How does round-robin parlay betting work in sports?

May 5, 2023

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Parlays bundle multiple bets together, requiring each Bet to be placed on a parlay win and rolling over the winnings of one leg into each subsequent leg. Round Robin allows you to play multiple streaks from a selected set of games.

Round robin in sports is like the group stages of the World Cup or the prelims for basketball or hockey at the Olympics. Each team plays one game against every other team in that group. Round robins do the same for parlays.

Let’s say you like four-way betting and want to parlay but want to avoid the all-or-nothing nature of a four-team parlay. Round-robin groups the smaller parlays of these four bets. Creating a two-legged round-robin from four Bets would make six possibilities. For the sake of a basic example, let’s call the stakes Bet A, Bet B, Bet C, & Bet D. Here are the six parlay bets from that round robin:

AB AC AD BC BD CD

You can get every double-leg combo from these four bets by playing round-robin. If you play a regular four-legged parlay, all four Bets must win, or you will get nothing. In this case, you will get some money back if at least two bets win.

If bets A & B win, only the parlay of combination AB wins, and the other five lose. If bets A, B, & D win, all streaks (AB, AD, BD), excluding bet C, will Win. Getting 3-3 over six bets might not be better to remember that these are parlays, so if the Bet is a favorite, they will pay better than the even money payouts unless the bets are.

In this example, the four bets can also be used in a round-robin, creating three triples. They look like this:

ABC ACD BCD

At least three bets must win to receive any money from this round-robin. If three Bets win, only one parlay will win, but it pays out nicely as a three-sided parlay has no extreme favorite odds.

Ok, here’s what it looks like in a dry run. Let’s look at a possible round-robin first round of the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. What would happen if all the letter bets above were seeded 13 on the win/lose line? The four bets are Liberty (+260), North Texas (+260), Ohio (+260), & UNC-Greensboro (+475), giving the following streaks from the round-robin:

Liberty, North Texas

Liberty, Ohio

Liberty, UNC-Greensboro

North Texas, Ohio

North Texas, UNC-Greensboro

Ohio, UNC-Greensboro

North Texas and Ohio State won. The winning streak in the round-robin with those two teams will win, while the other five teams will lose. $10 units, this parlay would return $129.60. Subtract the $60 needed to put the $10 on all six parlay bets, and this round-robin comes to $69.60.

It is better than playing all four bets alone. Each of the +260 bets netted $52, while the two losing bets combined lost $20 for a net gain of $32. Playing the same four Bets as a streak or round robin with a three-leg streak loses all wagered money.

Advantages and disadvantages of round-robin

One of the advantages of the round-robin is the 13-seeded example. A round-robin with two passes is the most profitable play in this case. It is only sometimes the case, but it worked around.

Round Robin is a less volatile parlay bet. If all 13 seeds win, the round-robin is no better than a four-round parlay where all those juicy booster odds roll the prize three times. Round robin eliminates the best-case scenario and creates a situation where only 2 of the four bets must win to make more money than bets alone.

The Obvious downside is an investment. Playing that round-robin requires placing six passes. In a 13-seeded round robin, that means paying $60 instead of $40 if they’re an individual bet or $10 if it’s just a parlay. Considering that you will have to bet several bets to complete the round-robin, it might be wise to lower the price of each parlay in the round-robin.

How to do it

Sportsbook apps or websites do round-robin differently from each other, but it works similarly to picking a winning streak. Select three bets, go to the digital bet slip section, and find the round-robin option.

The names be unlike, but the number of bets for each parlay shows in the header. A four-bet two-leg parlay may be called a 2 Pick Round Robin or a Round Robin 2/4.

There is also a Yankee who is betting as much as possible. In the case of a four-bet round robin, it’s four pars, all three threes, and all six twos.

Any betting screen shows the number of bets in the round-robin so that it can use to check that you have clicked on the correct option. Remember that you usually choose how much you bet on each Bet, which means you can put in $10. If there are six parlays in a round-robin, you’re effectively betting $60.

Round robin is more complicated and confusing, but it offers another way for punters to try to win big, such as parlays, but with a smaller chance of nothing.

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