In the world of sports betting, there are a number of strategies gamblers have come up with in search of ways to increase their winnings over the sportsbooks. One strategy that has gained in popularity has been round robin betting.
Let’s take a deep dive into understanding what a round robin bet is, including its definition, how it works, and how you can use it to make more money with your wagering.
What is a Round Robin Bet: A Quick Definition
Round robin bets are a way that allows bettors to place multiple, smaller, parlay bets on the games that they like. You create a pool of several bets that you want to make, typically sides, totals, and money lines, and you combine them into multiple smaller parlays. Check out our parlay bets explained if you need a primer on what a parlay actually is.
This means that not all of your predictions are going to have to come through for you to show a profit and cash in. You just need a majority of them.
This strategy is used to mitigate some of the risks while maintaining the potential for a big payout. You still have a parlay with every one of your bets hooked together in case you catch a heater and sweep the board.
Let’s take an example of a round robin bet featuring three teams. In theory, though you can include as many wagers as you would like.
Let’s just say you are deciding to take Miami, Detroit, and Philadelphia. Your round robin bet would create a parlay of all three teams, and then three additional parlays of the two team combinations.
You would have Miami-Detroit, Miami-Philadelphia, and finally, Detroit-Philadelphia tied together in different two-team parlays.
You might also have three single wagers on each of the sides for complete coverage.
If these are all juiced at -110 then your returns would be approximately 6-to-1 on the three-team parlay, 2.5-to-1 on each of the two-teamers, and then 1.1 to win 1 unit on each individual wager.
If you go 1-2 or worse, 0-3, then all of your parlays will lose too. If you go 2-1 then you will lose the three-teamer and one of the two-team parlays, but you’ll also win one.
By betting all of the games individually as well, you will come close to breaking even, or possibly even win a small amount if you go 2-1.
The real kicker would be a 3-0 sweep. Here you would win all of your parlays and cash in on a fairly large set of tickets.
Where Does Round Robin Betting Get Its Name? An Origin Story
If you have ever seen a round robin tournament each team plays every other team in their pool. That’s where the concept comes from.
You get tied together with every other team in your betting pool, similar to that style of tournament. That is where the name comes from.
Why Bet Round Robins? Increase Your Payout While Reducing Risk of Loss
The normal way to parlay is to put all of your wagers together into one and hope you don’t lose a game. However, that’s an all-or-nothing proposition.
By doing round robin betting instead, you can still get some money back without the requirement of perfection.
If you are new to sports betting or a little more risk-averse, this is a more forgiving way to go about your wagering, since it gives you the cushion of having a loss and still ending up with a little bit of money coming back your way.
The number of teams you include is pretty much limitless, but just remember when doing round robin bets that you should risk less than you normally do.
It doesn’t take many games for the bets to really add up. Doing a four-team robin bet gives you six two-team parlays and four three-team parlays. You can see where if you put a large amount on each one you will tie up a significant portion of your bankroll when a 2-2 day will put you in the hole.
How Many Teams Can You Put Into a Round Robin Bet?
There’s no limit but just note that 11 teams would automatically create over 2,000 combinations! The numbers really escalate exponentially if you do not pay attention to what you are doing.
In the example above, even if you only put $1 on every single combo you would still have over $2,000 pending!
Now, as long as you win more games than you lose you would get a lot of that money back, but a losing day would sting the bankroll pretty hard.
Why Do Round Robin Bets? Easier to Get Your Wagers In
If you like parlay betting and you are going to put groups of your bets together, you might want to do round robin bets to save you some time.
Instead of putting all of the multiple bets into smaller parlays yourself manually, you can normally click a button and have the software do it all for you with a round robin wager.
You do lose a level of control. If there is a game you like more than the rest you might want to tie it into the rest of the bets. Or, if there is a game you don’t like as much you might not want to tie it together every which way.
If either of those cases apply then don’t include it in the round robin bet and just do those on your own. For the games you like equally, round robin betting is a great way to increase your exposure with very little time and effort.
Are Round Robins Good Bets? It Depends
Round robin bets are only as good as the legs you put into them. Not many times can you get the best odds on all of your games in the same sportsbook. So you are losing the advantage you have when shopping for lines and getting the best number. You have to take all of the bets at the same sportsbook and the odds that they are offering on the game.
If you put garbage in you are going to get garbage out. If you have an edge on a lot of games and tie them together, it can be a great way to increase your payouts and camouflage your actions.
Sharps don’t bet a lot of parlays, but if you are a sharp bettor and decide to tie your bets into parlays you can make the sportsbook think you are a bit of a square.
This way when you win a bunch of money and the red flag goes up, the supervisor looking over your account can see the action and decide you might not be that sharp if you are doing round robin bets.
One strategy that is worth looking into is weather situations. If a big storm is going to hit the Eastern coast of the United States and a lot of those games are going to be played in rainy, windy conditions, you might want to parlay as many unders in those games as possible.
Doing this will mean that if your theory holds, you have the same edge in a lot of different games. By using round robin betting you can take advantage of this angle and risk less of your bankroll on any individual game, and if a bunch of fluky plays happen in one of them it won’t ruin just a single massive parlay you made.
Other Names for Round Robin Parlays: Slang and Terminology
Some sportsbooks have names for the bets with different numbers of wagers.
A Trixie is one example with four bets that include three two-teamers and one three team parlay.
A Patent is the same thing as a trixie but you add the three individual bets as well.
A Yankee is 15 bets, a Canadian is 26 (10 two teamers, 10 three teamers, 5 four teamers, and one 5 team), Heinz means 57 (using six teams) and a Super Heinz is 120 (using 7).
There are also “Lucky” bets with the number after it being the number of wagers, like Lucky 15, Lucky 63, or Lucky 127. This is when you take one of the bets above and add the individual bets as well.
Other Round Robin Betting Rules to Know
You typically can’t make bets within the same game. For example, you can’t tie a quarterback’s passing yards to go over with one of his wide receivers. Those are correlated parlays and frowned upon by the books.
You should also note that a push will just reduce the payout by a game. So a three team parlay that contains a tie will be reduced down to a two team payout (as long as the other two games won.)