The Borgata Beginner’s Guide to Parlay Bets

An American football and a stack of money on top of a laptop computer with match results.

Those who are new to the world of online sports betting may have heard the term “parlay bets” and wondered what it means. Before you bet on any sports, make sure you read this piece, where we’ll unpack what a parlay bet is, how it works, the different types of parlay bets that exist, and some of the tips and strategies you can use for parlay betting. 

What is a parlay bet?

You may have heard the term “parlay bet” while chatting with your sports friends or browsing sports betting sites and wondered what it means. A parlay bet refers to a bet that actually has multiple elements, sometimes referred to as legs or selections that you need to successfully bet on in order to win. A single mistake means you lose the money you put down. As a result, it is considered a high-risk wager but naturally also comes with the potential for a high reward. 

How does a parlay bet work?

When it comes to parlay bets, you may be wondering how does sports betting work for this type of wager? Another way to think of it is that it’s a single bet that’s made up of multiple (usually between two and 10) bets. As you’d expect, the greater the number of elements involved, the lower your chances of winning, but the higher your potential payout. This means that even a relatively small wager could pay out extremely well if you are lucky. 

For example, a parlay bet with two selections or legs may have payout odds of +250. These odds will increase for each extra selection or leg, all the way up to 10 selections or legs, with payout odds of +50,000.

In the rare situation where there is a tie (or push) for part of your parlay bet, the tie is removed from the parlay, and you are paid out according to lower odds.

For example, a sportsbook offers a six-team parlay with +2,500 odds and a five-team parlay with +1,250 odds. You wager on the six-team parlay, and a tie occurs. The sportsbook will likely then offer you the +1,250 odds instead of you losing the bet completely. 

Types of parlay bets

When putting together a parlay bet, you can include different types of wagers. These are a few of the different bets that you can use:


This type of wager simply focuses on the winner or loser of an event. In these types of wagers, the best payouts are usually offered for the “underdog,” since they are most likely to lose. Upsets, where the “weaker” team wins, are extremely rare, but if the circumstances are right, it may make sense to take a risk on this type of team coming out on top. If you’re a more conservative gambler who tries to avoid risk, it’s always safer to bet on the favorite, but of course, the payout will be much lower.


In an over/under wager, also known as a totals bet, you bet that a score will either be over or under a certain amount. This number is set by the sportsbook, and in the event of a tie, all gamblers will be refunded their wager. 

Point spreads

A point spread wager is a type of bet that goes beyond the simple “win/lose” scenario laid out in a moneyline wager. It ups the stakes by allowing people to wager on the point difference that will occur in the game between two teams. The point differences may be single or double digits depending on the game and the gap in skill between the two teams. 

Round robin

A round-robin wager is similar to a parlay bet and is considered to be a parlay bet by some. However, they are not exactly the same thing. Round robins are best understood as multiple parlay bets, where the number of wagers is far less than a typical parlay. The other difference between the two is that if you lose a single gamble as part of a parlay wager, you lose the entire bet, while this is not the case with a round-robin. This is because a round-robin is designed to offset any losses by hedging your bets across multiple parlay wagers.

Pleasers and teasers

Some consider pleasers and teasers a type of parlay bet, while others consider these wagers a completely different class of bet. Both of these bets consist of only spreads or totals wagers, and they are called teasers or pleasers, depending on whether the odds for all the wagers are in favor of the sportsbook or the bettor, respectively.  

Tips and strategies for parlay betting

A man wearing glasses sits thinking in front of his laptop.

Here are some of the tips and strategies you need to keep in mind when making a parlay bet:

  • Always read the fine print: Different online sports betting sites will offer different terms for their parlay wagers. Make sure you understand them before you part with your hard-earned money.
  • Do your homework: Many sports bettors will take the time to do their homework for a single wager, and this is even more important for parlay bets where a single mistake can cost you your entire bet.
  • Start small: As a beginner, you’ll want to limit the number of legs or selections that you include in your parlay bet. Yes, this lowers your potential payout, but it also lowers the risk involved in the bet. You’ll also want to reduce the amount you wager on each leg or selection while you are learning the ins and outs of each type of parlay bet.
  • Diversify your bets: Rather than focusing on a single type of bet, consider mixing and matching the different types of parlay bets, particularly if you think it improves your odds of winning. You can also consider including multiple sports in your parlay wager if the sportsbook allows you to.

Enjoy the best online sports betting

Now that you have a better understanding of how to bet on sports, it’s time to place a wager on your favorites at Borgata Online. At Borgata Online, we have a variety of wagers, from basketball to golf, to football, to hockey, across college and professional leagues.

Register at Borgata Online to start enjoying a wide range of bets with excellent sports betting odds at one of the best sports betting sites online.