Round Robin Betting Guide

If you’re familiar with parlay betting, round robin betting could be a new bet type you could consider experimenting with. One way to describe it is as a “parlay on steroids.” Round robin betting takes its name from the style of tournament play that pits all the teams in the field against each other at least once.

In the same way, you effectively hedge multiple parlays against each other in this wager type. The result is you’re more likely to win. As a result of that, however, your payout will be less than if you placed a single, traditional parlay.

Some bettors enjoy placing these bets regardless since they afford a great amount of creativity. There are technically no limits to how expansive your wagers can get when it comes to how many legs and what types of markets they include.

Bettors new to the format likely have many questions about how to place a round robin and how the odds work. It’s all pretty simple once you understand the few singular aspects of this popular wager type.

Naturally, the first thing you need to understand is how to put such a wager together. Online betting apps should be accommodating to these requests. They want you to enjoy your betting experience and part of that is the convenience factor.

How to put together a round robin bet

To correctly place one of these wagers, it’s important to understand how a round robin is different from a traditional parlay.

Let’s use some real-life straight bets on NFL games to demonstrate this important difference. Each of these individual lines is called a leg in a parlay or a round robin.

Tennessee Titans+160
Atlanta Falcons+200
Carolina Panthers+150

If you wanted to form a traditional parlay using these three lines, you would add them to your betting card and let the sportsbook know how much you want to wager. Then you would hope all three of those teams win.

In a round robin bet, you could create three different two-team parlays instead of one three-team parlay. The benefit of doing so is instead of needing all three legs to win to collect a payout, you only need both legs of one of your parlays to win.

Your betting card would look like this:

Parlay 1
Tennessee Titans +160Atlanta Falcons +200
Parlay 2
Tennessee Titans +160Carolina Panthers +150
Parlay 3
Atlanta Falcons +200Carolina Panthers +150

If the Titans lose but the Falcons and Panthers both win, your third parlay would still be a win. The same goes for if either the Falcons or Panthers falter and the other two teams prevail. If all three teams win, you’ve maximized your payout.

Although this example used straight bets, you can create round robins for point spreads and totals as well. Additionally, you can mix and match those market types. To place a bet like this, register for or sign in to your sportsbook of choice. Then deposit if you don’t have funds available for wagering.

Proceed to identify the lines you want to use as legs of your round robin. Although we used three, you can choose to use more. In fact, the more legs you use, the higher your payout will be. Be careful, however, because you also increase your chance of losing your bet with each leg you add.

Add each leg to your betting card and decide how much you want to wager. At that point, the sportsbook’s software should give you the option to create a round robin bet. Simply click or tap on that button and let the sportsbook know how much you want to wager.

The sportsbook should split your wager evenly among each parlay that is part of your round robin. Continuing in our example, the sportsbook would put $5 on each parlay if you wanted to bet $15. The sportsbook should also show you what your payout would be at this point as well.

The next essential step to successfully placing round robin bets is understanding the payout should you win. The important thing to remember is your payout increases with each successful parlay, and the opposite is true as well.

How do round robin payouts work?

If (or more appropriately when) you win, the sportsbook will pay out based on how many of your parlays it grades a winner. Going back to our NFL example, let’s assume the sportsbook would give you +550 odds on standard two-team parlays with the listed legs.

Since you bet $15 total, $5 on each parlay, you would collect a total of $97.50 if all three parlays win at those odds. That’s $82.50 in profit plus your original wager of $15 back. If one of the teams fails you, you would still win the parlay that doesn’t feature them.

In that scenario, you would collect $32.50, or $27.50 in profit plus your $5 wager.

Of course, if two of the three teams included in your round robin lost their games, you would lose all three parlays and the sportsbook would keep your $15.

You can see now how increasing the number of parlays increases your chance of winning. For each parlay you have going that doesn’t depend on the outcome of a single leg, your odds of winning at least one or some of them goes up.

At the same time, the sportsbook will decrease your potential payout as you add legs because of that very factor. The more of a safety net you create for yourself, the less you stand to profit. The general rule of thumb is sportsbooks reward risk on your part.

One way to up your risk, and therefore your possible reward, is increasing your number of ways. This goes back to round robins affording you some leverage to get creative with your bets. There are a plenty of options.

What are round robin ways?

We’ve already discussed this without using this exact terminology. In our current example, the number of ways is two. It refers to the number of legs in each parlay that is part of your round robin bet.

When you up the number of lines you incorporate, you increase your options for the number of ways you can play them. Let’s suppose instead of three NFL straight bets you want to create a round robin using four NBA point spreads.

In that case, you could choose to create a round robin with six two-way parlays or four three-way parlays. That may confuse some bettors, so it’s easier to see what it would look like on the potential betting cards.

Here’s what it would look like if you went with six two-way parlays.

Parlay 1
Memphis Grizzlies +7.5 (-110)Atlanta Hawks +5.5 (-110)
Parlay 2
Memphis Grizzlies +7.5 (-110)Charlotte Hornets +3.5 (-110)
Parlay 3
Memphis Grizzlies +7.5 (-110)Chicago Bulls +2.5 (-110)
Parlay 4
Atlanta Hawks +5.5 (-110)Charlotte Hornets +3.5 (-110)
Parlay 5
Atlanta Hawks +5.5 (-110)Chicago Bulls +2.5 (-110)
Parlay 6
Charlotte Hornets +3.5 (-110)Chicago Bulls +2.5 (-110)

On the other hand, here is what it would look like if you opted for four three-way parlays.

Parlay 1
Memphis Grizzlies +7.5 (-110)Atlanta Hawks +5.5 (-110)Charlotte Hornets +3.5 (-110)
Parlay 2
Memphis Grizzlies +7.5 (-110)Atlanta Hawks +5.5 (-110)Chicago Bulls +2.5 (-110)
Parlay 3
Atlanta Hawks +5.5 (-110)Charlotte Hornets +3.5 (-110)Chicago Bulls +2.5 (-110)
Parlay 4
Memphis Grizzlies +7.5 (-110)Charlotte Hornets +3.5 (-110)Chicago Bulls +2.5 (-110)

Which of these options is better depends on the situation and what’s more important to you? Are you comfortable increasing your risk and maximizing your potential payout ? Then you might opt for more ways with fewer legs.

On the other hand, if you want to maximize your chance to win some of your parlays and are OK with less of a payout, you should choose to go with a smaller number of parlays with more legs. You should note that both options carry a good amount of risk, however.

Useful tips on placing a round robin bet

Most sportsbooks will have house rules on things like the maximum number of lines you can put into a round robin as well as how the sportsbook figures your odds. It’s a best practice to familiarize yourself with these rules before placing your wager.

For example, you should investigate what happens if a sporting event that’s part of your bet gets suspended due to inclement weather. That’s especially true if your wager involves sports that heavily depend on favorable conditions, like golf and tennis.

If you don’t understand any of the house rules or have further questions, the sportsbooks have live chat, email, and telephone options for customer service. Remember, you are the customer and the sportsbook wants to continually earn your business.

While placing a round robin bet can give you some security about winning, you shouldn’t assume such a wager is a sure thing. A great rule of thumb for any kind of sports bet is to approach every market at the sportsbook with the assumption that the odds are fixed against you.

Betting a round robin doesn’t alleviate you from a need to consider each line as its own entity either. It increases your need to handicap each game because each of the events affects multiple parlays.

Once you have a few lines you’re confident about, have fun placing your round robin bet. Part of the excitement of such a wager is you have multiple bets going at the same time, and rooting interest in multiple sporting events.