What is the Meaning of a Round Robin Bet?

Las Vegas is a known hub for smart money bettors who like to have as many options to wager as possible. Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Circa Resort & Casino/AFP

If you have ever wondered what a round-robin bet was but were afraid to ask then you have come to the right place.

At OddsTrader we have a library of gambling and betting resources, running the gamut from blogs on sports betting strategy to a list of the best online sportsbooks.

It’s all here under one digital roof and below we will explain why round-robins can be an exciting way to bet!

Understanding Parlays

Bettors have varying definitions as to what an exotic bet is and a round-robin would classify as such according to many. But that doesn’t mean it’s particularly difficult to understand and they are available on virtually all sportsbooks’ menus.

To understand a round-robin means you must first know what a parlay is because the round-robin is simply a series of parlays bundled under one wager.

A sports betting parlay features two or more bets all rolled into one. Below we will give an example of a two-team NBA parlay using the standard 10 percent vig charged by the sportsbook.

Learn More: Gambling 101 | Understanding Parlay Bets

There are two advantages to betting a parlay versus betting these teams individually (known as flat bets). The first is that a winning parlay will pay more than the two flat bets combined. The second advantage is that even if both sides lose, you only lose once, the cost of the parlay.

The negative is that if one side loses and the other side wins, you lose the parlay because a parlay only pays off if all the bets within it cover the spread.

Let us use a hypothetical NBA slate of games on a typical weeknight. After doing our homework and determining which sides or totals we like, we focus on the New York Knicks -4 over the New Orleans Pelicans and the Dallas Mavericks +2 over the Phoenix Suns.

But we like these wagers so much that we want to maximize our earnings and bundle these two separate bets into one, creating a parlay.

Outcome A (Both Teams Cover) – We put the Knicks -4 and the Mavericks +2 in a $100 two-team parlay. Because a typical two-team parlay pays at a rate of 2.6/1 we would win $260 on this wager which is more than the $200 we would have won had we bet them separately.

Learn More: Gambling 101 | Understanding Teaser Bets

Outcome B (One or More Teams Lose) – Using the same example, if the Knicks -4 or the Mavericks +2 (or both) fail to cover the spread we lose $100, the cost of the parlay. The most we can lose is $100 unlike if you bet these teams flat and you lost both you would lose $220.

However, we should note that if you bet these teams flat and they split (one covered and the other lost) you would lose only $10 (-$110 + $100 = -$10).

The above example references a two-team parlay but there are 3, 4, 5, and 6+ team parlays. The more teams in a parlay the more the parlay pays.

So, What’s a Round-Robin?

Now that you understand parlays, round-robins will be a snap. You see, round robins are a series of parlays where you can use multiple teams or totals in a round-robin instead of going to the effort of making them all separate parlays. A round-robin saves you time.

For instance, if we have four teams that we want to bet; the Knicks, Mavericks, Celtics, and Lakers, but we want every combination of two-team parlays possible then we just put all four teams in a round-robin which gives us a total of six two-team parlays under one bet.

Therefore, we have the following:

  1. Knicks/Mavericks parlay
  2. Knicks/Celtics parlay
  3. Knicks/Lakers parlay
  4. Mavericks/Celtics parlay
  5. Mavericks/ Lakers parlay
  6. Celtics/Lakers parlay

If all six parlays, within the $100 round-robin cover, then you would win $1560 ($260 x 6 parlays = $1560). If none of them cover, then you would lose $600 ($100 x 6 parlays = -$600).

So now that you know what a parlay and a round-robin are, make sure you are doing business only with the best online sportsbooks.

LEARN MORE: How to Shop for the Best Lines

What’s the sense of winning if the sportsbook refuses to pay you your winnings? Yes, it happens, so make sure you are only using one of the premier books featured at OddsTrader.

U.S. licensed books like BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, and PointsBet to name a few are names you can trust so make sure you check them out, and may all your wagers be winners.

And remember to check back for more betting strategy at the OddsTrader blog. Happy betting!

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