Sports bettors decide how much to wager through a variety of ways. Many gamblers risk whatever they feel like in the moment, while others decide based on their confidence in a bet.
Certain sports bettors even take a calculated approach towards the matter by using systems. A sports betting system lays out a blueprint for how to place wagers.
These strategies break down into one of two main classes:
Increase bets after wins
Increase bets after losses
The first class is designed to help maximize hot streaks. The second type helps win back losses and eventually end up in the black.
Both kinds of sports betting systems can be profitable and easy to use under the right circumstances. That said, I’m going to discuss five gambling strategies along with their pros and cons.
1 – Proportional Betting
Proportional betting begins by risking a certain percentage of your bankroll. You then increase your wagers by the same percentage following a winning bet (e.g. 5% to 10%).
Here’s an example:
You have a $2,000 bankroll
You wager 5.5% ($110) of this amount on an outcome with -110 odds
You win and add $100 to your bankroll
Your bankroll is now worth $2,100
Your next bet will be worth 10% of $2,100
$2,100 x 0.1 = $210
Your next bet will be $210
You should return to betting the original percentage of your wager following any loss. Meanwhile, you can choose when to stop prior to a loss so as to bank profits.
In the example above, you might return to the original percentage after winning three straight bets. The third winning wager (20% of bankroll) is a good stopping point, because it prevents you from risking 40% of your funds.
The advantage to proportional betting is that you can accelerate your winnings after just a few successful bets. However, you’ll also be risking more of your winnings by increasing the percentage you wager following each win.
2 – Martingale
The Martingale is perhaps the most famous casino betting system of all time.This system calls on you to flat bet until suffering a loss.
You double your wager following any loss until you win again. At this point, you return to the beginning bet size.
Here’s an example:
You bet $110 on an outcome with -110 odds and lose (-$110 for this sequence)
You bet $220 on -110 odds and lose (-$330)
You bet $440 on -110 odds and lose (-$770)
You bet $880 on -110 odds and win $800 (+$30)
Your total profit for the sequence is $30
You return to a $110 bet
Despite winning just one of four wagers, you wind up with a $30 profit. Therefore, this system not only helps you earn back losses but also collect winnings in the end.
Unfortunately, the Martingale is extremely risky. You’d need unlimited funds to ensure that you’re never bankrupted by doubling bets after every loss.
You also have to worry about the betting limits at sportsbooks or online gambling sites. If you’re only allowed to wager $5,000 on NFL games, for example, then you can’t use the Martingale to its fullest.
3 – Fibonacci
The Fibonacci calls on you to create a random sequence of numbers. You add the first and last number of each sequence to determine your next bet.
Assuming you win, both numbers get crossed off. Following a loss, you’d add the losing amount to the end of the string and proceed as normal.
Here’s an example:
Your number string is: 11, 22, 33, 22, 11
You wager $22 (11 + 11).
This bet is a winner.
Your new sequence becomes: 22, 33, 22
You wager $44 (22 + 22) on -110 odds.
This bet loses.
Your new sequence becomes: 22, 33, 22, 44
You wager $66 (22 + 44).
This bet is a winner.
Your new sequence becomes: 33, 22
You wager $55 (33 + 22).
You win and create a new number string for when you wish to bet again.
This system offers flexibility by letting you create whatever sequence you’d like. I suggest using numbers that allow you to place reasonable bet sizes. You can also use unit sizes (e.g. one unit = $10) instead of actual bet sizes to fill out your sequence.
Besides offering flexibility, the Fibonacci also helps you win back losses and eventually end up with a profit. It’s basically a milder version of the Martingale.
However, the Fibonacci suffers from the same downfall as the Martingale. It can cause you to experience massive losses and hit table limits when things go wrong.
4 – Go All In
This strategy is the easiest of them all. The go-all-in system requires betting your entire bankroll on each outcome.
Here’s an example:
You have a $1,100 bankroll
You risk the entire amount on a bet with -110 odds
You win and now have a $2,000 bankroll
The obvious advantage to this system is that you can win big. Unfortunately, you can also lose your entire bankroll as well.
Going all in is the most extreme strategy covered here. I don’t suggest trying it with anything more than a few hundred dollars.
5 – Flat Betting
You begin using this system by setting a fixed bet amount.
You could choose a wager size worth $55. You stick with this size no matter how many wagers you win or lose in a row.
The key advantage to flat betting is that it helps you mitigate short-term risk. Given that you’re never increasing bet sizes, you can better survive downswings.
The downside to fix bets is that you can’t capitalize on hot streaks or win back losses as easily. Instead, everything is a slow process.
Which of These Sports Betting Systems Should You Use?
Your choice of sports betting strategy will depend upon what exactly you’re looking for. Are you a skilled bettor who’s hoping to grind out long-term profits? Or are you a recreational gambler who wants to cash in on good luck?
Both proportion and flat betting are reasonable strategies for winning bettors. Flat betting is the least risky system and allows you to wager an even amount on each outcome.
Proportion betting introduces more risk into the equation. You must double the percentage of your bankroll that you’re risking after each win. Nevertheless, it can still be used effectively if you return to the original wager at some point.
Fibonacci and Martingale are both aimed at helping you win back losses. These systems normally work great for a while, but they also have the potential to drain your betting funds.
Going all in is a crazy strategy that can pay off big. However, it should only be used if you’re incredibly risk-adverse and don’t mind losing your entire bankroll.
Ideally, you’ll use a combination of flat betting and improving your sports betting skills. I recommend choosing a bet size that only risks a small amount of your bankroll (1% to 5%).
Proportion betting is worth trying if you want to introduce more risk into the equation. You can better survive downswings with this system, versus most others, and still profit big from winning streaks.
These five sports betting systems only represent a small number of the many available strategies. They offer an advantage over many other systems, because they’re easy to use.
If you’re interested in trying a betting strategy for the first time, you likely don’t want to spend hours figuring it out. That said, you can quickly get started with any of the five systems presented here.
Nothing is easier than flat betting, going all in, or the Martingale. Each of these betting plans are extremely easy to use and can be picked up in seconds.
Proportion betting and the Fibonacci require more effort. With the former, you must perform basic math to ensure that you’re doubling the bankroll percentage wagered after each win.
Fibonacci requires you to create a number sequence and gradually mark off the numbers after wins. You also need to add numbers to the end of the sequence following losses.
I don’t suggest choosing a system entirely based on ease of use. Instead, you should also consider your skills and end goal.
If you’re a good bettor who can win long-term profits, then flat and proportional betting are both good systems. Assuming you frequently place losing wagers and don’t care to improve, then going all in, the Fibonacci, or Martingale can help you manipulate short-term results.
Overall, you should know that no sports betting strategy results in long-term winnings by itself. If you truly want sustained profits, then you need to master becoming a highly skilled bettor.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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