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How to Bet Parlays
by Doc's Sports

In the 21st Century, long hours and hard work have gone out the windows and everybody is looking for the get-rich-quick scheme. Slot machines have taken over casinos and lottery tickets are selling at the highest rate ever. People are hoping against hope that they will be the one-in-a-billion person to beat the system and wind up with a boatload of money. Parlays fit this mold, as they allow people to invest a minimal amount of money with the chance of a huge payday if they can correctly pick a certain number of winners without any losers. The problem is that one loss is all that it takes to kill a fine looking parlay card. The following examines the best ways to beat the books playing parlays.

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One does not need to say any more then what is better to play, straight bets or parlays. The following chart should answer that question for you.

# of playsStandard OddsTrue Odds
2 plays13-53-1
3 plays6-17-1
4 plays10-115-1
5 plays20-131-1
6 plays40-163-1
7 plays80-1127-1

As one can see playing each game individually would result in a greater profit for the gambler. But this is not always an option, as games may be going on at the same time and one does not have the ability of reinvesting the money. The keys to look for in winning a parlay card are as follows.

1) Bet more and keep the teams low. I recommend keeping parlays to 2, 3, or 4 teams. If you go over four teams the advantage shirts greatly to the house, as they hold all of the advantage. Instead of playing a 5-team parlay for $10, play a 3-team parlay for $30. More often then not, you will be happier and winning more.

2) Check the rules of the parlay. Offshore is the best place to play a parlay, as the majority of books push down on all ties. Local parlay cards that can be found at most sports bars do not offer the same benefits. Some allow for one tie, while other cards consider a tie a loss. With the accuracy of the Las Vegas lines, these are great disadvantages to the gambler and need to be avoided if at all possible. If you play cards with this type of format, do your homework when making selections. Avoid selecting a team where the line is 3, since this number decides most football games. Try and select games where the spread has a involved, as this will guarantee you a win or a loss.

3) Hedge your bet whenever possible for large parlays. Say one had an outstanding weekend in football and has hit six selections of your seven-team parlay with the only remaining game taking place on Monday night. One invested $10, and has a chance to win $800 if the Monday night goes as planned. I would take the suspense out of the Monday night game and make a side bet of $418 on the other side. This will guarantee you a profit of $392 if you hit your 7-team parlay. If you would happen to lose the game, you would collect $380 on your side bet. This is the smart move, as you are ensuring yourself a substantial profit and can just enjoy Monday Night Football. However, this should only be applied when you are one game away from winning the parlay, as the odds decrease when you have two or more games left to win.

Be sure to check out our FREE parlay calculator

These are the techniques that I would recommend when betting parlays. Parlays are a fun way to get started in this form of gambling, as they allow one to keep the amount risked low. Unfortunately, one will suffer more losing day then winning days when betting parlays. Doc's is your place for consistent winners, as we have been in the sports information business for over 35 years.