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Round Robin Bets: What Are They, How They Work, and Our Round Robin Strategy

Mike Noblin
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Last Updated: May 2nd, 2024

How Do Round Robin Bets Work and Best Strategies
There are a lot of different ways to bet on a sporting event. One of the types you may have heard about is a round-robin bet. But if you aren't quite familiar with a round-robin bet or how it works, it can be just another name.

Let's take a close look at what a round-robin bet is, how it works, and the best strategies for this bet type. For more football betting strategies, check out our NFL Betting Guide.

What is a Round Robin Bet?

A round-robin bet takes a large group of bet selections and breaks it down into a much smaller series of parlays. It covers every possible combination of outcomes, making it a smart way to hedge your bets.

The majority of sportsbooks will generate round robins, depending on your selections. Allowing the app to handle this work for you is a great way to save the hassle of having to create all of those parlays on your own.

Here is a quick example of how a round-robin bet would work. Let's say that you think the Packers, Chiefs, and Ravens will win. You make a round robin from those picks and the sportsbook will create a trio of two-team parlay combinations:

  • Packers + Chiefs
  • Packers + Ravens
  • Chiefs + Ravens

If one of those teams fails to win, then any parlay that features them is a loss. However, winning one of the other parlays is still possible should those teams win. While round robins may still seem confusing, you should get a better understanding if we take a deeper look at exactly how they work and what strategies make sense for this type of bet.

How a Round Robin Works

The bet gets its name from the round-robin tournament format that you would see in sports, particularly in the Olympics. In round robin at a sporting event, every team plays one another at least once. After all of the games have been played, the teams with the best records move forward to the next round.

The same idea works with sports betting. Take all of your selections and group them into an array of parlays that include every possible combination of the events. Remember that the payouts will differ depending on the stake involved and the number of teams included. When you add more teams, there are more parlay combinations generated. It also means that there is a much larger chance of winning one of those parlays.

Any round robin must include at least three teams. The upper limit, though, is nearly limitless. However, most sportsbooks will allow anywhere from 3 to 10 teams per round robin. Let's say your full cover round robin had five teams. This bet would cover 25 combinations: (10) two-team parlays, (10) three-team parlays, and (5) four-team parlays.

Depending on how many parlays you have going, there are a variety of different payout possibilities to be had. It all depends on how many options and what your stake happens to be.

How to Place a Round Robin Bet

If you are getting the message but still aren't quite sure, this part can help. When you add your teams to your bet slip, there should be a "round robin" option to select. Choosing this option generates all the different parlay combinations.

The sportsbook will generate a trio of two-leg parlays if you choose three teams. They will be called something like "2-pick" or "By 2's," depending on which sportsbook you are using. From there, you put in your stake. Make sure you check the stake per parlay, not just the total because it is easy to make every bet the same without realizing it.

Round Robin Strategies

One specific reason to go with a round-robin versus a parlay is that they are easier to hit. Parlays have no margin for error; if one bet fails, the entire parlay loses. Even when players combine a spread, total, moneyline, or other teams, it is still an all-or-nothing approach.

But round robins are meant to mitigate some of the risks of a parlay. They are not contingent on being 100% right. It is a way to hedge your bets and reduce the chances of taking a total loss.

There are no separate strategies; the round-robin wager is a strategy. That is not to say that there is no risk involved because they still have to win on the majority to make money on the wager.

One of the keys is making round-robin wagers in sports with higher variance, taking anywhere from six to eight underdogs and spreading them out as much as possible within the round-robin bet. This strategy is an excellent way to score a big payday should a few underdogs pull off a major upset.

Mike Noblin

Mike has been involved with sports for over 30 years. He played college baseball and has been betting on sports for more than 20 years. He has a degree in Sports Psychology and covers the NFL, CFB, NBA, and MLB for EatWatchBet.