Parlays are hugely popular with sports betting fans. Covering several events in a single bet and then landing a hefty payout if all of them go the way you predict is an exciting prospect. But how do you calculate what a winning parlay will be worth? There are in fact two main ways, and the simplest one is by using our free Parlay Betting Calculator.
How to Use the Parlay Betting Calculator
All you need to know to use this Parlay Betting Calculator are the odds (in American format) of each of your parlay legs, and the size of your stake. Then proceed as follows:
- Make sure that the Bet Selector is set to Parlay.
- Enter the stake that you will bet on the parlay in the Bet Amount box.
- Enter the odds of the first leg of your bet in the Odds box. The odds must be greater than 100 or less than -100.
- Click the Add Bet button. The panel at the bottom of the Parlay Betting Calculator will then show your projected profit (To Win) and your total return (Payout) which includes your returned stake.
- Enter odds for the second leg of your bet in the Odds box.
- Click the Add Bet button. The panel at the bottom of the Parlay Betting Calculator will be updated accordingly.
- Enter odds for the third and subsequent legs of your bet as before, clicking the Add Bet button after each set of odds.
You can remove previously entered legs by clicking the X next to the bet you want to delete. Should you wish to start over at any point, simply hit the Reset button or refresh the page.
How to Calculate Parlay Returns Manually
Using the Parlay Betting Calculator provided is the quickest and easiest way of calculating parlay returns, but you can also do the job manually. You will find it useful (and possibly essential) to have a regular pocket calculator as well as a notepad and pencil as you do this. The procedure comprises the following steps:
- Step 1 - Determine the decimal odds for each leg.
- Step 2 - Multiply the decimal odds of all legs together, in sequence.
- Step 3 - Multiply the result of Step 2 by your chosen stake.
The figure you have at the end of Step 3 is the amount that the parlay will return if it wins. That amount will be inclusive of your stake, so subtract that if you want to know how much pure profit the bet will make for you.
A Working Example
In order to clarify the instructions just given, allow us to walk you through a real-world example, step-by-step.
Step 1 - Determine the Decimal Odds
Our manual calculation uses decimal odds. If you are betting in American or fractional odds, you will first need to convert those to decimal format before going any further. Fortunately, that isn’t difficult. Simply visit our Betting Odds Converter and it will do the job for you.
For the purposes of this example, we will assume that we have placed a parlay bet of four legs, and that the decimal odds for those four legs are as follows:
- Leg 1 = 2.0
- Leg 2 = 4.0
- Leg 3 = 3.5
- Leg 4 = 1.8
Step 2 - Multiply the Odds Together
The next step is for us to multiply our decimal odds together. This is where our pocket calculator comes in handy, but if you’re a math whiz you can feel free to rely on your brain power if you want to do so.
Using the decimal odds previously described, our calculation would be:
2.0 x 4.0 x 3.5 x 1.8 = 50.4
Step 3 - Multiply by the Stake
All we have to do now is multiply the result of Step 2 (which was 50.4) by our stake. Here we’ll imagine that we’ve bet $5 on the parlay, in which case our calculation is:
50.4 x 5 = 252
This means that our parlay will pay us a return of $252 if it wins. That includes our stake, so we need to deduct that if we want the pure profit figure, as follows:
$252 - $5 = $247
Our bet will therefore give us a profit of $247 for an outlay of $5. All it has to do is win!