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Parlay Cards Prove to be Worst Bet Gamblers Make in Las Vegas Casinos in 2021

Parlay Cards Prove to be Worst Bet Gamblers Make in Las Vegas Casinos in 2021 article feature image
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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Las Vegas Bet Sheet

The single worst game to play in Nevada casinos in 2021: The sports parlay card.

When the Nevada Gaming Control Board came out on Thursday morning with their final numbers for the year, sportsbooks took home a greater percentage of the money from parlay cards than any other table game in the rest of the casino.

“We like to say it’s like playing roulette,” said one bookmaker.

You’re actually much more likely to hit on red or black.

The percentage of money bet on roulette in Nevada that casinos wound up keeping? 19.8%.

The percentage of money bet on parlay cards in Nevada that sportsbooks wound up keeping? 32%.

Parlay cards allow bettors to pick up a card — usually with college football or college basketball games — pick spreads and/or totals and win if everything hits. And that’s the challenge. It’s not only all or nothing but usually includes at least a 7-teamer. There are some cards that are 20- or 25-teamers that promise $1 million.

Parlay cards aren’t all that popular — people like to be more creative with their combinations and seem to be aware of the risk for the long-shot reward. But their percentage of the take provides a glance into the eye of the parlay — the most marketable winning bet at a sportsbook and also the most profitable.

That doesn’t mean you should stay entirely away from the sportsbook.

The 2021 win percentage for Nevada sportsbooks was 5.4%, the second-worst win percentage of any game in the casinos, which means it was gamblers’ second-best bet. What topped it? The five-cent slot machines (5.31 win percentage)

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