Did you know that you can wager on more than one game and one outcome at the same time? All you have to do is add more than one wager to your bet slip and suddenly, at the bottom, you’ll see a variety of different options to place bets. Below, we go through the two major multiple bets you can make – parlays and teasers – and the advantages of each.

As a preface, you should know that parlays and teasers have something very important in common: they both require you to win each part of your bet in order to cash; but because you are taking a greater risk by wagering on more than one game, you’ll get bigger potential payouts and be awarded certain advantages that aren’t available for single-game bets.

Let’s look at the specifics.

Parlays

Parlays look complex at first glance, but they’re not. A parlay is simply a bet where you make multiple picks and, if every single one is correct, you win. While they’re not complex to understand, they can be difficult to win: if even one pick is incorrect, you get nothing.

Parlays can contain anywhere from two to 12 selections and, as you can imagine, the payouts get substantially greater the more selections you add. However, each sportsbook has a cap on how much they’ll payout for a parlay, so be sure you know that limit before you add a 12th team.

Your potential parlay payout is easiest to calculate using decimal odds. Just multiply the odds of each selection together, then multiply that by your wager. Say you liked Golden State at 1.32, San Antonio at 1.66, and Minnesota at 2.20 and were willing to wager $50, your potential payout would be:

(1.32 x 1.66 x 2.20) x $50 = $241

A variety of selections can be included in a parlay: moneylines, game totals, bets against the spread. However, you can’t parlay a bet against the spread and a moneyline bet from the same game. If you like the Warriors -300, you can’t parlay that pick with Warriors (-8); you have to take one or the other.

At almost all sportsbooks, if an ATS pick or game total pushes (i.e. ties), it won’t cost you the entire parlay; that game will just be removed from the parlay, so a three-team bet would become a two-team bet. But carefully read the terms at your sportsbook to be sure your parlay won’t be derailed by a push.

Not only can parlays involve different types of bets, they can cross sports, as well, combining anything from football, to hockey, to boxing. Most events can be parlayed, and if they can’t, there will be a “single bets only” notation attached to it.

In the U.K., a parlay of two events is called a “double,” a parlay of three events is called a “treble,” and any number higher than that is called an “accumulator.”

Teaser bets

Like a parlay, a teaser combines multiple selections in a single bet, but teasers can only include picks against the spread and game totals, and you will be able to adjust the spread for each game you pick. As with a parlay, if every team covers the new spread, you win the bet. If even one fails, you get nothing.

There are other restrictions on teasers, as well: they are only available for football and basketball, and the payouts are predetermined based on how many teams are involved and how many points you move the spread by.

Let’s look at an example.

In football, you can tease the spread by 6, 6.5, or 7 points. If you put New England (-10) and Tennessee (-2) in a six-point teaser, your new spread would be New England (-4) and Tennessee (+4). The bet would cash if New England won by at least five and Tennessee lost by three or fewer.

As mentioned, you can also tease a game total. If the total for the New England/Tennessee game was originally set at 48.5, teasing the under by 6 would mean the new total is set at 54.5. Any final score that amounts to less than 54.5 (say 28-26) would be a winner on this teaser.

For NBA teasers, the options are 4, 4.5, and 5 points. At most books, the maximum teams you can include in a teaser is 10. As mentioned, with both sports, the payouts are predetermined based on the number of teams and the size of the spread-adjustment.

Here’s a full chart of standard teaser payouts in basketball and football.

BASKETBALL
TEAMS 4 POINTS 4.5 POINTS 5 POINTS
2 +100 -110 -120
3 +180 +160 +150
4 +300 +250 +200
5 +500 +400 +350
6 +700 +600 +500
7 +1000 +900 +800
8 +1500 +1200 +1000
9 +2000 +1500 +1200
10 +2500 +2000 +1500

 

FOOTBALL
TEAMS 6 POINTS 6.5 POINTS 7 POINTS
2 -110 -120 -130
3 +180 +160 +140
4 +300 +250 +200
5 +450 +400 +350
6 +600 +550 +500
7 +1000 +900 +800
8 +1500 +1200 +1000
9 +2000 +1500 +1200
10 +2500 +2000 +1500

{courtesy of predictem}

Similar to a parlay, if you push in a teaser, that result will be removed and a three-team tease would become a two-team tease. However, if a push occurs on a two-team tease, the overall bet just becomes a push, so the bettor can’t benefit from only one adjusted spread.

In theory, a bettor could tease the spread in one game both ways, but sportsbooks won’t allow this. You can’t include two teams from the same game in the same teaser.

At some books, there’s also the possibility of a “sweetheart teaser.” That is either a three-team, 10-point teaser for -110 odds, or a four-team, 13-point teaser for -120. Unlike regular teasers, these generously large teasers will result in a loss if any game pushes.

Round robins

You can think of the “round robin” as a third type of multiple bet, but it’s really just the aggregate of multiple parlays. If you’re familiar with horse racing, a round robin is just like boxing horses. In the more likely event that you don’t know what that is, a round robin is basically two or more parlays played at once.

There’s nothing more frustrating for a bettor than missing out on one game in a parlay and losing the whole thing. A round robin is a fast way to play multiple, smaller parlays.

Say you wanted to bet four NFL games: the Steelers (-6), the Packers (-3), the Giants (+2.5) and the 49ers (+7). You like all these picks, but you aren’t confident they’ll all hit. In this instance, you can bet either a two or three-way round robin.

A two-way round robin would package your four teams into a series of six, two-team parlays, i.e.:

Parlay 1 Parlay 2 Parlay 3 Parlay 4 Parlay 5 Parlay 6
Steelers -6 Steelers -6 Steelers -6 Packers -3 Packers -3 Giants +2.5
Packers- 3 Giants +2.5 49ers +7 Giants +2.5 49ers +7 49ers +7

 

And a three-way round robin would package your four teams into a series of four, three-team parlays, i.e.:

Parlay 1 Parlay 2 Parlay 3 Parlay 4
Steelers -6 Steelers -6 Steelers -6 Packers -3
Packers -3 Packers -3 Giants +2.5 Giants +2.5
Giants +2.5 49ers +7 49ers +7 49ers +7

 

There are benefits to both approaches. The three-way round robin doesn’t require you to stake as much money, and the potential payout if all of these three-team parlays win is much higher than if all of the two-way parlays hit. But let’s say the Giants fail to cover: in the three-way round robin, only Parlay 2 is still alive, while in the two-way robin, Parlays 1, 3 and 5 can still win. A two-way requires you to put money on more options, but helps mitigate risk.

Round robins can include as many as eight teams, and a maximum of six-way parlays. But be careful when you are placing your round robin wager, because when you fill out the risk amount, that number will be multiplied by however many bets there are in the round robin. If you placed $100 on our four-team, two-way round robin, your account would actually be charged $600 (i.e. $100 on each of Parlays 1 through 6). If you only want to risk $100 total, then you have to divide $100 by the number of parlays in your round robin.