What is parlay insurance? How can you use it to your advantage? And which sportsbooks offer the best parlay insurance options?
Of course, this is not a sustainable wagering strategy – but it sure looks fun.
And fun is the main draw of the parlay wager. If they lose (and let’s be honest, most of them do) you’re out a small amount of money. But if you can cash the first leg or two of a four- or five-team parlay, the excitement goes through the roof!
Parlay insurance is the latest attractive offering to make parlay wagering enjoyable for bettors. But what is parlay insurance and where can you find it?
What is a Parlay?
A parlay is any wager that combines two or more outcomes into one bet in exchange for a larger payout.
Parlays can be as small as two outcomes, and can involve as many wagers as the sportsbook will allow (20-25 wagers is a typical cap).
If a bettor chooses correctly on each wager, he or she receives an increased payout. Parlay calculators allow you to see how much you’d win with different wagers at varying odds.
The balance for the increased payout is the requirement to hit each and every bet in the parlay in order to win. If you play a five-game parlay, it doesn’t matter whether you get zero right or four right – any loss means the entire wager loses.
Or does it? Parlay insurance offers bettors a chance to change that equation.
What is Parlay Insurance?
Parlay insurance is the concept of a sportsbook offering some sort of refund, reimbursement, or protection in the case of the parlay losing.
Parlay insurance is adding a new element to the art of parlay wagering. The “all-or-nothing” mentality still exists as bettors pursue jackpot payouts, but various forms of parlay insurance provide gamblers with differing safety nets for losing wagers.
Much like other forms of insurance, these promotions offer gamblers numerous benefits all geared towards protecting the player from losses due to “bad beats,” player injuries, or other unforeseen circumstances.
What Are the Benefits of Parlay Insurance?
There are plenty of benefits to having parlay insurance.
As we discussed, parlays are the most fun wagers available. But they hit at a low percentage.
Parlay insurance provides a measure of protection against seeing your bankroll rapidly depleted in pursuit of a huge payout. You’re not sacrificing any of the upside, just protecting against some of the downside.
With your parlay insured, it makes sense to add an extra leg or two into the wager and go for the bigger payout.
A typical two-team parlay pays a little better than 5:2. But a five-team parlay, for example, pays at about 22:1. With your wager insured, why not take a chance on the jackpot victory?
Parlays require you to place the entire wager from the start. You can’t add/subtract games as events unfold.
So imagine a four-team parlay where the first three bets win… but a star player is held out due to injury in game four. Suddenly, your well-planned wager goes up in flames with nothing to show for your three winning wagers.
Parlay insurance takes some of the sting out of losing out on that big victory.
Types of Parlay Insurance
So, how do sportsbooks insure your parlays? There are a few parlay insurance options out there.
We’ll call this the “close, but no cigar promo”.
If you place a parlay of 4+ legs, you’ll receive a refund (usually up to $25 or another amount). But only when you lose ONLY one leg of the parlay.
This is particularly beneficial if the scenario above, where a player’s injury or another unfortunate occurrence derails an otherwise winning wager. You will find this parlay insurance type at FanDuel.
Free Bet Insurance
This is identical to the scenario above, only the refund is in the form of a free bet rather than straight cash returned to your account.
The benefit to this approach is that free bets can be wagered on anything. So if you receive a $25 free bet from an insured parlay, why not use that free bet on your next parlay wager?
Claim your bet insurance when placing parlays at BetMGM.
Risk-Free or No-Sweat Parlays:
Typically limited to same-game parlays, these promotions cover your losing parlays (up to a certain dollar amount) regardless of your win/loss record.
After opting into the promo, you place a same-game parlay of 3 or more legs. If the wager loses in ANY fashion, you’re reimbursed with a free or bonus bet up to the designated dollar amount.
The advantage to this promo is the ability to use it as a bankroll builder or an opportunity for a big payout. Knowing your wager is covered regardless allows you to use any strategy you choose in building your parlay.
Same Game Parlays can be played at:
DraftKings Sports SPECIAL OFFER
Is Parlay Insurance Worth It?
Now you know what is parlay insurance. But is it really worth having?
If you enjoy betting parlays, it is absolutely a worthwhile venture. Popular sportsbooks like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet all utilize parlay insurance in various forms and promotions.
The best thing about parlay insurance is accessing the upside of parlay betting while protecting yourself against the downside. A $25 bet might not sound like much – until it turns into $500 or more on a five-team parlay!
A few tips for making the most out of parlay insurance:
- Sign up at different sportsbooks – As we mentioned, a number of books offer insurance in one form or another. So, the more opportunities for insurance, the greater your protection against parlay losses.
- Read the conditions of each promotion – Some parlay insurance is risk-free, but other forms of insurance are only good when the wager wins all but one leg. In addition, the insurance is generally limited to a certain dollar amount ($25 is a common figure) so don’t go betting $1,000 parlays expecting full protection.
- Play it smart! – We can’t stress enough how difficult it is to win parlay wagers on a regular basis. These wagers don’t become bulletproof just by adding insurance – parlays remain risky wagers. But parlay insurance gives you a measure of protection from the downside, or another chance to hit on a big winner.