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Different Types of Sports Bets

All betting options from the sportsbook lines can be combined with each other, thus forming different types of bets. They differ from others by the number of possible outcomes and by the way they are calculated.

Single, express and system are the most common types of bets. We will tell you more about each of them. Including what they are and what rules the sportsbooks usually set for them.

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Straight Wagers (Single Bets)

This is the most common type of wagering among sports bettors. This is simply a single bet, placed on the estimated outcome of only one event. The player selects a bet in the line with certain odds, makes a wager and, if the choice is successful, makes a profit. The winnings will be equal to the amount bet and the odds. 

An example of a single bet calculation: 

Take for example, in a game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins you decide to bet $1000 on a Patriots win. The sportsbook has accompanied this option with a factor of +100. If the Patriots end up winning the game, you will receive a payout of $2000. If the Dolphins win, then your bet is lost.

The advantage of this type of bet is considered to be its simplicity and relative reliability because unlike other types of bets, it is only necessary to predict one outcome in a single game. The disadvantage of the single bet is that there will commonly be smaller odds compared to the parlay or system bets.

Parlay Betting (Express)

The parlay bet is a combination of single bets: it includes several outcomes predicted by the player (there may be two or more). Sports bettors like parlay bets primarily for the high odds, as when calculating the total parlay odds all of the outcomes (legs) are multiplied. 

An example of express calculation

Let’s say, for your express, you predict the outcome of three soccer matches: 

  • Barcelona +100 win in Barcelona vs Real Madrid
  • Arsenal’s +100 win in Arsenal vs Tottenham; 
  • Juventus +100 win in Juventus vs AC Milan.

The total odds for this parlay would be +700 or 8.0(200/100x200/100x200/100 = 8). If every event in this express bet is successful, you will get a win at the odds of eight (the size of the bet will be multiplied by eight). However, if even one leg in the parlay loses, the entire parlay bet will be lost.

Obviously, with each event added to the parlay, the overall odds are increased, however, the likelihood that all selected events will be successful is reduced.

A lot of novice players create parlay bets from the so-called “vernacular”, that is, from a large number of events with very low odds: it seems almost certain that they will all win, and the overall odds are quite enticing.

However, low odds are not a guarantee of winning and clear favorites can lose as well. And more often than not this will signify a novice bettor to a sportsbook, someone who has not yet learned a full analysis of the events.

Accordingly, compiling huge express trains in the vast majority of cases is a quick path to numerous and regular loses. Parlay bets can be used in a variety of game strategies. For example, one of the rather popular strategies in betting on soccer is called '27 Express'.

It is designed to make a parlay from bets on exact scores in several matches. It is believed that 27 express trains cover all of the most likely variants of actual scores, and even if 26 express trains should lose with only one winning, that one will justify the entire system as the odds on the exact score bet are quite high separately and even higher in parlays. 

Please note that sportsbooks can impose a limit on the number of possible events in the express or limit the maximum possible winning ratio. The express is generally not allowed to include interdependent events. 

What’s better: single or parlay betting? There is no definite answer to this question. Of course, a parlay with more legs will have higher odds, and if you do not make a mistake with any of your predicted outcomes, the winnings will also be much larger than the same outcomes in an ordinary bet, or separately.

However, experienced players in most cases will prefer single bets. In a pinch, choosing a parlay with 2-3 legs, because the fewer outcomes in the parlay, the more likely it is that they will all be winners. 

Round-Robin Betting (system bets)

What does a round robin bet look like? This type of bet may appeal to those who are worried that one of the events in the express “will not reach” and because of this will lose the entire parlay bet.

A round robin bet is a combination of parlays of a given size from a predetermined number of events. Each combination in the system is calculated as a separate express.

You bet on a few events included in the express and specify the dimension of the round robin (for example, play 2 out of 3, 3 out of 4, etc.). If all of the events you chose win, you will win with multiplied (by special formula) odds.

The overall odds here are much lower than in the parlay. However, if one or more bets lose, you still have the chance to stay in the plus or at least return part of the bet. 

Depending on the type of system and the number of legs that make up the parlay, the number of combinations required will change.

So, if we put 2/3 (2 out of 3) into the system, we will have to put only three combinations of parlays. If we choose a system, for example, 3/8 (three out of eight), the required number of combinations will already be 56, and the total amount of the bet should be much higher.

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