What is a Round Robin Bet?

Round Robin betting is a type of betting system which allows bettors to minimize losses with a high potential payout. It is a type of parlay bet that lets you differentiate bets within a larger multi-bet by making smaller team parlays from a larger list of teams. This means you can construct a series of smaller parlays to cover all possible combinations of events or games.

For instance, instead of creating an all-or-nothing four-team parlay where one loss would cause you to lose the entire wager, you can break those four teams into smaller parlays with Round Robins. The smaller parlays could be either a combination of six separate two-team parlay bets or four separate three-team parlay bets or both.

As you can bet on the outcome of several events at once, you only need to have a required number of winning selections to get some return on your stake. In other words, you can lose one or more legs and still secure some profit. As a result, Round Robin bets are quite popular with sports bettors. The name itself is derived from round-robin tournaments where every team plays against each team at least once in the tournament. Due to this nature of combining selections in the parlay, Round Robin betting is also called all-play-all-tournament betting.

The difference between standard parlays and Round Robin is that while parlay bets tie all the selections together in a single bet, Round Robin combines multiple parlays wagered separately from your selections. A straight parlay requires you to win every bet before receiving a single payout, while Round Robin allows you to win multiple payouts depending on how your bet is constructed. However, Round Robin does require a specific number of wins before you get a profit which depends on the number of parlays you construct. For Round Robin, the higher the number of parlays you make, the higher the number of required wins you'll need to get a payout.  

The best online sportsbooks usually offer Round Robin betting options for interested bettors. All you need to do is select the games you want to stake on, your totals, point spreads, and sides in one sheet. The bookies then automatically create the parlays for the Round Robin bet. They create a series of smaller bets from your large bet set and distribute your original wager evenly among the bet sheets. The higher the number of games you select, the more parlay combinations can be created. As calculating profits or how much each bet is worth can be challenging, you can always make use of a Round Robin calculator if necessary. 

How Does Round Robin Bet Work?

Let's take a look at how a Round Robin bet works. Let's say you want to parlay three sports bets but don't want to create a must-win-all three-team parlay. You can construct a Round Robin bet, grouping smaller parlays from those three bets. A Round Robin creating two-leg parlays from three bets would consist of three possibilities. So, for three bets, Bet A, Bet B, and Bet C, you would have three separate parlays:

  • A + B
  • A + C
  • B + C

By placing Round Robin bets, you now have every possible combination of two-team parlays from those three bets. If you had placed a standard three-leg parlay, all your bets would have to win for you to get any payout. In this case, as long as you have one winning selection from the three bets, you'll get some of your money back. That is, you only need both legs of one of your parlays to win. For instance, if Bet A falters but Bet B and C both win, you would still win your third parlay, BC. The same goes for if either Bet B or C loses and the other two prevail.

Round Robin also helps you maximize your profit. This means that if all the teams you select are winners, you win a larger payout than a standard three-team parlay. So even with the same wager and winning odds, you'll make a higher profit with a winning Round Robin bet. However, although the reward is considerably higher, the risk is higher as well. Since you're making more bets, you'll have to risk the same amount on each parlay combination instead of just one large bet.

Because of the way Round Robin bets work, you get the most value when you wager on a large selection of games. The more selections of games you have, the higher chance there is for variance and randomness. Therefore, you can eliminate the chance of losing your wager just because a single team lost.

What if you wanted to parlay four bets instead? Then the Round Robin parlay would create six combinations of two-leg parlays. That way, you'll need at least two bets to win. If two bets win, only the parlay with the combination of the bets will win. If three bets win, all the bets with each of the three will win. The more bets win, the higher your payouts. Alternatively, you could create three combinations of three-leg parlays. Here, you'll need at least three bets to win. Although only the parlay with the combination of the three bets would win, it would pay out quite nicely.

For five-team Round Robin bets, you can generate ten parlays of two teams. As a result, you can bypass having your 5-team parlay busted by one team losing when other teams come through with a win. You can also create ten parlays of three teams, five parlays of four teams, or one five-team parlay. You can even break it down to 20 different combinations of two and three teams.

Practical Examples of Round Robin Bet

Here is an example. We'll first consider the simplest Round Robin bet, which is generating two-team parlays from three teams.

Let's take a look at these three NFL games:

  • Denver Broncos -1.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Baltimore Ravens -6 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  • New York Jets +5 vs. Tennessee Titans

Now let's say you decide to risk $10 on each parlay combination of these three teams. This means you are investing $30 in three parlays. With a standard 2-team parlay returning 13-to-5 odds, your payout on each $10 bet would be $26.

Rather than parlaying all the teams in one standard three-team parlay, a Round Robin bet creates three two-team parlays. Your Round Robin bet can then look like this:

  • Parlay 1: Denver Broncos + New York Jets
  • Parlay 2: Denver Broncos + Baltimore Ravens
  • Parlay 3: Baltimore Ravens + New York Jets

If Denver Broncos don't cover the spread, the parlay involving Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets (#3) will still net you some cash. The same goes for either Baltimore Ravens or New York Jets. If all the teams cover the spread and you win all three parlays, then you'll get $78 ($26 x 3). If only a single team falters, then you'll win one parlay, winning a net amount of $6 (win $26 and lose $20). If two or all the teams fail to cover the spread, then you lose all parlays with a net loss of $30. This means you must win at least two parlays to get a profit.

