Round Robins | How they Work, Why it's Smart

Round Robins | How they Work, Why it's Smart

The round robin is a way to play multiple parlays on one ticket. With the round robin, you can create unique combinations of sports bets that offer solid odds. You don’t have to hit every parlay to win, which offers bettors a bit of an edge when going with something like a three-team, two-way parlay. The payout odds on each parlay are the same as they would be for a normal parlay.

You need to decide a few things. The first is how much you are willing to risk on each parlay. The second is how many teams and how many combinations you’re going to use. Wagers must be the same on all parlays.

Here’s an example of a three-team, two-way round robin.


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Our teams are the New England Patriots at -3.5, Pittsburgh Steelers at -7.5, and the Denver Broncos at +7.5. With these teams, you can create three two-team parlays.

These would be:

New England -3.5 and Pittsburgh -7.5

Pittsburgh -7.5 and Denver +7.5

New England -3.5 and Denver +7.5

You’re going to place $10 on each parlay. The odds in a round robin are normal parlay odds, which are 2.6 to 1. So if you win all three, the profit would be $26 per parlay, or $78 (minus the vig). Get two correct and your profit would be $52 – $10 = $42 (minus the vig). If you win one, you would receive $26. Deducting the two other lost wagers, which totaled $20, you would realize a profit of $6 (minus the vig). Of course, if you lose all three bets, you would be down $30.

Basic Rules

Although round robin rules vary from site to site, there is some overall consistency regarding minimum and maximum teams and combinations. The minimum number of teams is usually 3 and maximums are often set around 8. The number of combinations usually stands at 2 and the maximum is around 6. You may not mix winners from the same game in round-robin wagers. As an example, if in our wagering example New England is playing Miami, the Dolphins cannot be included in the same round robin.


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Hedging Your Bets

Playing round robins can be a good way to hedge your bets. Chances are good that you can hit one pick or even two. However, that does not mean that this type of bet is a piece of cake. You want to populate your round robins with teams of which you are fairly certain, and only make your picks after engaging in studious research. The two-team, three-way round robin is preferred because it gives you the best odds of winning.

Variety Can Be Good

Round robins are not recommended as a part of your daily sports betting regimen, but they can certainly add some variety to your approach. Some variety can be good, especially if it livens up a betting scheme that is composed primarily of point spreads, money lines, and totals. A round robin bet is an easy and convenient way of placing multiple bets with multiple outcomes at the same time. The beauty of a round robin bet is that you only need to make one winning selection in order to be guaranteed a win, meaning that you are much more likely to win a round robin bet than you are to win an accumulator bet. The flip side of this, though, is that the return that you will actually see from your initial stake tends to be much smaller: you’re unlikely to make your fortune from placing a round robin bet! That doesn’t mean that round robin betting should be dismissed though: with a higher likelihood of scoring a win (and the buzz that comes with that) as well as the opportunity to bet on multiple events and multiple outcomes at the same time, a round robin bet is an enjoyable way to bet (particularly if you are looking to place a small hobby bet) and a fantastic way to minimize your risk.


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Round Robins are a fun way to mix up your betting habits and to generate some income. If you like the excitement of a parlay but don’t want to take the risk, round robins are the answer. Check with your online bookie and make sure they are offering round robins on the sports that you like to bet.