Are There Any Betting Systems That Work?

Author:

Liam O

Updated:

Jul 20, 2023

Devoted Premier League and NFL fan. Lover of all table games, especially Blackjack & poker.

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Are There Any Betting Systems That Work?

How can I beat the house? Whether you’re into sports betting or casino games, chances are you’ve asked yourself that question at some point. Maybe more than once. Of course, naysayers will dismiss this question as pointless β€” quoting the old adage of “the house always wins”, and stating how there are no betting systems that work. But the reality is people have beaten the house.

One of the oldest gambling games still played today is blackjack was famously beaten by a group of college students and their betting system based on card counting. Billy Walters went from a regular five-figure loser to arguably the most successful sports bettor in the history of Las Vegas, thanks to his line manipulation sports betting systems. But you don’t have to be a genius to beat the house. With the rise of the internet, it’s now easier than ever to get your hands on a variety of betting systems β€” and while a lot of them may be garbage stuck behind paywalls, some of them do genuinely work.

So how can you know which ones work? Well, in this guide we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about betting systems, including which ones rank and which ones tank.

Understanding Betting Systems

So what actually is a betting system?

A betting system is a system or set of rules that tell you what to bet on, how much to bet, and when to make these bets. Though lets get one thing straight. These betting systems are not magic, and if you truly want to make money gambling, then you need to understand your preferred game like the back of your hand β€” with your chosen betting system only making up a part of your knowledge.

Secondly, not all betting systems are designed around beating the house. Some are just meant to reduce the house edge to prolong your gaming session. These systems are ideal for players who don’t have the time to analyze page after page of data β€” or even for players new to the world of online gambling.

In this guide, we’ve gone for a variety approach. So whether you’re a full-time casino grinder, or someone just trying to make the weekend games a little more interesting (and profitable), this guide will have something for you.

If you’re in a rush, the below table will give you an idea of what betting system will be suited to you so you can skip ahead to the relevant section.

πŸ’΅Betting System⭐Required Skill Level❗Risk Level🎲Best Game Types❓Improves Long-Term Win Rate?
Betting 1% or Less on SlotsBeginnerLowSlots❌
Betting 10% or Less on Table GamesBeginnerLowTable Games❌
Baccarat Betting SystemBeginnerLowBaccaratβœ…
Value BettingProfessionals or AdvancedLow - MediumPoker, Blackjack, Sportsβœ…
Craps Betting SystemBeginnerLowCrapsβœ…
Fisher RouletteBeginners OnlyMediumAny Roulette❌
French Roulette Betting SystemBeginnerLowFrench Rouletteβœ…
LabouchereBeginnerHighAny Even Money Game❌
March Madness Betting SystemBeginnerLow - MediumMarch Madness Basketballβœ…
MartingaleModerateVery HighAny Even Money Game❌
FibonacciBeginnerHighAny Even Money Game❌
Unit Betting SystemProfessionals or AdvancedLow - MediumSportsβœ…
Poisson Distribution SystemAdvancedPlayer DependantHead-to-Head Sports With Points Systemβœ…
D’AlembertBeginners OnlyMediumAny Even Money Game❌

Either way, we recommend you bookmark this page so you can give each section a good read.

7 Online Casino Betting Systems That Work

Betting Systems

Betting 1% or Less on Slot Games

One thing you’ll need to learn if you plan to play any casino game regularly is bankroll management. Adopted from poker, bankroll management helps to ensure you survive dry streaks by limiting your max bet to a fraction of your overall gambling bankroll. For slots, this number is <1/100 or <1%. Since slots come in all shapes and sizes, the exact size of each spin should be tailored to the specific machine you’re playing, with the general rule being the higher the volatility of the machine you’re playing, the smaller your bet sizes should be.

While this betting system won’t improve your long-term slots win rate β€” it will decrease the overall variance of your chosen game and is the perfect fundamentals for which all other betting systems should be based on.

Pros of Betting 1% or Less on Slots

  • Minimizes short-term risk
  • Perfect for gamblers of all skill levels
  • Great for developing the discipline required to become a long-term successful casino player

Cons of Betting 1% or Less on Slots

  • Can make slots less exciting
  • Doesn’t increase your long-term win rate

Betting 10% or Less on Selected Table Games

While proper bankroll management is important for slots, it’s arguably even more critical for table games. The good news is that table games are generally considered much more profitable than slots, and as such, you can wager a large chunk of your bankroll per bet. Though again, specific bet sizes will need to be tailored towards the game you’re playing, and what type of bet you’re going for.

So if you’re going for a single number bet with roulette, reel in your betting size to 1-2%. But if you’re just going for black β€” 10% is fine.

