Every professional gambler knows this. It’s very basic. Yet, in this age of information, there are still people who don’t interact with the sea of knowledge. Even worse, there are people who hear about this and still don’t do it. We call them idiots.
You should never play parlays. Accumulators. Combos. Cumulative bets. Whatever you call them, don’t play them! Only put your money on singles (that means single bets).
Why? Well, let’s use math.
Suppose that in January you’re going to place 120 bets, $100 for each event. On each, the odds are 1.98 and the strike rate 50% (half the time the result will go as you anticipated). Mark decides to place them in two-match combos and Einstein decides to place them as singles.
Mark has therefore 60 bets of $200 with odds of 1.98 * 1.98 = 3.9204
Einstein has 120 bets of $100 with odds of 1.98
For both, the amount of money invested will be $12,000.
Since the probability of each event to succeed is 50%, Mark will have 15 winners out of the 60 bets.
The total loss of Mark will be 15 * $200 * 3.9204 – the amount invested = $11,761.2 – $12,000 = -$238.8
The total loss of Einstein will be 60 * $100 * 1.98 – the amount invested = $11,880 – $12,000 = -$120
Therefore Einstein lost less money. Q.E.D.
If Mark would have loved parlays even more and organized his bets in 3-match combos, he would have lost even more money: -$356.412
Think about it this way:
I’m giving a realistic example with losing more instead of winning less because for most people this is the reality. Do not dream or foul yourself. You’re not better than the bookmakers or the mass of people that dictates a handicap. In order to be successful with sports betting you have to work a lot and know a few tricks. Check out my sports betting guide for more information, if this is your objective.
Professionals may read the continuation of this article.
I define a professional by someone who makes or is able to make a living through sports betting; not an easy task. Everybody else is not a professional in this field and should not act as one because if the gambling virus gets him, he might lose more money than he can afford. If sports betting is simply a fun activity for you, try to not risk more than 5% of your monthly income with it and stop reading now.
Now… for professionals…. do not be a robot! Do not take the singles rule to heart. As disadvantages multiply, advantages can multiply as well. In the extremely rare occasion when you will have two picks simultaneously at the same bookmaker, if you don’t care about variance, bet them as a combo!
Odds 2.02, strike rate 50%:
The total profit of Mark will be 15 * $200 * 4.0804 – $12,000 = $241.2
The total profit of Einstein will be 60 * $100 * 2.02 – $12,000 = $120
Funny twist… if you’d be allowed to put the same event with different handicaps in the same parlay… you’d crush the bookmaker.