A parlay bet is also known as an accumulator or a combo bet. A parlay bet is in fact a series of two or more bets that are linked together. For the bet to be successful, all events must happen as bet upon. If any single bet within the parlay fails, then the entire bet loses. Parlay bets are a double-edged sword – the payouts are higher than if you back a single event (or two or more events with single bets), but the odds of the bet being successful are greater.

In a parlay bet, the bet revolves around competitors or teams winning. In some parlay bets, a draw or tie does not result in a lost bet – it is declared a “push” (as in a tie in a hand of blackjack) and the remaining parts of the parlay still count, although the odds are reduced. In other parlays, a tie counts as a loss. The odds are better in parlays where this happens.

Which Betting Company Offers Parlay?

parlay bet imageParlay bets are much more common in the US than in the UK. This is because in the US it is illegal to bet on the direct win/lose outcome of a single game. This is done to discourage match-fixing. In the US the normal method of betting is spread-betting or parlay. Parlay betting is allowed as it is thought much less likely that a rogue punter has the means to effect the outcome of multiple games.

All UK Bookmakers accept parlay bets, although in the UK they are more commonly called accumulators. You just have to fill in your betting slip appropriately at the bookies, or select the correct option when you’re using an online bookmaker. The bigger bookmakers, such as Coral and Ladbrokes, offer more secure betting than smaller bookmakers, which is something to bear in mind. Most bookmakers will also have limits on the number of separate events you can link in one parlay bet and, if you strike lucky, a maximum payout limit.

Is Parlay Right For Me?

If you feel you are pretty good at predicting the outcome of sports events, then a parlay bet is a good way of increasing your payouts. It’s a good idea to combine long odds and short odds in a single accumulator, as it will slightly increase your winnings if everything comes up for you, whilst not increasing the risk by that much.

Say you are betting on Scottish Football. You have good prices for Hibernian and Aberdeen to win, and notice that Celtic and Rangers have short odds in matches they will almost certainly win. Instead of having a parlay bet just on Hibs and Aberdeen, you can include Celtic and Rangers as well to give you a little more profit:

£10 parlay on:

Hibs to win @ 4-1 = £50 won.
Aberdeen to win @ 5-2 = £175 won.

If you had stopped at this point your winnings would have been £175.

Celtic to win @ 1-2 = £262,50 won.
Rangers to win @ 4-9 = £380.

Therefore, by including the two short priced teams in your parlay, you more than doubled your winnings.


Parlay betting allows you to create generous odds by linking separate events together. You are more likely to win a substantial amount than if you were to bet on each event separately. However, this comes with a price, because as soon as one event folds, the complete bet is lost. If you were to bet on each event separate instead, you would still have some winnings returned.