Preferred Sports Betting Strategies
As with other forms of gambling and investment, sports betting participants need to have a strategy and the best way to establish this is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Your chosen system will likely depend on your level of participation and your game(s) of choice, but should be selected with the intention of managing your payroll and making it go as far as possible.
You will inevitably come across strategies which are certainly an unwise choice, most notably the ‘All-In’ system. Also, do beware of any ‘foolproof’ systems that you are offered directly, specifically via any unsolicited contact, as they are more likely to be some form of scam than a valid strategy. In any event, without a plan in place, the most likely outcome is a rapidly diminished bankroll.
Even a reasonable mix of research, luck and payroll management is not enough if you decide to take your sports betting seriously. You may decide to adopt a method that is more tried and tested, or ultimately, you may need to opt for a strategy that you have devised for yourself. Whatever your decision, the strategy you deploy needs to be budget-related, as some are definitely best left to those with a large disposable income.
In this guide, you will learn:
- Why you need a strategy for sports betting
- Some popular betting strategy methods
- The pros and cons of using each system
Fixed Wager Method
The Fixed Wager method is the simplest of all and by far the easiest to maintain. However, while it is designed to minimise losses, it does not often provide any significant payout opportunities either. It is potentially the best method for beginners to sports betting because it allows more experimentation for less outlay.
The principle of this strategy is to keep to a fixed stake for every bet. So if your pot is $100 and you stake $10 each time, you have ten chances at achieving a win, but if you were to reduce your fixed stake to $1, then you have a hundred opportunities.
Keeping a record of your wagers is essential, a simple spreadsheet, for example, will help you to see a pattern emerging. Periodic reviews will enable you to adjust the amount that you bet up or down accordingly. It is best to allow a reasonable period, perhaps monthly if you are a regular, or quarterly for those less prolific.
It is a very straightforward system and many believe that it is the best one for anyone regularly involved with sports betting.
The Martingale method is a progressive strategy which relies to some extent on the laws of averages and is designed to ensure that you eventually cover your losses, although no system is infallible. It is a very straightforward system and many believe that it is the best one for anyone regularly involved with sports betting.
The basis of this system is to double the amount of your stake for each loss sustained. You will place your first bet and if you lose, double your stake for the next wager. If this also results in a loss, then double up again and keep doing this until you have a win, which should compensate for previous losses. Your next bet then reverts to the original stake amount.
If you decide to try out the Martingale method, your first decision will be to decide on the maximum amount you can afford to lose. If this was $100, then next select a reasonable stake amount. If your first bet is $5, this will allow four chances at a win before your pot is too small to continue with the system. However, if you kept each wager to $1, that increases to six shots at success.
You may well relate to the Fibonacci sequence as being a scientific phenomenon of naturally occurring numbers, which was first recognised by Leonardo Pisano Bigollo in the 1100s. The Fibonacci strategy for betting uses these numbers to form a progressive series of bets. It has similarities to the Martingale but is likely to need a bigger bankroll to see it through.
The Fibonacci method is only suitable for odds above 2.168; the decimal version always being used, as fractionally it is too complicated. For example; for 2.168 the equivalent seen as a fraction is 146/125. The Fibonacci sequence of numbers is cumulative with each being the sum of the two previous. The first ten numbers in the sequence are 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 and 55. After that, they increase rapidly with 89, 144 and so on.
If you decided to wager in units of $1, your bets are $1, $1, $2, $3, $5, $8, etc. You would continue working through the sequence shown above until you have a win, at which point your stake reverts to the first number again. As a note, some purists believe that you should only go back two steps (numbers) each time you win; hence the bigger initial pot needed.
Proportional Betting Method
Deemed by some as the ultimate strategy for sports bettors, Proportional Betting does seem to have some benefits. Statistics we found in books and online indicate that compared to other popular systems, proportional betting offers the best payout margins for the least risk.
Once more, this is a progressive system for betting, based on using the same percentage of your total pot each time. The usual amount for this system would be 10% of your entire bankroll, mainly for ease of calculation, but you could use any percentage you want.
Assuming a 10% stake and starting with a $100 payroll, your first wager is $10. For the sake of clarity in this example, each transaction will be at ‘Even money’ (1/1 in fractional, 2.0 decimal). If you win your total will now be $110 and your next bet will be $11. If you lose, your pot is $90 and your new wager amount will be $9.
Adam has been an author for us since our launch in 2012. When it comes to all thing’s sports and betting, Adam knows his stuff. Having worked in the industry for most of his adult life in a variety of positions he’s definitely experienced. Learn more.