Sports betting strategies: Guide to the Fibonacci system

Sports betting strategies: Guide to the Fibonacci system

What brought you here? Was it the promise of a magical system that will make you rich through the power of Fibonacci? Is it because you read or watched a Dan Brown and believe this sequence holds superpowers? Well, before you take out a second mortgage and pray to Tom Hanks to bring you huge wins, let’s take a proper look at this system and what it means for sports betting.

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Sports betting systems and sports betting strategies are not the same thing. Strategies are based on information, statistics, planning. Systems revolve around manipulating money. They can work, but they can also backfire drastically. Please read our guide to sports betting systems for a closer look at what systems are and how they work.

As we often reiterate, systems are there to support strategies, not replace them.

The Fibonacci sequence is a mathematical sequence where each number is the sum of the two numbers before it, and it runs like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21… and so on. This sequence fascinates mathematicians and other scientists due to the frequency with which they appear in maths, computing and nature. The sequence has even made it into pop culture thanks to Dan Brown books and movies, and the classic spiral has graced book covers, albums and artworks prominently in the last few decades.

Naturally, then, since this number sequence seems to form part of the very fabric of the universe, gamblers and sports bettors have attempted to use it to their advantage.

The Fibonacci betting system is quite straightforward. First, you need to decide what your betting or stake unit will be. This is a percentage of the total amount of money you have available to bet.

  1. Starting at the first 1 (because 0 is not an amount), multiply your stake unit by the relevant sequence number
  2. If you lose the bet, move to the next number in the sequence, multiply your stake unit by this number and bet accordingly
  3. If you win the bet, go back down the sequence two places and use this number to determine your wager

Let’s illustrate:

For this illustration, let’s say one unit = R5. Your first bet will then be R5 x 1 (the first number in the sequence after 0) = R5. Let’s say the bettor lost three times, then won twice:

Fibonacci sequence for betting: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987

 

Bet 1: R5 x 1 = R5 (loss)

Bet 2: R5 x 1 = R5 (loss)

Bet 3: R5 x 2 = R10 (loss)

Bet 4: R5 x 3 = R15 (win)

Bet 5: R5 x 1 = R5 (win)

As you can see, for the first four bets, we progressed upwards along the sequence, following each loss, until we reached 3. As soon as the fourth bet was won, we moved back down two spaces to the second 1.

This system works on the principle that, if you lose, you place a larger bet to make up for that loss, as well as to try to achieve profit at the same time.

It doesn’t take a maths genius to spot the immediate problem here. If you hit a losing streak, it doesn’t take many losses for you to suddenly be making enormous bets to try and recover. It’s one thing to multiply your unit by 3 or 5, but those jumps keep getting bigger, and you only need to lose seven times before your bet is 21 times your unit. Using our previous R5 unit, a series of losses will result in bets (and losses) that look like this: R5, R5, R10, R15, R25, R40, R65, R110.

If we compare it to, for example, Oscar’s Grind, where your incremental increases are equal to one unit at a time, we can see how even a short losing streak with the Fibonacci system could be utterly disastrous to your bankroll.

Another factor to consider is that this, like so many other betting systems, works best in games where the outcomes will, over time, even out to a nearly 50/50 split. For events that rely on random chance, there is a tendency towards balance, so someone with an unlimited bankroll, lots of time on their hands and a fascination for statistical anomalies could theoretically make a killing by using a system like this. However, for most normal people who can’t afford to buy Twitter on a whim, this is simply not possible.

Sporting events don’t act like a roulette wheel or a slot machine. There are thousands of factors, big and small, affecting the team, the players, the tournament and more. Each of those factors can influence the outcome of a game, and smart bettors will pay more attention to these than to any betting system.

Choosing a bet is a very personal thing, and we all make our choices based on what we know, how we experience things, our emotions and our personality. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be as informed as possible, though! Our Sports Betting 101 series and our sports betting guides are there to help you become a sports bettor who makes smart, winning choices.