Sports betting has come a long way since the early days where you would just pick a game winner and call it a day. Now, there are tons of different bets out there that you may or may not be aware of. Three bets that we want to talk about today are parlays, teasers, and pleasers. These are unique wagers that allow you to win a lot more money with a smaller investment.
In this guide, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about parlays, teasers, and pleasers. We’re going to look at each bet type individually and break down what they are and how they pay out. Then we’ll take a look at some of the top tips and strategies that you need to know to bet these wager types profitably.
Before we go any further, we do want to point out that just because these bets exist does not mean that you have to bet them. You can have an extremely successful and profitable betting career without ever touching any of these bets. On that same note, you can have an extremely successful betting career exclusively betting these bets or a mix of them and the other types of bets. The point we’re trying to make is that we don’t want you to feel forced to use these bets just because they’re out there.
With that all said and out of the way, let’s go ahead and get into parlays, teasers, and pleasers.
By far the most popular of these three types of bets is the parlay. In fact, teasers and pleasers and just a variation of a parlay bet. If you’ve ever spent any significant time around a sportsbook or other sports bettors, you’ve probably heard them talk about parlays.
A parlay bet is nothing more than two or more individual wagers that are strung together to make one single bet. In order to win your parlay bet, you have to win every single one of the individual bets. If you’re confused, let’s look at an example to make things a little clearer.
Let’s say that you want to bet three upcoming college football games that are all pick em’s (both teams have the same odds to win) paying out at (-110). Let’s also say that your betting bankroll is $30. The first thing that you could do is bet all three games individually. If you did that and you won all three games, this is what your profit would look like.
That would be a pretty good day for your betting. But, what happens if you want to try and win more money? This is where a parlay comes in. Let’s say that you decide to make a $30 parlay on these three games. Just so you’re aware, this is sometimes called a 3-teamer. If you put 2 bets into your parlay, it would be a 2-teamer. 4 bets would be a 4-teamer and so on and so forth.
If you bet $30 on your 3-teamer, you’d stand to win a profit of about $60! This is over double what you stand to win with betting each game individually. But, there is a catch this time. In order for you to win your parlay bet, you have to win each of the individual game bets. If you lose even one of the bets on your parlay, the entire bet is dead and you lose the full $30.
If you were to bet each team individually (the first example) and you lost one of the games, you’d still profit $9.09 on the other two games which would give you a total profit out the door of $8.18. If you were to bet your parlay and you lost one game, you would be down the entire $30. You get no credit for winning most of the games or even any of the games on your parlay. In order to win your parlay, you have to win every single bet.
Typically, you can parlay more than just moneyline bets. You can parlay spread bets, totals bets, and sometimes prop bets. The minimum number of bets you can have in your parlay is two, and you can have as many teams as the sportsbook will allow you to have. We’ve seen some monstrously large parlays before that pay out pretty well. An 8-teamer with all (-110) bets for $30 would pay out over $1750! But, remember that you would have to win all 8 games to win that parlay. 7 wins and 1 loss would pay out nothing.
We’ve begun touching on this already, but we wanted to make sure we were very clear on how parlays payout. Obviously, it’s more challenging to win multiple bets than to win a handful of individual bets. You’re getting that additional payout because of the fact that you’re accepting the risk that you have to win every single game. But, the sportsbook is aware of this and is willing to reward you for taking that risk if you are correct.
It’s probably important to point out now that while it might seem like the sportsbook is doing you a favor by giving you the chance to make this much larger payout on a smaller bet, you’re not getting any special odds. The odds that you are getting are at best exactly in line with the likelihood of you winning that bet. In fact, they just multiply the odds together of your individual bets together to get your potential payout except when you are betting all wagers that are (-110). When you do that, they pay you out based on a payout table which is actually slightly worse than what you should be getting paid.
Here is what the payout table looks like in most major brick and mortar casinos in Las Vegas.
If you happen to bet offshore with an online betting site, you’re usually going to bet odds that are much closer to the true odds. In other words, they are going to pay you more money for your parlays. Here are what the online betting site odds usually look like for parlays.
You’ll notice that for two and three team parlays, the odds are the same. But as you start to get into the 4-teamers and higher, the brick and mortar casinos are robbing you. They realize, though, that people usually aren’t going to take the time to do the math to realize that they’re getting paid out much worse than they should be.
