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Round Robin Betting

The sports betting menu is vast and filled with choices. Legal and regulated sportsbooks here in Indiana offer markets on all the sports you can think of, ranging from the most popular all the way down to obscure niche offerings.

On the betting side, the same holds true. There are incredibly popular bets and really draw interest, as well as others which don’t see as much action. However, just because the masses haven’t caught on doesn’t mean niche offerings aren’t worth exploring.

A round robin is one of the bet types which falls into that category. This is a wager that allows you to cover multiple scenarios on a single betting slip. The risk can sometimes be high, but the rewards can also be fantastic if things break in your favor.

A good part of the reason for round robin betting flying under the radar is this wager type can appear confusing at first glance. The good news is it’s not all that tough to wrap your head around the concept once you see how it works. We’ve got you covered on that front.

Join us as we take a deep dive into everything you need to know about round robin betting.

What is Round Robin Betting?

A round robin bet is a wager type in which you cover multiple outcomes on a single betting slip, typically between three and 10 choices. From there, multiple combinations are created that cover a range of outcomes.

For example, if you made a round robin bet with three teams, the wager would cover three separate two-team wagers. As with all types of sports bets, there’s a risk-to-reward ratio that has to be factored in for round robins.

To determine your betting amount for round robins, it’s helpful to think of what you would stake on an individual two-team bet. If your budget is $20 per wager, then the round robin would cost $60. A $50 budget would mean a round robin of $150, and so on.

Naturally, the cost per ticket goes up with the more selections added. A four-team round robin covers six separate two-team wagers, while for five teams, it’s 10 two-team bets. The more teams you add, the higher the cost, but you’ll also be covering more outcomes.

If you think round robin bets sound an awful lot like parlays, you’re not alone. However, there are some differences to keep in mind.

What’s the Difference Between Round Robin and Parlay Betting?

Round robins and parlays share something in common as both bet types include multiple outcomes on a single betting slip. The difference comes in how the wager is applied.

A parlay bet is a wager that includes two or more outcomes on one ticket. You can use it for bets such as moneylines, point spreads, and parlays. In order to win the bet, all of your selections must be correct.

If just a single wager doesn’t work in your favor, then the bet is a loser. For example, a four-team parlay in which all bets are correct would result in a nice return. If you lose one or more of the four, then the entire bet will be graded as a loser.

For a round robin, you’re covering multiple bets just like you would with a parlay. However, you can cover more bases. It opens the door to more possible outcomes while also covering you in the event that one of your selections goes south.

Instead of doing one four-team parlay, you could place a round robin on the same four games while spreading them out into a series of two selections. In this case, you would have four two-team wagers on the same slip.

You can bring the cost right in line with what you would spend on an individual parlay. For example, if you were looking to wager $20 on six two-team parlays, you’re looking at a cost of $120. Since the round robin covers the same six outcomes, you could make it a $120 wager with an effective cost of $20 for each two-team leg.

For parlay bets, the odds of cashing a ticket increase with the more selections you add to the slip. When you use a round robin, you can wager on more scenarios on the same slip in the hopes enough of them will break right for you to turn a profit.

Round Robin Betting Examples

To further understand round robins and all the ins and outs, it’s helpful to see them in action. Let’s take a look at some examples of how they work using different sports as reference.

NFL Round Robin Betting

After examining the weekly NFL slate, you walk away feeling confident about three moneyline results.

  • Indianapolis Colts -130 over Houston Texans
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +120 over New Orleans Saints
  • Minnesota Vikings -110 over Green Bay Packers

You place a single-game wager on all three contests. If you hit on two out of three, you’ll walk away with a profit. Since you’re confident in all three games, you also consider placing a three-team parlay at a smaller wager amount.

If it comes in, you’ll have a really good week. However, if only two out of three go in your favor, then the parlay bet is a loser. If you take that loss on top of your single-game miss, then your profits for the week are impacted further.

Instead of the parlay, you decide a round robin bet is in order to cover more possible outcomes. By doing that, you’ll have bets on the following three two-team wagers.

  • Colts and Buccaneers to win
  • Colts and Vikings to win
  • Buccaneers and Vikings to win

Hitting a three-team parlay can lead to nice returns, but that’s not the easiest trick to turn. By using a round robin and spreading out the risk, you can come out ahead even if you lose on one of the legs.

NBA Round Robin Betting

You dig into a nightly NBA schedule and find four spread bets with the following lines that look to be worth a wager.

  • Indiana Pacers -2.5 over Detroit Pistons
  • Los Angeles Clippers +1.5 over Los Angeles Lakers
  • Houston Rockets -3.5 over Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Portland Trail Blazers +2.5 over Denver Nuggets

In addition to single-game wagers, the idea of tying all four games together in a quest for greater returns strikes your fancy. While you can place a four-team parlay and hope for the best, you can also do a round robin for the same four games and be covered for the following bets.

