What Are Parlays and Same Game Parlays?

Parlay betting can be fun, exciting and profitable, but it can also be extremely difficult. That doesn’t mean bettors should avoid parlays completely; they just need to have a strong understanding of how parlays work, why the risk vs. reward is so high, and how to best use this bet type in their overall strategy at Kentucky online sportsbooks.

Below we explore parlay betting, including same-game parlays, and take a look at how they work, why they are risky, and how they can fit into your betting at legal and regulated online and mobile Kentucky sportsbooks.

What is a parlay sports bet?

A parlay bet is a single wager combining two or more individual bets, often called “legs” or “picks,” into one bet. To win a parlay, all of the individual bets in the parlay must be correct, which increases the risk and, subsequently, the potential payout. If any of the bets in the parlay loses, the entire parlay bet is considered a loss.

Parlays can include various bet types, such as point spreads, moneylines and over/unders, and can involve multiple sports or events. The more bets included in a parlay, the higher the potential payout, but the odds of winning decrease with each added bet. This is because the difficulty of correctly predicting the outcome of multiple events increases exponentially.

While parlays can offer larger payouts than single bets, they are generally considered riskier due to the requirement for all individual bets to be correct to win.

How to place a parlay bet online in KY

Parlay wagers constitute a considerable portion of the weekly transactions at online sportsbooks in Kentucky. To get started at parlay betting sites in KY, follow these steps:

  • Create a bet slip: Explore the available betting options and select the initial bet you want to include in your parlay, which will generate a bet slip.
  • Add legs: Keep browsing and add more bets to the slip by clicking on them.
  • Combine into a parlay: The bet slip will provide you with the choice of combining the bets into a parlay or keeping them as individual wagers, along with the corresponding odds.
  • Make your wager: Input the desired betting amount; the bet slip will display your potential winnings.
  • Finalize your bet: Confirm and place the parlay bet with a final click.

What are the odds of winning a parlay bet?

The odds of winning a parlay bet depend on the number of bets or “legs” included and the odds of each bet. The more bets you have in a parlay, the lower the probability of winning, as you need to correctly predict the outcome of all the individual bets to win the parlay.

While most sportsbooks provide a parlay bet calculator to help bettors work out potential winnings for their parlays, here is how to calculate the odds manually.

To calculate the odds of winning a parlay, you can multiply the probability of winning each individual bet within the parlay. For example, let’s say you have a 3-leg parlay with each bet having a 50% probability of winning. The odds of winning the parlay would be:

0.5 (probability of winning bet 1) x 0.5 (probability of winning bet 2) x 0.5 (probability of winning bet 3) = 0.125 or 12.5%

Remember that this is a simplified example, and the actual probability of winning individual bets can vary depending on the odds and the specific sports or events involved. Additionally, bookmakers typically adjust the odds for parlays to account for their profit margins, so the actual payout odds might be lower than the calculated odds based on individual bet probabilities.

Here are some of the percentage chances of winning a parlay based on -110 odds for every leg:

  • Two-team parlay – 27.47 percent
  • Three-team parlay – 14.37 percent
  • Four-team parlay – 7.52 percent
  • Five-team parlay – 3.94 percent
  • Six-team parlay – 2.06 percent
  • Seven-team parlay – 1.08 percent
  • Eight-team parlay – 0.56 percent
  • Nine-team parlay – 0.30 percent
  • 10-team parlay – 0.15 percent

As you can see, the more you add, the greater your chances of losing your bet.

The payout can be worth the risk to some bettors, however. Here are the approximate payouts for -110 bets for multi-leg parlays:

  • 13:5 for 2 legs
  • 6:1 for 3 legs
  • 10:1 for 4 legs
  • 20:1 for 5 legs
  • 40:1 for 6 legs
  • 75:1 for 7 legs
  • 150:1 for 8 legs

It’s easy to see why some bettors take the risk of betting difficult-to-win parlays when the potential payout is so significant.

Why bet parlays over other bets?

The only valid reason for betting a parlay over other bets is to try to pull in more winnings. That said, there’s a reason most professional bettors spend little time or money on parlays. They are not only notoriously difficult to research and predict but also incredibly difficult to win.

For recreational bettors, parlays add an element of fun and excitement, which is a draw for many. If you choose to wager on parlays, do so sparingly and avoid trying to make them a significant part of your betting experience.

Why are parlays considered high-risk?

Parlays are considered high-risk bets because they require all individual bets or “legs” within the parlay to be correct in order to win. If even one leg loses, the entire parlay bet is a bust. This significantly increases the difficulty of winning compared to single bets.

The risk in parlays increases exponentially with the number of bets included. While the potential payout for a parlay is larger than the sum of the individual bets, the probability of winning decreases as more bets are added. This is because the chances of correctly predicting the outcomes of multiple events become lower with each added bet.

Moreover, the true odds of winning a parlay often need to be accurately reflected by the offered payout odds. Sportsbooks typically adjust the odds to ensure their profit margin, meaning the payout odds are usually lower than the actual probability of winning the parlay.

Should you bet on underdogs or favorites in parlays?

Whether it’s better to bet on favorites or underdogs in a parlay largely depends on your risk tolerance, betting strategy, and knowledge of the specific sports or events involved.

Both approaches come with advantages and disadvantages. Let’s break it down a little more.

