We all know that betting parlays is a big part of sports wagering but blackjack, craps, and other table game players engage in the same method.
A parlay means:
- Making a bet
- If it wins, letting the original bet, plus the profits, ride on the next hand.
Suppose you’re at a blackjack table and slide a $5 chip on the lay-out. You win and the dealer pays you $5, giving you $10 in front of you. If you let the whole $10 ride, it is called a parlay, you 11 laying everything onto the next decision.
Here are the nays and yeas of parlays:
- Your total risk is only $5, while the potential profit is $15
- The odds against winning two even propositions in a row are 3-1 against you
- With a parlay, you could win a hand, lose a hand, play the house even, and end up minus the initial bet.
I can’t knock the parlay because I realize many people have small bankrolls and this type of wager allows them to triple the amount of their initial bet (see number 1 above).
But number 3 makes a good point on the other side: You play a 50-50 game and win just as many hands as the house, lose the same amount as the house and end up losing your initial wager.
It is up to each individual to examine the plus-and-minus aspects of the parlay. That’s why my regression system is a smarter move from a standpoint of needing only one win to show a profit.
The drawback on regression is betting higher on the first wager. It comes down to whether you want to cut the chance of losing more on a possible first loss, or making sure you have profit while playing the house even.
In sports, parlays are a way of life and I play them myself when on a losing streak for the purpose I gave you: small risk for better return. I go for the three-team parlays where pick ’em situations pay 13-5. A two-team $25 parlay pays $65 and a three-team $25 parlay pays 6-1.
My risk is $25 and potential profit is $150. A $100 three team parlay pays the same 6-1, so I stand to win $600 if all three win for a $100 risk.
Obviously, those of you who have read my “Sports Handicapping” book know that I never reach that third bet in any jeopardy. That third bet of the three-team parlay is always on another day or in a later time zone than the first two.
This way, when I get to the point of that potential $600 profit, I go back and hedge off with a teaser bet or round robin bet on the opposite of the choice for that third bet. This will be discussed in depth when we apply my methods to each separate gambling game, and sports is the topic.
For now, I’ve explained the parlay. I use it myself, so I can’t condemn it.
But the round robin or regression is superior if you play a conservative pattern. The parlay is the move if you have a short bankroll. Keep in mind the hedge on the back end of the three-team parlay.
You can learn more about Parlays here
Even though this bet is reserved for sports bettors, I may as well go over it now, because it has to do with parlays. I bet round robins every day.
They give me a series of parlays, while putting me in a position where I don’t have to pick all games correctly in order to save my initial bet.
A round robin consists of 3, 4, 5, or 6 bets, all parlayed with each other, but I’m jumping way ahead of myself. Let’s start with a three-team round robin on the following teams:
- Green Bay -7 at Tampa
- Bears at Jets -8
- Miami -3 at Seattle
You decide to bet these three games and pick Tampa +7, Jets -8, and Seattle +3. You decide on a $20 round robin with each of these choices. We’ll call Tampa (a); Jets (b); and Seattle (c).
You call your favorite bookie and say: “Rocky, this is Mountain, give me a $20 round robin on Tampa, Jets, and Seattle.”
You have told him you wanna $20 parlay on all three teams with each other: (a) and (b) for $20, (a) and (c) for $20 and (b) and (C) for $20.
Since the payoff on parlays is $13 to $5, a twenty-dollar parlay nays $52. Well, you have three $20 parlays criss-crossed into a round robin. Here’s what could happen:
- All three teams win: You win three parlays at $52 each for a total of $156
- All three teams lose: You lose three $20 parlays for a total loss of $60
- Two teams win; we’ll say (b) and (c). You win $52 on that parlay and lose $20 each on your (a) and (b) parlay and your (a) and (c) parlay for a total win of $12
- Both (a) and (b) lose: You lose all three parlays of (a) and (b), (a) and (c), and (b) and (c) for a total loss of $60
The good thing about round robins is that in this case you are risking $60 to win $152. That’s if all three teams win. However, even if you only picked two right out of three, you still end up with a $12 profit.
You lost two $20 parlays and won a $20 parlay that paid $13 for every $5 wagered. You still ended with a profit. In a straight parlay, you must win all three. In the case of a $20 three-team parlay, you risk $20 to win $120 (6-1). Risk is low, but picking three winners is tough.
If you bet ten times (i.e., 10 x $5) or flat bets of $55 to win $50, you win $150 if all three win but lose $165 if all three lose. The risk is great but the good thing about flat betting is that if you pick one right out of three, you only lose $60.
With flat betting, two out of three gives you a $45 profit. I’d rather risk only $60 on a $20 round robin for a potential $156 profit or a $12 profit for two wins then go flat betting.
Flat betting gives me $150 for three wins and $45 for two, but costs me $165 for three losses, almost three times that of a wash in a round robin.
Go over these three types of betting and see which ones you take. Take into consideration the potential win versus the potential loss.
- Parlays have largest win potential, but you gotta win all three, although the potential loss is the lowest.
- Flat betting has by far the largest loss potential but two wins still gives you decent payoff and one win is not devastating.
- Round robins allow you a nice payoff, about the same as flat betting, while keeping potential losses low. Two out of three wins is a little better than breaking even.
You pick what you like because these all have merit. I lean toward the round robin on a regular basis and the three-team parlay when I wanna make a small investment for a 6-1 payoff.
You are not wrong in whatever you choose. Let your bankroll decide. The higher the bankroll, the more you’ll side with flat betting.
I don’t, but it is your choice. If you would like to learn more about Round Robins, click here.