Round Robin Betting Guide – What is Round Robin Betting?

Round robin betting is a popular sports betting strategy that allows you to create multiple smaller parlays within a single wager, offering the potential for significant returns with a reduced risk of total loss. Unlike regular parlays, round robin bets can still be profitable even with some unsuccessful selections, making them a unique and attractive betting type.

This guide is designed to provide you with all the information you need to know about round robin betting. We’ll explain how it works, its pros and cons, and give you a step-by-step process for placing bets. Additionally, we’ll provide you with expert tips and the best sports to wager on. Whether you’re new to round robins or looking to refine your skills, this guide has got you covered.

What is Round Robin Betting?

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To understand what round robin betting is, you first need to understand what a parlay is. Also known as an accumulator or a combo bet, a parlay bet is a single bet that is made up of two or more individual bets. For the bet to be successful, all individual bets within the parlay must be correct. Here’s an example of a three-team parlay bet in the NFL:

  1. Dallas Cowboys (-7) vs. New York Giants: You bet that the Cowboys will win by more than 7 points.
  2. Los Angeles Rams (-3) vs. Seattle Seahawks: You bet that the Rams will win by more than 3 points.
  3. New England Patriots (+6) vs. Kansas City Chiefs: You bet that the Patriots will either win outright or lose by fewer than 6 points.

If all three predictions are accurate, your parlay bet wins. However, if even a single prediction is incorrect, the entire parlay bet is lost. With this understanding of parlays, let’s explore round robins.

The term “round robin” originates from tournaments where every team plays against each other. Similarly, the core principle of round robin betting involves pairing each bet with every other bet to create smaller parlays. We appreciate that it may still seem like a confusing bet type, and it is compared to traditional wagers like moneylines and totals. To help alleviate this confusion, let’s delve deeper into how it works.

How Does Round Robin Betting Work

In this section, we will explore how round robin betting works, including the process of combining bets, an example to illustrate the bet type, and the various betting options that can be chosen. Additionally, we’ll discuss how you can increase the risk to potentially secure higher payouts.

Combining Bets

Suppose you have a selection of six bets that you like equally and want to combine them. The probability of winning a six-team parlay is relatively low, typically around 60-70/1 for evenly matched bets. However, the chances of winning a two-team or three-team parlay are significantly better, usually at 3/1 or 7/1. By putting six bets into a round robin, you have the option to create fifteen two-team, twenty three-team, fifteen four-team, or six five-team parlays.

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Round Robin Betting Example

Imagine it’s Saturday, and you’re looking to place a round robin bet on college football. You might add the following picks to your bet slip:

  1. Ohio State +7.5
  2. Miami +9
  3. Florida -4
  4. Alabama +7.5
  5. Pittsburgh +2.5
  6. Indiana -25.5

With these six picks (it doesn’t have to be six; it can be any combination above three), you can create a round robin. Various round robin betting options are available for a bet like this, including 2-pick, 3-pick, 4-pick, and 5-pick round robins. The 2-pick round robin is the safest bet, while the 5-pick round robin carries the most risk.

Betting Options and Wager Amounts

If you opt for the safest choice, a 2-pick round robin, you would enter the amount you want to wager on each parlay, such as $5. You may see a number like x15 next to the wager amount, which indicates that you’ll be placing fifteen separate two-pick parlays for $5 each, totaling a $75 wager.

In a round robin betting example, let’s say four of your six picks are successful, resulting in six out of the fifteen possible parlays being winners. The payout would be the sum of what those six parlays pay out individually, resulting in a nice return.

Increasing The Risk

By opting for a slightly riskier 3-team pick, the $5 bet on each would be multiplied by twenty, as you would be creating twenty three-team parlays from the six picks in the example. Again, let’s assume the results were four correct picks and two incorrect ones.

In this scenario, only four of the possible twenty parlays would be winners. However, since these are three-pick parlays, their payouts would be higher than those of two-pick parlays, potentially still resulting in a decent profit.

Round Robin Betting Explained

To learn more about round robins and how you can effectively incorporate this wagering technique into your sports betting arsenal, we will take a closer look at the key aspects of this bet type. This includes understanding how the odds work, the best times to consider round robin betting, and how round robins compare to parlays.

Understanding Round Robin Odds

Round robin odds are essentially the same as parlay odds, but with more combinations. Because of this, calculating the payout for each winning bet can be somewhat challenging. To help you better understand how round robin odds work, let’s take a look at a basic example.

Suppose you have a three-team parlay with all bets at -110, and you wager $100. Your profit would be approximately $600. However, if you create a three-team round robin, which is equivalent to three two-team parlays at $100 each, your profit (if all teams win) would be closer to $1,000.

Are Round Robins Better than Parlays?

Given the high-profit potential with round robin bets, you might wonder why you wouldn’t choose this option every time. However, in the example above, since each leg of the round robin costs $100, the total bet amount would be $300. This increased risk is what deters some bettors from choosing a round robin over a regular parlay.

