The Perils of Betting Systems

Betting systems have been popular with casino gamblers for
years, and plenty of people still swear by them. No matter which
one you use, these systems provide the player with a guide for
placing their wagers, which is meant to increase profits and
minimize losses.

Unfortunately, no betting system can offer sustained winnings
over a long period of time. That’s because each spin of the
wheel or roll of the dice is independent from the last, and
there’s never a pattern to be predicted or taken advantage of.
Anyone who believes otherwise is falling prey to what’s known as
the “gambler’s fallacy,” which is something to be avoided at all

On this page, we look at the main perils of betting systems,
as well as providing brief descriptions about some of the
leading methods. If you’re still sitting on the fence about the
validity of betting systems, hopefully we can help you make up
your mind.

Reasons to Avoid Betting Systems

If you’ve ever tried betting systems for any length of time,
then you’ve likely learned to stay away from them. Some players,
however, continue to use them and actually brag about some of
the major wins they’ve received. Whether you’re a veteran of
betting systems or a novice who’s thinking about applying one or
more of these methods, please read the following arguments for
why you should stick to more reliable tactics.

They Don’t Work

Countless mathematicians have denounced betting systems as
nothing more than a fraud, as their basic criteria for success
almost always requires the player to have an infinite bankroll.
If this were true, most players would be wealthy beyond belief
and probably wouldn’t be interested in gambling to begin with.

Since each spin, roll, or deal of the cards is independent of
the last, there’s no guarantee that a couple of losses are going
to be followed by a win. And since most gamblers are playing on
a limited budget, a string of losses combined with ill-advised
wagers are enough to bust most people in a short period of time.

Recommended Reading

Our beginner’s guide to casinos includes an article explaining
games of chance. You should read this if
you’re not sure exactly what games of chance are, as it will
help you to understand why betting systems don’t work.

You’ll Look Foolish

If you don’t care what anyone else thinks about you, then go
ahead and ignore this one. While you’re at it, hop onto some
Internet gambling forums and extoll the virtues of betting
systems to anyone who’ll listen. For everyone else, we suggest
avoiding betting systems because they make you look like a
gullible fool. It’s the same level of naiveté that causes some
players to rub a coin between their fingers before depositing it
into a slot or sit down in front of a vacated machine because
it’s due to get hot.

Contempt for Math

Many of the mysteries of the universe have been explained
with math. While it’s cold and impersonal, it’s also ultimately
fair and doesn’t play favorites.

According to math, no betting system can consistently deliver
over a long period of time.

Casino games all have a house edge, and it has been
mathematically proven that no known betting system can overcome
this edge. If you choose to ignore such findings, you’re showing
complete contempt for an entire branch of science and the
achievements of men like Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, and

They Perpetuate a Myth

Anyone who’s spent a decent amount of time on the Internet
has seen how myths and urban legends can spread like wildfire.
One person sends an email making wild claims about a certain
subject, and soon it’s been forwarded to hundreds or thousands
of others and accepted as the truth. While these mistruths are
constantly debunked by dedicated individuals, it doesn’t stop
people from straying across them and being fooled (even years

When someone uses a betting system and then brags to their
friends about all the success they’ve been having, it
perpetuates the lie that these systems are a valid option for
serious gamblers. If you want to help your fellow players, the
only sane course of action is to avoid such tactics and break
the chain of deceit.

Puts Money in the Pockets of Liars

While most gambling systems can be found online for free,
there are also a number of individuals who are willing to sell
“winning” systems to their customers. These people are the scum
of the Earth, as they knowingly prey on the desperate and naïve
to add to their own bank accounts. Since some of them also sell
books about the fortune telling and contacting spirits, you
would think their credibility would immediately be called into
question. Still, it’s scary how many people fall victim to them
each year.

Betting systems that claim to guarantee
profits in the casino are scams. Avoid them, as you’ll just be
wasting your money. Secret System

Goes Against Bankroll Management

The art of bankroll management is key to any successful
long-term gambling strategy, as it allows you to play within
your budget and keep losses to a minimum. Without it, a player
is likely to make multiple trips to the ATM and gamble away
funds that were initially earmarked for necessities such as food
and rent.

