Parlays: The Get-Rich-Quick Solution?

Does this describe you?

A typical 9-5er stuck in a dead-end job with more expenses than income.

What are your options?

  • Get a second job.
  • Go back to school to earn a degree so you can get a better job.
  • Suck it up and deal – you don’t really need a new car this year.
  • Rob a bank.
  • Win the lottery.

Of those options, the last is perceived by many as the best option.  It is the easiest, least risky option that still yields the results you want – and far more ethical than robbing a bank.

However, you really don’t have much control over whether or not you win.  So basically, you are back to square one.  Unless you…

Bet Parlays

A parlay is a single bet that links together two or more wagers.  To be successful, all the wagers must win.  Parlays generally result in higher payoffs because the chance of success is lower than individual bets; if any bet in the parlay loses, the entire parlay loses.

For those of us who have been around the block a few times, we are hesitant to jump into any get-rich-quick schemes.  So that leaves us with the question:

Real Money Maker or Sucker’s Bet?

If you do it right, parlays are like buying a lottery ticket or playing slot machines – a pretty low-risk gambling option.  You can spend a minimal amount of money, yet stand to win a pretty good sum.

If you do it wrong, parlays are like roulette.  Dropping $5,000 on lucky number 13 has about the same chance of winning as a seven-team parlay.

Of course, there is no sure fire way to win.  And depending on your predisposition to addiction, engaging in any gambling endeavor could be risky.  However, if you are wise about it, parlays can be an innocent way to have fun with the guys, exercise your brain, and earn a few extra bucks.  If you hope to be even a bit successful, you’ll need to know…

How to Bet

At a first glance, some people might see dollar signs at the 80/1 odds.  However, that payout is nearly impossible since it comes with seven correct plays.  On the other hand, making a minimal investment on a two-team parlay with 13/5 odds has a much better chance of earning money.  Try a two-team parlay every few week and you’ll see way more money than your incredibly risky 80/1 odds.

Once you get the hang of parlay, you might take your winnings from your two-team parlay and put it into a three-team parlay at 6/1.  However, you should only go this route on rare occasions; do it on a regular basis and you’ll be right back at the beginning – searching for a second job.  Advance past four teams and you’re asking for trouble – big time!


Jordan Dahlberg runs a site for printable parlay cards.  While he isn’t an avid gambler, Jordan does like to pick up an NFL parlay card every once in awhile.