betting guide
Updated December 12, 2023

Round Robin Betting Guide

A round robin wager is a means of creating several parlays from a group of betting selections. Rather than having to combine your choices into many individual parlay wagers manually, it is done for you.

This way, you can mitigate your risk by playing multiple parlays from your larger group of betting selections, all while increasing your upside from what it would be if you placed each bet individually. Let's take a look in detail and learn about round robin bets and how they compare against regular parlays.

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What Is a Round Robin Bet?

Round robin betting allows you to place multiple parlay wagers at once. Round robin tournaments are where every team plays against each other at least one time.

There may be a variety of betting lines, such as spread bets or moneyline bets. You have two choices when it comes to building a parlay.

  • A single, large parlay should be constructed that ties together all the events.
  • To include every possible combination of events, construct a few smaller parlays.

Option 1 is a traditional parlay. Option 2 is round robin.

Round robin bets must include at least three different parlays, although technically there is no limit. It all depends on which combinations you choose to place and how many round robin parlays you make.

It’s important to keep in mind that while round robin betting can affect your potential payout, it can also increase your chances of winning.

Round Robin Example

In this example, let’s assume that you have six available round robin bets. As such, you can choose from a variety of combinations, including:

  • 6 parlays (five-team)
  • 15 parlays (four-team)
  • 20 parlays (three-team)
  • 15 parlays (two-team)

Next, let’s assume that you placed $5 on each one of the 20 round robin parlays (three-team) and $5 on each one of the 15 round robin parlays (two-team).

You’d end up making a $175 investment.

Now let’s assume that three teams end up winning. That would mean you win four round robin parlays (three two-team) and one three-team. As a result, you ultimately win a grand total of $136.34.

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How Does a Round Robin Bet Work?

At its core, a round robin bet is simply a bunch of small parlays built from a large list of wagers. Getting its name from “Round Robin Tournament,” round robin betting follows a similar path in which all teams play the other teams.

But rather than there being a bunch of different teams playing against each other, your teams make their parlay bets together. So if you choose multiple games to wager on, your sportsbook offers the possibility to create smaller round robin parlays that are made up of those games.

As such, you can potentially make thousands of parlay combinations by picking more and more games to bet on. Keep in mind, too, that each sportsbook has its own round robin options and how they’re displayed. So you’ll want to pay attention to make sure you find it on the sportsbook you’re using.

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Round Robin Bet vs. Parlay

You might wonder: what is the difference between a round robin and parlay? They are closely linked, as a round robin is not so much an individual bet type but a means of conveniently creating several parlays at once. 

Say you have three betting selections from which you want to create a round robin. You would have the opportunity to combine them into three two-team combinations as well as one three-team parlay. This makes for a total of four individual parlays you can create.

Each parlay is no different than if you had placed them all individually. The round robin functionality at the sportsbook is a matter of convenience.

Still, there are some ideological differences between parlay betting and round robin betting strategy. Using the same example of three betting selections, it is easy to illustrate this.

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Parlay Bet Explained

You could place a three-team regular parlay using your three selections. But even if two of the three teams win, you still lose the whole bet. While the parlay would pay a high amount, losing just one leg results in a loss. 

On the other hand, with a round robin, you will still win one of your three two-team parlays. This is despite the other two combinations and the three-team parlay failing.

Say you bet the same dollar amount on your round robin as you would have on the single three-team parlay. You will have gained yourself a substantial return on your two winning picks rather than losing your entire amount wagered. This is an excellent means of reducing your risk considerably while retaining some of the upside of parlay betting if all the selections win.

Let's look at exactly how round robin betting works based on how many betting selections are added to a round robin. We'll start with the simplest type of round robin, based on three selections.

3-Team Round Robin

With a three-team round robin, you are taking three betting selections and can combine them into a total of three individual parlays. You will also have the option to bet on the three-team parlay of all the selections.

This gives you four possible bets combining these three selections into parlays. For the sake of simplicity, let's use the example of three NFL point spread betting selections with -110 odds.

  • Miami Dolphins: +7 | -110
  • Las Vegas Raiders: -3 | -110
  • Kansas City Chiefs: -6 | -110

Here you have four possible combinations. Let's say you use the round robin builder to bet each one for $10:

  • Dolphins + Raiders: $10
  • Dolphins + Chiefs: $10
  • Raiders + Chiefs: $10
  • Dolphins + Raiders + Chiefs: $10

If you were to bet all four of these combinations on a round robin builder at $10 each, your maximum return would be $138.92. If all three of the two-team combos hit, you win $79.34. If you include the three-teamer, you will win an additional $59.58.

If you simply bet the three-team parlay alone, you would stand to win a lot more for the same total amount wagered. A $40 bet would pay out $278.32 for $238.32 in winnings. This might make you wonder why it makes sense to bet the round robin instead.

