Review of Popular Betting Systems

There is no doubt about it: To be a successful gambler of any kind, you will need a betting system. Furthermore, the only way that betting system is going to be successful is if you have a sturdy bankroll and some steely discipline.

No successful gambler is lacking in these key areas. However, the betting system takes precedence as you need a road map on your way to success. A betting system is just that because, without one, you are only a novice. A recreational gambler throwing money away, lucky to break even.

What is a betting system?

The best way to think of a betting system that it focuses on your wagers. An often-overlooked factor of gambling is the financial aspect of it. This is very odd as the entire reason to gamble is to win money. However, gamblers often get so bogged down in betting strategies (more on that below) that they lose sight of the big picture: winning money.

To win money, you need to be betting the right way, as being a successful gambler is much more than simply picking winners and losers. There are many factors to consider, such as the odds, the juice and the payouts.

Developing a betting system that accounts for all of these small details is the only way to maximize your profits. Sportsbooks and casinos are very adept at maximizing profits, and the only way you’re going to beat them is if you learn to do the same.

Betting system versus betting strategy

Bear in mind that a betting system is not to be confused with a betting strategy. Of course, it is good to have both, but your betting system should focus solely on your wagering.

How much are you wagering? How often are you wagering? How much are you wagering after a win? How much are you wagering after a loss? How big is your bankroll? These are all serious questions that will define your betting system.

A betting strategy is more specific and deals more with what you are gambling on. Always hitting on 15 in blackjack is a betting strategy (and a good one). Always wagering on the home team on Monday Night Football is a betting strategy (a not-so-good one).

Having a betting strategy is always a good idea, as we all need rules to follow to stay disciplined. Betting strategies are going to be specific for whatever game you are playing or sport you are wagering on.

Every successful gambler has one, and you should too. However, that is a different article.

Do betting systems work?

The short answer is yes. A better, much more honest answer is, well, that all depends.

As mentioned above, to be successful in gambling, you need to have a nice bankroll and plenty of discipline. Without these two attributes, you aren’t going far in the gambling world. And it is important to know that all successful gamblers have a system they follow to the letter. So, betting systems work.

Let’s look at the most popular betting systems going today and see what they tell us to get a better understanding of whether betting systems work for you.

Betting systems explained

You’ll quickly notice the many similarities these betting systems have with one another. They all involve probability, covering losses and maximizing profits. However, pay close attention to how they differ, as well.

Some are simple, while others are very complex. Some will stand out to you as smart theories. Others will jump off the screen as terrible ideas. Either way, there is much to learn from these betting systems, whether you employ them or not.

The 3% betting system

This is one of the most straightforward betting systems you’ll find on this list or anywhere else. The 3% system says gamblers should never wager more than 3% of their bankroll.

The brilliance of this system is in its simplicity. It doesn’t take a lot of math to figure out, and it doesn’t require a huge bankroll to put it to use.

Some of the best gambling advice you will receive is to wager more when you are up and wager less when you are down, and the 3% system makes that as easy to follow as possible. However, while this system works for any size bankroll, discipline is the most important factor.

Not chasing losses by wagering more than 3% is tough, but it is of the utmost importance to make this system work.

The Martingale betting system

The Martingale is one of the gutsiest betting systems around, as it requires players to progressively bet more and more every time they lose. For instance, if you began with a $100 wager and lost, you double your next wager.

If this wager loses as well, you double it again. And again. And again, until you win.

Of course, by the time you arrive at your fifth wager, you’ll be plopping down $1,600, so the risk is high, and you will need a fat bankroll to support it.

However, while the risk is great, so are the rewards.

The D’Alembert betting system

While this system is very similar to the Martingale strategy, The D’Alembert betting system is much more conservative, as you increase your wagers much more slowly.

This slower rise in your stake means it is less likely you will get in over your head quickly and make your wagers impossible to bankroll any further. However, you won’t recover your losses as quickly as with the Martingale, either.

The critical difference is the lowered amount of risk you are taking after every loss.

This method works best with even-money wagers such as red or black on a roulette table. Probability tells us you should win the same number of wagers as you lose on bets such as these.

With the D’Alembert system, simply pick a base unit wager amount, such as $20, and stick to it. Each time you lose, increase your wager by $20. Each time you win, decrease your wager by $20.

Again, this is not as risky as the Martingale, but it can still reward you quite nicely after a few short winning streaks.

The Labouchere betting system

The Labouchere is one of the most confusing systems on our list, but it is an incredibly interesting take on what a betting system can entail. The crux of the system is to split your wager into several wager amounts with a goal in mind. These amounts are units totaling the amount you’d like to win.

For instance, if you aim to win $100, you break this amount into several smaller ones, like the following: $10, $20, $40, $20 and $10. After placing your initial wager, your potential winnings will need to equal your first unit plus your last unit, or $20.

Let’s just say you won that first wager and made the $20 required. Now, you will cross off the $10 at the beginning and the $10 at the end.

If you were to lose, you’d add the $20 to the end of the sequence. Then you’d add the $10 and $20 — the first and last units again. Your wager would be $30. Are you following this? Maybe reread it; it makes sense, I swear.

If you keep losing, you’ll keep adding your wager to the end. If you win, you’ll cross off both the first and last units until you get to the goal amount you wanted to win.