Additionally, if you’re only placing a three-team round robin, all three teams must win for the round robin to be profitable, just like with a parlay. If two of the teams win, your payout for that leg of the round robin would be around $260 (a $160 profit). However, you would lose $200 ($100 on each leg) from the other two legs of the round robin.

So, when placing a three-team round robin with all bets at -110 and only two of your bets win, your loss would be $40, compared to losing your entire $100 on a three-team parlay. If only one or none of the teams win, none of the round robin legs would hit, and you would lose the full $300, as opposed to the $100 on a single three-team parlay.

As you can see, both round robins and parlays have their advantages and disadvantages. While round robin bets generally require a larger investment than parlays, they offer higher potential profits and a reduced risk of total loss.

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Identifying the Best Times for Round Robin Betting

Round robin betting can be an excellent strategy when used in the right scenario. There are two main scenarios where round robins are considered a smart choice:

Betting on Multiple Underdogs

Expert bettors often use round robins when they believe that several underdogs have a good chance of winning. For instance, if you have six picks and four of them are underdogs, you can transform these bets into a two-pick and a three-pick round robin at the same time.

Organizing your round robin bet as both a two-pick and a three-pick parlay simultaneously is preferable because it provides more opportunities to win and helps to further mitigate the risk of individual selections losing.

If you correctly predict three or all four underdogs, you’ll be looking to cash in on significant payouts. Essentially, round robins provide a safer way to parlay underdogs, as it reduces the risk associated with one underdog losing.

Betting on Odds of +130 or Higher

While not as common as other betting types, professional bettors frequently use round robin bets during the NBA season, especially when many games are scheduled over the weekend. For example, if you have six picks that you feel confident about and the odds are around the +130 to +140 range, you can place them in a round robin, preferably as a two-team and a three-team at the same time.

If you correctly predict three out of six picks, you’ll recover your wager and possibly win additional money. With four correct picks out of six, you’ll receive a nice payout. And if you predict five or six picks correctly, you’ll be laughing to the bank. Essentially, one of the best times to use round robins occurs when you have multiple plays (with high odds of +130 or more) that you’re confident in.

What Do You Need for Round Robin Bets?

To place a round robin bet, you’ll need the following:

  1. A list of teams or selections: Choose the teams or selections you believe have a good chance of winning or covering the spread.
  2. A betting strategy: Decide how many teams or selections you want to include in each parlay and how many parlays you want to create.
  3. A sportsbook: Find a reputable sportsbook that offers round robin betting and allows you to place bets on your chosen sports and teams.
  4. A budget: Determine how much you are willing to wager on each parlay and the total amount you want to bet on your round robin.
  5. Knowledge of the sport: Having a good understanding of the sport, the teams, and their current form will help you make more informed selections.

Round Robin Betting Tips

If you’re looking to find success with your betting and potentially win huge payouts from round robins, here are some expert tips to keep in mind:

Step One: Consider Moneyline Underdogs

When you add teams with positive odds to your round robin, the potential payout for each included parlay increases significantly. Let’s say you create a three-team round robin with odds of +100, +110, and +150, placing $100 on each for a total wager of $300. In this scenario, you could potentially win over $1,100.

Should the +100 team lose while the +110 and +150 teams win, your bet would still yield a $225 profit. If the +110 team loses, but the others succeed, you’d win $200. Even if the +150 team loses and the other two triumph, you’d still come out ahead with $120.

So, in this example, betting on all three underdogs guarantees a profit as long as at least two of the three bets are successful. On the other hand, including these same three teams in a standard parlay would result in a total loss if even one team failed to win.

Step Two: Find the Right Balance

In round robin betting, you have the flexibility to create parlays with varying numbers of teams and selections. Including more teams or selections in each parlay raises the potential payout, but also increases the risk. As such, it’s important to find the right balance. We recommend that, while taking into account your risk tolerance and betting style, you experiment with different combinations to find a round robin strategy that works best for you.

Step Three: Utilize a Betting Calculator

Calculating the round robin odds and potential payouts can be challenging, especially with more combinations. To simplify this process, consider using a betting calculator or a sportsbook that automatically calculates the odds and payouts for your round robin bets. This will help you make informed decisions and manage your bankroll more effectively. After all, round robin bets require a larger investment than traditional parlays, so it’s crucial to manage your bankroll effectively.

Step Four: Do Your Research

While it may seem like a generic piece of advice, conducting thorough research is crucial for developing a successful betting strategy. It’s essential to have a deep understanding of the teams or selections you’re betting on, their current form, injury updates, and any other pertinent factors that could influence the outcome of the game. Ultimately, being well-informed increases your chances of spotting round robin betting opportunities that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

The Best Sports for Round Robin Betting

Instead of relying on all of your picks in a parlay to win, round robin bets can increase your chances of a return by spreading the risk across multiple parlays. This approach is particularly popular in sports like football, basketball, and hockey, where it’s possible to identify several strong picks in a given week. Below, we’ll take a closer look at these sports and many others that are popular for round robin betting.


