Round Robin Betting Guide

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Round Robin Sports Betting Guide

A round robin bet gets its title from tournaments of the same name in which each team plays every other team. In a round robin bet, you combine a full list of bets into smaller parlays, which are then placed individually. It’s a unique a fun bet type if you know the ins and outs. Fortunately, we can provide those right here on this page.

Read on for everything you need to know about round robin sports betting.

How Does A Round Robin Bet Work?

When you place a round robin bet, you add several desired wagers to your bet slip, then combine those bets into smaller parlays. You then bet on each parlay, effectively creating a field of numerous bets you hope will succeed.

The ways to combine round robins are many, as you can create 2-leg, 3-leg, or even bigger parlays when you’re placing one. In the examples below, we’ll look at how these different choices work.

Truthfully, the easiest way to understand a round robin bet is to see one in action, so let’s take a closer look and build two bets to help you grasp how they work.

Round Robin Bet Examples

Here are two round robin examples that showcase how complex and interesting the bets can be.

Three Pick Round Robin

Let’s first build moneyline round robin across three major sports leagues: NBA, MLB, and NHL. Picking three teams keeps things simple because the breakout parlays are relatively small in number. Here are our selections for the purposes of explaining how round robins work:

  • Boston Celtics moneyline: -230
  • Chicago Cubs moneyline: +136
  • Washington Capitals moneyline: +180

Combining these selections into a round robin gives us three separate two game parlays and total odds of +367. But remember, you’re placing a bet on each individual parlay. In this case, the three parlays are:

Parlay 1:

  • Boston Celtics moneyline
  • Chicago Cubs moneyline

Parlay 2:

  • Boston Celtics Moneyline
  • Washington Capitals moneyline

Parlay 3:

  • Chicago Cubs moneyline
  • Washington Capitals moneyline

In sportsbook lingo, this bet would be listed as “Round Robin (2’s) x3 wagers. When you type in your wager amount on this bet, that is the amount you are betting on each parlay within the round robin. So a $1 bet would actually be $3 total: $1 per parlay.

The max payout of this bet is $14.01, but that’s only if all three teams win. There’s a chance you could win a smaller return if, say, only the Cubs and Celtics won, because one of your parlays combines those two bets.

Five Pick Round Robin

Now things are getting interesting. When you make five selections, you have many more options in terms of how you break your round robin into smaller parlays. When you pick five bets, you can break the round robin into one of the following combinations:

  • 1 five-leg parlay
  • 5 four-pick parlays
  • 10 three-pick parlays
  • 10 two-pick parlays

You can bet on more than one of these in a single bet slip, too. So if you like the 5 four-pick parlays and the 10 two-pick parlays, you could bet on both, creating two round robins with a few easy clicks without having to redo all your picks.

Let’s build a five-team MLB moneyline round robin to show how this works. Here are the five picks:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: -104
  • Seattle Mariners: -154
  • San Francisco Giants: -220
  • Chicago Cubs: +136
  • Detroit Tigers: -126

Using the different parlay options above, you can now choose how to break out your selections into a round robin bet. We won’t detail each possibility here. Instead, let’s pretend you wanted to break those picks into 5 four-pick parlays. Here’s how they break out

Parlay 1

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Seattle Mariners
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Chicago Cubs

Parlay 2

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Seattle Mariners
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Detroit Tigers

Parlay 3

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Seattle Mariners
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Detroit Tigers

Parlay 4

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Detroit Tigers

Parlay 5

  • Seattle Mariners
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Detroit Tigers

It’s a lot to take in. But the reality is you simply have five separate parlays that you’ve built. Each can be treated as a separate wager from here on out, though you obviously hope each one will hit. Consider round robins a shortcut to building multiple interrelated parlay bets. Remember they’re high risk, high reward because each leg needs to hit for a parlay to win.

How To Build A Round Robin Bet

Here’s a step-by-step guide to building a round robin bet at FanDuel sportsbook. To keep things simple, we’ll use the same five-pick round robin we described above.

