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 if it’s just for
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
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
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
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. We don’t recommend risking large stakes and you
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.
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