This is another system that requires a big bankroll, but, as you can see, it can pay serious dividends after a few short win streaks. Did everybody get that?

The Fibonacci betting sequence

This is another of our favorite betting systems due to its originality and faith that a win is right around the corner. Using this system, you’ll increase each of your wagers based on the Fibonacci sequence.

You begin by choosing your betting unit and then following the sequence of numbers. The sequence is as follows, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 and on. These numbers don’t indicate the amount you are wagering but how many units you are wagering.

For instance, let’s say one unit is equal to $5. (It is wise to start small.) Following the Fibonacci, your first bet will be $5, or one unit. Then, suppose you lose that wager. In that case, you place your second wager following the Fibonacci, also $5 or one unit, and you lose again. Now, you place your third bet, $10, or two units. This time, you win. Now you move back one unit to $5, or one unit, and continue on your gambling session.

Again, this system will only be successful with a few winning streaks and a nice bankroll. However, the sequence tells us a lot about how probability can be very profitable.

The Paroli Formula betting system

The Paroli Formula betting system is known as a “positive progression system,” and you’ll immediately see why. Another system best utilized on “even money wagers,” the Paroli asks gamblers to increase wagers only after wins. Plus, you cut your bet down after a few wins.

This is another more conservative approach, as it follows that adage, “Wager more when you are up and less when you are down.” Here, you double your wager each time you win and then, after winning three times in a row, drop your bet back down to your base wager.

If you lose, simply cut your bet to the base wager and start over again. This betting system applies to any wager with any type of odds. This is one of our favorites, as it is short and sweet and has your best interests in mind.

Insurance betting system

This is another betting system attempting to limit the damage during losing streaks. As any gambler will tell you, once you start gambling, you are going to have losing streaks. Being able to minimize them is critical, and that is what the Insurance Betting System wants to do.

As an example, let’s start with a $50 wager. Then you select your insurance amount, let’s say $5. With every sequential wager after the initial $50 you lose, you simply reduce the wager amount by your insurance amount ($45, $40, $35). As you can see, this will protect you from big-time losses.

However, it doesn’t allow for winning your losses back immediately. This system is designed for you to limit your losses and get back to winning.

Sports gamblers love this method, as their success is completely contingent on them winning a high percentage of games anyway.

The 50% winner betting system

This betting system works for any type of wager and is built on having a few solid winning streaks. Everyone has winning streaks, after all, and betting 50% more after every win will help you maximize your profits on those streaks.

Once again, you will decide on a base unit amount for your wager, let’s say $10. After a win, you’ll increase this by $5. Presuming you won over $5 on your original wager, you’re playing with free money. Winning three to four wagers in a row can go a long way.

Of course, the key is to stay disciplined during losing streaks, as many players want to start chasing, but only betting your base after a loss is key.

The problem with conservative betting systems

When reading over this list, you’ll notice the conservative systems all seem like obvious choices and that the more aggressive systems look insane. However, you should know that there are problems with the more conservative betting systems, as well.

The biggest problem is that these systems fail to add any real value to your wagering. When you have a win, you want it to count as much as it can.

However, if your conservative betting system limits you, you miss opportunities to collect on real value. The aggressive betting systems depend on these opportunities, which is a real gamble, but the conservative approach ignores these opportunities, which can be just as costly.

No perfect betting system

These systems are time-tested, and all the math checks out, so there is no doubt they can work. So, if they work so well and are so famous, why do most gamblers continue to lose?

Of course, the problem is, there is no perfect system, and this is all due to human error. If you don’t have the discipline or the bankroll to follow these systems through to the bitter end, you will eventually lose.

However, knowing there is no perfect system is the first step in finding the best system for you.

No matter the betting system you choose, whether aggressive or conservative, you are going to need the discipline to see it through. This is even more important than a bankroll. Finding the system that matches your temperament and interest is key, and there is really only one way to do that.

Create your own betting system

What a betting system comes down to is finding your system. The only way to really have great success with a betting system is to develop one for yourself.

There are simply too many factors to consider for one universal betting system to work for everyone across the board. For instance, only you know your bankroll. Only you know the amount you are comfortable wagering.

Only you know what sporting events interest you, and only you know which casino games you like to play. Gambling successfully is a very personal experience and, therefore, so is your perfect betting system.

Modify your favorite betting systems

Taking the best parts of these systems and working them into a system that works for you is the best approach. If you think doubling your wagers is a great plan of attack but don’t have a huge bankroll, maybe give yourself an out.

If you’re more comfortable wagering more money when ahead than when you are down, make a note of it. If you love professional basketball, develop a sports betting system solely for NBA games and those types of odds.

The key is to make modifications to your betting system based on your personal preferences, develop your own winning system and then follow it to the letter.


All gamblers want that winning betting system handed to them. As long as there has been gambling, those placing the wagers have been looking for that Holy Grail.

Have we found it with these fine systems? Well, that all depends on you the gambler, your bankroll and your discipline.

Do these systems work? Yes. Will they work for everyone? No. Will they work for you? Maybe.

However, one thing is for sure; to be a successful gambler, you are going to need to have a betting system that works for you, even if you have to devise it yourself.