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How to Make a Round-Robin Bet at a Sportsbook

by March 18, 2020
NFL Preseason Week 1

While most people stick to moneylines, spreads, and totals in the sportsbook, there are many various different types of bet types that have different use cases. For example, teasers allow you to shift the point spreads in your favor but have lower payout or parlays offer a bigger payday but bring with them more risk.

One of the types of bets that we rarely hear about are round-robin parlays. Is this a useful type of bet or is this mostly just a gimmick? Let’s take a closer look.

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What Is A Round Robin Parlay?

A round-robin parlay is simply a way to make many parlays at once while placing just one single bet. How it works is you’ll select between two to six teams and then it will automatically play every permutation possible for you.

This is much easier to see with an example:

  • Selection 1: New England Patriots -1.5
  • Selection 2: Green Bay Packers -2.5
  • Selection 3: Buffalo Bills +9.5

So what’s going to happen is that in a round-robin parlay, you’ll play every permutation of these. That means you’ll play one three-team parlay of all of them along with three two-team parlays. The parlays will look like this:

Parlay 1

  • Patriots-Packers-Bills

Parlay 2

  • Patriots-Packers

Parlay 3

  • Packers-Bills

Parlay 4

  • Bills-Patriots

As you can see, we’ve now covered every option with these three games. This is how a round-robin parlay works. The more selections you have in the round-robin, the more parlays you’re going to play.

The Strategy Behind Round Robins

One of the most positive things you’ll hear about round-robin parlays is that they’ll help you out when you don’t win all of your bets. One of the biggest issues with a regular parlay is that you might hit four out of five but even in that case, you still end up losing everything. It’s tough when you go three out of five or four out of six and have nothing to show for it. Even if you only get a few right, you can still get some money back. A round-robin parlay can help in those situations.

The first difference here is in the payout. Let’s say you bet $50 on a three-game parlay on three lines that were all at -110. That would pay out $297.90. With a round-robin, your payout is cut all the way down to $132.18. That goes to show you that in the best-case scenario, you’re winning a lot more on a regular parlay.

The second difference that you’ll want to note is what happens when you lose. If you lose one game, your regular parlay is washed away. However, if you lose one game in your round-robin, you’re still profitable. This gives you a little bit of a safety net just in case you aren’t perfect with your picks.

Are Round Robins Worth It?

Most people avoid round robin parlays because you can simply place the bets and parlays that you want. You don’t necessarily need a machine to create every permutation for you; it’s just not all that useful.

Where it is useful is when you’re worried that you’re not going to hit all of your selections in a parlay. In that case, if you go four out of five or four out of six, you’re still getting something for your efforts with a round-robin whereas a regular parlay would have cleaned you out.

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Dave Golokhov is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Dave, check out his archive and follow him @davegolokhov.

Bet Types, Betting 101, Betting Tips, How-To