Betting Systems and Strategies

Betting systems and strategies

Gambling is fun, but landing a big win is even better. Triumph is easier said than done, however, and you’re relatively unlikely to land huge wins based on luck alone. This is where betting systems and betting strategies come into play. Before you dive into your favorite game, take the time to read about basic casino and sportsbook strategy to dramatically improve your chances – at least in the short term. 

Are there any ‘can’t lose’ betting systems that users should keep in mind as they play? Let’s look at betting systems, how they work, and which ones might help you reach your dreams of taking home the ultimate prize. 


What are betting systems?

As they progress in their game of choice and look towards big windfalls, players naturally look for tips that might give them an advantage. Betting systems and strategies offer a methodical response to the questions of bet sizing and intelligent plays. The goal of these systems and strategies is simple: to win. This holds true even in areas other than casino games. Sportsbook enthusiasts, for example, spend their time weighing different approaches and rules to maximize their earnings.

It is important to note that not all betting systems are a good fit for all players or all games, and some players eschew betting strategies entirely and focus instead on simply honing their skills. Your best bet is to do some in-depth research into different strategies to see what makes sense for your playstyle. We have compiled information about many of these below.

Are there any betting systems that work? This is a common question that deserves a detailed answer, and we will do our best to give all the necessary details so that you can make an informed decision. 


Are betting systems applicable to all casino games?

While it is possible to apply many betting systems to multiple games, they are most effective on games of chance. With games that are not particularly volatile, successfully employing a betting strategy becomes much more viable. This is because low-volatility games of chance do not give player decisions much weight, so it is easier to place your bets and let the chips fall where they may.  

In games that give player moves importance, such as blackjack, your time might be better spent practicing your technique and improving your understanding of the game. The outcome of these games depends on players recognizing the fundamentals of the game and making smart plays to overcome their competitors. There are always exceptions, however, and even blackjack has a betting strategy that might boost your chances of winning.

After reading this, players might wonder, ‘do betting systems work?’ The truth is that no betting system is foolproof. However, some of them do offer players a short-term advantage. As for which betting system is the best for a specific game, it all depends upon the mechanics at play. We will look at some of the different betting systems that players might consider adding to their toolbox a bit later, but first, keep the gambler’s fallacy in mind.


What is the gambler’s fallacy?

Bettors tend to have a number of superstitions in common. They allow these to guide their wagers in the mistaken belief that adhering to what amounts to little more than superstition, known as the gambler’s fallacy, brings them one step closer to success. In reality, it often distracts players from making intelligent bets in favor of somewhat more contrived decisions. 

The belief that a game is ‘overdue’ for a particular outcome – that an outcome that has not occurred in a while is more likely to take place – is perhaps the most common and well-known gambler’s fallacy. Instead of considering plays that make sense for the state of the game at any given time, players following the fallacy will bet the opposite of the winning streak. Playing roulette and betting on black when there are three reds is an example of this fallacy.

There are many examples of the gambler’s fallacy that guide players in their bet-making. It is impossible to name and explain all of them in this article, however, so we will give you a more general word of advice: whenever you come across a hard and fast rule that ‘guarantees’ you a win, do your own research before following it. Many of these strategies are based more on superstition than in fact.


Progressive betting systems

There are a few different types of betting systems to follow, and progressive strategies are some of the most common. Progressive systems use math to determine players’ next bets. Within this type of system, there are two categories: positive and negative betting. 


Positive betting systems

Positive progressive betting pushes players to take advantage of their wins and increase the amount of money they bet after each successful round. A player who wins $1, for example, would bet $2 during the next round. Another win increases the amount to $4. Players essentially re-bet their prior wins without touching the rest of their balance, keeping it safe if they lose. This continues for the length of the win streak.

Players using positive progressive betting also decrease the amount they bet after each loss. Decrease the bet by the same rate you increased it every time you lose. If you start with a $4 bet, decrease it to $2 when you lose. Decrease it down to $1 if you lose again. When you have no more money outside of your starting balance, you must either stop playing or choose to attempt the cycle all over again using a bit more capital.

It is advisable to quit wagering while you are ahead when using progressive betting techniques, as it’s possible to lose your earnings just as quickly as you won them. Should you continue to play, stop increasing the amount you bet after three wins. Add whatever you win to your balance and begin again. 



Positive progressive betting is a good way to ensure that you do not lose more than you can afford. Players pick a balance starting point and do not dip into the funds to compensate for losses. Additionally, they bet from their winnings, not their balance. This helps to grow your funds without betting all of them. The opposite is also true, with players only losing from their winnings rather than their balances.



It can be difficult to know when to stop with this betting system. You might find yourself happily increasing your bet after wins without much thought. While this is certainly a perk of winning, it is also a relatively easy way to lose serious money if you push your luck too far.


Negative betting systems

Negative progressive betting is essentially the opposite of positive progressive betting – you decrease the bet when you win and increase when you lose.



The pro here is that negative progressive betting keeps you from losing too much – at least at first. When you are on a winning streak with positive progressive betting, you can easily bet too much and wipe out a significant portion of your winnings. When you are losing, on the other hand, you might wind up stagnating a bit in fear of losing money. This means that when you finally win, you won’t be earning nearly as much as you could with a larger bet.



The major con of negative progressive betting is the losing streak. When you increase bets after every loss, you are liable to quickly burn through your funds after a few bad rounds in a row. Additionally, even when you win with negative betting, you are not betting enough money to make much of a profit. If you start with an $8 bet and win three times in a row, you will end up betting only a dollar on a winning round.


