Pleasers are quite complicated wagers, and among the very hardest wagers to win. A lot of betting experts advise that they are best avoided, especially by beginners, but there's no harm at all in learning how they work. They do offer potentially massive payouts, and that alone is a tempting reason to try your luck with them every now and then, even it's just for fun.
As pleasers are effectively a type of parlay, you should understand how parlays work before trying to come to grips with this particular wager. You should also be familiar with how odds work, and have an understanding of point spread betting and totals betting. If you're not fully up to speed on any of these topics, we suggest taking a look at the following pages and then coming back to this article.
If you're ready to find out how pleasers work, then please read on.
An Introduction to Pleasers
Pleasers can be placed on football and basketball matches. They involve making multiple point spread bets or totals bets as part of a single wager, and you have to get all your selections right to win. They are similar to parlays in this respect, but there's one very significant difference.
The point spreads and totals lines are moved against you, making it harder to get your selections right. This might make pleasers seem like a bad idea, and there are many that say they aren't good bets in any circumstances, but the upside is that the potential returns can be very attractive.
The easiest way to explain further is to look at how pleasers work in practice. The following screenshot shows the point spreads available on a couple of upcoming football matches.
The Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers are the two favorites here, and let's say you fancied both of them to win and cover the spread. If you placed a normal two team parlay, you would need the Lions to win by seven or more points and the Steelers to win by six or more points if your wager was going to be successful.
If you placed a pleaser, however, the numbers would change. With a seven point pleaser, for example, the spreads move by seven points. The Lions would be -13.5 and the Steelers would be -12.5. You would therefore need the Lions to win by 14 points or more, and the Steelers to win by 13 points or more. If either failed to do so, your pleaser would lose.
Obviously you are less likely to win the pleaser than the parlay. The payouts reflect that though. A $50 stake on the parlay would return a total of $180 (including stake) with most bookmakers, while a $50 stake on the pleaser would return $450. That's a significant difference.
The principle is essentially the same if you are betting on totals rather than the point spreads. If the totals line on a match is 54.5, for example, then it would move to 61.5 if you were betting on the over in a pleaser. If you were betting on the under, the line would move to 47.5.
There are three main variables with pleasers: the number of points the spreads or totals lines are moved by, the number of selections included, and the potential payouts. You can choose the number of points and the number of selections, and these in turn affect the payouts. This allows you some control over the level of risk you wish to take and the level of reward you stand to make.
In terms of the number of points the spreads or totals line are moved by, you'll usually have options between 6 points and 10 points for football pleasers. 6 or 7 point pleasers are the most common. The options for basketball pleasers tend to be 4 points, 4.5 points, or 5 points. Different bookmakers and sports betting sites may offer different options though. The higher the points movement, the harder the pleaser is to win and the higher the potential payouts.
You can usually choose to include any number of selections between two and ten. The exact rules in this regard may vary though, depending on where you are betting. Increasing the number of selections will increase the potential payout, but will make it harder to win your pleaser.
The following charts show some example payouts.
|7 Point Football Pleaser|
Number of Selections
|4 Point Basketball Pleaser|
Number of Selections
Despite the fact that pleasers are considered bad bets by many, we wouldn't suggest that you totally ignore them. You should be aware that they are very hard to win, but there's nothing wrong with taking an occasional shot with them and going for a big payout. You shouldn't risk big stakes though, and shouldn't have too much expectation for positive results.
If you'd like some further advice for using pleasers effectively, please check out the following strategy article.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: March 2015
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