Betting systems. Some punters swear by them but others approach with caution. There are so many different types of betting systems available and a lot of them will, on the surface make a lot of sense to punters.
But when you start digging into the mathematics behind them, you start to see where the real risks are. There are never any certainties in betting and therefore no betting system is going to be perfect and lead you to profit every time.
But they do have their place in betting, especially when it comes to planning bets and controlling a set amount of bankroll. Here we explore some of the most popular types of betting systems out there.
Positive & Negative Progressions
First of all, though, there are two very basic concepts which you will see applied to a lot of different betting systems. These are progressive systems and there can be both negative and positive progression systems.
Positive Progression |
Increase stake after a win, decrease stake after a loss |
Negative Progression |
Increase stake after a loss, decrease stake after a win |
These systems can be fully customised by a bettor to fit their own needs. That means an individual can determine how much a unit of stake is raised or decreased by after a win or a loss. The idea of a positive progression is a winning streak will maximum returns because of the increase in successful stakes.
The premise behind a negative progression is that when a win does come along it will cover previous losses because of the raising of a stake each time. Like with any betting system though, there are flaws and that is with the bankroll. A run of losses can quickly and dramatically raise the amount of stake needed to chase losses and therefore it assumes that a player has an unlimited bankroll.
The Martingale System
This is probably the most common betting system of them all. The system itself is actually pretty straight forward. There are just a couple of rules that need to be followed from it. Those are, that you double a stake after each loss. After each win you stake one base unit.
The basic premise is that you place a bet and if that wager loses, then you double the amount of stake on the next wager. So in a simple example, you bet 10 each wager as a base unit. The first bet loses. So you double up and stake 20 on the next bet. That loses, so you bet 40 on the next wager and so on. You go on until you strike a win and because of the value of the raised stakes, you will eventually turn a profit from the system.
Once a win does happen, you go back to your original base unit stake of 10 and start a new sequence However, even a look at that very simple math shows a big concern about the Martingale system. That is, the amount of stake needed can rise pretty quickly. You can see from the example above if you only started with a bankroll of 100, just three bets in you would have spent 70 if those first three bets all lost. That means there wouldn’t be enough bankroll left to keep playing the system.
Due Column Betting
The simple plan for Due Column betting is to raise the stake after having a loss in a sequence. Looking back at the Martingale System that is much in the same vein. With the Due Column betting you determine the profit that you want to achieve before starting out.
A punter for example would expect to get 10 from Bet #1. They find a selection to bet on, say a horse at 6.00 decimal odds. The bettor would calculate that a 2 stake would be needed to achieve that 10 which is Due.
Bet # |
Due |
Odds |
Bet |
Result |
1 |
10.00 |
6.00 |
2 |
Loss |
2 |
12.00 (inc 2 lost stake from Bet #1) |
4.00 |
4 |
Loss |
3 |
30.00 (inc 2 lost stake from Bet 1 And 4 from Bet 2) |
3.00 |
15 |
Win Total Profit = 24 |
If that first bet was lost, then the lost stake would have to be incorporated into the amount which would be Due from the second bet. So if the bettor was Due 12 on Bet #2 that would include the 2 that was lost from the first bet.
A subsequent Due amount has to cover previous losses. So if Bet #2 losses too, then the sum that was due from the first two bets would have to be included and so on. The premise is, is that when a win hits, it will have covered all previous losses and a profit can still be turned.
However, it is a system that is constantly chasing losses. A losing streak can quickly require higher stakes to try and recover losses and that’s never a good place to be in.
Fibonacci System
The famous Fibonacci sequence is a mathematical expression which starts with a zero and then one. The sequence then continues with the tally of the two previous numbers and therefore there is no end to it.
The rule with the Fibonacci System is that you start with a base unit. In this example, let’s say that’s 10. You can’t do anything with the zero of course in the sequence so you start with the number 1.
When a bet losses then you simply go up to the next number in the sequence which tells you how many units of stake to bet. Following a loss on that first bet, in the Fibonacci Sequence, the next number is another 1. So you play a 10 stake on the second bet.
If that loses then the next number in the sequence is a 2, so that means your next bet is for a stake of 20 and so on. Everytime you lose you go up one number on the sequence. Every time that you win, you move back down the sequence by one.
The trouble with the Fibonacci System is, as with most proggseive systems, a losing streak can seriously start meaning that you need to play high stakes.
The Labouchere System
The Labouchere System is really one that steps into a territory of being a little more complicated. It is not really seen as being one for beginners and this is a negative progression system, arguably the type that brings the most risk of wiping out a bankroll quickly.
The Labouchere System needs some math doing before hitting the sportsbook and during the wagering process. The first thing that is needed is three single digit numbers written down. For a simple example this will be 1-2-3.
If you add the value of the first and last numbers together, that is the value of your stake on the first bet. If that bet wins, you cross off the two numbers that were just successfully played.
However, if the wager had lost, then you add another number to the end of the line, in this case 4, so you would then have 1-2-3-4. So the cycle starts again. You add the value of the first and the last number, which is now a tally of five, and play that as your next stake.
Starting with 1-2-3 Sequence:
Bet 1 |
4 stake (1 + 3) |
Loss |
Add 4 to the end |
Bet 2 |
5 stake (1 + 4) |
Loss |
Add 5 to the end |
Bet 3 |
6 stake (1 + 5) |
Loss |
Add 6 to the end |
Bet 4 |
7 stake (1 + 6) |
Win |
Remove first and last numbers |
Bet 5 |
7 stake (2 + 5) |
Win |
Remove first and last numbers |
When the Labouchere system gets down to just the one number, then you place that value as a stake and if it wins, then the cycle closes and you could start it all over again with the original numbers. The numbers that you chose at the start therefore in a Labouchere system will determine the risk of your stake increases. For example, if you started with a 4-5-6 then stakes would rise more quickly in value than the 1-2-3.
The Paroli System
The Paroli System is a basic positive progression system. The basic rule of the system is that after each win, you increase the stake for the next bet by the base unit. So if your base unit on a wager is 10 and you win your first bet, then the next stake you play is 20. After a win, then the next stake is 30 and so on. If a loss happens then it reverts back to the start of the plan by playing a 10 unit stake. The concept and appeal is that when a winning streak hits, it can return well. But of course in sports betting, there is simply no guarantee of winning streak.
The D’Alembert System
The D’Alembert Systems is a popular one with beginners who are looking for an established betting system. Arguably it is really up there in terms of popularity alongside the Martingale. The key difference between the two is that the D’Alembert plays more on the side of caution as it doesn’t double stakes after a loss like the Martingale. It increases by a base unit.
Win |
Decrease stake by a base unit |
Loss |
Increase stake by a base unit |
So you have to set a base unit to start with, say just 1. That is the initial stake played in a cycle of the D’Alembert System. After any loss then the value of the next stake is increased by the base unit value. What happens after win is that you reduce the value of the next stake by a base unit
Summary
Betting systems can take a little bit of planning out, and some are more complicated than others. The best way to approach them is to test them out on paper before even placing a wager with them. Get to knows the ins-and-outs of them and whether or not they are a good fit for you.
Systems are not there to be blindly trusted. Check the math out for yourself and see where the numbers lie. They can offer a nice structured way to be, almost stripping emotion out of wagering because things are pre-planned. That can be a good thing sometimes.
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