We will show you a tip in the tips section below that will force any casino (brick and mortar or online) to pay you out at the true odds.
The last thing we want to talk about is what happens when one of your bets ties. For most sportsbook, a tie is treated as a no bet. This means that the bet will just fall off your parlay like it wasn’t ever there. For example, let’s say you have a 4-teamer where you win 3 of the bets, and you tie the last one. What most sportsbooks will do is pay this parlay out as a winner, but only as a 3-teamer. If your bet is a 2-teamer, it will be paid out as an individual bet.
Now, this is the way that it is at almost all sportsbooks. But, we highly recommend that if you’re looking to bet parlays, you should take a few seconds and double check how they payout ties. It should be how we said above, but we can’t speak for every sportsbook out there.
The one of these three bets that is used second most often is the teaser bet. If you’re brand new to sports betting, you’ve probably never heard of them. But, if you’ve spent time around a sportsbook, you’ve probably heard the phrase “I teased my parlay” or something to that effect. This is the bet type they are referring to.
A teaser bet is essentially a parlay bet where you’re able to shift every single spread or total in your favor. Depending on the sport you are betting, you’ll be able to shift all of the odds to make your chances of winning each individual bet easier. Everything else is exactly the same as parlays. They are a minimum of two teams and can be as many teams as the sportsbook will allow. We’ll discuss the payouts in depth in a few, but you can probably guess already that you’re not going to get paid out as well as a parlay because all of the spreads and totals are shifted in your favor.
If you’re confused, it’s okay. Let’s look at an example that will clear things up. One of the most popular sports that you’ll see teaser bets on is football. Let’s say that you want to bet a 3-team teaser on 3 upcoming games. Here are the lines that you see in the sportsbook.
Now, if you were to bet these three games as a regular teaser, those would be the lines that you need to beat. You’d need the Browns to lose by less than 4, the Eagles to win by more than 3.5 and the Redskins to win by more than two.
But, we’re betting a teaser here. In the NFL, you can usually choose between a 6, 6.5, or 7 point teaser. Let’s say that we decide we want to do a 6 point teaser. This means that every single one of those spreads is going to get moved in our favor 6 points. So, here are the new spreads that we have to cover for our teaser bet.
Now, you just need the Browns to win or lose by less than 10, the Eagles to win or lose by less than 2.5, and the Redskins to win or lose by less than 4 points. Again, everything is the exact same as a parlay. You have to win all three bets in order to win this teaser. One loss and your teaser is a loser.
As you can see, teasers are a lot easier for you to win than parlays. While you still have to win the same number of games, the point spreads or totals have all been shifted into your favor. Because of this, the payouts are going to be a lot lower on teasers.
Now, payouts for teasers are going to vary based on several different factors. First, it matters where you are betting. If you are betting online, you should expect to get better payouts, while you should expect to get slightly worse payouts betting in person. Second, it depends on which sport you are betting on. Different sports have different payouts based on the likelihood of you winning your teaser. Third, it matters how much of a teaser you take. In a lot of sports, you’ll have the option to choose how many points you want to tease your bets by. You won’t be able to choose any number, but you should have 2 or 3 options to choose from.
UPDATE: Some sportsbooks online are now offering you the ability to tease at pretty much any number you want up until a certain point.
The last thing that will affect the payout of your teaser bet is how you choose to treat ties. Some betting sites will not give you an option here, and you will be forced to deal with ties in the way they choose. But, most quality online betting sites are going to give you the option between ties lose, ties reduce, or ties win.
Ties lose means that if you tie on one of your individual game bets, your entire teaser is dead. Because this makes things tougher to win, you will get paid out better odds for this choice. Ties reduce treats ties the same way that a parlay usually does. It will just drop your teaser down one level (5-teamer to a 4-teamer, 3-teamer to a 2-teamer, etc.). This will pay slightly worse than ties lose, but still better than ties win. Ties win is a form of teaser where if you tie your bet it’s going to be treated as a win. As this is the easiest of the three to win, you can expect to get the lowest payout.
We’ve said it a few times, but we will say it again. Make sure you are fully aware of how ties are being treated when you place any of the bets we talk about on this page. Teasers especially because there is usually an option for you to select when making this type of wager.
