As information becomes increasingly easy to share, betting systems are becoming more popular.

If you aren’t aware, betting systems are essentially gambling strategies. A person using a betting system will go into a game with an idea of how they’re going to bet, how much, and so on. At the highest level, these systems have been shown to work.

Prior to the golden age of the internet, and even in it, betting systems are something most people use without even thinking about it. Almost everyone places bets with some sort of method. “Always bet on black” is a common one.

Now, these betting systems are becoming commonplace. People are getting more intelligent with so much information at their fingertips, making it easier to subscribe to the same philosophy as someone else.

Who that someone else is, though, is something that you must be picky about.

Betting systems are nuanced, and the term is general, but they are worth discussing. Unfortunately, the facts of the case are not sunshine and rainbows.

Betting Systems and Pyramid Schemes

The truth about betting systems is this: the ones you know about are the ones that don’t work.

You have to consider betting systems from the perspective of the casino or book. If people had been granted access to systems that guaranteed profit, it would essentially guarantee loss for them. Everyone would use these systems if they were guaranteed to work.

But that’s not the case. Money cannot be free — it’s a fundamental law of economics. Betting systems that functioned for everyone would break this fundamental law.

If betting systems did work, casinos would have to adjust. Many betting systems that you’ve heard about functioned in the past, but don’t anymore.

Some might slip through the cracks of the casinos, but these aren’t accidental. Any gambler needs to keep in mind that casinos aren’t stupid. There is always a method to the madness.

When people believe that betting systems work, they are more likely to try them out. This gets them in the door of the casino, trying it out and spending money. The system might occasionally work, but for many, it won’t.

This turns a guaranteed loss into a guaranteed profit.

The Evidence of This

You might not believe that this is the case, but the rationale behind this is clear to see. Consider all the tales that you’ve heard about casino “scams.”

They all have the same structure: smart people are looking for money, practically rob a casino, and get banned.

The casino sometimes threatens legal action, though they know they can’t take it.

This person becomes an outlaw. In many cases, they don costumes and fake identities to sneak back into casinos. Some people travel the country hitting every casino that they can.

Somehow, casinos never pick up on the antics. Like a supervillain, the tale never questions all the things they didn’t do to keep the person away. Why would these people not be put in some sort of database?

Because casinos love this story. They love that people hear tales of cunning bettors making a fortune off of one trip. Those people will go out and spend ridiculous amounts of money trying to recreate the scam.

For those people, it won’t work.


Betting systems are a casino scheme story told in spreadsheets. There is no outlaw main character, but there is a promise. The promise of riches is all the casino needs.

The Backbone of Most Betting Systems

The clearest issue with a majority of betting systems is their rationale.

They can be built on things that seem like facts, when they are mostly anecdotal evidence. It’s easy to fabricate math by making assumptions, while a passively engaged audience wouldn’t notice in the slightest. In most cases, the person originating the system hasn’t even attempted to poke holes in the facts.

The people coming up with these systems probably believe their own lies, which is unfortunate.

Many gamblers fall prey to the aptly titled gambler’s fallacy.
This is a logical fallacy whereby a person believes that frequency changes statistics. It’s easy to demonstrate the flaw.

A game often played in high-level math classes is this: the professor steps away from the class and hands 2 students a marker. Each student is instructed to write on the whiteboard. One will flip a coin some number of times – we’ll say 20 for our purposes – and records heads as “H” and tails as “T.”

The other student simply makes up the results. The goal is that the student not flipping the coin should confuse the professor.

The student flipping the coin will write something like this: HHHHTTHHHHHTTTTTTTTT

The student without the coin will write something like this: HHTTHTHTHTTTHHHTHTHT

When they step back into the room, the professor immediately identifies the real coin.


The student without the coin is exhibiting the gambler’s fallacy, at least to some degree. In their mind, because there is a 50% chance of either outcome, it is unlikely that the coin will turn up heads or tails several times.

This isn’t the truth.

The coin constantly has a 50% chance of landing on heads. The other outcomes will never change that likelihood. You are just as likely to flip any combination of 20 results on a coin, including 20 heads or 20 tails.

Many betting systems are built on this idea.

The Betting Systems That Do Work

With the understanding that no betting systems can offer guaranteed profit, there are a few betting systems that can help you make smarter, more strategic bets. These betting systems all go deeper into the areas where betting is a skill. Functional betting systems rely on understanding the “metagame” of the bet and taking calculated risks.

Metagame” is a term used mostly in esports, which refers to the changes in the game being made outside of it. In betting, the metagame is the odds being set. If you can gain insight into how and why odds are set, or how they’re changing, you can make better bets.

A popular and useful betting system is to watch the odds for some amount of time, say a week, before placing bet. Did the odds change? How? Why? Answering these questions can give you valuable, actionable insight.

Similarly, you might create a checklist of all the variables that go into a bet. Betting on a coin flip, there is only one variable: the face that lands up. In a sports game, there could be hundreds of them.

Weigh out these variables and assign them a number on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “unlikely” and 10 being “practically guaranteed.” This allows your feelings and knowledge to be accumulated into a spreadsheet of your thoughts, which you can then act on.

Much like the variable system, you can assign individual bets a rating of 1 to 10. Again, 1 is the least likely to succeed. For each number, assign a percentage of your bankroll. Increasing both intervals by 1% is common. Some bettors don’t act on bets below a certain score.

This system prevents swings in your losses but can also prevent swings in your profits. It is the key to success for many bettors, though. The unit system has been used by many blackjack and poker players to great success.

In fact, many successful and useful betting systems have come from poker players. If you are looking to bet strategically, you should read into what great poker players are doing. Even if poker isn’t your game, you will likely be able to carry many of the principles over to other bets.

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