Sports Betting 101

How to play a Round Robin

WynnBET Staff
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Looking to take your winning to the next level? Are you consistently having trouble nailing down that perfect parlay? "Round Robin" just may be the perfect betting strategy for you!

The basics

As sports bettors, we're all familiar with the ever-popular "parlay": a single ticket with multiple (two or more) wagers in which all bets need to win in order for the ticket to pay out. Benefits of playing parlays are the increased payouts; for every bet or "leg" you add to your parlay, the longer your winning ticket odds will be. Of course, if any one of the wagers on your ticket fails to win, than the entire ticket loses. The "Round Robin" strategy is built off this concept.

Essentially, a Round Robin is built through multiple complementary parlays. Here's a simple example of what that can look like:

Example:

To build a Round Robin, you will need a minimum of three wager selections. These selections can feature any sport and any wager type (spread, moneyline, total, prop) as long as the house rules allow that wager to be part of a parlay. For simplicity's sake, we'll refer to all moneyline picks in the following example.

Let's say there are three games you feel confident about betting on. You like:

  • Team A to defeat Team Z
  • Team B to defeat Team Y
  • Team C to defeat Team X

However, you have some second thoughts about "Team C" winning. If this were a single 3-leg parlay and Team C loses, you will win nothing. But if we Round Robin these picks, you're mathematically protected and may still come out ahead. Here's how to do that. Using these three picks of Team A, Team B, and Team C, we're going to create three different 2-leg parlays all with the same risk:

  • Parlay 1: Team A moneyline, Team B moneyline
  • Parlay 2: Team A moneyline, Team C moneyline
  • Parlay 3: Team B moneyline, Team C moneyline

So you've locked it in and the action has begun. Ideally, all three of you picks will win/cover and you'll be left with three separate winning parlays!

However, let's say Team C (the one you had some doubts about) loses. Yes, that would mean any parlay with Team C also loses (Parlay 2 and Parlay 3), but you are still left with one winning parlay (Parlay 1 that features only Team A and Team B)! Depending on the odds of each individual wager, you can still come out ahead despite losing a leg of your Round Robin. As long as more than one of your picks wins, you are protected from complete loss.

The trade-off

Of course, if all three picks win, you will be left with three separate winning parlays, but the winnings will be less than if all three picks were placed into a single 3-team parlay. Sure, that's no one's favorite thing to here, but if you consistently find yourself losing parlays due to one leg falling short, then imagine all the money you could have saved by turning it into a Round Robin.

Unlimited possibilities

Just like mathematics in general, the Round Robin strategy can be infinitely expanded on in an exponential fashion. Let's bump it up one--Maybe there's four picks you really like (A, B, C, and D). You can now craft four 3-team parlays in the Round Robin fashion:

  • Parlay 1: Picks A, B, and C
  • Parlay 2: Picks A, B, and D
  • Parlay 3: Picks A, C, and D
  • Parlay 4: Picks B, C, and D

Oh no, Team D got blown out at home! But that's alright, because all your other picks covered. So you are still left with a winning 3-leg parlay (Parlay 1 featuring A, B, and C).

Again, this strategy can be infinitely built upon (or up to however many legs the house allows on a parlay). Time to get creative!

Still finding yourself confused? Check out our Sports Betting 101: Round Robin video below, hosted by Claudia Bellofatto!

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