Players flock to football parlay cards

August 13, 2002 7:47 AM
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Ry Ron Fortune

When it comes to the football season, parlay cards reign, at least for the average player who likes a shot at the lumberyard by betting a toothpick.

The sports books are also crazy over cards because of their high house advantage — up to 25-30 percent and more.

The leader in printing parlay cards is Dirson Enterprises, which prints cards for the major casinos, including MGM Mirage, Stations, and Park Place. A rep for Dirson said their business has risen exponentially as sports books try to remain competitive in the football parlay card market.

With a variety of cards and corresponding skill levels, parlay cards can offer the football-loving bettor the same chance-in-a-lifetime already welcomed by slot players, where a small wager of just a few dollars can instantly turn into thousands.

Nearly every sports and race book in Nevada offers some form of parlay cards to choose from, including a selection of distinctive teasers, yet some are more popular or offer greater value than others.

One of the leaders in parlay cards among Las Vegas casinos is the Stardust, located in the heart of The Strip.

"Here at the Stardust, we’ve always had a wide variety of parlay cards, and in conjunction with that, offer as much value as we can, which is why we are a big parlay card house," said Joe Lupo, the Race & Sports Manager at the Stardust. "And our spreads are basically the same as if you were betting off-the-board."

Like many casinos, Stardust offers a half-point teaser, while another parlay card offers 20,000-for-1 odds on a 15-for-15 selection. Still other cards offer perks with a minimum bet, including hats, coffee mugs and T-shirts. In all, Stardust offers eght diverse cards to choose from.

However, the most intriguing Stardust card is The Ultimate Challenge, a reverse teaser with payoffs beginning at 20-for-1 and ranging into five figures!  Hey, no one said it would be easy, but the payoff might make it worth the effort.

The Stratosphere also offers a reverse teaser, with payoffs hitting the lottery level.

Other houses also offer unique parlay cards or other types of value.

"People want their parlay cards as fast as they can, so we try to accommodate them," noted Micah Roberts, director of race & Sports at Palace Station. "We put out one of the earliest parlay cards in town ”” by noon on Wednesday ”” so there is lots of value in our cards, especially with the way the line moves these days.
Palace Station also offers ties-win cards and a Mega-teaser, which Roberts notes are "both very popular."

Meanwhile, a 700-for-1 payday can be found on a ties win card at Gold Coast casino.

"It’s a really popular card with both locals and visitors from out of town," said Gold Coast sports book manager Nikkie Commisso. "And our half-point card is also a favorite, where for $5, you can win $100,000 by picking 15 teams."

That has actually happened, with players hitting the "big" payoff, often by playing a mix of college and pro games.

Gold Coast also offers a Sunday night-Monday night special card for football, which is a selection of props, topping out at 800-for-1 on a 10-pick.

"That and the half-point cards are really good," added Commisso.

The Palms has also come out with a nice mix of parlay cards that keeps players hopping.

"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.

Simply shop around and find the parlay or teaser card which best fits your wagering skills and desires. And like a slot player, you too may hit a jackpot.