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Sports betting systems is a fairly broad term and means a lot of things to different people. However, one thing it certainly means to everyone is gambling systems represent a way of wagering in order to be consistent and profitable. We will highlight common systems like the Labouchere and Parlay and provide examples of their use in major sports.

In this guide we’ll detail the various online betting systems and sports betting algorithms bettors may encounter on their betting journey!

What is a betting system?

The use of the term system in betting refers to a pattern or strategy employed in order to increase winnings and find the best value in the market. Betting systems are often referred to with a variety of betting terms, which can be found in our complete sports betting glossary, but it boils down to a combination of bankroll management, line shopping, and smart betting. The systems we will cover here are based on positive and negative progressive betting systems.

Negative Progressions System

The two categories of betting systems can easily be defined as negative and positive. Negative systems centre around wagering higher each time you lose, in order to make up for any losses and ensure the bettor comes out on top. However, losing streaks can be extremely costly and can force bettors to wager inexorable amounts. If you have a big bankroll, these types of systems often work well. Examples of these systems are as follows:

  • Martingale
  • D’Alembert
  • Labouchere

Positive Progression System

The alternative is to use positive progression systems, which certainly sound more appealing! Bettors working with these types of systems will increase their stake each time they win, rather than lose. If the bettor is on a losing streak, this system won’t allow the bettor to quickly recoup their losses. Examples of this system are as follows:

  • Paroli
  • Parlay

As we mentioned before, these systems aren’t for novice bettors with a small bankroll. Both negative and positive systems will require the bettor to make sizable wagers at some point and require a big bankroll.

D’Alembert Betting Theory

This system is built around slow progressive betting. This slow betting system allows bettors to ensure they don’t run their funds dry but also ensures they slowly make a profit. This theory is based on the assumption that there is no balance in even money bets.

If you are always winning the same number of bets you lose, you can decide on a percentage of your total funds to use for each wager. The amount used varies a lot, mainly depending on the players’ capital, but standard practice is to bet anywhere between 1-5%.

An example of this theory in practice could look like this:

  • If you have $500 in your account; 1% of your first bet is $5. If you go on to lose that first bet, you’d then increase your unit to $10. Each time you lose, you increase your base to ensure you keep track until you win. With each bet you win, you need to decrease your bet by one unit. It doesn’t matter what type of bet it is, even prop betting, it’s a money-based strategy.

Martingale Staking Plan

Another of the most popular sports betting systems is the Martingale System, which, similarly to the D’Alembert Theory, involves progressive betting. It differs in that bettors wouldn’t increase the bet by a small incremental amount, a unit, but rather doubling the stake when the bettor loses. The risk is high, but if the bettor has the funds, then the system eventually pays off.

probability betting illustrations

Labouchere Betting System

Quite different from the aforementioned systems, the Labouchere divides the bet into various wager amounts. There is a set wager, then the bet is divided up into smaller amounts. As the bettor loses, they continue adding the wager to the end. If the bettor wins they discard the first and last units. This is another system that requires deep pockets, so this may be one to avoid – always bet within your means.

That explanation may confuse some of our readers, so here’s an example of this type of bet:

Taking a stake of $100, a bettor may break this down into $10, $20, $50, $20. So once the first bet comes in, the winnings will need to be your first unit plus your last unit (double the $10 = $20, which is first on your list). If the first bet is successful, the bettor crosses off the $10 and moves on to the $20. However, if the bet fails, then the bettor would add the $20 lost to the last $10, meaning the wager would now be $30.

Paroli Formula

Another of the sports betting algorithms is the Paroli formula, which is used in even wager betting. As we mentioned before, it’s dependent on the individual’s finances, but a stake between 1-3% would be a good starting point.

Principally, bettors’ double their steak each time they win and, after winning in 3 consecutive bets, drop your bet back to the base stake, starting over. However, if the bettor loses, they make no progression and remain betting the base stake until they are successful.

Parlay System

Parlay is a common term in sports betting and it’s likely you’ve heard of before. A parlay refers to multiple wagers within one. As a system, it functions by reinvesting winnings from each bet.

Bettors will need to choose the winning team for every option selected, in order for this system to work. This makes the odds higher, increasing the risk, but winning normally comes in big quantities.

Fibonacci System

Another system, based on the famous Fibonacci sequence works, works by choosing your betting unit. Somewhere between 2-3% is generally considered the best.

The Fibonacci sequence starts with zero, but this system starts with the number two 1s. The sequence is therefore 1,1,2,3,5,8,13 and onwards. So with a unit size of say $10, the Fibonacci numbers tell you how to bet.

The first bet is $10. If you lose, you place your second bet at $10. You happen to lose again, place your third bet 2 units, $20. Now you win, move down 1 unit to $10 and so on.

The Unit System

The final system we’ll cover is the Unit System, which is a fund management strategy based on using a designated value by the bettor. Classically, the range is somewhere between 1 and 10.

Bets for the value of 10 if for your longshot, rare wagers that show value. The 1 is for certified bets, ‘sure thing’ bets. The term unit refers to a percentage of the bettors’ wallet.