Soccer, the most popular sport worldwide, is an excellent choice for round robin betting. With numerous leagues, fixtures, and competitions taking place all year round, you have a wealth of opportunities to create round robin bets.

The relatively predictable nature of some leagues and the vast availability of statistical data and soccer picks allow you to make informed decisions when selecting your bets. Additionally, the variety of markets (e.g., match result, both teams to score, over/under goals) further enhances the appeal of betting on round robins in soccer.


Thanks to its high-scoring nature, basketball provides numerous betting opportunities. The frequency of games and the availability of in-depth statistical data and expert NBA picks make basketball a popular choice for round robin bettors.


Tennis is a popular sport for round robin betting due to the simplicity of its markets and the frequency of tournaments. With matches taking place almost every week on both the ATP and WTA tours, tennis provides a continuous stream of betting opportunities. The head-to-head nature of tennis matches also simplifies the betting process, as you only need to focus on the performance of two players.

Horse Racing

With numerous races taking place daily at various tracks, horse racing provides ample opportunities to bet on round robins. The availability of news reports, expert horse racing picks, and race previews makes it easier for you to analyze races and make informed decisions.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey, particularly the NHL, is a great option for betting on round robins. With a 1,312-game schedule in the 2022-2023 season alone, the NHL is not only fast paced, but also offers a continuous stream of betting opportunities throughout the season. The high level of parity among teams makes it an attractive choice for round robin bettors looking to bet moneylines on the underdogs and get the very best round robin odds.


Football, specifically the NFL, is another popular sport for round robins. In addition to a wide range of betting opportunities being available on a weekly basis throughout the NFL season, the availability of detailed statistics and expert NFL picks allows you to make more informed decisions when placing your wagers.

Where Can I Place Round Robin Bets?

Round Robin betting is most frequently found as an additional tab on your bet slip at most of the premier online sports betting sites featured on our pages. Our personal preference is BetOnline because it tends to offer industry-leading (or at least comparable) odds on the US major leagues. Additionally, converting your straight parlay into a round robin wager is as simple as flicking a switch on the bet slip once you have added at least 2 legs.

Is Round Robin Betting Legal?

In the United States, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018. As a result, individual states now have the freedom to legalize and regulate sports betting. Since then, numerous states have passed legislation to legalize sports betting within their borders.

Not only is round robin betting legal in numerous states, but it is also kept safe and fair by regulatory bodies like the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Since each state establishes its own rules and regulations concerning sports betting, it’s essential to verify the legal status of round robin betting in your specific state before placing any wagers. Some of the largest states that have not yet legalized sports betting include California, Florida, and Texas.

Round Robin Betting Risks

Like all forms of wagering, particularly more complex bet types such as parlays and round robins, the potential for big payouts is accompanied by considerable risks. So, before you start placing your bets, it’s crucial to be aware of the following risks involved.

  1. Increased complexity: Round robins involve placing multiple parlays simultaneously, which can make it more difficult to calculate odds and manage your bets. Because this increased complexity can lead to mistakes or misjudgments, potentially resulting in lost wagers, it’s important to take extra care.
  2. Higher costs: Due to the nature of round robins, you will be placing multiple parlays at once. This increases the overall cost of your wager, which may result in a bigger loss if the bets are unsuccessful.
  3. Dependence on multiple outcomes: Round robins require multiple outcomes to be successful, which increases the overall risk. The more picks you add to your round robin bet, the less likely it is that all of your predictions will be correct.
  4. Limited returns on individual bets: While round robin bets can provide substantial overall payouts, the individual returns on each parlay within the round robin may be lower. This is because the risk is spread across multiple bets, reducing the potential payout on each individual wager.
  5. Vulnerability to upsets: As with parlays, round robin bets are highly susceptible to upsets. A single unexpected outcome can significantly impact the overall success of your round robin bet, potentially resulting in a far reduced payout or total loss.
  6. Difficulty in predicting outcomes: Accurately predicting the outcomes of multiple games or events is a challenging task. This difficulty is compounded in round robin betting because the success of the overall wager depends on the accuracy of multiple predictions.

Round Robin Betting: Pros and Cons

As is the case with all betting types, there are pros and cons associated with round robin betting. Here are the main pros and cons to consider:

Pros of Round Robins:

  • More chances of a return than regular parlays
  • Create different combinations of parlays
  • An effective way to bet on multiple underdogs
  • High potential payouts
  • Suitable for various sports

Cons of Round Robins:

  • Larger investment required
  • Complex odds calculations
  • Not suitable for all bettor


What is round robin betting?

Are round robin bets profitable?

Is round robin betting the same as parlay betting?

What are the best sports for round robins?

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