  • Indiana Pacers -2.5 and Los Angeles Clippers +1.5
  • Indiana Pacers -2.5 and Houston Rockets -3.5
  • Indiana Pacers -2.5 and Portland Trail Blazers +2.5
  • Los Angeles Clippers +1.5 and Houston Rockets -3.5
  • Los Angeles Clippers +1.5 and Portland Trail Blazers +2.5
  • Houston Rockets -3.5 and Los Angeles Clippers +1.5

Just like that, you’re now covered for six two-team bets as opposed to taking your chances with a single parlay. Even better, you can spend the same on the round robin as you would have with the parlay while getting the added benefit of covering more outcomes.

MLB Round Robin Betting

It’s a busy day for the MLB with all 30 teams in action. After sorting through all 15 games, you decide the following five look like winners.

  • Minnesota Twins -120 over Chicago White Sox
  • Cleveland Indians -160 over Seattle Mariners
  • Boston Red Sox +120 over New York Yankees
  • New York Mets +110 over Atlanta Braves
  • Los Angeles Dodgers -180 over San Francisco Giants

After placing five single-game wagers, you give some thought to including all of the games on a single parlay ticket. That’s a high-risk, high-reward scenario. Instead, you decide to place a round robin and now have the following two-team combinations to root for.

  • Twins and Indians to win
  • Twins and Red Sox to win
  • Twins and Mets to win
  • Twins and Dodgers to win
  • Indians and Red Sox to win
  • Indians and Mets to win
  • Indians and Dodgers to win
  • Red Sox and Mets to win
  • Red Sox and Dodgers to win
  • Mets and Dodgers to win

Instead of placing all of your eggs in the same basket with a five-team parlay, you now have 10 combinations of two-team wagers to root for throughout the night. On parlays, one wrong move and your bet is a loser. Round robins give you a bit more flexibility.

NHL Round Robin Betting

For our last example, let’s say it’s a big night for the NHL with most of the league’s teams in action. After researching, you like the following six moneyline results.

  • Columbus Blue Jackets -150 over Detroit Red Wings
  • Toronto Maple Leafs -160 over Ottawa Senators
  • Boston Bruins -130 over Montreal Canadiens
  • New York Rangers -120 over New Jersey Devils
  • Edmonton Oilers +110 over Calgary Flames
  • Dallas Stars +130 over St. Louis Blues

Once you have your six single-game wagers ready to go, you begin exploring other wagering opportunities for the slate. You zero in on a round robin as the way to go and now have action on the following two-team combinations.

  • Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs to win
  • Blue Jackets and Bruins to win
  • Blue Jackets and Rangers to win
  • Blue Jackets and Oilers to win
  • Blue Jackets and Stars to win
  • Maple Leafs and Bruins to win
  • Maple Leafs and Rangers to win
  • Maple Leafs and Oilers to win
  • Maple Leafs and Stars to win
  • Bruins and Rangers to win
  • Bruins and Oilers to win
  • Bruins and Stars to win
  • Rangers and Oilers to win
  • Rangers and Stars to win
  • Oilers and Stars to win

For a six-team parlay, you’d need to be on the money on all teams to win. A six-team round robin gives you more chances to cash in and to hopefully have a profitable evening.

Round Robin Betting Odds and Payouts

Odds and payouts for round robin bets depend on a number of different factors, including the number of teams involved and the odds for each game included.

As a result, there’s no blanket answer on what the exact payoff will be for winning round robin bets. Thankfully, there are internet-based round robin betting calculators.

Additionally, you can plug in the bet amount for round robins at most sportsbooks and see the expected return. However, that also opens the door to potential confusion as you’ll likely see what the return would be if you’re correct on all of the games.

If you lose all three, then the entire bet is a loss. But what if you win on other legs? Let’s walk through a quick example. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll assume you’re betting on three contests which all have odds of -110.

For a three-team parlay at these odds, you’re looking at total odds of +595. If you drop $30 and all goes well, you’ll get a total return of $208.74 — your initial stake plus a profit of $178.74.

Now let’s say that you decide to cover more bases by using a round robin. Instead of one three-team parlay, you now have a trio of two team wagers. Since the odds for all three games are at -110, the total odds for each two-team wager is +264.

Since you’re taking more cracks, you decide to up the wager amount and drop $30 on each, leaving you with a total ticket cost of $90.

One of these results is going to happen: you’ll lose all three games, get one right, get two right, or get all three right. Here’s what the returns would be for all possible outcomes.

  • If you lose all three games, you’re in the hole for $90.
  • If you go 1-2, the bet is also a loser.
  • If you go 2-1, the total return is $109.34.
  • If you go 3-0, the total return is $238.02..

You’ve covered more bases with the round robin, and you’re profitable as long as two games go as you predicted. For the parlay, all legs must be correct or you have yourself a loss.

Key Takeaways on Round Robin Betting

A round robin bet is a wager which allows you to cover multiple outcomes on a single betting slip. While similar to a parlay, it differs in that round robins cover multiple combinations while parlays are locked in on just a single set of outcomes.

Round robins can generally be used for at least three teams and a max of 10 teams, depending on the book you are playing. The odds and potential returns will vary depending on the number of teams included, the wager amount, and the odds for each selection.

Round robins take a little getting used to in order to be employed correctly. However, they can be a valuable tool to have in the belt once you have a full understanding of the risk-to-reward relationship and all of the other ins and outs.