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Basic Parlay Betting


 Download "Basic Parlay Betting" as a PDF file

Once an edge has been established - that is, once a steady and consistent horse race betting approach has returned a profit over the medium term - the question arises . . .

"How can I maximize these betting profits?"

How does the race player get more money out of a specific series of wins and losses?
Of course - the horse bettor can simply raise his bet level every so often. This, like everything else related to a serious horse race betting approach, should be done methodically and systematically.

One could, for example, raise the bet level 20-25% on every doubling of the betting bankroll - ex: Starting bank = $500, win bet level $10.00 - when bank reaches $1000,  raise bet level to $12.00 or $13.00.
There are complex formulas that best cope with "risk of ruin" per average bet size as related to average payoff etc. - but that's not what I'm going to go into in this article.

Parlays are the subject here.

Parlay betting is kind of magical. 

It's often been said that you can't turn a flat bet loss series into a profitable series by applying any sort of horse betting method or money management plan.

Well, yes, you can.  Parlays can do that!
Here is a series of 10 horse race wagers:
 loss, loss, loss, loss, $9.00, $10.00, loss, loss, loss, loss.

Flat betting $2.00 each time, you've got $20 in and $19 out for a loss of 5%.

Betting a straight two horse $2.00 parlay - you've only got $18 in - but $45.00 back out for an ROI of +150% !

Okay - but don't run out and tap the savings account just yet.  The order of wins and losses becomes crucial in parlays.  Move either of the above two wins by one race and you'd miss the parlay and have a 100% loss!
Just as parlays can turn a flat bet losing series into a winning one - they can turn flat bet winning series into a losing one.
Here is another series of 10 races:

loss, 8.00, loss, $10.00, loss, $12.00, loss, loss, loss, loss.

Flat betting $2.00 = $20 in, $30 out for an  ROI of +50%   Straight 2 horse parlay - $18 in, $0 out for and  ROI of -100%
Yet, a different parlay betting approach - the "round robin" can gain great profits on the same (above) series

A "round robin" attempts to catch all possible parlays occurring in any given multi-race series.  In a 10 race series, the bettor would start with 9 $2.00 bets,  then 8 $2.00 bets etc.  as follows for the above series:

race 1 - bet $18 = loss
race 2 - bet $16 -  pays $8.00 = return $64.00
race 3 - bet $14 + $8 = loss
race 4 - bet $12 + $8 - pays $10.00 = return $100.00
race 5 - bet $10 + $8 + $10 - loss
race 6 - bet $8 + $8 + $10 - pays $12.00 = return $156
race 7 - bet $6 + $8 + $10 + $12 = loss
race 8 - bet $4 + $8 + $10 + $12 = loss
race 9 - bet $2 + $8 + $10 + $12 = loss
race 10 - bet $0 + $8 + $10 + $12 = loss
Total of all bets = $262 in       Total out = $320  for a good ROI of +22%
Or is it a +22% ROI on this series of horse race bets?            

No, not really.

If you bet $100 on a pick six that you win and pays $800 - what's your ROI? Isn't it 800 divided by 100 for +700% profit?  Or, let's say you bet a $2.00 daily double that pays off at $16.00 - what's your ROI? Isn't it 16 divided by 2 for +700% profit?
Parlays should be figured exactly as any other multi-race wager. In the above example, the total risk capital was only that amount which was started each race:      18+16+14+12+10+8+6+4+2 = $90

So we had $320 total out on $262 total bet for a net of +$58.00     

$58 profit on $90 risked is an actual ROI of +64.4%

The mistake made by players attempting to run parlays - is the same old mistake players are forever making . . .

Needing lots of wins to bolster their egos and verify their handicapping skills, they parlay low priced figure horses.  

Most often their parlay approach isn't even planned - it's a craps shooter's mentality - "press it up."  

An example would be a player who hits say a 9-5 winner for a $20 wager - his return around $57.00 - and he decides on the spur of the moment to parlay it all onto the next race where he's got another good looking figure horse going off at 2-1.  He hits it at say $6.40 and gets a $182 return.  Great!  He feels really good about his "score" - decides to stop while he's way ahead and go home with his good profit.

The ROI was an incredible +812% - I mean, that is incredible - right? 
Well - yes, but there was this other guy who played the same day and had run a mere $2.00 five race parlay series.  He had set his minimum acceptable odds at 7-1 and proceeded to smoke out the best contender in each race that qualified at those odds.  He had his simple betting tables all laid out on a betting sheet so he could keep good and accurate records of his wagers and results - in other words, he had a betting plan.
The results of his horse race betting parlay campaign looked like this:
race 1 - bet $8 = loss
race 2 - bet $6 - pays $19.80 = return $59.40
race 3 - pass, no decent qualifier 
race 4 - bet $4 + $20 (19.80 rounded up)  -  ( this was the race our other player won at $5.70) = loss  
race 5 - bet $2 + $20 = loss (this was the $6.40 winner that completed our other  player's parlay)
race 6 - pass, no decent qualifiers
race 7 - bet $0 + $20 - pays $37.80 = return $378 (this is bet #5 and
              completes the series)
So player #2 has risked $8+6+4+2 = the same $20 as player #1, yet he has a total of $80 bet and $431.40 out for a net of $357.4.  

As put forth in the previous article, Horse Racing Gold advocates the portfolio method of horse betting and money management.

There is no "fantasy-world" perfect horse race betting system, or money management plan.  They just don't exist.  Serious wagering requires a bankroll, patience, self-confidence and nerve.
Parlay betting separates the men from the boys (and the women from the girls!). . . No sweet little old grandmothers allowed!
It takes a certain kind of race bettor to be able to have just cashed a good paying ticket, yet be willing to risk that "bird in the hand" profit looking for the really big profits "in the bush."


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 Horse Race Betting Articles

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Basic Betting Philosophy 

 Basic Betting Approaches 

 Basic Parlay Betting 

 Progression Betting 

 Considering The Odds 

 Betting Place Parlays 

 The Secret To Betting Profits 

 Win Betting 

 Base Bet + Square Root Betting 

 Fixed Percentage Minimum Betting 

 Betting The Exacta 

 Lay Betting 

 Place and Show Betting 

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