Pros of Betting 10% or Less on Table Games

  • Minimizes short-term risk
  • Flexibility allows for a wide range of bet sizes
  • Perfect for amateur players who are looking to transition into becoming more serious players

Cons of Betting 10% or Less on Table Games

  • New players may struggle with tailoring bet size to bet type
  • Doesn’t increase your long-term win rate

Baccarat Betting Systems

Baccarat differs from many other casino games in the sense that when playing, there are clearly defined “good moves” and “bad moves”. If you bet on the banker, your RTP is 98.94%, betting on the player gets you 98.76% RTP, and wagering on a tie yields the comparatively minuscule RTP of 85.64%. As such, you should always bet on the banker.

It’s a very straightforward betting system. And when combined with the above betting system of betting 10% or less on table games, you can easily get away with betting close to 10% of your bankroll per round so long as you stick with the banker.

Pros of Baccarat Betting System

  • 94% RTP is massive compared to other casino games
  • Easy to follow

Cons of Baccarat Betting System

  • Going for the same bet every round can be boring to some players

Value Betting

Value Betting

Arguably the most complicated casino betting system, but also the most profitable β€” value betting traditionally comes from poker, where good players would read their opponents and work out when they could squeeze them for every last chip. Though with the MIT blackjack team, this strategy was taken to the Strip, where the students would vary their betting size according to their card counting principle.

The gist of value betting is to vary your bet size on the fly in response to your current situation. So when things look good, you bet more β€” and when things look bad, you bet less. It might sound simple. But to recognize these situations and how much you should alter your bets requires thousands of hours of experience in the game you’re playing, as well as the ability for you to do split-second complicated math.

The reward is worth it though. Because value betting is one of the few betting systems with the potential to make a long-term profit.

Pros of Value Betting

  • Profitable in the long-term
  • Can turn skilled bettors into full-time professionals
  • Flexibility allows knowledgeable players to alter bet sizes as they see fit

Cons of Value Betting

  • Tough to master
  • Not possible on all game types

Craps Betting System

The craps betting system is another betting system that’s very easy to learn as it’s based on a single principle. Always bet the Odds. Whether that’s laying the Odds or taking the Odds β€” it doesn’t matter. Just always bet the Odds.

This is because, whereas most side bets typically lower your RTP, the Odds side bet is “fair”. Or in other words, there is zero house edge. This makes it one of the few casino bets that the house isn’t favorite to win, making it an absolute must for any serious craps bettor.

While craps can be an intimidating game to new players, if you remember this easy craps betting system β€” you’ll be sure to be ahead of the pack.

Pros of Craps Betting System

  • Straightforward to perform
  • It’s a “fair” bet
  • Reduces overall house edge

Cons of Craps Betting System

  • Casinos will cap your maximum odds bet to usually x5 your initial wager
  • Players must plan ahead to ensure that they don’t go over proper bankroll management

Fisher Roulette Strategy

Developed by Samuel Fisher, the Fisher roulette strategy is a betting system designed around even money bets, i.e. red or black, high or low, and odds or evens. The idea is that you start off betting a fixed amount, and stick with that amount unless you lose four consecutive bets. If this happens, you then triple your stake. From there, if you win, you go back down to your original stake, but if you lose, you continue until you finally win, or lose a further four spins in a row β€” at which point you triple your bet again.

It’s a good roulette betting system that gives you the chance to quickly recoup a large part of your losses while not being as aggressive as systems like Martingale. My only issue with it isn’t around the strategy itself, but rather the resources that mention it online, claiming that it’s “unbeatable” and that there’s 0% of going bust, even with a limited bankroll. That isn’t the case. In fact, basic arithmetic will tell you otherwise.

Nevertheless, if you can get past all the nonsense articles that describe it as a mythical unbeatable system, you’ll find a very good betting strategy capable of minimizing dry streaks.

Pros of Fisher Roulette Strategy

  • Can quickly undercut a losing streak
  • Easy to follow
  • Less aggressive than Martingale

Cons of Fisher Roulette Strategy

  • Doesn’t increase your long-term win rate
  • Other online resources make it seem better than it really is

French Roulette Betting System

Before describing the French roulette betting strategy, it’s essential to distinguish the European wheel from the American. Whereas American wheels have 38 numbers, which include 0 & 00, European wheels only have 37 numbers which only contain a single 0. Since 0 & 00 aren’t red or black, high or low, nor odd or even β€” when it comes to even-money bets, European wheels are better. But while in standard European roulette the 0 is a dead zone for even money bets, in French roulette, they use the la partage rule. With this rule, whenever the ball lands on 0, all even money bets are given back half their stake.

It is a massive advantage compared to other roulette variants and is what the French roulette betting system is based around. Because with this betting system, you take full advantage of the la partage rule by exclusively going for even money bets β€” thereby halving the roulette house’s edge.

