Knowing parlay bet better can help you decide if it is worth it

It is but human nature to make the most out of anything that is exciting. Which is why you have sequels and prequels for movies and books, and comic book hero franchises. In the case of sports events, non-players still want the vicarious thrill of participating in the game and, hopefully, victory of the team, and thus sports betting came about. And to make the excitement extend even more, different forms of wagers have been thought up and introduced, including the parlay bet.

What is a parlay bet then? It is basically a bet on the outcome or results of a combination of two or more events. And since two or more sets of opposing teams are involved, you have to correctly pick each winning team in all events to win the wager. Democracy does not work here because the majority does not rule. It is a situation of all or nothing. The popularity of this type of betting is due to the fact that the pay offs are usually higher even with small stakes, but this is understandable because it is also more difficult to be correct in all the games of the combination. As with basic finance, the higher the risk, the higher the rewards.

The payoffs here also differ based on its type. The payoffs in a point spread parlay are fixed, while those of money line are not. Points spread bets have odds of as "low" as 13:5 for a parlay on two teams, to as high as 600:1 for ten teams. This is obviously very tempting, as a 10-team parlay can bring in $600 with just a $1 wager. But then again, this also requires you to accurately anticipate the outcome of 10 different games.

A money line parlay does not offer these same fixed odds as it takes into account the actual winning odds of the teams playing against each other. Again, this will require the bettor to have a very good combination of both skill and luck in determining which teams will actually emerge victorious in the chosen combination of events.

An important issue now arises on whether a parlay bet is actually a good idea as compared to a straight bet. If you look at the payoffs alone, it may seem so. However, closer scrutiny will refute this. In fact, for a point spread parlay bet, the odds are actually much higher than the payoff. Using the earlier example on 10 teams, the payoff may be 600:1 but the actual odds are 1,023:1, definitely not to the bettor's advantage!