  1. Add each of the individual bets to your betslip as though you were preparing to bet on them as a normal moneyline wager.
  2. Head to your betslip. Near the bottom, look for text that says “Round Robin” and select it (if you don’t see it, your bets may not be eligible for round robin betting).
  3. Scroll down and decide which structure(s) you’d prefer for your round robin. Type in your wager amount for each one. For this example, we’ll say we’re betting $1 on the “By 4’s x5 wagers” option, which amounts to a $5 total bet.
  4. Select “Place 5 bets for $5” and wait for FanDuel to confirm your bet has been placed.

Once that’s done, all that’s left is to watch the games and hope your picks win!

Pros And Cons Of Round Robin Betting

As with any specialized bet type, round robins come with their fair share of advantages and setbacks.

Round Robin Advantages

Generally speaking, round robins can be fun bets to make because they up your investment in various matches.

They also have some break-even potential. If one or two of your round robin parlays don’t hit, but three others do, chances are you’ll snag a small profit or at least earn your bet back.

Finally, they’re an easy way to build multiple related parlays without individually recreating each option.

Round Robin Disadvantages

Let’s start with the obvious: they’re parlays. And parlays are inherently risky. You can stave off some of the risk by making smaller builds (instead of 5 four-pick parlays), but then you’re sacrificing potentially larger payouts.

Further, a round robin bet requires heftier investment upfront than a single parlay or individual wager. A $5 bet on a 5-pick round robin means a $25 bet, because you’re wagering on each individual bet the round robin makes.

Overall, round robins are only advisable in specific scenarios with well-researched picks. Make sure you exercise caution and stay measured in your approach.

What Is The Payout Of A Round Robin Bet?

This depends on how you break your picks out into smaller parlays. Let’s repeat the example above.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: -104
  • Seattle Mariners: -154
  • San Francisco Giants: -220
  • Chicago Cubs: +136
  • Detroit Tigers: -126

A $5 bet on a 5-pick 4-leg round robin with these selections offers a potential maximum payout of $55.47 at FanDuel, but that’s only if every team on the docket wins. You still might win some money if a team or two loses, but the $5 you place on any parlay with the losing teams is gone, making your win a bit tempered.

10 two-pick parlays might offer a higher chance of paying out. The same $5 bet offers a potential payout of $119.80 in a round robin, but it requires $50 upfront because that’s a $5 wager on each parlay within the round robin.

In short, payouts vary based on your selections and bet structure in a round robin. Fortunately, most sportsbooks will clearly display your potential payout before you actually place a wager.

Round Robin Betting Strategy

Betting is inherently risky, and there’s always a possibility that you will lose. Go in knowing that when you’re placing round robin bets. However, knowing a few key tips can give you an edge:

Midseason Is Better Than Early Season

The first few weeks of any professional sports season are wishy-washy. Players are earning their strips and the stars are still warming up. Avoid placing too many round robin bets in the early days of a season.

When a league is mid-season, you have good reads on the players involved and can use stats to inform your betting decisions. Pay attention to trends, past performance, and news to inform smart, savvy bets.

Don’t Go Overboard

Round robins are best reserved for once-in-a-while bets. Because they involve placing numerous parlays in one fell swoop, they come with solid possible payouts but low chances of actually hitting.

Quick 2-Leggers Are Your Friend

Those big 4-leg round robins may be enticing because of their massive potential payouts, but they’re very unlikely to hit. If you’re placing round robin bets, try for smaller groupings to maximize your chances of earning a small profit instead of chasing a big win.

Use Your Knowledge

Stick to what you know! It doesn't make much sense to try betting on a new sport with a round robin right off the bat. They’re complex bets that require a deft knowledge of the sport at hand. If you’re a baseball stats fanatic, then stick to the MLB. If you’re an NFL expert, keep your round robins football-based. Do your research and make measured, informed betting decisions.

Best Sites For Round Robin Bets

FanDuel, DraftKings, and PointsBet each offer round robin bets, alongside many other platforms. It helps to shop around for the best odds to ensure you’re getting the best possible payout with your round robin.

Ready to palace a round robin bet? Check out our sportsbooks page to see which platforms are live in your state.

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