A parlay or accumulator is a single bet that links together two or more individual wagers and is dependent on all of those wagers winning together. The benefit of the parlay is that there are much higher payoffs than placing each individual bet separately since the difficulty of hitting it is much higher. If any of the bets in the parlay loses, the entire parlay loses. If any of the plays in the parlay pushes, the parlay reverts to a lower number of teams with the odds reducing accordingly.
Parlay bets are paid out at odds higher than the typical single game bet, but still below the "true" odds. For instance, a common 2-team NFL parlay generally has a payout of 2.6:1 if both picks are correct. In reality, however, if one assumes that each single game bet is a coin flip and would be expected to pay out at 1:1, the true payout should instead be 3:1, a substantial difference.
Alex places a three-team NFL parlay on the Packers, Bears and Bengals. If any one of those teams fail to cover the spread, Alex loses his parlay bet. But if all three teams beat the spread, Alex gets paid $600 for every $100 bet.
If Alex pushes on one of those picks, he then has a two-team parlay. If he pushes on two picks, he would then have a straight bet.
|Home team||Away team||Home win||Draw||Away win||Result|
|Arsenal F.C.||Manchester United F.C.||1.70||3.20||4.50||0–0 (draw)|
|Chelsea F.C.||Fulham F.C.||1.70||3.30||4.40||2–1 (home win)|
|Liverpool F.C.||Tottenham Hotspur F.C.||1.30||4.00||8.50||3–1 (home win)|
You wager $1,000 on Arsenal/Manchester United to draw, Chelsea to win and Liverpool to win. You win $6,072 as you correctly predicted all three results.
The calculation is: $1,000 × 3.2 × 1.7 × 1.3 = $7,072, less the stake of $1,000.
You wager $1,000 on Manchester United to win, Chelsea to win and Liverpool to win. You lose the wager as Manchester United did not win.
Redirecting to Parlay (gambling)