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What is a Parlay Bet? Understanding the Ins and Outs

Illustration of 'What is a Parlay Bet?' text with a soccer ball graphic on a blog. A hand holding an iPhone displaying SX Bet UX with a peer-to-peer parlay bet visible.

Are you intrigued by the concept of parlay bets? If you're new to sports betting or want to explore different wagering options, understanding what a parlay bet is and how it works is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the world of parlay bets, exploring their definition, calculation of payouts, and even sharing real examples to help you grasp the concept. Let's dive in!

What is a Parlay Bet?

In the realm of sports betting, a parlay bet refers to combining two or more individual wagers into one comprehensive wager. It's like rolling over the winnings from each bet into the next, resulting in a potentially larger payout. While parlay bets offer the allure of significant returns, it's important to recognize that they come with higher risk due to the requirement of winning all individual wagers to succeed.

Understanding the Mechanics:

When it comes to parlay bets, sportsbooks may use different terms such as "accumulators" or "multis." Regardless of the name, the underlying principle remains the same. A parlay bet involves placing multiple wagers and linking them together. To win a parlay bet, each individual bet within the parlay must be successful. However, if even a single bet within the parlay loses, the entire wager is considered unsuccessful.

Calculating Payouts:

One aspect that fascinates many bettors is how payouts are calculated for parlay bets. The odds for each pick are typically multiplied by one another to determine the odds for the parlay bet. SX Bet is the first betting exchange in the world to have peer-to-peer parlay bets, and users can create parlays up to 10 legs. When making a parlay bet on SX Bet, simply add the bets to your betslip and the interface will automatically create a parlay bet slip for you.

Once you click “Request Parlay”, SX will create a private virtual order book for this parlay bet just for you. Programmatic market-makers listening through the API will then have 1 second to offer you liquidity on the bet.

Taking a look at the example below, you'll also notice estimated bet mining rewards. This is a unique feature to SX Bet where winners receive SX Token as an additional reward for winning.

SX Bet user interface displaying a peer-to-peer parlay bet feature.

Risks and Rewards:

Parlay bets offer the allure of larger payouts due to the combination of multiple wagers. However, it's crucial to understand the risks associated with this type of bet. Unlike individual bets where a single loss may not have a significant impact, parlay bets require a perfect winning streak to succeed. Consequently, the probability of winning decreases with each additional bet added to the parlay. It's important to approach parlay bets balancing the potential rewards with the increased risk involved.


Understanding what a parlay bet is and how it works is crucial for anyone interested in sports betting. While parlay bets offer the allure of larger payouts, they come with increased risk due to the requirement of winning all individual wagers. SX Bet is unique in that parlay bets are peer-to-peer, and you can bet on a parlay bet to win (i.e. all selections must win) or bet on a parlay bet to lose (i.e. one of the selections must lose).

Calculating payouts for parlay bets may seem complex at first, but with the automatic parlay calculator on SX Bet, it becomes very easy. By grasping the mechanics of parlay bets and exploring real-life examples, you can make informed decisions and enhance your overall sports betting experience.

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