Monday, May 4, 2009

Sports Betting Strategy: The Parlay vs The Straight Bet

Which bet is better: the parlay or the straight bet? Well, this depends what you are trying to achieve.

If you simply want to have a little fun and you want the "most bang for your buck," the parlay is the way to go. In a parlay, you wager on at least two different outcomes within the same bet. You must pick both outcomes correctly in order to win. If one part of your bet is wrong, you lose. The advantage of the parlay is that you can win more by betting on two outcomes within one bet than you would by betting on each outcome separately. For example, if you hit a two-outcome parlay, many sportsbooks have the odds at 5/2 or 13/5.

Click here for more parlay odds from Sportsbook.

In most cases, if you push (tie) on one of your parlay wagers, your parlay is simply reduced to the next teir down (a 4-outcome parlay reduces to a 3-outcome parlay).

So, if you are just playing around with a relatively small amount of money (this amount may be different for different bettors), you may want to try a parlay. Some people like to risk a very small amount on a ridiculous parlay (7-15 outcomes). The chances of winning all these bets is slim to say the least, but you would be risking a very small amount and the potential reward makes it fun.

If you are a more serious bettor, someone who is actually looking to make some money by betting on sports, you probably want to stick with the straight bet. If you can pick winners at a high enough percentage, it may be a good strategy to simply bet the same amount on all of your bets, always betting on one outcome (straight bet) and you should make money in the long run. When doing this, it is important not to give into the temptation to bet more than normal on any given outcome.

You may think you know what a certain outcome will be, but you must have the philosophy that if you are willing to bet on it, it is worth the same as any other bet- no more, no less. This means that if you win you mustn't start telling yourself that you should have wagered more and if you lose that you should have wagered less. Just be prepared for ups and downs and trust in your long term percentage.

Click here to see what you would have won so far if you had bet our NBA picks this year.

Of course, the odds for winning a single straight bet are greater than hitting any parlay and you usually will have to wager 10% more than you would win. If you are just looking for a quick "big hit," you can p;ace a small wager on a parlay or you can bet more on a straight bet. Either way, have fun, and good luck!

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