As shown above, the risk with Round-Robin bets is higher. Instead of risking $30 in total, you could have simply bet $10 on a single parlay. On the other hand, the payout is bigger, offering a net amount of $78. In addition, a single three-team straight parlay featuring the Jets, Broncos, and Ravens would fail entirely if an individual leg of the parlay falters. As such, the Round-Robin could prove to be an incredibly efficient companion bet for you if you are able to pick a consistent level of winning selections.

As the number of teams selected increases, the number of combinations and teams you can add per leg also increases. For a selection of four teams, you can create three three-leg parlays. The profits are increased if you're betting on a three-team parlay from a set of four teams. Three-team parlays pay 6-to-1 odds, meaning a bet of $10 would yield $60. However, it is much harder to win.

How to Construct a Round Robin Bet

The Round Robin betting option is usually available at the best sports betting sites. Most set the betting range for Round Robin between three and eight teams. You can place Round Robin bets on different sports and leagues such as NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, and Soccer leagues. It is also quite popular among horse racing bettors. Here is a step-by-step guide to betting on Round Robin system:

  • Visit an online bookmaker.
  • Identify the number of teams and parlays you want to include in your Round Robin bet.
  • Pick the games you want to use for the combinations.
  • Open the bet slip and click the tab labeled 'Round Robin' or 'RR.'
  • Select the legs within the parlay you'd like to use.
  • Input the amount you want to bet per parlay.
  • The Round Robin software then generates all the options you need based on these inputs.
  • Get the total wager amount for the entire Round Robin bet.
  • Make your wager.

You can also work out your bets before you start by using a Round Robin Bet Calculator. Simply enter your stake per leg and the starting prices of your games. The calculator will then detail your exact winnings based on the winners.

Although online bookmakers construct Round Robin a bit differently, the process is quite similar to the above. You can also bet on different betting lines such as Moneyline bets, spread bets, total bets, etc. However, some sportsbooks might restrict the betting lines for Round Robin bets.

Keep in mind that you'll usually have to deposit a minimum bet amount before wagering the Round Robin bet. Also, it is best you read the terms and conditions of the sportsbook to find out any necessary information, such as the number of lines allowed by the sportsbook.

Strategies for Placing Round Robin Bets

Round Robin betting is an excellent security policy, especially for recreational bettors. It can prove to be a better option than long-shot parlay or teaser bets. Instead of letting a single game ruin your ticket, you can construct a Robin bet and minimize your losses. You won't have to worry about losing out if you mispredict the outcome of a parlay. Serious bettors can even earn substantial income by utilizing Round Robin bets efficiently.

You can also use Round Robin bets to hedge and mitigate your losses. You can bet on the opposite team and secure long-term profit regardless of which team wins. This way, you can minimize losses without affecting your potential payout a lot.

Another strategy you can use is the correlated parlay. This involves correlating your selections based on how each selection turns out to maximize your winning percentage. For instance, if you're wagering on football, you can correlate the first half betting totals with the full game betting totals. 

This way, you can create a combination wager of both the 'Full Game' and the 'First-half.' You can also create a set of two Round Robin bets, with 'Full Game' for one and 'First-half' for the other. This correlated parlay can also be done in hockey, soccer, or basketball with the first period or first half and full game betting totals. The advantage is that you may get better true odds.

For a game like soccer, where your selection will be graded as a loss if a team plays to a 90-minute draw for a Round Robin bet, you can make use of the 'Asian handicap' wager. With this wager, you can split up your selections and win with half your wager on a draw if you choose a team on the +0.25 AH line. As a result, you can minimize risks and losses.

For sports like hockey or combat, you can play a straight-up Moneyline bet for your Round Robin. However, your team has to have an outright win for your selection to be graded as a win. As you include more teams in your Round Robin bet, you risk higher stakes, but the potential for long-term profits is also higher. With larger bets, you can also add more teams per leg. However, it is best to limit your Round Robin to two-team parlays.

Pros of Round Robin Betting

  • It can lead to higher payouts.
  • It mitigates the risk of a total loss as you can still get a return even if some selections fail.
  • It works great for bonuses with high betting requirements.
  • It allows you to maintain interest and entertainment if one of your team loses.

Cons of Round Robin Betting

  • It requires a higher stake which can be risky.
  • It can be confusing for newbies.
  • It may not be available in your sportsbook.
  • It can be challenging to keep track of, especially with larger bets.
  • Some sports might limit the type of betting lines available for Round Robin wagers.

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Robert is responsible for all content on BettingGuide US. Robert previously worked as a poker dealer during his college years at MIT where he studied Computational Science and Engineering. With a great interest in gambling, Robert likes to go in-depth when writing so that you can make a wiser choice when choosing an operator.

Last updated: 9/28/2022