Betting Systems & Strategies

Our guide on sports betting systems and strategies. From Mathematical models to profitable betting systems, we review them all.

Effective sports betting systems is something every true gambler seeks. There are many variations of strategies that revolve around concepts of risk and reward as well as some strategies that guarantee a profit and can be used as a potential side income.

Throughout this guide, we will outline some of these most used strategies in sports betting.

What Are Sports Betting Systems

A sports betting system is designed to make the odds more in our favor. Meaning that we should always seek out odds that represent great value. Finding odds that are in our favor however is not an easy task. Bookmakers have sophisticated systems in place which try to ensure there are no leaks that can potentially be exploited and any news that is likely to change the outcome of a sporting event is quickly acted upon.

Gambling and betting strategies do vary considerably in levels of risk. Some systems are very conservative and look to churn out a small percentage of money from every bet. Whilst other betting strategies have much larger rewards but there are no guarantees of any returns at all.

Of course, you may think, then shouldn't I just use sure-fire betting systems and scale these up to reach higher levels of profit? In theory, this would work. In practice, most betting platforms and exchanges will flag your account after a while and potentially withhold earnings.

Are There Profitable Sports Betting Strategies?

Sports betting strategies are mostly repeated guides that users can follow to help them gain a small edge over the bookmaker. Profitability will always be dependent on a few important factors. These factors include luck, execution, and knowledge of how a particular market works.

There are many examples online of people who have executed betting strategies for years for great profit but none of these strategies can accurately be described as a magic formula. They take a huge amount of study and discipline and results can vary significantly down to how the strategies are executed.

Types of Betting Systems

Betting systems that work range considerably in levels of risk, levels of skill, and levels of profitability.

Here is a list of some of the betting systems that have remained popular throughout the years.

Progressive Betting Systems

Progressive betting systems take into account what happened previously. Depending on the success of previous bets a progressive betting system will determine what you should do next. The most famous examples of this type of strategy involve Martingale and Fibonacci.

Some of these strategies will dictate that you stake more when you lose a bet while others will dictate that you will stake more when you win a bet.

Profit-Guaranteeing Betting Systems

Believe it or not, there are genuine sport betting systems out there that involve no risk if implemented correctly. Two of the most famous systems being arbitrage betting and matched betting.

Arbitrage betting involves placing two opposing bets on different sites to lock up a guaranteed profit whilst matched betting is where customers can take advantage of the promotional offers and free bonuses typically offered by bookmakers.

Isolated Betting Strategies

Isolated betting strategies do not account for any timeline nor do they guarantee any profit. Famous examples of such strategies include proportional betting, fixed amount betting, hedging, handicapping, etc.

In other words, it doesn't matter what has occurred before every bet will start afresh and have no relevance to how good or bad you are running.

List of Sports Betting Systems

Sports betting systems are where consistent money can be made. It is near impossible to gain an edge in a casino but with sports betting there are ways we can reduce this edge and in some cases have it in our favor.

Fixed Amount Betting

Fixed amount betting refers to bets placed against odds offered by a bookmaker. When a bet has been placed there will be no fluctuation on the payout. Meaning that if you placed a bet at 7/1 you will still keep these odds regardless if they change at a later date.

If you were to place a bet at high-value odds and they are significantly lower before the event starts this would mean that you are betting with odds that represent great value and in the long run you should return a profit.

Proportional Betting

Proportional betting is a system that practices the importance of bankroll management. Meaning that with this type of system you should only bet with a certain percentage of your bankroll on selective odds.

For example, with odds that are very low, you can allow yourself to bet with 2% of your bankroll. While if you were betting on a long shot you might only be allowed to bet with 0.5% of your bankroll. There are many systems out there where the amount you are advised to stake will vary dramatically. based on how the system functions.


Hedging a bet is a strategy that involves placing a bet against your original bet. This strategy is an advanced one and if not implemented correctly can result in big losses.

The aim of hedging is to minimize losses or guarantee a profit depending on how the original bet is looking. This bet needs to be executed in play, therefore it is important to have a plan in place so you know exactly what to do in a few different scenarios.

This strategy is best applied when betting on outsiders. If the outsider is doing very well an opportunity might arise where you can bet on the original favorite to win and lock in a guaranteed profit.


Arbitrage betting is a type of wager that involves placing two opposing bets on different betting sites. To look for an arbitrage bet you will need to make use of software to track potential bets for you and this software will also help you work out how much you need to stake on the respective sites.

The profit will be very small on these types of bets but it is one of the few strategies that guarantee a profit. If you take advantage of odds that would be deemed an error by a bookmaker too often the chances of your account being restricted are high.

Matched betting

Matched betting revolves around taking advantage of promotions offered by bookmakers for guaranteed profit. This is most profitable at the start as welcome offers are the most lucrative but it is possible to make a consistent profit from matched betting even when you have completed all the signup bonuses.


Handicapping is a type of bet where you are betting on the outcome of a sporting event with some error of margin. For example, it is possible to bet on a football team to win a game with a one-goal margin. Meaning that if the game ended in a draw you would win your bet.

This system is best applied to heavy favorites and long shots. In the case of long shots, you can bet on the team to win with a margin of error and hope they do better than the bookies expect or you can bet on a heavy favorite with a plus sign and hope they win the game extremely convincingly.


To use the labouchere system you will need to first consider how much you want to reasonably return. You will then need to write a system like the one below. After this, you can take the amount from the left-hand side and the amount from the left-hand side and add those two numbers together.


When the bet is won we will need to cross these two numbers from the list. If our bet won our new system will look like this.


You then will need to complete this system fully until you have won the money you set beforehand.

