parlay Bets present a lower risk and higher pay out than a multitude of individual bets.
While it’s true that by placing more individual bets your chances of winning are higher than with a parlay, it is also true that when both are measured up on the same stick parlay bets are slightly better in terms of risk and pay out than single bets.
Want one more reason why bookies hate parlay?
The juice that a bookie gets from single bets stands at 4.55% while the juice he gets from a parlay bets is slightly less at 4.35%, and if people are constantly betting on parlay bets the bookie sees his business shrink, which is a no-no in his rule book.
A word of caution: You cannot play like a mindless zombie and hope to win at parlay bets. Remember you are placing a single bet on the result of several matches, so you need to be all the more prepared if you want to be a successful parlay bettor.
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