How Round Robin Bets Work

Round robin betting is the term used to describe a series of parlay bets made from a larger list of betting selections. The name comes from the round-robin tournament format where every team plays each other team in its group.

Round robin bets allow you to make a variety of smaller parlay wagers using a list of bets. This strategy allows you to still win some of the round robin parlay wagers if most (but not all) of your selections are winners.

Three Selection Round Robin Example

Here’s an example of a round robin parlay bet using three selections. Let’s say you like the following NHL teams to win their games on a given night:

  • Ottawa Senators 2.40
  • Toronto Maple Leafs 1.80
  • Montreal Canadiens 2.70

If you made a full 3-selection parlay from these selections the parlay odds would be 11.66.

A round robin bet would split the parlay into three two-team parlay wagers:

  • Sens + Leafs 4.32
  • Sens + Habs 6.48
  • Leafs + Habs 4.86

In this scenario if the Senators and Maple Leafs both won and the Canadiens lost you would still win the Sens + Leafs parlay, while losing the two that included the Canadiens.

How many times have you had a single loss bust your parlay ticket? Round robin betting guards against this. Yes, round robin betting lowers the top end parlay payout potential, but with round robin betting if the majority of your picks are correct you will likely still break even or have a small win rather than losing the entire parlay with one losing pick.

Four Selection Round Robin Example

Now let’s look at a more elaborate example using four NHL selections. I will include screenshots from to help improve this example.

Here’s a four selection parlay using Canadian NHL teams:

A single parlay with those four selections pays out $1380 on a $100 wager. You also have the option to select the ‘Show more multiples’ drop down menu in the above screenshot to see the 2-play parlays and 3-play parlays, also known as round robin betting.

There are 6 potential 2-play parlays and 4 potential 3-play parlays from a list of 4 bets.

You could choose to use your $100 as ten $10 wagers using round robin betting to wager on all of the 2-play and 3-play parlay possibilities.

In this scenario your potential payout would be lower if all four selections win ($516.92), but you would still win one of the 3-play selections and 3 of the 2-play selections if three teams won, and one of the 2-play selections if just two teams won.

When To Use Round Robin Betting

Round robin betting reduces your high end payout potential when compared with a straight parlay, but it also lowers your variance.

When to use round robin betting really comes down to personal preference. Do you want the biggest potential payout possible if you have a perfect night or do you want to be able to miss on one or two of your selections, while still having the upside of the smaller parlays relative to betting on single outcomes.

I personally prefer round robin betting to big parlay or single game betting when I have a wide variety of selections on a given night. I will generally still have a small amount on the full parlay for that jackpot potential, but there’s nothing worse than an early loss killing the parlay.