Why a Round Robin Instead of a Three-Team Parlay?

The reason you might bet the round robin over the whole three-team parlay: if only two of your selections win, you severely decrease your overall losses as you will come away with one winning bet. All while maintaining a good bit of the upside of the single three-team parlay.

If two of the three selections hit, you'll get back $36.45. This means you lose $3.55 instead of the $40 you would have lost if you bet the same amount on the single three-team parlay.

On top of it, say you bet $30 on the three-team round robin instead of $30 on the three-team parlay. You won $6.45 and would have lost $30 on the three-team parlay. This nicely illustrates the value of the round robin.

Yet, even a $30 bet on the three-team parlay would have potential winnings of $178.74. While the max you could win on the $30 round-robin if all three selections win is $79.34.

Therein lies the comparison between parlay betting and round robin betting, assuming the same total dollar amount is placed on one or the other. Larger parlays comprising a group of selections give you a lot more upside and risk. Using the same betting choices, round robins lower your risk but decrease your high-end max result.

4-Team Round Robin

In the event that you have a round robin bracket that has 4 teams, you would get the following matches:

Round 1

  • Team A vs. Team B
  • Team C vs. Team D

Round 2

  • Team A vs. Team C
  • Team B vs. Team D

Round 3

  • Team A vs. Team D
  • Team B vs. Team C

It’s worth pointing out that if there is an odd number of teams, one of the teams gets a bye every round. To put it another way, each team gets a bye. In doing this, you’re ensuring that every team is equal and gets a fair shake.

As an example, you could create a round robin bet on the NBA that would have four teams, with a spread for four teams. Using a round robin betting calculator would create six parlays of two teams.

We’ll assume that these selections show a $5 bet on each available parlay. This would result in a $30 risk and a $80.57 return if each of the four teams can cover the spreads.

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5-Team Round Robin

If you have 5 teams participating in a round robin bet, you would have a total of 10 played games. That’s each team in the group (A, B, C, D, and E). And each team plays a total of 4 games, such as:

  • A-B, A-C, A-D, A-E
  • B-C, B-D, B-E
  • C-D, C-E
  • D-E

The rules follow the same course of action as previously outlined above. The only thing that changes is the combination of potential matchups between the participating teams.

For this example, you could create a round robin bet on five teams in football. We’ll assume that there are five teams at -110 on the spread.

The selections would be displayed in your bet slip. You would need to locate the “Round Robin” box, where you can view a breakdown of wagers. A round robin calculator would create 10 parlays from two teams.

We’ll again assume that your selections show a $5 bet on each available parlay. As such, they would have a $50 risk and a $134.31 return if each of the five teams can cover the spread.

Now that we’ve covered the various round-robin matchup possibilities, let’s talk about getting paid. Below, you’ll learn how to calculate your round-robin payouts to ensure that you profit from your winnings.

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How to Calculate Round Robin Payout

Each round robin bet should be broken down separately to better understand how they are paid. Let’s take the example of a three-team round robin bet. Each team is at -110. 

Therefore, let’s use an example where each wager is placed at $5. Take a look at this table to get a better understanding of how round-robin payouts are calculated.

WagerOutcomeRiskOddsPossible Payout
Team A & Team BWon$5+264 odds$13.22
Team A & Team CWon$5+264 odds$13.22
Team B & Team CWon$5+264 odds$13.22
Total Payout$39.66

The entire breakdown of a round robin bet with three teams is shown in the table. These results will be calculated based on whether each team wins the parlay. The payout calculation is based on Team A losing and Teams B and C winning.

WagerOutcomeRiskOddsPossible Payout
Team A & Team BLost$5+264 odds$0.00
Team A & Team CLost$5+264 odds$0.00
Team B & Team CWon$5+264 odds$13.22
Total Payout$13.22

How Do Round Robin Bets Pay Out?

Round robin betting pays out on the sum of all the winnings from each parlay during the entire round robin wager.

A $15 round-robin wager with each team at -110 would result in a payout of $39.67. The winnings could be significantly reduced if any of the three teams lose. A $15 round-robin wager with each team at -110 would result in a payout of only $3.22, as two of the three parlays will be graded as losses.

Round Robin Betting Strategy

The first thing you need to do is find a sportsbook that accepts round robins. After you have found a sportsbook that accepts round robins, you need to make sure you deposit using the same method of payment that you will be using to place your round robin bets. 

This way, you don’t risk losing your money if the sportsbook doesn’t support round robin betting. Once you know that the sportsbook allows round robins and has the odds you want, you can start looking for a bookmaker that is available in your location. 

After you have found the right sportsbook, you will want to find the best odds on each match. This will help you make a profit if you are placing round robin bets. The best odds will depend on the sport you are betting on. 