Theory behind betting systems

Some of the greatest minds in mathematics and the humanities are behind some of the most popular betting systems. From Jean le Rond d’Alembert, a French mathematician from the 18th century, to Blaise Pascal, widely considered one of the most important authors in the French classical period during the 17th century, intelligent and curious individuals have devoted much of their time developing betting systems.

In general, the intent of most popular betting systems is to maximize profits when on a winning streak while minimizing losses when the streak ends. The Martingale system is the exception. Unlike the other commonly used systems, John D. Martindale, casino owner and creator of the betting strategy of the same name, allegedly created the system solely to win money back from his players. He encouraged losers to double their bets after every lost spin in the belief that the strategy was guaranteed to lose and thus net himself bigger profits.

The problem with all these mathematical betting systems is that they do not overcome the house edge. Many of them generate short-term winnings, but none of them can alter the odds of the game. This means that players using these strategies will still lose just as much as other players in the long term.

Because certain strategies are useful for short-term wins, however, they might still be worth your time to explore. Here are some of the most common betting systems.


Positive progressive betting systems

Popular examples of positive progressive betting systems include:

  • Paroli system
  • 1-3-2-6 system
  • Reverse Labouchère

Paroli system

Also known as the Reverse Martingale, the Paroli system instructs players to double their bets after every win. The idea here is to maximize the amount of money won. Players with an initial bet of $5 will bet $10 after their first win. This goes up to $20 if the next spin also wins. After they win three times in a row, players should add their winnings to their balance and start over with a $5 bet. 


1-3-2-6 system

The 1-3-2-6 system can seem difficult at first, but it is a straightforward concept. While the strategy can be applied to many different games, it is perhaps most well-known as one of the most popular betting systems for blackjack. Start with a $10 bet – this is one unit. If you win, bet $30 – three units – on the next. If you win again, bet $20 – two units – on the spin. Finally, if you also win that, bet $60 – six units. The goal is to win four consecutive bets, after which you start over with a single-unit bet.


Reverse Labouchère

The Reverse Labouchère is the positive progressive system derived from a negative progressive system called the Labouchère. The fatal flaw of the original Labouchère system is its ability to quickly eradicate bankrolls when on a losing streak. The Reverse Labouchère, on the other hand, is designed to turn the losing scenario around. 

Use the Reverse Labouchère by determining a sequence – any sequence – of numbers such as 2-3-4-5. Keep track of the sequence, be it mentally or via a piece of paper you keep on your person, and start the first wager in the cycle. Bet the sum of the first and last numbers in the sequence, or $7 (2+5) in this example. If you win the first round, add the bet amount ($7) to the end of your sequence, which would now read 2-3-4-5-7. If you lose the round, on the other hand, you remove the first and last numbers from the sequence, which would now read 3-4.

Start again with the same system. If you won the first round, bet $9 (2+7). If you lost, bet $7 (3+4). Always bet the sum of the first and last number of the sequence.


Negative progression

Examples of negative progression strategies include the following systems:

  • Martingale system
  • Labouchère system
  • D’Alembert system


Martingale system

The Martingale system is one of the most famous betting systems used in today’s casinos. It is also one of the most popular betting systems for roulette. The system is probably the simplest option on the betting systems list. Double your bet after a loss. If you bet $5 and lose, bet $10. Continue doubling your bet after a loss until you win. 

The idea is that when you win, you will win back the losses as well as the size of your initial bet. It helps players to break even. The downside is that if you hit a long losing streak, your bankroll will likely disappear in short order.


Labouchère system 

With the Labouchère system, players pick a win goal to start. Next, write a series of numbers that add up to the goal. For a $100 goal, players might write $20, $10, $30, $40. Your first bet is the sum of the first and last numbers on the list, or $70 using the example above. If you win, cross those numbers off the sequence, leaving you with $10, $30. If you lose, add the amount lost to your sequence, leaving you with $20, $10, $30, $40, $70.

Continue in this vein until you either run out of money or achieve the win goal.


D’Alembert system

The D’Alembert system is similar to the Martingale system but less aggressive. Instead of doubling the bet or returning to the initial bet, players simply increase their bet after a loss and decrease it after a win using a flat number decided before the round. If you decide on a unit of $1, then your initial bet is $1. This increases to $2 if the wager loses and $3 if the wager loses again. You increase by a single unit. 

If you win, decrease the bet by one unit. The exception here is if you win the first round. Your bet remains equal to the starting unit (it does not increase or decrease) if you win the first round.


Do betting systems work?

Are there any betting systems that work in the long term? Unfortunately, no. Betting systems can help players earn money in the short term but don’t work in the long term. Is system betting profitable? Yes, it can be profitable as long as you know when to stop. It is entirely possible to win money in the short term when using online betting systems – just don’t expect it to carry you the entire night. Quitting when you are ahead is the only way that easy betting systems result in significant profit.


A note about sports betting

You can apply many of the above systems to sports betting. Some of the more popular include:

  • Martingale system
  • D’Alembert system
  • Labouchère system
  • Paroli system

Do sports betting systems work? Many bettors use betting systems to prevent getting carried away in winning or losing streams. They help remove emotion from the equation and give bettors something upon which to focus. Similar to casino games, however, ‘proven’ betting systems do not work in the long term.

We hope that this information on some of the various betting systems has helped you to better understand them. They might not be effective forever, but they can be fun to try if you remember that they are not guaranteed to land you a win.



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