The question every gambler asks: can betting systems work?

 article about The question every gambler asks: can betting systems work?
2018-11-22 06:28:41
Whether you're a hardcore casino player or just a small-time sports punter, we think you'll agree that nothing beats the feeling of winning a bet.

You may have heard rumours that a decent betting system is all it takes to ensure you always get back more than you staked. But what are betting systems, and can they really work to make you a winner all the time?

Betting System vs Betting Strategy

Some people make the mistake of thinking a gambling strategy and a gambling system are the same thing. But a system differs from a strategy in that it's a fixed set of rules, rather than a more general approach to betting.

For example, someone may apply a strategy when betting on a horse race. They may approach the race by studying the form and noting all the factors that are likely to inluence the outcome of the event. They'll probably consider things like the days since each horse last ran, or the ground and distance of the race, to make an informed bet.

Someone using a betting system, on the other hand, will stick to one specific rule rather than consider several factors. Take the Martingale System in blackjack for instance. The player increases their bet after every loss. No other factors influence their decision other than the success of their last hand.

Types of Gambling System

Gambling systems can be divided into two categories:
  1. Positive Progression Betting: this is where bets get higher after every win.
2. Negative Progression Betting: this is where bets get higher after every loss.

Both types of gambling system have their pros and cons.

Positive Progression Betting

Progressive betting systems, such as the Paroli System, demand players increase bets after every win and decrease bets after every loss. The theory behind this system is to maximise profits when you're on a winning streak and minimise losses when you're on a losing streak.

One of the major advantages of positive progression betting is that you shouldn't destroy your bankroll too quickly, as you're not chasing losses but instead trying to maximise profits.

However, a disadvantage of the system is that it relies on a belief in winning and losing streaks. Despite what maybe gamblers believe, there's actually no such thing as a streak. Just because you won your last bet, it doesn't make you more likely to win your next one. Increasing your stake, therefore, is still a big risk.

Another issue is that many gamblers get caught up in the system. They may find themselves placing bets that are much bigger than they're comfortable staking, just for the sake of following the rule of the system.

Negative Progression Betting

Negative progression betting systems, such as the Martingale System, are the exact opposite of positive progression betting. So instead of decreasing the size of your bets after a win, you increase them. The idea behind this kind of system is to make up for your previous losses when a losing streak finally ends.

But the same problem we mentioned before is again an issue here: there's no such thing as streaks. There's no guarantee your luck's eventually going to change, so repeatedly increasing your bets can (very quickly) lead to financial disaster.

You'll find a handful of gamblers claiming the negative progression system works for them, but many more complaining about how it made their bankroll disappear in what felt like seconds. For this reason, we'd recommended avoiding it entirely.

Our Verdict on Betting Systems

We think the problem with betting systems is that they work on the assumption that you have winning and losing streaks. But in reality, streaks don't exist. The outcome of your previous bets has no influence on the success of your next bet.

So we'd say relying on betting systems when you gamble is a bad idea, particularly if it's a kind of negative progression betting. It's all too easy to get caught up in the system, believing a supposed losing streak must end soon, only to lose all your money.

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