How Does Round Robin Betting Work for Sports Betting?
Round robin betting is a creative type of parlay betting that requires making multiple parlay bets at once. Deriving its name from round robin tournaments—where each team in the tournament plays against each other at least once—this type of betting is when you have a number of betting lines (moneyline bets, spread bets, totals bet, etc.) you want to parlay.
Instead of constructing one big parlay, you can build many different smaller ones that include all possible combinations of events.
The minimum number of bets in a round robin bet is three, but technically, there is no maximum. It all depends on the combinations you want to bet on, and the size of the parlays you wish to make. As a betting strategy, round robin betting will affect your payout, but it also increases your chances of success.
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Round Robin Betting a Great Strategy?
As a hedge, round robin bets are an excellent way to mitigate your losses without hurting your potential payout too much.
While the payouts associated with round robin bets are smaller than if one big parlay hits, you don’t have to worry about your parlay failing if you mispredict the outcome of one event.
Think of round robin betting as a security policy that still has the massive payout of a parlay.
How to Construct a Round Robin Bet
To make a round robin bet, you must include at least three separate parlays with at least three different lines. This can be a tad confusing, so let’s break down an example.
Let’s say you really like the following three lines.
Brooklyn Nets +7.5 (-110)
Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (-110)
New York Rangers +1.5 (-110)
If you were going to construct one regular parlay, you’d need all three of these teams to cover the spread.
Thanks to round robin betting, you can create a security policy that allows one leg of your parlay to fail, while keeping you profitable. As such, instead of creating a parlay event where all three events would need to be successful to get a payout, you’d construct three different two-team parlays.
Round Robin Bets in Action
A round robin bet on these three events would look as follows:
This way, if one of the three teams you’ve bet on to cover the spread fails, you can still profit.
If the New York Rangers don’t cover the spread, your parlay involving the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Cowboys (#1) will still be successful.
If only Nets failed to cover the spread, parlay #2 (involving only the Cowboys and the Rangers) would be a winner.
If the Cowboys fail to cover the spread and both other events succeed, your parlay (#3) with the Nets and Rangers would net you some cash.
In a round robin bet, every parlay you construct is its own, independent event. Of course, it’s possible for all the parlays within your round robin bet to succeed. If this happens, you’ll get an even bigger payout!
What Do Round Robin Bet Payouts Look Like?
Let’s do the math using the example listed above. If you constructed a round robin bet based on the three lines we liked (Nets, Rangers, and Cowboys), we’d have three different, two-team parlays.
A standard two-team parlay with both teams listed at (-110), would pay out at +260. A payout for a two-team parlay at standard -110 odds at +260 (or very close to it) is standard across all the online sportsbooks we review.
Let’s say that for each of the three parlays, we wagered $5. If everything went ideally and all three teams covered, we’d win $39 in pure profit and receive our three $5 stakes back. If we wagered $15, we’d come away with $54.
If one event in our round robin event failed, we’d still win $13 and get our $5 stake back. One successful parlay would return us $18, including our $5 stake.
You still break even with a round robin bet, even if one leg fails. Of course, if two teams do not cover, you will lose every parlay in your round robin bet.
Say that you bet the same $15 and created a single three-team parlay that featured the Nets, Rangers, and Cowboys covering the spread. If it was successful, we’d win $90. However, if an individual leg of our parlay failed, we’d lose our entire bet.
If you want some of the rewarding payouts that a parlay offers but still want some added security, round robin betting is a betting strategy to consider.
How Do You Make a Round Robin Bet?
Most sportsbooks have software that allows bettors to save time and automatically create round robin bets.
Simply choose which lines you’d like to include, click on the “round robin” option, select how many different ways to parlay ( the number of legs within the parlay), and how much you want to bet. Your sportsbook will generate all the options you need to create a round robin bet based on these inputs.
If you’re creating a round robin bet with just three lines, things are pretty straightforward. However, if you’re creating a round robin bet on eight different lines with a five-event parlay, you’re going to need to create 56 different parlays!
Obviously, this can get fairly tedious relatively quickly. With so many different combinations, you’re prone to make a mistake. Accurate betting software eliminates the hassle that comes with creating immense round robin bets.
In general, most sportsbooks allow bettors to include between three and eight teams in a round robin bet. However, there are some sportsbooks which allow bettors to include over eight lines in their round robin bets.
A word of advice: Always make sure to scrutinize the terms and conditions to find this information.
The “Number of Ways” Option in Round Robin Betting
Selecting the “number of ways,” or parlay size, can be a bit confusing. If you’ve only chosen three lines, you can’t have a parlay size of over two lines.
However, if you were to choose four lines, you could either create a parlay that was two events or three events in size. Having selected four lines with a two-event parlay, there would be six total combinations you could construct.
“Number of Ways” Option in Action
Say the four lines you selected were all moneyline bets on NFL Sunday Football. You chose the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks to win their games.
If you wanted to construct a two-event parlay, the six combinations would look as follows:
- Dallas, New York
- Dallas, Philadelphia
- Dallas, Seattle
- New York, Philadelphia
- New York, Seattle
- Seattle, Philadelphia
If you wanted to construct a three-event parlay with the four different moneylines, it would look as follows:
- Dallas, New York, Philadelphia
- Dallas, New York, Seattle
- New York, Seattle, Philadelphia
- Seattle, Dallas, Philadelphia
Round Robin Betting Is a Great Opportunity for Bettors
If you want the massive payouts of parlays (but are averse to their inherent riskiness), constructing a round robin bet is a wise move. When round robin betting is built into a betting strategy, you can achieve maximum ROI with minimal risk.