Pros of French Roulette Betting Strategy

  • Very easy to follow
  • Halves the house’s edge
  • Work well with other roulette betting strategies like the Fisher roulette strategy

Cons of French Roulette Betting Strategy

7 Tested Betting Systems for Sports Bettors

Sports betting is considered more of a skill-based gambling activity than casino games, and this can be taken further with sports betting systems that work.

The Labouchere

While initially designed with casino games in mind, the Labouchere is starting to become a favorite amongst the new generation of sports bettors. The idea is you first decide how much you want to win, then break that number into a string of smaller numbers. How many numbers you choose to break it up into is up to you, but when you’re first starting off, we recommend you keep the number in single digits. You then take the first and last number of your string and add them together. This combined number is how much you bet. If your wager wins, remove both numbers from the string and go again β€” though if you lose, add the combined number to the end of the string and continue on.

The Labouchere

It’s a great betting system. But to make it work with sports betting, it’s essential that you only make bets that are even money or close to.

Pros of Labouchere

  • String system is perfect for gauging your sports betting abilities
  • Great for new sports bettors
  • Freedom of how you create the initial string allows for a variety of bet sizes

Cons of Labouchere

  • Requires all bets to be close to even money
  • Long strings can result in massive bets

March Madness Betting System

While college basketball has never really been my thing, like so many other Americans, it’s my main game during March. And if you dig through the records of March Madness, one statistic jumps out above all others. The No. 12 seeds are surprisingly lethal in the first round against the No. 5 seeds. I can’t tell you why this is. But it makes betting the No. 12 seed to beat the spread surprisingly profitable in both the short and long term β€” plus, if you want to make your friends think you’re Nostradamus, try picking a couple of them to win outright.

This system is great for pros and beginners alike as it’s very reliable. Plus, it’s simple to follow. If you want to play it safe, just bet the spread β€” though if you feel like gambling, pick them to win outright.

Pros of the March Madness Betting System

  • Easy to follow
  • Very profitable
  • Ability to control volatility with different bet types

Cons of the March Madness Betting System

  • Can only be used four times a year

The Martingale System

Arguably the most well known betting strategy β€” when used correctly, Martingale can bring consistent profits to pros; however when used by new players, it’s almost a guarantee to end in them busting out. The system is simple. Double your bet after every loss, and when you win one, return to your starting stake.

Martingale works theoretically in the sense that if a player has an unlimited bankroll, they’ll always be able to fund their next bet, and by the laws of probability β€” will eventually win. The problem arises in the fact that no one has an infinite bankroll. As such, it’s crucial that a player is well-disciplined enough to know when to break Martingale and cut their losses. Like the Labouchere system, the Martingale system works best when betting odds are close to even.

Pros of Martingale System

  • Increase the chance of winning short term
  • Simple to understand

Cons of Martingale

  • Losses have the potential to be huge
  • Not appropriate for new players

The Fibonacci System

The Fibonacci Sequence

The Fibonacci betting system is unsurprisingly based on the Fibonacci number sequence. If you’ve never heard of it before, you’ll probably still recognize the sequence of numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc. With it, each number’s value is the sum of the previous two numbers.

For sports bets, players start at the leftmost 1, with each number representing the amount of units they need to bet. If they win a bet, they move two spaces to the left. If they lose, they move one space to the right β€” with the goal being to move so far to the left that you fall off the string of numbers with a profit. It’s simple to understand. Plus, far less aggressive than Martingale β€” though with the caveat that each round of betting takes longer to complete, along with there still being the same risks of undisciplined players being potentially able to lose their entire bankroll.

Pros of the Fibonacci Wagering System

  • Patient players with large bankrolls have massive chances of winning
  • Easy for players of all skill levels to follow

Cons of the Fibonacci Wagering System

  • Can lock players into long rounds of betting to make meager profits
  • Losses have the potential to be huge

Unit Betting System

While simple to understand, the unit betting system is a tool used by the most successful professional sports bettors. It works by placing every bet you’re going to be making on a scale of 1-10 β€” with 1 being the unlikeliest of long-shots, and 10 being a virtual lock-in. Whatever the number, that’s how many units you bet. How many units make up your bankroll is up to you. Though the average number for beginners is 100 β€” making each unit 1% of your bankroll.

An extra bonus of the unit betting system is that if you keep a journal of all the bets you’re making, you’ll be able to notice your own betting activity β€” such as whether or not you’re betting too many long-shots. It’s a personal favorite of mine. And one that I definitely recommend for all beginners as it’s perfect by itself, or as a warmup to using the Kelly criterion.

