NFL Expert Picks

What Are Progressive Parlays?

Progressive or multichance parlays are a variation of regular parlays that allow bettors to make an incorrect selection on their slips and still receive a payout. Progressive parlay odds depend on how many wagers you make on one ticket, with the payout changing based on how many selections end up losing. We’ll go over how progressive parlays are structured, how payouts are calculated and some tips to help you decide if they’re a good fit for your betting style.

What is a Progressive Parlay?

Let’s start with the basics: a parlay is a type of wager where a bettor adds multiple bets to one slip – every selection needs to be successful or the entire parlay will crumble. Adding multiple wagers will increase the potential payout, but the more items you have, the higher the chance a loss destroys your bet and the entire thing falls through.

Progressive parlays are great because they offer that same high-payout opportunity while giving bettors a bit of forgiveness. In a progressive parlay, your payout ratio will change depending on how many correct/ incorrect selections you make – unlike a regular parlay, one or two losses will not void your bet, just lower the final payout.

How Do Progressive Parlays Work?

Below, we have a table of the payout ratio for each type of progressive parlay. The rules for progressive parlays are a bit stricter than normal – you must select four or more teams and the only line you can wager on is the spread. Because of this, the odds are fixed no matter what contests you’re betting on.

 All Teams WinOne Team LosesTwo Teams LoseThree Teams Lose
Four Teams5:11:1--
Five Teams11:12:1--
Six Teams20:19:2--
Seven Teams40:14:11:2-
Eight Teams75:110:12:1 
Nine Teams150:120:15:2 
10 Teams250:160:13:11:1
11 Teams400:160:15:11:1
12 Teams900:180:110:13:1

The more teams you add, the higher your potential payout will be, just like a regular parlay. The differentiator is the loss category – you’re afforded more and more leeway as your amount of selections grows. For example, on seven different wagers, you’re allowed to make two incorrect picks – when you get to ten, that number goes up to three.

What's the difference between a parlay and a progressive parlay?

The most appealing difference is that progressive parlays allow you to have one to three incorrect selections on your slip and still earn a payout. Regular parlays have no patience for incorrect wagers – one mess-up and your bet is ruined. Keep in mind that most progressive parlay options will count a tie, or a push, as a loss; regular parlays simply reduce your overall payout by the tie’s corresponding odds.

Secondly, you can only bet on the spread when you choose progressive parlays – no totals, no moneyline, no props. Because of this, the odds are fixed depending on your selections. That’s because spreads tend to have equal odds, usually around -110, so only the number of selections matters. If you’re unsure whether a progressive parlay is worth it, you can check what your payout would be on a regular parlay by using our parlay calculator.

Finally, progressive parlays set a minimum of four bets on each ticket. Regular parlays let you do smaller combinations of two and three, but progressive parlays need you to get a bit riskier to benefit from their forgiving nature.

Should I use progressive parlays?

Like any betting-related question, it depends on your appetite for risk and what’s going to be the most fun for you. There’s no right or wrong option, but you need to keep your wits about you and remember the sportsbook’s juice. 

The oddsmakers are in this for profit, so every spread that’s available to you will always be priced with a slight disadvantage against your favor. This is known as the implied probability of each bet, a hidden number that makes parlays an even bigger risk than they already seem.

Remember – while those high-selection payouts are incredibly exciting, they’re lucrative for a reason. If you’re making a ten-team progressive parlay in hopes of hitting a 400:1 payday and two teams wind up losing, you’ll only take home 3:1 of your stake. While that’s a nice bit of cash, you could have just selected five of those ten teams and gotten them all correct for an 11:1 payout. Don’t let the big numbers blind you!

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