Since gambling systems often require you to double your
wagers following either a win or loss, an unlucky player can
find their bankroll wiped out in less than an hour. Unless the
player has an iron will, there’s a good chance that they’ll head
to the ATM in order to get more funds for their flawed gaming

Wastes Valuable Time

While plenty of systems are relatively simple to learn, there
are others that take a bit more dedication. Sadly, any amount of
time devoted to these bogus systems is being wasted. There are
precious minutes and hours that you could be devoting to your
family, a productive hobby, or even a more legitimate gambling
technique such as basic strategy or card counting.

Types of Betting Systems

Before we list some of the most popular systems for betting,
keep in mind that most of these fall into two distinct

  1. Positive Progression
  2. Negative Progression

A system based on positive progression asks you to increase
your wager each time you win, while losses result in a decreased
bet. The idea is to capitalize on a hot streak by making larger
wagers, while the damage caused by a cold streak is reduced
through smaller and smaller bets.

With a negative progression system, a loss results in a
larger bet (often doubled) while a win results in a smaller
wager. The idea is that a losing player is bound to win
eventually, and the larger bets allow them to recoup their
previous losses and also generate a profit. A winning player,
meanwhile, is due to lose at some point, so reducing wagers
after a win is meant to ensure that some profits are retained
when a loss eventually comes.

Popular Betting Systems

Now that we’ve established the two most common categories of
gambling system, let’s look at some of the most popular among


Often used on even money wagers, this system requires the
player to double their bet following each loss. The assumption
is that the player should eventually get a win, and that will
cover all previous losses.


The opposite of the Martingale, the system requires the
player to double their wager following each win. The idea here
is to take advantage of a hot streak.

Grand Martingale

Not only does the player double their wager after each loss,
but they also add an additional unit each time.

Labouchere System

The player starts by deciding how much money they want to
win. They then write down a series of numbers that add up to
this amount. For each wager, the player bets the sum of the
first and last numbers on the list. These numbers are crossed
out after a winning wager, while a losing player adds the
previous wager onto the end of their list. This continues until
the player has either run out of money or crossed off all the
numbers on their list. This is also known as the Cancellation or
Split Martingale system.

Reverse Labouchere

Instead of deleting numbers after a win, the player adds the
winning bet to the end of the numerical line. The objective is
to keep adding numbers until you reach the table limit on bets.
If the wager results in a loss, then the two outside numbers are
erased. The player starts over if they run out of numbers on
their line.

Fibonacci System

This system is based on a mathematical sequence where the
next number is the previous two numbers added together. Here’s
how the first few numbers in the sequence look (the sequence can
actually go on infinitely).

The Fibonacci Sequence

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610

A player using this system ignores the 0 and begins by
betting one unit. They continue in this fashion until they lose,
at which point they move up one level in the sequence. They then
move up a further level for every subsequent loss, and move back
two levels when they win.

1-3-2-6 System

The player begins by betting one unit. If they lose, the
sequence is complete and they start over with a one-unit bet. If
they keep winning, however, the betting units are increased or
decreased according to the 1-3-2-6 arrangement. This continues
until the player either loses or completes a run of four
consecutive wins.


The perils of betting systems should be evident by now. Not
only are they inherently flawed, but many of the individuals who
are willing to part with these “secrets” for a few bucks are
knowingly deceiving their clientele. Even if a player manages to
achieve some short-term success using one of these methods, you
can bet that the house edge is going to catch up with them
eventually and decimate their bankroll.

If you want to be successful at gambling, the first thing you
must accept is that the house almost always has the advantage.
While this edge can be overcome in some cases, doing so takes an
immense amount of planning and effort. If it were easy, casinos
would be going out of business left and right.

There are strategies and tactics that can help in the casino,
but these take hours of practice and memorization to properly
apply. Card counting is a major boon for blackjack players, for
example, but even it can’t guarantee continual success.

The only guaranteed way to avoid losing money at the casino
is to never set foot in such an establishment. If you don’t
play, the house can’t get your money. That’s no fun, though, so
just accept that good times are going to be mixed with the bad.
Once you’ve resolved this hard truth in your mind, you’ll find
your gaming sessions are a lot more relaxed and enjoyable.