What’s a Round Robin Bet? How Does Round Robin Betting Work?

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Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, left, greets his team after a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
BetMGM @BETMGM May 30, 2023, 4:21 PM

At the BetMGM online sportsbook, the round robin bet is one of the most underappreciated bet types. 

If you’ve never bet a round robin before, don’t worry! I’m here to explain the details. 

What’s Round Robin Bet?

A round robin parlay is one bet that creates a larger chain of parlays from a given pool of straight bets.

Round robins are great options for bettors who have identified a short list of bets and want to bet them together in every possible combination to create more lucrative odds.

Unlike traditional parlays, a round robin parlay is not a dead ticket if one leg loses. This is a big reason why some bettors prefer situational round robin betting.

How Does a Round Robin Bet Work?

A round robin combines a preselected set of bets together into every possible parlay combination that is mathematically available.

Let’s say you like three teams: A, B and C. An ABC round robin will create the following chain of bets:

  • A two-way AB parlay
  • A two-way AC parlay
  • A two-way BC parlay
  • A three-way ABC parlay

Here’s another example. Let’s say you wanted to create a round robin out of five particular bets: O, P, Q, R and S. 

Your 5-way round robin would create a larger series of bets:

  • A two-way OP parlay
  • A two-way OQ parlay
  • A two-way OR parlay
  • A two-way OS parlay
  • A two-way PQ parlay
  • A two-way PR parlay
  • A two-way PS parlay
  • A two-way QR parlay
  • A two-way QS parlay
  • A two-way RS parlay
  • A three-way OPQ parlay
  • A three-way OPR parlay
  • A three-way OPS parlay
  • A three-way OQR parlay
  • A three-way OQS parlay
  • A three-way ORS parlay
  • A three-way PQR parlay
  • A three-way PQS parlay
  • A three-way PRS parlay
  • A three-way QRS parlay
  • A four-way OPQR parlay
  • A four-way OPQS parlay
  • A four-way OPRS parlay
  • A four-way OQRS parlay
  • A four-way PQRS parlay
  • A five-way OPQRS parlay

As you can see, there is an exponential relationship between the number of straight bets in the base of the round robin and the number of parlays created by the round robin.

Underdog Round Robins

For NFL odds bettors, one of the preferred ways of deploying a round robin is to identify a small batch of underdogs and create a round robin.

Bettors who feel good about a group of underdogs and want to maximize their ROI off the dogs can round robin them together. 

The resulting parlay math of combining multiple dogs together can offer a lucrative payout – even if only one or two legs actually cash.

NFL Best Bets: A Round Robin Example

Let’s say you’re considering a round robin bet for this weekend’s slate of NFL betting lines. Maybe you like the Steelers (+220), Cardinals (+200) and Raiders (+150).

A three-way round robin on these teams would produce the following parlays:

  • Steelers/Cardinals +860
  • Steelers/Raiders +700
  • Cardinals/Raiders +650
  • Steelers/Cardinal/Raiders +2300

If just one of the four parlay legs hits, you’re in the money.

If all four legs hits, that’s a nice day at the office.

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