Negative progression

The negative progression system is based on increasing your bet size after every losing bet. Additionally, when you have a winning bet you will need to decrease the size of your bet.

Positive progression

Positive progression systems encourage punters to bet more when they are winning and less when they are losing. The theory here is to minimize your losses and to capitalize on your winnings. This is considered to be less risky as you will be betting from the profit gained when you are running good and you will be more conservative when running bad.

Points-based betting system

Points based betting systems are based on how many points you give to particular bets. This system is often provided by tipsters and the points typically depend on the conviction or strategy of the tipster. The more points rewarded the more you will need to stake. These points will determine how much of your bankroll you should place on a particular bet.

Unit system

Unit system is another betting system that practices money management. In this case, a unit will represent a stake amount usually in relation to your bankroll. For example, if we were to use a percentage as our unit metric and had a bankroll of £10,000, £10 would represent one unit.

Paroli formula

The Paroli System works in the opposite direction of the Martingale system and is regarded as a less risky system.

If you have £1 and your bet loses, you will need to stake the same amount again. If the bet wins though you will need to double the stake for the next spin to $2. If successful again the next stake will be doubled to $4 and the bet following will need to be £1regardless of the outcome of the previous bet.

Kelly criterion

The Kelly Criterion comes with two basic components. The first component is the probability of the win and the chances that any given trade will provide a positive amount.

The second component is the win/loss ratio. This consists of the entire positive trade amounts divided by the totality of the negative trade amounts.


The Martingale system consists of doubling your bet every time you have a losing bet. This system applies to bets with odds that are even. In sports betting this can be more difficult to find as finding a sports event where both outcomes are even is difficult to find. It is likely that you will need to find odds that are close to even such as 1.99 or 2.01 which won't make a lot of difference to your overall results.


Anti martingale works in the opposite direction of the traditional martingale system. Meaning that you shall double your bet every time your bet wins. In the event of three successful wins, you shall return to your original stake.

d'Alembert system

The d'Alembert works in a similar way to the martingale system. Only this time instead of doubling your stake you will need to add one unit to your stake.

Therefore if you bet £1 on a football team that is at evens and the bet loses the next bet will be £2. If this bet loses again you shall stake £3 and so on.

Oscar's grind

Oscar's Grind is a betting system that can be employed on bets where both the outcomes are of equal value. In sports, this can only be done on markets where there are two possible outcomes. The idea of this betting system is to quit when you have achieved one unit of profit.

When there is a losing bet you shall bet the same amount and continue doing this until you win. After you win one you should double the stake of the previous bet. If you are one unit of profit ahead you can start the system over again.

Fibonacci Betting System

Fibonacci betting system is where you increase your bet every time you lose. If you win however you will bet the same amount or less, dependent on the success of previous bets.

This system, in theory, guarantees a profit if you have an unlimited bankroll but of course, this isn't the case for the majority of people. Casinos also set limits to how much you can place on a single bet.

Betting Systems FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions in regards to betting systems.

What is a betting system?

A betting system is a strategy where gamblers attempt to gain an edge when betting on sports, politics, or any other market.

Betting strategies often come in the form of a mathematical model that people need to practice on a consistent basis. The success of a good betting system will depend hugely on how well a person executes it and the gambler's bankroll management.

Is a betting system the same as a betting strategy?

A betting system and a betting strategy are, for sports betting purposes, considered to be the same thing. Both terms are used interchangeably.

What are the sports betting systems that work?

This will depend on your definition of a betting system working. There are a few systems that guarantee a risk-free profit but most systems won't do this and these profits will not be for life-changing sums of money. There is proof that many strategies can be very profitable but they do require heavy study and a level of skill.

How to check whether a betting strategy works?

It is possible to use software and historical data to perform something that is referred to as backtesting.

This is usually applied to algorithmic automated betting models. The idea of this test is to see if something is successful in the long run because, in theory, any system can work in the short term. Therefore it is important to acquire a heavy sample size to know that luck isn't a huge factor with a particular system.

What are the most profitable betting systems?

Unfortunately, the most profitable betting systems are the ones that involve considerable risk. The Labouchere system is a good system as if you run well the profit made can be significant.

Are most online sports betting systems scams?

If something appears too good to be true it probably is. There are many scams out there that exist behind an expensive firewall and make unrealistic promises.

Before signing up for any of these make sure you have done ample research and assess whether the claims made are realistic. For example, if someone claims to win every bet feel no need to look any further.

Do betting systems really work?

Betting systems do absolutely work and there is proof that there are people who make a living from employing such strategies. There is no secret formula though that can make people rich overnight. Good betting systems require a good amount of study and reward people for the time and effort they put in.

Is there a betting system that never loses?

Matched betting and arbitrage betting are betting systems that, when implemented correctly, make it impossible for gamblers to lose money. The profit gained from these strategies are unlikely to be huge but can contribute to a nice side outcome.

Will a betting system work forever?

If a betting system works without causing suspicion to a bookmaker then in theory yes, a betting system could work forever.

Bookmakers have a reputation for restricting successful players so you should look to have many accounts open with several different bookmakers or use an exchange site that is considerably less likely to restrict accounts.

What is a parlay betting system?

Despite the term "parlay", this betting system is used on casino games with a 50/50 odds of winning such as roulette or blackjack. The principal behind the parlay betting system is the high payout of consistent wins that is similar to a sports "parlay wager."

Betting systems and strategies are the holy grail of gambling. If one truly existed that could turn a small investment into a fortune it would no doubt be banned by every bookmaker by now. With this being said we believe there are many betting strategies out there that can bring success if implemented correctly.