Gambling 101: What is a Parlay Bet? – Sports Illustrated

A parlay bet is risky yet the rewards can grow exponentially! Better understand the gambling world with another Gambling 101 installment.

Legal sports betting is now available in several states, and bills are pending in many more. Full-service sportsbooks are popping up across the country and offer everything from futures betting to live in-game wagering options. Parlays are part of the package, and this SI Gambling 101 feature focuses on the pitfalls and benefits associated with accumulator bets.

Parlay betting is high risk and high reward. It’s not for everyone and is shunned by some in the betting community due to low winning percentages. For those that don’t mind a little extra risk to collect a more substantial reward, there are a variety of parlay options available. 

Offered on all major pro and college sports, a two-team combo is the most basic parlay. While the risk rises, with each added leg, bettors can include upwards of 15 teams on a single wager. Each team selected must win or tie to cash a winning ticket. For example, if one game ends in a tie, a four-team parlay would be reduced to a three-team ticket. 

Point spread, moneyline, and game total options can be used on parlays. Tickets can consist of multiple wagers on a single sport or selections from a variety of sports. For example, on Super Bowl bettors can build a parlay