The last wager we’re going to talk about today is a pleaser bet. These are a lot less popular than parlays and teasers, but there are bettors out there that like to use them on special occasions because they do pay so well. As you’ll see, the reason they pay so well is because they are challenging to win and require a lot out of each game on your slip.
A pleaser bet is exactly the same as a teaser bet except instead of the point spreads and totals being moved in your favor, they are moved against you. Basically, you’ll now have to cover the spread or the totals by a lot more than the posted lines on the games.
For example, let’s say that you want to make a 3-team pleaser bet on the games that we used in our prior example. These are what the lines look like for individual bets or if you parlayed these games together.
Now, let’s say that you decide you want to make a 6-point pleaser bet. The new lines that you will have to cover to win your bet are these.
As you can see, every line was shifted 6 points in the sportsbooks favor. To win this bet, you’re now going to have to have each team cover a much larger spread. Everything else is the exact same as a parlay or a teaser bet. You’ll need to win each of the three games in order to win your pleaser bet. If you lose one game, your pleaser bet is dead. We will cover what happens with ties in the payout section next.
Why would anyone want to make a bet like this? Well, due to the difficulty of winning a pleaser bet, the payouts are shifted greatly in your favor. For example, a 3-team parlay in NFL will pay +600 at an online sportsbook. But, a 3-team pleaser with ties reducing (just like a parlay) will pay +1750. That means a $10 bet on the parlay will net you a profit of $60 while the same bet on the pleaser will net you a profit of $175.
So, to answer the question about why anyone would want to make this bet, it would be in a situation where you saw several lines that were way off. This is something that is probably not going to happen every week, but you will end up seeing situations in your sports betting career where you see several lines that just don’t look right. If you can catch one of these situations, you stand to make a lot of money off of a small bet.
Ties are the same situation when it comes to pleasers. You have the options of ties lose, ties reduce, or ties win. The payouts are going to be best for ties lose, worst for ties win, and right in the middle for ties reduce. You don’t really get any sort of better odds with either of the three choices, it’s just what you think is the best strategy for you to walk away a winner.
As these bet types might be new to a lot of you, we wanted to give you some expert tips to help you master them. Keep in mind that a lot of the strategy with these bets will come down to your individual picks within each game, but there are things that you can do in order to increase your chances of profitability.
When you bet in person or online, you are usually not going to get the true odds of what you should get when you make a parlay, teaser, or pleaser bet. Why? Well, the sportsbooks shave a little extra off the top with these bets and don’t pay you out exactly in line with the projected likelihood of you winning your bets. It’s much worse when you bet in person, but it still happens when you bet online. The reason for this is that the sportsbooks just pay out your parlays, teasers, and pleasers based on payout charts that have already done the math and shaved a little extra off the top.
But, there is a trick to get around this. You see, the payout charts only work when you choose bets that are (-110). But, if you add a wager into your betting lineup that has odds different than (-110), the sportsbook is forced to manually calculate your odds, and they end up giving you the true odds because they have no other choice. This works both online and in person.
So, when you’re making one of these bets, try and include something that is not normally paying out at (-110). This will force the sportsbook to give you the true odds which works much better in your favor. But, we do have one warning. Don’t work so hard to get a bet outside of (-110) that you end up losing the bet altogether. It is much better to get paid out slightly worse than true odds and win your bet than to have the potential to get paid out at true odds but lose your bet.
Parlays, teasers, and pleasers are fun. They can offer unique ways to win and awesome ways to get paid a lot of money for a much smaller investment. But, it’s easy to get carried away with them especially after you hit a few. That feeling of getting paid a lot of money for a tiny investment is intoxicating and can get you hooked on these bets.
We’re not saying not to make these wagers. What we are saying is that you need to make sure you aren’t getting so carried away with them that you start gambling instead of making smart sports picks. The variance on these bets is going to be much higher than making individual bets, so you need to keep that in mind. You will go longer periods of time without wins when you’re making these bets. This means that you need to have great bankroll management and some discipline to keep your head above water.
The best advice we’ve heard with these bets is to have them as a part of your betting strategy. Don’t have them be 100% of what you bet, but just an addition to your slate along with individual bets. It’s completely up to you, though. If you’re always betting value, you’re eventually going to be a winner even if all you bet are these bets. But, we’ve found a lot more happiness and success from sports bettors when they use a more balanced approach.
