Bettors discover parlay heaven under the Palms

Nov 20, 2001 9:16 AM

You don’t have to be a palm reader to know parlay cards are a lucrative proposition for sports books, especially during the football season.

The hold percentage for parlay cards ranges from 25-30 percent, while the hold on “straight” bets averages about 5 percent.

Thus it was no surprise when the newest kid on the casino block, the Palms, tossed its Panama hat into the parlay card ring.

What’s surprising is how quickly the Palms’ parlay cards have caught on with players.

“Their payoffs are about the same as most cards, but they offer a better range of bets and a wider selection of cards to choose from,” said one player, who vowed to switch playing cards from a popular locals hotel chain. “Plus, I could play games on these cards that weren’t offered anywhere else.”

Indeed, the Palms has unleashed an impressive mix of parlay cards. They include the standard ties win, higher odds (half-point), ties-win teaser and ties-win mega teaser cards, but they also offer an intriguing half-point mini teaser, and a breakthrough first-half parlay card that treats ties as pushes ”” the same as “off the board” parlays.

“We think we have a good selection of cards for players,” said Perry Swanson, Palms race and sports book manager. “So far, the response from the betting public has been very good.”

One of the most popular of the Palms cards is its first-half parlay card, which reduces the parlay one notch for every push. Thus, a six-teamer becomes a five-teamer if one game pushes ”” the same as a straight parlay off the betting board. For parlay card bettors, this is a huge improvement over parlay cards that lose with ties.

A fascinating parlay card introduced by the Palms is its half-point mini teaser card, which gives bettors a 3-point tease on sides and NFL totals.

If 3 points sound insignificant, consider that Georgia Tech, Tulsa, Connecticut, Michigan, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Marshall would have all been winners with an additional 3 points. And in the NFL, so would the Seahawks, Chargers and Rams.

To get a better grasp of what the public has found in such a short period of time, GamingToday compared the Palms parlay cards with those of a Strip casino that considers itself a leader in sports betting, and a popular locals casino chain.

While some of the differences are subtle, the Palms cards clearly give players more options and, in some cases, a better range of odds. Here’s what GT found:

”¡Palms has a wider selection of games to choose from. It offered action on every college football game, including match-ups between New Mexico State-LA. Lafayette, Arkansas State-LA Monroe, Middle Tenn. State-Connecticut, Toledo-Eastern Michigan and Marshall-Ohio ”” all of which were left off other parlay cards.

”¡The point-spread on the Palms teaser card gave players a bettor range in which to bet. Most teaser cards give players an 11-point range in which to bet; for instance, last week Northwestern was —3 against Bowling Green, which had a take back of +14 (an 11-point margin). But the Palms gave players a range of Northwestern —1 versus Bowling Green at +14, for a 13-point margin.

”¡Palms’ first-half card treats ties as “pushes,” the same as parlays off the board. Other casinos often treat ties as losses.