Round Robin Betting Guide – How Does Round Robin Betting Work?

Round robin betting is a popular bet type that allows you to place multiple parlays simultaneously. This is particularly suitable for those looking to diversify their risk while enjoying the excitement of betting on parlays.

In this guide, we will explore what round robin betting is in more detail, look at its advantages and disadvantages, and provide tips and strategies for placing successful bets. We will also cover various sports suitable for round robin betting, as well as the best betting sites for this unique wagering type.

What is round robin betting

What is Round Robin Betting?

To understand what a round robin is in betting, you first need to familiarize yourself with parlays. A parlay, also known as a combo bet, accumulator, or multi, is a single wager that combines two or more individual bets. For example, imagine you want to bet on three NFL games occurring on the same day. You predict that the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Philadelphia Eagles will win their respective matches. Rather than placing separate bets for each outcome, you choose to combine all three into a parlay.

By correctly predicting all three outcomes, you’ll win the parlay and receive a substantially larger payout than if you had bet on each match individually. However, if even one prediction is incorrect, the entire parlay is lost, regardless of the accuracy of the other two predictions. Round robin betting is essentially a collection of smaller parlays tied together from a larger set of wagers. The term comes from traditional round robin tournaments, where each team faces every other team in its group. Similarly, in round robin betting, teams are combined to form parlays rather than playing against one another.

How Does Round Robin Betting Work

So, how does round robin betting actually work? Well, instead of placing a single parlay, you can break the parlay down into multiple smaller parlays. By doing this, you can be in with the chance of hitting big wins while also mitigating the risk of total loss.

This works because, unlike parlays that require all picks to be correct, round robins allow you to still cash in on winnings even if numerous picks are unsuccessful.

A Round Robin Betting Example

Let’s say you want to place a round robin bet on three NBA games with the following moneyline odds:

  1. New York Knicks: +150
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: -200
  3. Miami Heat: +120

You decide to create a round robin bet consisting of all possible 2-team parlays, which will create three separate parlays. Here’s what the parlays and their odds would look like:

  1. Parlay 1: Knicks +150 and Lakers -200
  2. Parlay 2: Knicks +150 and Heat +120
  3. Parlay 3: Lakers -200 and Heat +120

Now let’s assume you wager $10 on each parlay, for a total investment of $30. If all three parlays win, your total payout would be $37.50 + $55 + $33 = $125.50, for a net profit of $95.50. However, even if just two of your picks are successful, you would still receive a payout for the winning parlay.

For example, if the Knicks and Lakers win, but the Heat loses, your payout would be $37.50 for Parlay 1, resulting in a net loss of $30 – $37.50 = -$7.50. Although you would not make a profit in this scenario, the round robin bet would still help minimize your losses and is, therefore, a great alternative to parlay betting.

Round robin betting explained

Round Robin Betting Explained: Understanding the Odds and More

Each leg of a round robin is just a smaller parlay, so the odds of each leg are the same as those of a regular parlay. However, since there can be so many legs involved with just one round robin, it can be difficult to calculate the round robin odds.

To do this manually, you first need to calculate the odds for each parlay within the round robin by multiplying the individual odds of each event in that parlay. After obtaining the odds for all parlays, calculate your potential payout by multiplying the odds by your wager amount for each parlay.

This can be a tedious process, which is why sportsbooks like Bovada and My Bookie provide built-in odds calculators that automate the process. As a result, it is quick and easy to calculate and compare odds across different round robins.

Round Robins vs Parlays: A Comparison

Round robin bets and parlays both involve placing bets on multiple events, but there are key differences between the two:

  1. Risk: Round robins spread the risk across multiple parlays, offering the chance to cash in on winnings even if some of your picks are successful. On the other hand, parlays require you to win every pick to receive a payout. This means that round robins are generally less risky than parlays.
  2. Potential payout: Parlays often have higher potential payouts than round robins due to the increased risk involved. Round robin bets, on the other hand, may offer more consistent returns.
  3. Complexity: Round robin betting can be more complex to understand and calculate compared to parlays, as it requires a thorough understanding of the various combinations and odds involved. Because of this, round robins are generally not recommended for beginners.

Related content: Same game parlay betting guide

When to Use Round Robins

Round robin betting can be a great strategy when you know the right times to use it. Here are some situations where it might be a good idea to create a round robin.

  1. If you want to bet on underdogs: Underdogs, by definition, are less likely to win their events. Round robin betting allows you to hedge your risk by spreading your bets across multiple parlays. This means that even if some of your underdog picks don’t win, you can still potentially see a return on your investment if other combinations within the round robin are successful.
  2. If you want to combine bets with minimal risk: When you find multiple bets that spark your interest, a regular parlay is the go-to for many bettors. However, if you miss one pick, you will lose your wager. On the other hand, if you have a four-team round robin and only three of your picks hit, you’ll still walk away with a profit.
  3. If you want to boost the thrill factor: For some bettors, round robin betting can be more enjoyable than making traditional moneylines or parlays, as it allows you to follow multiple events and experience the excitement of various potential winning combinations. This can add an extra level of excitement to the overall betting experience, especially if you’re watching the events live.

