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Horse Racing Tips: What Is A Parlay?

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports to bet on online. Therefore, there is little surprise that there is a growing number of available markets to wager on when it comes to some of the biggest events on the schedule.

However, the key for all experienced gamblers is to get the best possible value for their desired selections, which could typically mean combining a number of short price runners into a parlay. It is a popular way to bet the 2024 Preakness Stakes, as punters can combine their selections for the middle race of the Triple Crown and their selection for the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

But, what exactly is a parlay in horse racing and what are some of the key tips that bettors should follow before making their selections on this bet type?

What Is A Parlay?

A horse racing parlay is very straightforward to understand, as this is where a bettor will combine two or more selections to make a longer form bet. Combining selections will increase the odds, meaning that winning selections would gain greater returns that simply betting on each individual runner to claim victory in their race.

A parlay comes with its fair share of pros and cons, meaning that it is always important to weigh up all options, and assess the potential risk before making final selections into a parlay.

Parlay Negatives

Parlay betting is full of risk, as bettors stand to lose their stake if just one of their selections loses the race that they are wagering on. Therefore, it is typically a betting market that is used by experienced gamblers when it comes to combining a number of short-priced favorites that have a small chance of losing in order to boost the odds that are available.

But, the risk means that if just one runner loses, then the stake is lost and the bet is over. Therefore, it is unlikely that bettors will look to include horses at big prices. It is also most popular among experienced gamblers that are looking to put down significant amounts of money on favourites.

Parlay Positives

Like all betting markets, parlays come with a number of positives as well as negatives. The most obvious positive that comes with parlay betting is the fact that gamblers stand to win more in terms of returns on this type of market. The added difficulty means that gamblers will be rewarded for making their bold selections, meaning that it is always important to only include runners that stand the best chance of gaining victories in their respective races.

Another positive when it comes to parlay betting is the fact that it is an excellent opportunity to wager on a number of races throughout the day, meaning that you will remain engaged with the action taking place on track. However, it is worth remembering that should one of the first legs of the bet lose, then you may need to put down another bet to cover the remaining races on the card.

Alternative To Parlay Win Betting

Making win selections to combine into a parlay is the most popular method for experienced bettors, but there are alternative markets that can also be included into a parlay.

For example, bettors can make their multi-leg selections each-way, meaning that the bet will carry on even if your selection finishes second. However, the returns after a leg fails to win can often take a hit, with the vast majority of bookmakers paying 1/5 of the horse’s odds on a place.

But, it is an excellent alternative for beginners, as it will help them to understand how a parlay works, and also maintain engagement throughout a day of racing if the bet is still going. Furthermore, bettors can combine a number of legs in the place betting market. This will typically cover the first two places in the race, but the odds will be vastly inferior to what can be found in the win betting market.

Parlay Strategies

We have already touched on the most popular parlay betting strategy, which includes combining a string of short-priced runners to enhance the odds available. Bettors that can combine five horses at odds of 1/5 will get a payout of around $25, including the stake, should the bet be a winner.

That is considerable better than winning $2 on profit on a $10 wager on a selection at the same price on an individual bet. A key tip to finding the best short priced favorites to include in parlays is by examining the field sizes. Horses that are found at the top of the betting and only have a small number of runners to beat will always stand a better chance of claiming victory than those in big fields where more can go wrong.