Betting on favorites

  • Pros: Favorites are generally more likely to win since they are considered stronger or more likely to succeed in a given event. This can make parlays with favorites somewhat less risky than parlays with underdogs.
  • Cons: Since favorites are expected to win, the odds for individual bets on favorites are usually lower, leading to lower parlay payouts. Additionally, upsets can and do happen, and if a favorite loses, the entire parlay is lost.

Betting on underdogs

  • Pros: Betting on underdogs can lead to much higher potential payouts due to the higher odds associated with these bets. If an underdog wins, the overall payout of the parlay increases significantly, making it more appealing for bettors seeking big returns.
  • Cons: Underdogs are, by definition, less likely to win their respective events. This makes parlays with underdogs riskier and harder to win than parlays with favorites. Parlays are hard enough to win already without including a legitimate underdog.

Ultimately, deciding whether to bet on favorites or underdogs in a parlay bet depends on your betting objectives and preferences. If you prefer lower-risk bets with more predictable outcomes, betting on favorites might be a better option. However, betting on underdogs is more appealing if you’re willing to take on more risk for a higher payout.

It’s essential to carefully analyze each event and matchup, considering factors such as team form, injuries, and other relevant information before deciding.

Which sport is best for betting parlays?

There is yet to be a definitive answer to which sport is the best for betting parlays, as it largely depends on your personal preferences, knowledge of the sport, and familiarity with the teams or athletes involved.

However, some factors to consider when choosing a sport for parlay betting include:

  • Predictability: Sports with more predictable outcomes can be more suitable for parlays, as the chances of accurately predicting the outcome of multiple events increase. For instance, some people argue that betting on sports like basketball or football can be more predictable than betting on sports like baseball or hockey, where the margins of victory are often smaller.
  • Knowledge and familiarity: It’s essential to understand the sport and the teams or athletes involved when betting on parlays. The more you know about a sport, the better you can analyze the odds, matchups and factors that may influence the outcome of a game or event.
  • Market availability: Some sports offer a broader range of betting markets than others, which can be helpful when constructing parlays. For example, sports like soccer, basketball and football generally have numerous betting markets, such as moneylines, point spreads, over/unders and various prop bets.
  • Frequency of events: Sports with more frequent games or events, such as basketball or baseball, provide more opportunities to place parlay bets. This can be advantageous for bettors who like to engage in regular parlay betting.

What’s the difference between same-game and regular parlays?

Same-game and standard parlays share the fundamental concept of combining multiple bets into a single wager. However, there are some key differences between the two types of parlays:

  • Focus on a single game or event: The most significant difference is that same-game parlays include multiple bets from a single game or event, while traditional parlays typically involve bets from different games or events. This means that same-game parlays are more concentrated, with all their bets tied to one specific matchup.
  • Variety of bet types: Same-game parlays often involve a mix of bet types related to the same game, such as point spreads, moneylines, over/unders and various prop bets. In contrast, traditional parlays might include bets from different games or events, but the bets can be more limited in variety, often consisting of point spreads or moneylines.
  • Complexity: Same-game parlays can be more complex than traditional parlays due to the various bet types and potential outcomes within a single game. This requires bettors to have a deeper understanding of the game and the teams or athletes involved, as well as the different bet types and how they interact with one another.
  • Risk profile: While both same-game parlays and traditional parlays are high-risk wagers, the risks associated with each can be different. Same-game parlays may carry a lower overall risk since they are based on a single game, allowing bettors to leverage their knowledge of the specific matchup. Traditional parlays, on the other hand, involve bets from different games or events, increasing the risk due to the potential for more unpredictable outcomes.

What is parlay insurance?

Parlay insurance is a promotional offer some sportsbooks provide to mitigate the risk associated with parlay bets. With parlay insurance, if a bettor’s parlay loses by just one leg, the sportsbook will refund a portion or the entire stake, usually in the form of a free bet or site credit, up to a specified maximum amount.

The terms and conditions of parlay insurance promotions can vary across sportsbooks and typically include specific requirements, such as:

  • Minimum number of legs: Parlay insurance often requires a minimum number of legs in the parlay, usually at least three or more.
  • Minimum odds: Each leg of the parlay may need to meet minimum odds requirements for the parlay to qualify for insurance.
  • Maximum refund amount: Sportsbooks usually set a cap on the refund amount, which can vary depending on the promotion.
  • Type of refund: Refunds are typically issued as free bets or site credits, which means bettors will need to use the refund to place additional bets and usually within a specified time frame.

Parlay insurance promotions can appeal to bettors, as they offer protection against the high-risk nature of sports betting parlays. However, it’s essential to carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the promotion to ensure that your parlay qualifies for the insurance and that you’re aware of any restrictions or requirements.

Parlay FAQ

A round-robin parlay is a betting strategy that involves creating multiple parlay bets from a larger set of individual bets or “legs.” Instead of placing a single parlay with all the legs, the bettor creates several smaller parlays, each comprising a specific combination of the legs. This approach increases the chances of winning at least one parlay, as it covers more possible outcomes but also requires a larger investment since more bets are being placed.

If a game within a parlay is canceled or suspended, the sportsbook will typically adjust the parlay by removing the affected leg. The parlay then continues with the remaining legs, and the odds are recalculated based on the remaining bets. It’s important to review the specific rules of the sportsbook you use, as the treatment of canceled or suspended games can vary.

Bing-bong parlays are bets with only New York teams on the bet slip. The slang term earned its name from a New York subway car’s noise when closing doors.