What You Need to Get Started: A Round Robin Checklist

In sports betting, preparation is the key to success as there are so many markets such Trixie betting. So, before you try to place a round robin bet, you should make sure that you have the following essentials:

  1. A trustworthy betting platform: Begin by selecting a reputable sportsbook that provides round robin betting options. You can compare different platforms and read reviews on our site to find one that is both reliable and best suited to your preferences.
  2. A minimum of three sports bets: Round robin betting requires you to choose at least three games or events. The more events you include, the more combinations of parlays you’ll create, increasing both the risk and potential rewards.
  3. A robust bankroll: Round robin bets typically require a larger investment compared to parlays and other bet types, as you’re placing multiple bets simultaneously. Because of this. it is important that you have a sufficient bankroll and budget to accommodate this type of betting.
  4. A solid betting strategy: As is the case with all bet types, it’s crucial to have a well-thought-out strategy when placing round robin bets. This includes researching the events, analyzing the odds, and identifying potential value betting opportunities. Your strategy should also involve setting limits on your bets to minimize losses and maintain a disciplined approach.
  5. Patience and discipline: Round robin betting can be more complex and time-consuming than other betting types. It requires patience and discipline to carefully analyze the events, odds, and potential outcomes, ensuring you make the most informed decisions.

Are Round Robins Good Bets?

Round robins can definitely be good bets when used correctly. However, whether or not round robins are good bets for you depends on your betting strategy and risk tolerance. Round robin bets can be a good option if you want to combine bets but prefer a more conservative approach than regular parlays, as this betting style spreads the risk across multiple parlays.

However, if you’re hesitant about placing relatively large bets, round robin betting might not be the ideal choice for you, as it can quickly become costly. For instance, let’s say you want to place a $5 bet on a six-team round robin, incorporating both two-team and three-team parlays. In this case, you’d have 35 separate parlays, amounting to a total of $175.

If you also decide to include four- and five-team parlays from the same list of six teams, the total jumps to $280. While you have the option to bet lower amounts (such as $1 or $2) on each parlay, this will subsequently result in smaller payouts.

Round Robin Betting Tips and Strategies

To help you find success with your round robins, here are some strategies and insightful tips that we’ve put together for your convenience.

1. Embrace Moneyline Underdogs

One of the most effective round robin betting strategies is to focus on moneyline underdogs. Naturally, it’s unlikely that all your underdog selections will win, which is why adopting this strategy with traditional parlays carries considerable risk. However, round robins let you tie the combinations together, thereby increasing the likelihood of hitting a few of your picks.

By adding moneyline underdogs to your round robin, you effectively diversify your risk. College football, with its inherent variability, is an excellent sport for employing this strategy. During any given weekend, you might identify 5-8 underdogs that you think could win outright and include them in a series of round robins. This approach is much less risky than assembling a standard parlay from those underdogs, where a single incorrect pick would eliminate your chances of a payout.

Related content: Underdog Betting Explained

2. Stay Informed and Research Thoroughly

Successful sports bettors know that knowledge and a deep understanding of specific sports are invaluable assets in sports betting. Consequently, thorough research is essential. In the past, staying up to date with the latest developments was challenging, and many handicappers charged fees for sharing their insights.

However, with innovative online sportsbooks like Bet US, you can access resources such as “The Locker Room,” which provides not only news updates and informational guides but also free betting picks and statistical data from industry experts. Failing to use these free resources to your advantage is a missed opportunity. After all, the more informed you are about teams, matchups, injuries, and other factors, the better equipped you’ll be to make sound decisions.

3. Seek Opportunities to Hedge Your Bets

If you’re looking to maximize your chances of a profit from your round robin bets, perhaps the best strategy is to look for chances to hedge your bets. This approach is advantageous because it allows you to lock in profits or minimize losses by betting on the opposite outcome of your original wagers.

As the results of the games in your round robin unfold, monitor potential hedging opportunities that arise. In doing so, you can strategically place additional bets to secure a profit, regardless of the final outcome. This method requires keen attention to detail and a firm grasp of the evolving game dynamics but can significantly enhance your overall betting success.

Round robin betting

The Best Sports for Round Robin Betting

Round robins are a very popular for NFL betting, but they’re also used on a wide range of other sports and leagues, including the NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS, and Premier League. Below, we will take a closer look at the best sports for round robin betting.

1. American Football

American Football, with the NFL being its most prominent league, is the most popular sport to bet on in the US. It is also well-suited for round robins for many reasons. For example, since there is a high level of parity between teams, upsets are common, and underdogs have a fair chance of winning. Also, since there is a relatively small number of weekly games, it can be easy to stay up to date on the latest NFL picks, news updates, and more.

