A parlay bet is a type of multiple wager whose goal is to predict the outcome of several matches and events. A parlay bet is also known as a “combination bet”, “accumulator,” or “combo”.

If you bet on several matches, you can win much more than if you bet on a single match. The disadvantage is that if one of the matches in the combo bet loses, the rest of the bets in the combo bet will also lose, so the risk is greater than betting on just one match.

For example, if you place a $1 parlay bet on three games and your team wins all three, you will win $10 instead of $3. Parlay bets are also known as accumulator bets because they accumulate the winnings from each bet into a single payout.

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How Does Accumulator Bets Work?

An accumulator bet is a type of multiple bet in which players must predict the outcome of several events. The odds of every single selection are multiplied together to determine the overall payout. If all selections win, your payout will be higher than if only one selection is correct.

You can make one or several predictions, but they must be related in some way. They are widely used in soccer. For example, if you want to bet that three teams will win their soccer matches and another team will lose theirs, you will have to place five separate bets on each outcome to count as an accumulator bet.

Accumulator bets are often referred to as “accas” for short. To place an Acca bet, add the odds of each selection on your ticket and place them together in a single bet.


Team Odds Stake Total returns
Atlético Ottawa 3 $10 $30
Forge FC 2.5 $30 $75
Cavalry FC 2 $75 $150
Edmonton 1.5 $150 $225

Accumulator bet: $225

Returns from four individual winning bets placed in an accumulator can be shown as,

Total return = Initial bet x (Odds of team 1 x Odds of team 2 x Odds of team 3 x Odds of team 4) = $10 x (3 x 2.5 x 2 x 2 x 1.5) = $225

Total return = Total profit – Initial wager

$215 = $225 – $10

If some selection goes wrong in an accumulator, the total profit vanishes, which means a risk of losing every cent. However, the accumulator bet promises a tremendous profit from a relatively small wager, unlike playing multiple individual bets, the moneyline, or point spread.

Advantages of Combined Bets

The advantage of this betting system is that it allows you to benefit from several different outcomes at once rather than just one. Combined bets allow you to increase your chances of winning by increasing your risk simultaneously.

There are many advantages associated with combined bets. Some of them include:

  • They have huge payouts
  • They can help you make money even when your favorite team does not win their game.
  • It allows you to focus more on individual sports than watching each individually.

How Does the Payment of a Parlay Work?

When placing your parlay picks bets, there are two essential things to keep in mind:

  • Your odds of winning depend on the sportsbook you use. If you live in Canada, we recommend visiting Betway or Sports Interaction to get the best odds on your parlay betting.
  • Some sportsbooks have lower odds than others based on their payout structure, which means that some parlay bets will pay out less money than others even if they have the same number of correct selections.
  • It is, therefore, essential that you compare bookmakers before deciding where to place your bets. You can check our sportsbook vs. sportsbook comparisons section.
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For Example:

If you bet $100 on a parlay of five horse races and the horses chosen to win all five races, you will receive a payout of $1,000. The odds of winning with parlay picks are based on the probability that each individual wager will be successful.

What Are the Odds of Winning With a Parlay?

Odds are the quotas assigned by a bookmaker to each event and are calculated according to the estimated probabilities for each team.

The odds of winning with parlays are the same as with other bets but with different risks. Only the payout will be higher. The exact odds vary depending on the number of teams involved and their combined odds of winning their respective games.

The payout for winning a parlay can vary dramatically depending on how many teams are involved and their odds of winning. You can always help yourself by using an odds calculator to get more accurate results. Read more on how to win parlay bets.

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Tips for Making a Parlay

The best way to make parlays is to choose bets with high returns and low investments. For example: if you place a wager on three teams, each of which has a 60% chance of winning, but all play each other, then the chances of all of them winning are only 15%.

A better bet would be if one team played against another with a 65% chance of winning, and the other two teams played against each other with an 80% chance of winning. This way, if the first game was a loss for one team, but the other two teams won their games, you would still make a profit from the parlay.

It is important to ensure that your predictions have the highest possible chance of success, you can use a parlay odds calculator. Luckily, there are a few tricks to help you:

  • First of all, keep in mind that there is no 100% guarantee that all of your parlay picks will win, but if they do, you will be paid a higher percentage than if only one or two had won. Therefore, selecting events with high returns and low investments are best.
  • Secondly, try not to overdo it by choosing too many events (you can only have three per parlay; if you want more than three selections, make several parlays).
  • And third… be smart! Don’t bet on something because everyone else is doing it; consider what might happen based on how well each team has played lately, how much they’ve won lately, and whatever stats you have on hand. Read more on how to understand parlays and teasers.
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Tips: High Return, Low Investment

The best way to make a parlay is to choose the right bets. It is best to choose bets with high returns and low investments.