Pros of Unit Betting

  • Sustainable
  • Excellent learning tool to understand your own betting patterns
  • Easy to use
  • Transitions well to professional sports betting or more advanced betting systems

Cons of Unit Betting

  • Requires more thought than other betting systems

Poisson Distribution System

One of the most divisive betting systems is the Poisson betting system which aptly relies on the Poisson distribution system. If you’re a math wizard β€” you’ll love it. Because the Poisson betting system relies on gathering as much data as possible of historical matches to calculate the chance of an upcoming game’s score or result. How it’s calculated varies by individual sport and what data you choose to include. But as a general rule, you calculate each team’s attacking and defending strength, then compare them to see who’s likely to come out on top.

The main criticism of the Poisson betting system is that it doesn’t take into consideration the human element of the game (injuries, player morale, etc.) and needs to be used with another betting system to work out how much to wager. Still, if you’re a lover of stats, the Poisson betting system is one you should look into.

Keep in mind, Poisson doesn’t work well in non head-to-head sports, nor in games without a points system like horse racing.

Pros of the Poisson Betting System

  • Uses a purely mathematics approach
  • Works well with other sports betting systems
  • Rewards bettors knowledgeable in their chosen sport

Cons of Poisson Betting System

  • Ignores human element
  • Doesn’t specify how much you should bet

The D’Alembert System

Despite working off the gambler’s fallacy β€” the D’Alembert system is still as popular as now as ever. It’s straightforward to understand. You start by betting one unit. If you lose, you go up to two units, then three, and four etc., but when you win β€” you go down one unit unless you only bet with a single unit, at which point you just stay on your single unit bet.

It’s seldom used by more serious sports bettors who either prefer more aggressive betting systems or betting systems that don’t work off negative progression (increasing your bet when you lose); however it’s still a favorite amongst newer players. Many of whom might not even realize they’re using it.

Unsurprisingly, the strengths and pitfalls of the D’Alembert system are similar to those of the Martingale, Fibonacci, and Labouchere β€” though to a much lesser degree, as it’s not quite as aggressive.

Pros of the D’Alembert Wagering System

  • Steady increases and decreases avoid changing bet sizes too rapidly
  • Very easy to follow
  • Less aggressive than other negative progression betting systems

Cons of the D’Alembert Wagering System

  • Unpopular with “serious” sports bettors
  • Works off of the gambler’s fallacy

Why You Should Use Betting Systems

By committing to a betting system, you’re committing to a plan. If you’re new to online gambling, this means you’ve essentially got a cheat sheet that takes care of the betting so that you can focus on the game in front of you. So you’ll know what to do, whether it’s your first bet, second bet, or third bet. And if you’re a more serious bettor or are looking to transition to such β€” it allows you to plan out your method of betting step by step.

If you’re feeling particularly confident, you can even combine multiple betting systems. Personally, I’m more of an analytical type, so I like to combine Poisson with unit betting β€” while still leaving room for value betting when those particularly juicy stakes present themself.

Matching Betting Strategy to Your Gameplay

So how do you know which betting system to use? Well, the best way to know is to first decide what sort of gameplay you want and what kind of goals you’re looking to achieve.

If you’re just looking to unwind with a long session and don’t want to have time to pour over page after page of stats β€” then just stick to proper bankroll management. Bet 10% or less on table games, and 1% or less on slots. If you’re looking for that adrenaline rush and have the bankroll plus discipline to survive a potential losing streak β€” go for one of the negative progression betting systems that increase the stakes for every loss. Finally, if you want to beat the house and win on a consistent basis, go for one of the advanced strategies like value betting.

It’s up to you. Regardless of which betting strategy you go for though, remember to always gamble responsibly. While all of these betting systems can work β€” the very nature of gambling means that even if you play perfectly, they can also blow up in your face through no fault of your own.

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PointsBet β€” Best for Analytical Sports betting

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BetMGM β€” Best for Variety

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FAQ’s

Why Should I Use a Betting Strategy?

Betting strategies help you plan how to deal with the inevitable hurdles that a typical gambling session will throw at you. As such, they help you stay more logical in tense moments and inevitably lead to larger and more consistent profits.

What is the Best Roulette Betting System?

Roulette is one of the most played table games. Because of this, many great betting systems can be used depending on which variant you're playing. If you're playing at an online casino like BetMGM, you'll be able to play the most profitable variant of French roulette, and accordingly will be able to use the French roulette betting system. Otherwise, we recommend you tailor the size of your bets appropriately by practicing the proper bankroll management of wagering no more than 10% of your bankroll per wager.

Which Betting System Should I Use?

The betting system you should use will depend on your preferred play style and your goals. For more serious players, we recommend unit betting so you can tailor the size of your bets to how confident you feel about a specific play.

Do Betting Strategies Work at Online Casinos?

Yes. While some betting strategies claim to work only at brick-and-mortar casinos, the best ones work both in person and online.

Can I Make My Own Betting Strategy?

Yes. However, if you're starting off, we recommend you follow one of the pre-existing betting strategies we've covered. Once you're confident though, feel free to combine betting strategies or make one from scratch with the knowledge you've gathered.