There are different ways to find the best odds on each match. If you are using a bookmaker with a wide range of odds, you can just look at the odds for a particular match. It’s important to remember that not all odds are created equally. 

It can be very easy to overlook smaller round robin odds, but it is important to find odds that have a lot of potential for profit. When finding the best odds, you will want to focus on three things. The first is the amount that you have to wager to win on each match. The second is the odds for other bets that you might want to make. The last thing you want to look at is the percentage of profit.

You should always use a bookmaker that has a good customer service team. This way, you can get in touch with them if something happens to your account, and you won’t have to worry about losing any money.

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Toronto Maple Leafs
Maple Leafs
+1.5
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The Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 7:00 PM EST
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Florida Panthers
Panthers
vs
Edmonton Oilers
Oilers
Florida Panthers
Panthers
+1.5
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The Florida Panthers take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday, December 16th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Dallas Stars
Stars
vs
Carolina Hurricanes
Hurricanes
Dallas Stars
Stars
+1.5
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The Dallas Stars take on the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 8:00 PM EST
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Calgary Flames
Flames
vs
Edmonton Oilers
Oilers
Calgary Flames
Flames
+1.5
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The Calgary Flames take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday, February 24th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Vegas Golden Knights
Golden Knights
vs
Ottawa Senators
Senators
Vegas Golden Knights
Golden Knights
-1.5
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The Vegas Golden Knights take on the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday, February 24th, at 7:00 PM EST
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Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning
vs
Calgary Flames
Flames
Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning
+1.5
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The Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday, December 16th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning
vs
New York Islanders
Islanders
Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning
-1.5
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The Tampa Bay Lightning take on the New York Islanders at UBS Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 2:00 PM EST
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Los Angeles Kings
Kings
vs
Seattle Kraken
Kraken
Los Angeles Kings
Kings
-1.5
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The Los Angeles Kings take on the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday, December 16th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Boston Bruins
Bruins
vs
Vancouver Canucks
Canucks
Boston Bruins
Bruins
-1.5
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The Boston Bruins take on the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 7:00 PM EST
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Minnesota Wild
Wild
vs
Seattle Kraken
Kraken
Minnesota Wild
Wild
+1.5
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The Minnesota Wild take on the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Montreal Canadiens
Canadiens
vs
New Jersey Devils
Devils
New Jersey Devils
Devils
-1.5
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The Montreal Canadiens take on the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Saturday, February 24th, at 2:00 PM EST
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Washington Capitals
Capitals
vs
Florida Panthers
Panthers
Washington Capitals
Capitals
+1.5
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The Washington Capitals take on the Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 6:00 PM EST
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New York Rangers
Rangers
vs
Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers
New York Rangers
Rangers
-1.5
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The New York Rangers take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, February 24th, at 3:00 PM EST
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Anaheim Ducks
Ducks
vs
Los Angeles Kings
Kings
Los Angeles Kings
Kings
-1.5
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The Anaheim Ducks take on the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 10:30 PM EST
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Buffalo Sabres
Sabres
vs
Arizona Coyotes
Coyotes
Buffalo Sabres
Sabres
+1.5
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The Buffalo Sabres take on the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena on Saturday, December 16th, at 9:00 PM EST
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St. Louis Blues
Blues
vs
Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings
-1.5
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The St. Louis Blues take on the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 12:00 PM EST
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Nashville Predators
Predators
vs
San Jose Sharks
Sharks
Nashville Predators
Predators
-1.5
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The Nashville Predators take on the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Saturday, February 24th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Maple Leafs
vs
Colorado Avalanche
Avalanche
Over
6.5
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The Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 7:00 PM EST
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Florida Panthers
Panthers
vs
Edmonton Oilers
Oilers
Over
6.5
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The Florida Panthers take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday, December 16th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Dallas Stars
Stars
vs
Carolina Hurricanes
Hurricanes
Over
6.0
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The Dallas Stars take on the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 8:00 PM EST
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Calgary Flames
Flames
vs
Edmonton Oilers
Oilers
Over
6.5
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The Calgary Flames take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday, February 24th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Vegas Golden Knights
Golden Knights
vs
Ottawa Senators
Senators
Over
6.5
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The Vegas Golden Knights take on the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday, February 24th, at 7:00 PM EST
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Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning
vs
Calgary Flames
Flames
Over
6.5
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The Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday, December 16th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning
vs
New York Islanders
Islanders
Under
6.5
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The Tampa Bay Lightning take on the New York Islanders at UBS Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 2:00 PM EST
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Los Angeles Kings
Kings
vs
Seattle Kraken
Kraken
Over
6.0
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The Los Angeles Kings take on the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday, December 16th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Boston Bruins
Bruins
vs
Vancouver Canucks
Canucks
Under
6.0
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The Boston Bruins take on the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 7:00 PM EST
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Minnesota Wild
Wild
vs
Seattle Kraken
Kraken
Under
6.0
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The Minnesota Wild take on the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Montreal Canadiens
Canadiens
vs
New Jersey Devils
Devils
Under
6.5
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The Montreal Canadiens take on the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Saturday, February 24th, at 2:00 PM EST
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Washington Capitals
Capitals
vs
Florida Panthers
Panthers
Over
6.0
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The Washington Capitals take on the Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 6:00 PM EST
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New York Rangers
Rangers
vs
Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers
Over
6.0
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The New York Rangers take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, February 24th, at 3:00 PM EST
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Anaheim Ducks
Ducks
vs
Los Angeles Kings
Kings
Over
6.0
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The Anaheim Ducks take on the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 10:30 PM EST
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Buffalo Sabres
Sabres
vs
Arizona Coyotes
Coyotes
Under
6.5
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The Buffalo Sabres take on the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena on Saturday, December 16th, at 9:00 PM EST
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St. Louis Blues
Blues
vs
Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings
Under
6.5
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The St. Louis Blues take on the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday, February 24th, at 12:00 PM EST
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Nashville Predators
Predators
vs
San Jose Sharks
Sharks
Over
6.0
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The Nashville Predators take on the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Saturday, February 24th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Florida Panthers
Panthers
vs
Edmonton Oilers
Oilers
Connor McDavid - Total Points
Over 1.5
The Florida Panthers take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday, December 16th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning
vs
Calgary Flames
Flames
Nazem Kadri - To Score a Goal
Yes +200
The Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday, December 16th, at 10:00 PM EST
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Los Angeles Kings
Kings
vs
Seattle Kraken
Kraken
Adrian Kempe - Total Shots on Goal
Over 2.5
The Los Angeles Kings take on the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena, December 16th at 10:00 PM EDT. 
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Buffalo Sabres
Sabres
vs
Arizona Coyotes
Coyotes
Clayton Keller - Total Shots on Goal
Over 2.5
The Buffalo Sabres take on the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena, December 16th at 9:00 PM EDT. 
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How to Make a Round Robin Bet

