Parlays, Accumulators, and Multiples Explained

What It Is and How It Works ?

Looking for winning big money with a small bet ? Here is information on how to achieve this.
A parlay bet, also reffered to as an accumulator bet or multiple bet, is common in sports betting and is made up of two or more individual wagers. This is a riskier bet because to win all the pronostics must be correct, but it can pay off big because the odds of this combined bet are obtained by multiplying all the odds of the combined bets together.
The whole combination bets is then harder to win but increases the payout. Use the simulator provided on this page to calculate winning and probability for a parlay.

The mathematical calculation of probabilities, on the other hand, yields much lower chances of winning.
The parlay bet strategy makes it possible to associate more or less certain selections with each other: very certain predictions with low odds can thus complement riskier predictions with more interesting odds. This way, parlay bet prove to be an interesting bet strategy, at least if correctly handled.

The following simulator allows you to test your parlay bets: you must enter the number of sports bets to accumulate together and the total stake, as well as the odds of each single bet. The simulator automatically calculates and updtaes the potential profit, the overall odds and the probability of victory in order to measure the risk taken. This calculator is completely free.

Calculator - Winning and probability calculator for a parlay bet

Odds of
Probability of winning

How to use the parlay calculator

First enter the number of bets to combine together and the desired stake.
Then, you must enter the odds of each bet which accumulate inside the parlay bet.
The calculator then automatically calculates and updates the profit that will be earned by this combination and this stake in the event of a victory as well as the probability of winning.
The calculator allows you to clearly understand the interest of the parlay bet, or multiple bet, on the overall odds: cascading bets generate a much more interesting odds, but also increase risk for such sports bets: the probabilities are also cascading and the risk grows too!

Calculating payouts, odds and probabilty of winning for a parlay: an example (math !)

For example, we take a combined bet with three bets and the default values ​​of the combined bet simulator above: the 1st with odds of 1.5, the 2nd with odds of 1.8 and the 3rd with odds of 1, 7.
We bet 10 euros. If all three are won, we win the gross jackpot which is calculated according to
10 × 1,5 × 1,8 × 1,7 = 45,90
that is a net gain of 35.90 euros with a new overall odds of
45.90/10 = 4.59
Regarding probability, with the well-known odds/probability (the probability of victory is the reciprocal of the odds), The probabilities of simultaneous results multiply with each other and therefore the probability of overall winning, that is to win all three simultaneously is therefore the product
66% × 55% × 59% ≃ 21%
i.e. roughly 1 in 5 chance of winning (which is becoming relatively low...)

Mathematical expectation for multiple bets combined in a parlay

Math expectation is the mathematical calculation tool which makes it possible to measure the average gain that a betting formula, or betting method or strategy, can yield.
Details of mathematical calculations are given on this page: a probability-weighted average.
With the previous values, a parlay with three bets combined, stake of 10 euros and the 3 odds given, we then find:
Mathematical details can be found on this page: a probability-weighted average.
With the values of the previous game, where 3 bets are combined, 10€ bet, we have thus
Net profit35.90−10
hence the expectation
E = 35.90 × 21% + (−10) × 79% ≃ 0
We thus keep the same math expectation with 3 distinct bets, with 3 separate bets, as for the three combined in a single parlay bet.
It is therefore absolutely necessary to remember that, as for the other betting strategies, the math clearly shows that:
Combining bets does not change the expectation

On the other hand, the standard deviation (i.e. a mathematical measure of risk) is modified and, actually, amplified: a parlay bet is more risky, the odds are much higher but the much lower probability of victory exactly compensates, in the long term, for the potentially very high profit. In other words, someone who routinely handles accumulator bets risks winning big from time to time, but not often enough to be positive in the long term (moreover the calculations of probabilities and expectation made here do not take into account possible margins from intermediaries, from the bookmaker , etc.).

In summary, the interest of parlay, or accumulator, bets is very debatable, they even go against a fundamental principle for those who want to win in the long term and ensure a consistent regular income, namely: to secure their bets.

On the other hand, we can still work a little on and from these multiple bets. The following formula allows you to take advantage of the high potential of parlay bets while minimizing the risk: that is mathematical tips for chance and betting.

Benefits, interest and drawbacks

Things are quite clear: parlay bets are very advantageous, exactly as much as they are risky !
The odds multiply among themselves, giving a kind of "super odds" that cannot be found anywhere else in sports betting.
Furthermore, this odds remains the reciprocal of the probability of winning, always the same mathematical relationship between odds and probability , ultimately not changing the expectation, that is to say the expected gain in the long term (if it is what is sought).
On the other hand, as we are not talking about pure chance in sports betting either, this method combined with good pronostics can become interesting, while remaining risky.
This method is comparable in many aspects to the money race strategy which allows a form of history to be taken into account in the results. Mathematical calculations and interest are very similar to those detailled here.

Why Should Parlays Be Avoided?

Parlays are a poor way to bet (on sports, but not only), at least in terms of long-term expected value.
Parlay bets are made up of two or more wagers. They are a way of combining individual bets into a single one. If profits are potentially much higher, parlay bets are also much harder to win. The reciprocal relationship between overall odds and probability remains applicable: here is the mathematical explanation of bad long-term interest of the strategy.
To sum up, parlay bets can just be enjoyed purely for fun, not as a moneymaking opportunity.

Reducing the risk of loss

Do we emphasize enough the major disadvantage of combined bets: the gain is as attractive as the formula is risky.
A fundamental rule when aiming for long-term gains is: "always secure your bets".
"Make a bet safe" means reducing the probability of loss. Generally speaking, you secure a bet by simultaneously betting on another outcome or even on another event. It costs a little more, so the final gain is generally lower (in other words, a lower yield).
We can thus clearly secure triple bets, for example, or secure multiple bets more generally.
As for parlay betting strategy, dutching is a betting formula which consists of spreading an overall stake over several events. On the other hand, for dutching multiple bets, the distribution of stakes is computeded optimally, so as to ensure the same gain whatever the winning prediction in the selection: all it takes is one! If all the predictions are correct, the winnings are then as optimal as for a classic combined bet.

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