2. Ice Hockey

Ice hockey, prominently represented by the NHL, is another excellent choice for round robins. With a long and grueling season, injuries and fluctuations in team performance are common, making it challenging to find success with regular parlays. On the other hand, round robins make it convenient to spread the risk across multiple parlays.

3. Basketball

Basketball, with the NBA as its flagship league, is suitable for round robin betting because there is a high frequency of games throughout the season, allowing for numerous betting opportunities. Also, the sport’s high-scoring nature means that leads can change quickly, and underdogs can mount comebacks. This provides ample opportunities to capitalize on potential upsets.

4. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), with the UFC as its leading organization, is well-suited for round robin betting due to its inherent unpredictability and diverse fighting styles. The wide range of potential outcomes in fights allows underdogs to come away with unexpected wins, offering ample opportunities for bettors to capitalize on upsets. Also, UFC events feature an average of 10 bouts, including the prelims and main card fights. Because of this, there are numerous round robin betting opportutnites for each event.

5. Baseball

Baseball, with MLB being its most prominent league, is a popular sport for betting on round robins. Its extensive season, consisting of 162 games per team, allows bettors to gather comprehensive data and find expert MLB picks with ease, which is ideal when selecting bets to add into a round robin.

Furthermore, due to the nature of baseball and the fact it’s influenced by factors such as pitching rotations and injuries, upsets and close games are relatively common, making it ideal for round robin bettors looking to diversify their risk.

6. Soccer

Soccer, particularly leagues such as MLS and the Premier League, provides many opportunities to bet on round robins. The sport’s competitive nature and frequent upsets offer bettors numerous opportunities to create profitable round robin combinations. Also, with a global fan base, extensive media coverage, and access to lots of expert insights and picks, there is a wealth of information available to help you make informed decisions when selecting round robins. See our guides for more soccer markets such as double chance in soccer betting.

The Best Round Robin Betting Sites: Rated by Our Experts

The round robin betting scene has witnessed immense growth in recent years, leading to a surge in sportsbooks offering this betting type. However, it’s crucial to remember that not all sportsbooks are created equally. To get the most out of your betting experience, it’s essential to choose sportsbooks with the sharpest odds, generous bonuses, and a solid reputation.

We understand the challenge of separating the best from the rest, which is why our team of experts has taken on the task for you. After reviewing numerous betting sites, we’ve identified the best sites for round robin betting. Discover our top recommendations below.

Is Round Robin Betting Legal in the US?

In 2018, the United States Supreme Court made a landmark decision that would change the landscape of sports betting across the nation. By overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), individual states gained the authority to legalize and regulate sports betting according to their preferences. Consequently, numerous states swiftly passed legislation that legalized sports betting and made way for popular wagering types such as round robins.

In addition to passing legislation, these states established governing bodies to issue licenses to reputable operators and supervise the industry, ensuring fairness and safety. For instance, the Sports Wagering and Paid Fantasy Sports Division in Indiana is responsible for administering licenses and regulating sports betting, while the Illinois Gaming Board performs the same duties in the Prairie State.

Given that each state sets its own rules and regulations, the legality of round robin betting may differ depending on where you reside. Therefore, before placing any wagers, it is essential to confirm the legal status of sports betting in your specific state. By staying informed on the latest legislation, you can bet legally and responsibly.

The Risks of Round Robin Betting

No betting type is perfect, and even though there are many reasons why you should consider betting on round robins, there are also some risks to consider before you get in on the action. Understanding these risks will ultimately help you make more informed decisions and develop a more effective betting strategy:

  1. Round robins can be deceptive: As previously mentioned, round robin bets often require a larger wager compared to other bet types, since you are placing multiple bets simultaneously. While it is possible to secure nice profits with smaller stakes, it’s important to recognize that round robins can quickly become costly. Therefore, you should always exercise caution when placing such wagers.
  2. It’s a complex bet type: The complexity of round robin betting, with its numerous combinations of parlays, can lead to confusion and difficulty in managing your bets effectively. The increased complexity may also result in poor decision-making. So if you’re new to round robins, maybe consider testing the waters with a basic three-pick round robin and then increase the picks when you feel ready.
  3. Round robins are risky: The perceived safety of round robin betting, with its reduced risk compared to parlays, is deceiving because, as with all bet types, round robins are still risky. There may be huge payouts up for grabs, but it’s important to recognize that the high payout potential comes hand-in-hand with high risks.

Round Robin Betting Pros and Cons

As with all bet types, round robin bets come with their own pros and cons. Understanding these aspects is crucial to making informed decisions and ensuring a positive betting experience:

Pros of Round Robins:

  • Spreads risk across multiple parlays
  • High payout potential
  • Available for various sports
  • Underdog-friendly strategy
  • Flexible bet combinations

Cons of Round Robins:

  • Complex odds calculations
  • Less beginner-friendly


What is a round robin bet?

How do you calculate round robin odds?

What is the minimum number of picks required for a round robin bet?

Are round robin bets suitable for beginners?

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