What are parlay bets in bookmaker shops


Multiple (parlay) betting – what is it

Sports betting is based on three pillars: single, parlay, system. This does not mean that all players understand the essence of basic betting terms. This article will focus on the second most popular type of sports betting. In a bookmaker’s office, such a concept as parlay means that the bettor has entered two or more different events into the coupon. The predictions for matches on the coupon must match the final result. This means that if even one option is wrong the parlay loses. 

Parlay bet does not always work like clockwork. Apart from winning and losing, bets on multiple matches can bring a return. Sometimes the calculation of a bet with an odd of “one” is the least worst option. If you want to get a guaranteed income from your bets and not worry about the results of sports events, we advise you to turn your attention to sports arbitrage betting.

Calculation of parlay bet odd with example

Parlay is a bet on several unrelated events. There should be at least two of them. The maximum is determined by the rules of the bookmaker’s shop. Most often, no more than 20 matches are included in one coupon. From the second block, you will learn how parlay is calculated. The final coefficient is considered the product of all quotes. In other words, the odds inside the express are multiplied among themselves. The table below shows bets on the hosts winning in three qualifying matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Match Odd
Uruguay – Paraguay 1.77
Argentina – Chile 1.61
Peru – Colombia 3.28


Calculation of the South American three-way express made of the bets on W1 is a simple arithmetic operation 1.77×1.61×3.28 = 9.34. The final odds are calculated automatically on the bookmaker’s website. In case the Uruguayans, Argentines and Peruvians beat their competitors, the rate of USD 1000 will turn into USD 9340 or USD 8340 net profit.

If one of the home teams does not win, the entire coupon loses.

We will illustrate the return of the “multiple” type bet with another example. The bettor is not sure about the victory of the Uruguayans and Peruvians, and places bets with zero handicap with odds of 1.30 and 2.40, respectively. “Sky Blue” and “White-Red” are associated with Paraguayans and Colombians. Thus, there is a return for each event and for the parlay in general. The overall odds of 3.12 remained on paper.

Working strategies for parlay bets in football

An experienced bettor, unlike a beginner, bets not at random, but according to a proven strategy. Various tactics are used in multiple bets. Most often, the strategy for success concerns betting on football. Millions of players all over the world make parlay bets on victory of obvious favorites and other types of “win-win bets”. At the stage of placing a bet, such parlay really seems to be a win-win. In fact, something is sure to fall. Top clubs are prone to failures and setbacks, just like average performers and outsiders. It is not uncommon for formidable forwards to leave the field without a goal. Manchester City in the 2020/21 Champions League final are a good example of this.

Nowadays we are talking about the horizontal parlay, which is essentially a strategy for single bets. Another means of insurance from loss of money is the “smart express”. Unfortunately, none of them are effective in the long run. 

Making bet correctly

To begin with, professional cappers are not inclined to make express bets. From their point of view, it is correct to make single bets and become dependent on the outcome of one event. “A two-team parlay” strategy will help you to win. For this, two matches are selected with odds of at least 2.0. When we multiply, we get four. According to statistics, every fourth bet wins. Purely mathematically, the bettor is not in the red. However, it is up to you how to make money on multiple (parlay) bets!


Parlay formula allows players to earn potentially more than on a single bet. At the same time, even two events in a coupon reduce the likelihood of a victory. In contrast to this slippery type of bets, there are surebets. Surebets are an opportunity to bet on the same two outcomes, but:

  • opposite;
  • in one event;
  • in different bookmaker’s shops.

The nature of surebets implies a guaranteed income, which is beyond the power of any parlay, single or system bet. Our betting software quickly and efficiently finds arbitrage situations in bookmaker lines. All you need is to place the necessary bets and get a guaranteed profit!


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