Parlay betting strategy for roulette and blackjack: Tips, tricks and advice

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October 27th, 2020

Casino players enjoy trying many different betting systems, but few are as thrilling as the parlay betting strategy. 

The parlay betting strategy originated with 16th-Century aristocratic Italians, who devised it as part of a curious card game called basset. It was considered a game worthy only of the wealthy thanks to the big losses or wins it could bring about. Even though it first rose to prominence hundreds of years ago, it’s still popular today with those who like a gamble on roulette.

Parlay betting explained

The parlay betting strategy falls under the umbrella of progressive betting systems. But unlike the Martingale Strategy, whereby you increase your wagers until you win, then go back to the start of the sequence, with the parlay strategy, you just keep going, doubling after every win, but starting back at the beginning after each loss.

First off, we must make clear the strategy works when you bet 50/50 odds, such as those you get on red or black, or odd or even in roulette.

Let’s say your starting bet is $10. If you lose, you wager $10 again. If you win, you put your $20 winnings on the next spin. Win again, and you put your new winnings on the next spin, so $40. By winning just three spins in a row, you will have $80 from the $10 you started with.

Look at this typical sequence.

  1. Bet $10, lose ($10 invested)
  2. Bet $10, win ($20 invested)
  3. Bet $20, lose ($20 invested)
  4. Bet $10, lose ($30 invested)
  5. Bet $10, win ($40 invested)
  6. Bet $20, win ($40 invested)
  7. Bet $40, win ($40 invested)

If we stop at this point, we have won $80 after investing $40, so a $40 profit.

It should be noted that the parlay betting system relies on you, the player, enjoying a hot streak to return a healthy profit. In our example above, we won our three in a row on spins 5, 6 and 7. But what if spin number 7 was a loss? We would lose our money and have to invest another $10 on spin 8. In other words, we would now be in a $50 hole, hoping to go on a three-game winning streak all over again.

Of course, lady luck might fall in our favor, and we could perhaps hit our winning streak immediately. In which case, our situation looks like this.

  1. Bet $10, win ($10 invested)
  2. Bet $20, win ($10 invested)
  3. Bet $40, win ($10 invested)

You can now see we invested a total of just $10 and ended up with $80 in three short spins.

The best parlay strategy is to set a profit target

The parlay betting strategy does not define how many times you need to win in a row. In our example, we used just three since even that is an outside chance (12.5%). However, nothing is stopping you from going further – except your nerve. It’s tempting to go for the fourth win on the spin, meaning you will have $160 in our example. But you must consider winning four 50/50 in a row is a 6.25% shot. You might very well end up losing all you have made and have to start over again, investing another $10 to try and set up another hot streak.

For you to overcome this sticky situation, it is best to plan ahead. Before you sit down at the roulette table, set yourself a profit target. When you reach it, quit and enjoy your winnings. Don’t fight the urge to go just one more time!

Can you use parlay betting in blackjack?

Yes, you can. Each hand of blackjack is a 50/50 bet, since if you bet $10 and win, you get $20 back, including your initial bet. So, you can try to "spin it up" with the parlay betting strategy and place a $20 wager on the next round, and so on.

The strategy will work only if you do not place blackjack side bets, split pairs or double down in a particular round. If you make blackjack and get a higher return, then re-invest that, too. Just like in roulette, keep playing the system – returning to your initial bet size when you lose a round – until you win your pre-determined profit target.

You can use the same parlay betting tips in baccarat.

Do you use a strategy when playing roulette?

Try the parlay betting rules for yourself

If the parlay strategy sounds like betting by the seat of your pants, it is. It’s good fun to try, especially if you know you can stomach the potential loss. The best way to try it out is by signing up for BetAmerica Casino, making your first deposit, and heading to the roulette or blackjack tables.