Round Robin Parlays – How Do They Work?

A round robin (RR) is simply a nickname for a type of parlay wagering strategy.  You take a group of three or more selections and put them in combinations of individual parlays. You could enter these parlays individually yourself, but a lot of sportsbooks allow you to select a round-robin option and do it automatically.  This proves to be a much faster proposition.

Round robins get a lot more complex as the number of teams goes up. A two-way round robin means that you are betting as many different two-team parlay combinations as you can with a given number of teams. On a three-team RR two-way parlay, you would have three different two-teamers.

Let’s just give an example to show you how a three-team RR two-way bet would work. You like three teams we’ll call the Cowboys -7, Packers -7 and 49ers +4. Let’s say you wanted $100 on each pair. Here’s how your wagers would look:

How Do You Win a Round Robin?

So, you’ll be risking $300 for a potential profit of $780. Your only options will be to lose all three, win all three, or lose two and win one. If you lose all three, you would obviously be out $300. If you win one and lose two, you would win $60. So, you basically have to go 2-1 or 3-0 to show a profit.

Are They Worth It?

That’s why it might be better to just bet all three separately for $100 each because if you go 2-1, you win $90 instead of $60. If you go 1-2 you lose $120 instead of $300. However, if you go 3-0, you would only win $300 compared to $780! The chances of going 3-0 are 7/1, meaning you will only hit one three-team parlay out of every seven you bet.

Here is a look at the Round Robin table showing you how many picks, how many ways you can bet them, and how many different combinations of bets you will have for each.

Picks Ways Number of Bets
3 2 3
4 2 6
4 3 4
5 2 10
5 3 10
5 4 5
6 2 15
6 3 20
6 4 15
6 5 6
7 2 21
7 3 35
7 4 35
7 5 21
7 6 7
8 2 28
8 3 56
8 4 70
8 5 56
8 6 28

As you can see, there are so many different combinations you can bet.  The problem is that the more teams you have, the more bets you are going to have to place.  Say you have eight teams and want to do as many 4-team parlays as you can do with those eight teams.  Well, there’s a whopping 70 different combinations of 4-team parlays with eight teams.  So, if you’re betting $100 on each parlay, that means you will be betting $7,000.

It’s simply not worth the risk in my opinion.  If you go 3-5, you lose all 70 bets for a grand total of $7,000.  You would have to go at least 4-4 to get any money back, and even then you’d only hit one 4-team parlay at 10/1 odds, which would bring back $1,000.  So, you’d still lose $5,900 by simply going .500.  You’d lose 69 bets at $1000 each and win one for $1,000.

The novice sports bettor sees a chance at a huge payout with these Round Robin parlays.  And, if you do bet as many parlays as you can with six teams and go 6-0, then you are going to make a fortune.  But how many times have you actually gone 6-0 in a day?  The chances of doing so are slim to none, and if you bet too many of these Round Robin parlays, then you’re going to be broke before you ever get the chance to go 6-0.

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