For example, if you bet on 3 teams, each of which has a 60% chance of winning, but all play each other, then the chances of all of them winning are only 15%.

A better bet would be if one team played against another with a 65% chance of winning, and the other two teams played against each other with an 80% chance of winning. This way, if the first game was a loss for one team, but the other two teams won their games, then you would still profit from the parlay wager.

Take into account the following aspects:

  • Look at the odds of each bet. If the odds are not good, don’t place that bet.
  • Try to combine bets with similar odds so you can get a higher return on your investment.
  • Play with a bit of money first and then gradually increase your bets as your knowledge of sports betting increases.

Betting: Over/Under

The Over/Under bet is a parlay bet consisting of guessing the combined score of a group of players in a match.

The score is calculated by adding the total points scored by both teams in the match. You can choose to predict whether the total score will be above or below a certain number (the “under” or the “over”).

If you choose wisely, you will earn your bet multiplied by your odds. If you don’t choose correctly, you lose your bet and get nothing back.

For Example:

So let’s say they set an over/under line for this week’s game between Carolina and New York at 35 points. That means that if they think it’s going to be 35 points or more, they’ll make the overside of their bet available at odds of +110 (+110 means you’d have to bet $110 to win $100). And if they think it will be 35 points or less, they will make the underside of their bet.

Betting: Round-Robin

A Round-Robin bet is a type of parlay bet. A round-robin bet is composed of two or more individual wagers connected so that the winnings from one wager are used to finance another.

For Example:

If you bet that the Yankees, Red Sox, and Nationals will win their respective games in a round-robin bet, and all three teams win their games, then your three winning bets will combine into one big payout.

Since this is a parlay bet, this means you have to hit all the teams for your bet to pay out. But since this is also a round-robin, this means that if a single team loses their match, all those bets will also lose their bets, even if some others won theirs!

Point Spread & Handicap

Point Spread

The point spread is the number by which one team is indicated as a favorite over another. In the parlay bet, you can include this type of bet. Generally, the bookmaker defines the point spread for the game, and a favorite and an underdog are generated.

For example, Toronto -15 and Vancouver +15. The favorite is identified by the minus sign “-” (giving points), and the underdog is indicated by the plus sign “+” (getting points).

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In this example, Toronto is the favorite (-15), and Vancouver is the underdog (+15). The spread indicates that to win a Toronto “against the spread” bet, you must win by more than 10 points. Similarly, a winning bet on Vancouver occurs when they win or lose by less than 10 points.


A handicap is several points added or subtracted from the final score to settle the bets between two teams, where one is the clear favorite, and the other is the underdog. There are two types of handicaps, Asian and European. These types of bets can also be included in your parlay.

To understand it better, let’s take as an example a match between Toronto FC vs. Montreal. Team Toronto is the favorite, so betting on a victory would not benefit much. In this case, many bettors opt for the handicap.

The handicap is indicated in parentheses next to the name of the team. For example, Toronto (-1). The number in parentheses would indicate the handicap on Toronto when the bet is placed. When such a bet is made, it is as if the game started 0-1 in favor of Montreal, and if a bettor decides to put money on this handicap bet, Toronto must win by two goals or more. Click here to read about Asian handicap.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is There a Minimum Number of Bets Required to Make a Parlay?

Yes, the minimum number is 2 games for an even bet (win or lose).

How Much Does It Cost to Place a Parlay or Combined Bet?

The cost of placing a parlay bet will vary depending on the sportsbook, the number of bets in the parlay, and the amount you decide on. But generally, these bets are more expensive than usual because they include more teams.

How Do I Place My Parlay Bet?

You must go to your bookmaker, choose the bets to place, and group them in a single payment ticket. Usually, when you place more than one bet, it is automatically indicated as a parlay and allows you to place the amount you choose for each bet and then the total of your parlay bet.

How Much Money Can I Make With Parlay Bets?

It depends on the amount you bet per game, but if you have a large bankroll and are willing to put in $100, you could eventually win thousands. But be careful: parlays are not easy to win. You have to know what you’re betting on to maximize your chances of winning big.

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