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What is a Round Robin Bet? How Does a Round Robin Bet Work?

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

What is a Round Robin Bet?

A round robin bet is essentially a series of parlays created from a larger list of individual bets, with each combination of plays being included as individual parlays. 

You’ve probably seen this screen when placing a parlay, so let’s detail how it works.

How Does a Round Robin Bet Work?

As stated earlier, a round robin bet is just a combination of smaller parlays created from a list of bets. The term “round robin” comes from a round robin tournament in which every team in a group plays each other. The idea is the same- all the bets form smaller parlays together.

Whenever you select three or more plays on a sportsbook, you will get a round robin option that looks like the screenshot above. It will give you three different two-team parlays, and then a fourth optional play to parlay all three of them together (All Combinations).

That specific screenshot is for three bets, but you can add more bets to create more combinations of parlays, as evidenced below.

There is an endless amount of round robins you can create if you keep adding bets. The first screenshot of three bets had four different combinations while adding just two more bets now gives you a total of 57 combinations.

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Round Robin Bet Example

Now that we have given the logic of what a round robin is, let’s get into some examples.

The screenshot below gives three plays, which is the most common example of a round robin bet.

In the screenshot above we have chosen three NBA games against the spread, all at -110 odds. Let’s say we want to bet $100 on each combination- that would look like the below.

Parlay 1: Raptors +10 & Cavs +6. Risk $100 to win $260

Parlay 2: Raptors +10 & Hawks -8. Risk $100 to win $260

Parlay 3: Cavs +6 & Hawks -8. Risk $100 to win $260

If these picks go 3-0 you will hit all three parlays and win $780. You would also win an additional $595 if you selected the all combinations option and also took the 3-play parlay. Sounds pretty fun!

But, if one bet loses your profit will go all the way down to $60. Or -$40 in profit if you chose the all combinations option. Less fun!

And worst of all, if one or none of the bets hit you will lose all $300 or $400.

When to Bet Round Robins

Not to sound like a Debbie downer, but round robins generally aren’t profitable bets to make in the long term, depending on the type of bets you are playing.

For starters – needing to win 66% of your bets against the spread to profit is a tough way to consistently make money. 

Round Robins can also get pretty pricey, depending on how many picks you end up playing. The example earlier was $100 per parlay, but even if you lower that amount to $5 but increase the teams to the 6-play screenshot earlier, you are risking $285 across 57 bets. This includes all of the 2-5 pick parlays, plus the full six pick one.

There is a way to be profitable in the long-term, though. Instead of betting on spreads at -110 odds, the best way to profit using round robins would be to take underdog moneylines at plus money.

The logic is that obviously, not every underdog is going to win, but if you choose between 3-7 underdogs that you think have a chance to win outright you no longer have to have a 66% hit rate to profit.

Let’s go back to that same 3-team example, but instead, take all + money moneyline underdogs.

The payout is now about double for each combination, with the total 3-pick parlay going from +595 to +1109.

No matter what the sporting event is, there are always going to be teams on upset alert. Round Robins are a great way to get exposure on a large number of underdogs, only needing a few to hit to turn a profit. So, if you are able to identify a number of underdogs that you think could win then round robin betting could be for you.

How to Calculate Round Robin Betting Odds

The actual process behind calculating odds for round robin bets is the same as calculating odds for a parlay. The unique part is calculating the odds for every set of bets you are parlying together, and then adding the outcomes together based on the results. OddsJam has a parlay calculator that helps with this process. The sportsbook that you are using to bet the round robin will also give you the odds as well. 


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