Let’s now look at a round robin basketball bet. Begin by determining how many teams you want to include in your round robin wager. Let’s suppose you are looking to include three teams. You must first choose the three teams you wish to include in your round robin wager.

Look for the tab labeled “Round Robin” or something similar in your betslip. Depending on the sportsbook, it will most likely say “Round Robin” (or “RR”).

Enter the wager amount to complete the round robin wager. Calculate the total wager for each round using the betslip calculator.

This example shows that a round robin wager of $25 per team would result in a $75 risk and $151.84 payout if each of the three teams covers their respective spreads.

Overview

It’ll likely take some time for you to get the hang of when to use round robin betting to your advantage. You’re going to get the most bang for your buck when you place a round robin bet when there are several games being played within a single league.

But once you discover the many benefits and develop a round robin betting strategy, you can certainly maximize your sports betting efforts. In the end, a round robin bet can absolutely be a lucrative endeavor when used correctly.

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ROUND ROBIN PROS

  • Makes it easy to create a large number of parlays at once.
  • Mitigates the risk of placing large parlays by mixing and matching smaller combinations.
  • Offers a combination of upside with some degree of risk management.
  • Tracking various individual bets based on your finite selections can be thrilling.

ROUND ROBIN CONS

  • The upside of larger parlays is capped.
  • Risk is still considerable despite the loss of high-end winning potential.
  • Though safer than placing larger parlays, still more risky than single bets.
  • Tracking many parlay bets at once can be complicated.

FAQ

WHAT IS A ROUND ROBIN BET?

Round robin betting involves a series of two-team parlays made up of a selection of teams. Online betting sites offer round robin options and automatically create the parlays required to complete the bet.

HOW DOES A ROUND ROBIN BET WORK?

If you had to choose three sports teams for a round robin parlay, bet would be made up of Team A, Team B, and Team C. As such, it would comprise three separate parlays that each consist of two teams.

IS ROUND ROBIN A GOOD BET?

Round robin bet methods are primarily good bets when played on days that consist of several games being played within a single league. Round robin betting is a great way to maximize your chance of winning.

IS ROUND ROBIN BETTER THAN PARLAY?

Many sports bettors agree that a round robin bet is better than a parlay bet. This is due to the simple fact that losing a bet in a round robin doesn’t disqualify your remaining wagers, as is the case in parlay bets.


Our editorial content strives to be highly informative and educational to our audience, especially for visitors who are new or relatively new to analyzing and predicting sporting event results. All of our content is created by informed writers with backgrounds in their subject area and reviewed for omissions or mistakes.

Our editorial team is run by individuals with many years of experience in digital publishing, editorial, and content production. Our editorial content is always marked clearly in any instances where it may be sponsored by a third party, though it is still reviewed by our staff to ensure it remains consistent with our company mission.

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