How Do Round Robins Work?
Believe it or not, there is something worse than not hitting any legs of a parlay. It’s hitting all legs but one. While parlays can be a great way to maximize profit, they rarely work out and can leave you frustrated and broke. If you're looking for a way to build multi-team bets with a bigger safety net, Round Robins might be for you.
How Do Round Robins Work?
Think of betting Round Robins as the act of “covering all your bases.” A Round Robin is a series of smaller parlays from a group of teams. To completely win a Round Robin, all of these smaller parlays must win. However, the advantage here is that if only some of these smaller parlays win, you will still make money, albeit not as much.
The number of combinations can vary depending on how many teams are in this group. While this may seem confusing, the good news is that online sportsbooks do the thinking for us. The basic rule of thumb is, as you add more teams, more combinations become available – and the more you'll have to risk betting them.
Three-Team Round Robins
The most common Round Robin consists of 3 teams. This is the most popular because it's the most inexpensive and straightforward. Let's look at an example of a Round Robin consisting of 3 NHL teams at DraftKings Sportsbook:
As you can see, with three teams selected you would have just one option for building a Round Robin. Three teams would allow you to bet every combination of two teams parlays within this group of three – which end up being three total. Since this Round Robin is three separate bets, you would have to risk $15 to win a maximum of $76.66. Each combination would cost $5 and you would win if any combination of two teams (or all three) wins the game.
Round Robins With Four or More Teams
Once you begin to add more teams, you will be able to construct more combinations. Let’s look at what happens when you add an additional team.
By adding an additional team, the bettor is now able to build parlays with three teams in addition to the previous two-team option. Betting $5 would require you to risk $20 total in order to bet on all four combinations of 3 teams winning.
If the bettor wanted to stick to two-team Round Robins they could, but because there are now six different combinations – the total amount to risk would increase from $15-$30.
You might have noticed that as you add more teams the total wager increases. To reiterate, this is the main difference from a standard parlay. The bettor does not need all teams to win but just certain combinations and they pay more to cover every combination.
Is a Round Robin a Smart Bet?
This is a common debate within the sports betting community. Many conservative bettors believe Round Robins can be a great strategy. If your plan is to mitigate losses, Round Robins might be appropriate for you. On the other hand, more aggressive bettors believe these bets are not worth the decrease in odds you receive. This is demonstrated in the situation where all your selections win. The payout for a Round Robin will be substantially less than if you played a traditional parlay. For example, if we took the four-team Round Robin above, the payout for all teams winning would be $191.29 vs. $387.20 if you chose a parlay instead.
At first, this type of wager might be confusing but after a couple of test runs - you’ll be Rockin’ Robin like Bobby Day in no time. For more advice, picks, and betting strategies, visit The Odds Factory. Or if you think you have a handle on Round Robin bets, check out our TomBox sports betting algorithm to see which teams to bet on.