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Progressive Betting Systems

Progressive betting systems have long been popular with gamblers. This is probably down to two primary reasons.

  • 1The concept of such systems is really quite simple and they are easy to use.
  • 2Many people believe that these systems will guarantee them endless gambling winnings.

Most of the well-known progressive betting systems can be learned quickly. They usually just involve following a straightforward set of rules, so gamblers can implement them without any difficulty at all.

Gamblers can get into difficulty, however, when they believe that these systems actually work. The fact is that they don’t. Progressive betting systems can help you to win some money in the short term, but they don’t actually do anything to influence your chances in the long run. That doesn’t stop some people wasting a lot of money on them though. Many a gambler has been ruined by steadfastly refusing to accept that a system won’t come good eventually.

With that in mind, we’ve provided more information about progressive betting systems on this page. This includes explanations for why they don’t work. We cover the basic concepts, and the two main types. These are positive progression systems and negative progression systems. We’ve also written additional pages with full details of each of the most popular systems.

The Basic Concept

The basic concept of progressive betting systems is, as we have already stated, really quite straightforward. It is just about adjusting the size of your stake based on whether your previous bet has won or lost. Exactly how you adjust your stakes depend on the system being used, and whether it is a negative progression or a positive progression.

Positive Progression
Increase stakes when you win
Decrease stakes when you lose
Negative Progression
Increase stakes when you lose
Decrease stakes when you win

These systems are typically used by people playing casino games. Roulette, in particular, is often the game of choice for gamblers using them. They would generally bet on one of the even money bets such as red or black, or odd or even. Blackjack is also a popular game for using betting systems. In theory though, they can be used in pretty much any form of gambling.

Positive Progression

As we’ve already shown you, when using a positive progression betting system you would increase your stake every time you won a bet. You’d then reduce it when you lost a bet. Systems of this type are not as potentially damaging as negative progression systems.

What’s the Theory?
The theory behind positive progression is that it will help you to maximize your profits if you go on a winning streak.
It will also keep your losses to a minimum when you are losing.

To some extent, the theory here is logical. You can win a great deal of money if you go on a long winning streak, and a long losing streak shouldn’t decimate your bankroll. Using positive progression is actually relatively harmless, but it’s important to note that systems of this type do precisely nothing to affect your overall chances of winning or losing or bet.

Example – The Paroli System

The Paroli system is one of the most popular systems, and also one of the simplest. The idea is that you first set yourself a base stake, and that’s how much you stake on your initial wager. Every time you win a wager, you increase your stake by the amount of your base stake. Every time you lose, you go back to staking your base stack.

So let’s say you decided to play roulette using this system, betting on black each time and starting with a base stake of $10. You’d follow these simple rules.

Wheel lands on black. Increase stake by $10 for next wager.
Wheel lands on red. Stake $10 for next wager.
Wheel lands on zero. Stake $10 for next wager.

There’s nothing more to it than that. Win, and your stake goes up by $10 for the next wager. Lose, and it’s always $10 for the wager.

Now there is no doubt that you can win some good money using this system if you happen to go on a winning streak. If black came up five times in a row for example, you would win $150.

Spin 1. Stake $10. Win. Total +$10.
Spin 2. Stake $20. Win. Total +$30.
Spin 3. Stake $30. Win. Total +$60.
Spin 4. Stake $40. Win. Total +$100.
Spin 5. Stake $50. Win. Total +$150.

Had you been staking an even $10 on each spin during this streak, you’d have “only” won $50. So the system would have made you an extra $100.

The results for a streak of five losses are exactly the same regardless of whether you’re using the system or not. If red came up five times in a row then
your losses would be $50 either way, as you’d be $10 each time in both cases.

Therefore, you can clearly see that you win more from a mini winning streak that you lose from a mini losing streak. If the wheel consistently spun five
blacks and then five reds then you would make money overall. If you were lucky enough to see a really long streak of blacks then you could make a very
healthy profit.

However, there is no guarantee that you would see such streaks. You are just as likely to see a run of black followed by red followed by black followed
by red and so on. If this happened, you would lose money.

Spin 1. Stake $10. Win. Total + $10.
Spin 2. Stake $20. Lose. Total – $10.
Spin 3. Stake $10. Win. Total $0.
Spin 4. Stake $20. Lose. Total – $20.
Spin 5. Stake $10. Win. Total – $10.
Spin 5. Stake $20. Lose. Total – $30.

As you can see, over six spins this kind of sequence has cost you $30. Even though you’ve won the same amount of wagers as you’ve lost, your stakes
have been higher when you’ve lost than they have been when they’ve won. Had you been betting even stakes each time you’d have broken even with
this sequence.

So the bottom line is that positive progressive betting systems do nothing to increase your overall chances of winning. They can make you money from
the right sequence of spins, but they can just as easily lose you money. The good thing about systems of this type is that you will keep your losses down
during losing streaks.

Further Information
You can find further information the Paroli system, and other popular positive progression systems, on the followin pages.

Paroli systemReverse labouchere1-3-2-6 SystemContra d’Alambert

Negative Progression

Negative progression is in essence the opposite of positive progression, as it involves increasing your stakes when you lose and reducing them when you win. Systems of this type can be a recipe for disaster.

What’s the Theory?
The theory with negative progression is that you should always get a win eventually, and all your wins will come at
higher stakes than your losses. This shouldresult in making profits overall.

It’s easy to see why gamblers get tempted to use negative progression, as the theory appears entirely logical at first glance. It’s fundamentally flawed though.

This is because there is no guarantee of when a losing streak will come to an end. Let’s use roulette as an example again. You might think that if red has come up say eight times in a row that it is bound to be black soon. This is not the case though, the next spin is just as likely to be red again as it is to be black.

The mistaken belief that previous outcomes of random events can somehow influence future outcomes is known as the gambler’s fallacy, and it has led
to countless gamblers going broke. Continuously increasing stakes in the hope that you will eventually get a win is quite simplyfoolhardy.

You can read more about the gambler’s fallacy on the following page.

Gambler’s fallacy explained

It is not true to say that negative progressions will never return a profit, as they can. The problem, though, is that you are still relying on luck and the
wrong sequence of events will lose you money. You could end up losing huge sums of money in fact, as the required stakes can get very high when you
go on a losing streak. If you could keep betting for infinity then they should eventually work, but obviously this is not possible. A bad enough losing
streak will lead to you either running out of money or reaching the betting limit imposed by casinos and bookmakers.

Further Information
We have more information on a number of negative progressive systems on the following pages.

MartingaleD’alembertLabouchereFibonacci

Progressive Betting Systems – Our View

As we mentioned earlier, common advice is that progressive betting systems should be completely ignored. We fully understand why people would offer that advice as these systems do not increase your overall chances of winning. The simple fact that they don’t work is good enough reason not to use them.

We view things a little differently though, as we think they can be fun if used responsibly and with the right mindset. We certainly don’t believe that they are something to avoid at all costs. We do, however, advise extreme caution when them using. The following warning is particularly relevant when using negative progression systems

!! Warning !!
Progressive betting systems can be dangerous. If you do choose to use them, you must fully understand that there is no guarantee they will help you to win. You must always bet only with money you can afford to lose. Stay disciplined, and don’t ever increase your stakes too high. Setting stop limits for when you have won or lost a certain amount is a very good idea.
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