Parlay cards have become a highly popular approach to the conventional sports bet – the city of Las Vegas claims that over $60 million are wagered yearly on parlay cards in their casinos. The appeal of parlay cards is easily understandable, considering that parlay cards offer the opportunity to earn a big payoff with only a tiny investment (potentially hundreds of times the initial wager).
What is it?
A Parlay is effectively a wager on the performance of multiple wagers, for which you chose multiple events or teams and bet that all of them will end with the results you predict – for example, to pick three different teams and bet that all of them will cover the point spread. If all of the teams do, in fact, beat the point spread, you have won the bet; however, if only two teams are able to beat the point spread while the third fails to do so, then you have lost.
Of course, the odds against this type of bet grow more and more daunting with each wager added, which means with such steep odds, the payoff from even a small wager could be huge. Parlay cards operate on this fairly simple concept, allowing you to choose anywhere from a three to ten-team combination, meaning that even just a couple of dollars might yield hundreds – the main factor is the ambition of the one who places the bet.
How to Play
- Parlay cards are based on a game’s point spread, which is the final difference between the scores of the two teams. If the favored team is expected to win by six, then they must win by seven to beat the point spread; conversely, the team which is expected to lose must at least lose by five or less to beat the spread (winning would also be considered beating the spread). Your goal in a parlay bet is to predict whether or not a team will beat the spread.
- Obviously, the more teams you pick, the greater the risk; however, this also means the greater the reward. With a relatively simple three-team parlay, only the three teams you chose must beat the point spread, but with a ten-team parlay, all ten must do so.
- It is a good idea to keep an eye out for ties lose rules when you play – for example, if one of your teams tie, under a ties lose setup, your whole card is a loser; however, if that is not the case, the tie is simply dropped – so if you have a ten teams, and nine win but one ties, you have a nine-team parlay.
- Keep in mind that there is a difference between “for one” and “to one” – many establishments will advertise their odds as “ten for one,” which is effectively the same as nine to one, in the sense that you will win nine dollars for every dollar you invested, as well as your initial bet, as opposed to winning ten times your bet.
- The layout of the card itself is fairly simple and intuitive – each team is assigned a number, which you simply select at the bottom of the card, along with the number of the corresponding game.
What’s the Appeal?
Parlay cards offer the prospect for a big return on a small investment, which is always appealing, and since the game is relatively passive (once the games you’ve selected on your card have started, there’s nothing left to do but sit back, enjoy and hope to win), it doesn’t distract from game day – instead it merely adds another dimension of fun.