Correlated parlays are something that you may or may not be able to do depending on where you are betting and depending on what the correlation is. There’s a great weather analogy that we’ve heard that explains what this is well. If we gave you the option to bet on whether it would rain today or not and whether or not the ground would get wet, wouldn’t you just parlay those bets together? You would! One of these bets is not going to happen without the other, so you’d be looking at a much sweeter payout by parlaying these bets together.
In a sports sense, these opportunities are available on games. But, depending on the level of correlation, a lot of sportsbooks will cut you off from making certain types of correlated parlays. For example, if you’re able to bet on which team scores first in a game and also which player scores first, you usually aren’t allowed to parlay those together. Why? Well, your bet on the individual player to score first will also tell you which team is going to score first (you can never be wrong if you get the individual player right). The sportsbook does not want to reward you for this because it’s basically a gimme if you get half of the bet right.
But, there are instances where things are closely correlated, but still left to chance. These are situations where you could make extra money by parlaying the bets together. For example, let’s say you are betting on an upcoming New Orleans Saints football game. There is a bet available to bet whether Drew Breese will have over/under 350.5 yards passing.
Now, let’s say that you think Breese is going to light it up and have well over 350.5 passing yards. You could make this bet and happily be on your way to a nice win. But, what does this probably say about the game winner? If Breese has that many passing yards, isn’t it fairly likely that the Saints are going to win the game? We’d think so (without analyzing any other aspects of the game for this example). So, you could parlay the prop bet on how many yards Breese is going to have with the Saints winning the game and you’d stand to win a much bigger payout. You’re not getting any special odds, but you are giving yourself a chance to make a really nice payday if your prediction is correct and the correlation is also correct.
Look for these opportunities when they exist and when you are allowed to make them. Do the math, analyze the bets, and see if it is something that is lucrative for you to take advantage of. If not, just bet the wagers individually and be happy with your wins. But, if there is value there, then go for it!
We can’t tell you how many stories we’ve heard from sports bettors who had an awesome 4-team parlay lined up and threw in a 5th game at the last minute that they weren’t so sure about only to lose because of that game. They added it at the last minute because they had an okay feeling about it and wanted to get that much higher payout.
Don’t get greedy. If you feel strongly about 3 games and okay about 1, go for a 3-teamer. There’s no reason to blow a great parlay, teaser, or pleaser just because you want to try and get a little extra money off of a prediction that you’re not completely sold on. We can assure you that you’ll be a lot happier if you leave the greed at the door and give yourself the best chances to make the most money by sticking to what you’re sure of.
We’ve said it a few times and guess what? We’re going to say it again. Make sure that you take a minute to realize how pushes are going to be treated. If you’re not given an option, they’re most likely going to reduce, but you need to take a minute to check. If you can’t find it written anywhere, contact customer support and ask them how they are treated. If you’re given the option, make sure you take a minute and decide which option is best for you.
Remember the last tip we told you about not getting greedy as well. Don’t choose how you want ties treated based on the fact that you want to win more money. Do it based on how close you think the lines are and what you think gives you the best chance to win the ticket.
This isn’t really a tip, but more of a word of caution when it comes to making one of these three types of bets. Your ability to line shop is going to be impeded to a degree. When you place individual sports bets, you can shop them around at a bunch of different sportsbooks. If a few are better at your home sportsbook, you can place them there and then place your other bets at the books where you get the best lines and odds.
But, when it comes to making parlays, teasers, and pleasers you are forced to make that bet at one location. You can’t parlay across sportsbook lines. This means that you’re going to have to take all of the lines from one location even if a few individual games have a better line elsewhere. You can shop the entire ticket at different sportsbooks (and we encourage it), but at some point, you’re probably going to have to accept at least one line that is not the best you can get out there.
This isn’t a reason not to make these bets, but it’s something you should be aware of.
Online sportsbooks seem to love running special bonuses and reduced juice promotions for parlays. Why? Well, the sportsbooks make a lot of money off of these bets because people end up getting greedy or don’t take the time to properly research every bet that they have on a ticket. Also, the fact that they are taking additional off the top when you aren’t getting true odds means they are making a lot of extra money.
Thankfully, they do turn around and throw some of this money back our way with promotions. Keep an eye out for specific parlay promotions and take advantage of them when they present themselves. If you can get a parlay bonus on a parlay with true odds (using the trick we gave you above), you’re definitely going to be well on your way to getting a lot of value out of that wager.