Progressive parlay

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A progressive parlay is a joint wager on multiple events, for example team sports or horse races. Generally a progressive parlay involves a joint wager on four to twelve separate events.[1] Should all the selected bets win, the bettor receives a relatively large payout, because of the sizable odds against this happening. However, unlike a regular parlay, if some of the individual bets lose, but most win, the bettor still wins, although with a much smaller payout. Several sites use a schedule where the bettor can lose one bet on a 4-6 event progressive parlay, can lose up to two bets on a 7-9 event progressive parlay, and up to three bets on a 10-12 event progressive parlay.[1][2][3][4]

The term has also been used for a long series of wagers on roulette or other gambling games, where the bettor attempts to rely on a "stream of luck".[5][6][7][8]


Several strategies have been suggested by gambling consultants when wagering on parlays or progressive parlays, one of them being to pick interrelated outcomes. For example, a bettor may believe that one team is likely to win if the game is a low-scoring affair while the other team is almost certain to win if the game becomes a high scoring shootout. If the bettor uses a parlay to bet on the first team along with an under bet against the point total, he stands to gain 2.6 units ($260 if $100 is bet) on an original investment of 1 unit (the most common unit in betting is $100 although any amount can be substituted as a unit) compared to a payout of just 1.82 units ($182) if the bets are made independently of each other. Conversely, if both outcomes are missed, one will only lose his original 1 unit investment rather than the 2 units one would lose if it had wagered on the events individually. This minimized risk is another notable potential positive of a parlay. If a bettor wishes to bet on a significant number of events without putting a substantial amount of his total bankroll at stake, parlays may represent an attractive option. By turning 12 individual events into four 3 event parlays, the bettor reduces the number of units he is risking from 12 to 4 while simultaneously increasing his potential payout if all events are correctly picked.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Progressive Parlays". SPORTSBETTING.NET site. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  2. ^ Stephenson, Vince. "Progressive Parlay Bet". site. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Progressive Parlays". site. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Progressive Parlays". Predict Em site. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Education: Applied Mathematics". Time. December 1, 1947. Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2010. It was a "progressive parlay" based on mathematical probability, some intricate slide-rule calculations, and two assumptions: that any roulette wheel follows a pattern of its own, and that good or bad luck runs in streams.
  6. ^ "Math Student Finds $300 Plus Reno is $13,000: U. of C. Graduate and Pal 'Take' Town at Roulette". Chicago Daily Tribune. November 20, 1947. p. 22. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  7. ^ Moe, Al W. (October 2008). The Roots of Reno. BookSurge Publishing. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-4392-1199-1. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  8. ^ Baer, Robert M. (1972). The Digital Villain. Addison-Wesley. p. 65. ISBN 0-201-00442-9. OCLC 297591.
  9. ^ "A Look at Progressive Parlays and Picket Pools". SB Pal. Retrieved 17 September 2013.