What’s a Progressive Parlay & How Progressive Parlays Work

Titans WR Kevin Dyson stretches for the end zone but falls short as time runs out in Super Bowl XXXIV. AFP Photo/Peter Newcomb

Progressive parlays are fun to bet because you can see a big return with little risk involved. Let’s talk about progressive parlays and how they are different than your average, run-of-the-mill parlays that have become so popular in the sports betting industry.

The Basics

Before we begin discussing progressive parlays, it is important to know what a standard parlay is so that we can appreciate the differences.

A standard parlay is rolling multiple bets under the umbrella of a single bet. Parlays can have as few as two wagers or as many as the sportsbook will allow you to have, sometimes as many as a dozen individual wagers.

LEARN MORE: Gambling 101 | Understanding Parlay Bets

A standard two-event parlay with -110 vig on each will pay +260 which means for a $100 bet you would see a return of $260 which is more than the $200 you would receive if you bet these two events separately. However, if you lose one or more of the bets, you would lose the cost of the parlay and no more than that, no vig either.

The more events you add in the parlay, the greater the payout so if you were to bet a three-team parlay using the standard -110 vig it would pay +600, a 4-team parlay would pay +1000, and so on.

But we should note that standard parlays only cash if you win all of the bets within it. If you had a 10-team parlay, won nine of the 10, the lone loss would cost you whatever you bet.

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On one other note, correlated parlays are generally not permissible. In other words, if you bet the Lakers and the total in the Lakers game, it would likely be rejected because it gives the bettor an advantage as one bet is more likely to win if the other does. Lakers and over the posted total in the Lakers game, for example, would not be allowed at most sportsbooks.

Let’s Break It Down

Many of the best online sportsbooks you see at OddsTrader have a parlay and progressive feature on their respective betting menus.

Below is an example of a typical parlay payout table:

Payout [all prices -110] Based on a $100 bet

  • 2 Teams +260
  • 3 Teams +600
  • 4 Teams +1000
  • 5 Teams +2500
  • 6 Teams +4000
  • 7 Teams +7500
  • 8 Teams +15000
  • 9 Teams +30000
  • 10 Teams +70000

Progressive Parlays

Unlike standard parlays, progressive parlays will allow you to win money, or lose less than the amount of your parlay, if you win a certain number of the bets contained within it. But because of this wrinkle, the progressive parlays will pay less than a standard parlay with the same number of bets.

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We should also note that in most progressive parlays, moneylines and totals are not allowed. The payouts below represent all point spread wagers at the standard vig of -110.

Payout [all prices -110] Based on a $100 bet

  • 4 Teams +500 winning all bets | +100 losing one bet
  • 5 Teams +1100 winning all bets | +200 losing one bet
  • 6 Teams +2000 winning all bets | +350 losing one bet
  • 7 Teams +4000 winning all bets | +400 losing one bet | +50 losing two bets
  • 8 Teams +7500 winning all bets | +10000 losing one bet | +200 losing two bets
  • 9 Teams +15,000 winning all bets | +2000 losing one bet | +250 losing two bets
  • 10 Teams +25,000 winning all bets | +2500 losing one bet | +300 losing two bets | +100 losing three

As you can see, there is a difference between a standard parlay and a progressive parlay. If you are a “go big or go home” kind of bettor then a standard parlay is for you.

However, if you don’t want the sting of almost getting your big parlay to the finish line without any reward whatsoever (just like Titans fans after Super Bowl XXXIV) then progressive parlays are better suited for you.

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