Sports Betting Guide: What is a Round Robin Bet?

A look at live sports betting

Welcome to another article in our continuing series of sports betting resources. Today, we’re going to cover the Round Robin bet, discussing what it is and why you might want to start using it.

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What is a Round Robin Bet?

First with the simple stuff: a round-robin bet is a parlay with three or more games, where you essentially split up the bet into multiple smaller combinations involving your selections.

This, obviously, differs from a typical parlay or teaser where the selections are lumped together and you must win all of them to win the bet.

New to betting? Read our Beginner’s Guide to Betting with a glossary of terms

How Does it Work?

Let’s go through an example involving MLB action. Let’s say that you wanted to place moneyline bets on the three teams you think are most likely to win their games tonight, so you want to bet on the Marlins to beat the Nationals, the Blue Jays to beat the Mariners, and the Astros to beat the Red Sox.

However, you want to improve your odds, so you decide to throw them all into a parlay. Well, that parlay now has odds of +424, so a $10 bet could win you $52.46, as shown below:

A sample round robin parlay from a sports betting site

However, since this is a three-team standard parlay, all three of those teams must win for you to collect. If you choose to select a round-robin bet (which you can see at the bottom of the image), you are actually betting on three different two-team parlays involving those three teams.

So you’re bet is actually these three separate two-team parlays: (Houston ML and Toronto ML), (Houston ML and Miami ML), and (Miami ML and Toronto ML). Now only two of those three teams need to win for you to win money.

If all three teams win, you win each of the three two-team payouts. However, since you are alleviating some of the risks, your odds are not are high, which means the playout isn’t as big, as you can see below:

It’s important to note that, since you are splitting this into three smaller bets, that $5 amount shown above is $5 for each of the smaller parlays you’ve created, so it would be $5 x 3 or $15. Just be careful of that when placing your Round Robin parlay.

If you choose to do a four-team round-robin bet, you can choose whether to split it into six different two-team parlays, four different three-team combinations, or even both.


Why Use a Round Robin Bet?

Well, for starters, it’s less risky. Needing three parts of one bet to hit can be tricky, even if you feel like all three are “sure-fire” bets. We know that there aren’t really such things as “locks” when it comes to betting or Vegas would always lose money.

While parlays are often really popular with beginning bettors because the higher payouts can be alluring, much has been written about how they are often best to avoid. Now, you can obviously create a strategy that works for you or utilize smaller parlays instead of large, long-shot ones, but it’s important to realize that parlays are inherently risky.

A Round Robin bet allows you to get closer to the larger payouts of a parlay over a straight bet without taking the risk of the full parlay. It’s a great resource to have in your betting tool bet so that you can begin to hit some larger payouts without being reckless with your spending.

We recommend tracking your bets (always) to see what types of bets you are most successful with and then begin to put together some three-best Round Robins at first to see what your ROI (return on investment) is. If that seems to be working for you, then you can try some four-team Round Robin bets as well to try to take maximum advantage of the various combinations.

For more sports betting resources like this Round Robin article, check out our Tailgate Sports Betting Resources