Betting Systems: What Works And What To Avoid At All Costs

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This guide to betting systems will show you those that work and those to avoid.

We’ll begin with explaining what a betting system is before diving into the details.

Let’s get straight into it.

What Is A Betting System?

A betting system is a set of rules that define the process on what bet to make.

This makes them different to betting strategies and staking systems.

Now, it’s important to understand a few things about betting systems before going any further:

  1. Betting systems will not work forever
  2. No betting system can win long-term
  3. You’ll never hear about the systems that do work

The third point is a particular highlight.

Think about it.

Why would someone risk letting the sportsbooks/casinos catch on to their winning system?

They’d be burning money.

So, with that out of the way, let’s now get into betting systems.

Despite the three points above, they can still be profitable in the short-term.

Betting Systems That Work

Quick caveat: this should say “betting system that works”.

There is only one: value betting.

Value Betting

Value betting is the only sure-fire way of profiting from sports betting over the long run.

Here’s a simple example to illustrate.

Let’s say you were to bet on a standard coin toss.

As you know, there are only two outcomes possible: heads or tails.

The chances of the coin landing on heads or tails are equal.

In terms of odds, this equates to odds of +100 for each outcome.

Now, imagine you were offered +110 odds on heads.

In this scenario, you should bet on heads every time.

Coin flip

This is because the odds on offer are higher compared to the probability of the outcome.

Value bets become more profitable the bigger difference between the odds and probability of the outcome.

There is a massive upside to value betting.

It’s how we at Ghost Insights are able to generate 120% ROI for our Premium subscribers.

Click here to learn more.

Short-Term Winning Betting Systems

Most betting systems in the public domain have a short shelf-life.

What usually happens is the markets catch up to betting system’s edge, meaning that it no longer remains profitable.

But there are still some betting systems that can deliver a profit in the short-term:

  1. Place laying
  2. Arbitrage betting
  3. Matched betting
  4. Consecutive winners

Place Laying 

This betting system is exclusive to horse racing.

You must have a betting exchange account too.

Here’s how it works.

Find a race that has between 5 and 7 runners.

This is very important as the place laying system is based on only the top two finishers paying out.

Find low-priced runners under the +180 mark.

Let’s say that Runner 1 is priced at -400 to place and Runner 2 is priced at -200 to also place.

You then lay each of these two runners to not place in the top two.

Place laying betting

Let’s say that you used $100 units, so you had:

  • Runner 1 – $100 laid at -400
  • Runner 2 – $100 laid at -200

The possible outcomes are as follows: 

Possible OutcomeProfit Or Loss
Both runners place$25 liability on Runner 1 and $50 liability on Runner 2; total $75 loss
Runner 1 unplaces; Runner 2 places$100 win on Runner 1 and $50 loss on Runner 2; total $50 win
Runner 1 places; Runner 2 unplaces$100 win on Runner 2 and $25 loss on Runner 1; total $75 win
Both runners unplaceBoth win $100; total $200 win

After deducting the betting exchange’s 5% commission:

Both Runners PlaceRunner 1 UnplaceRunner 2 UnplaceBoth Unplace

So, the only way to make a loss is if both runners finish in the top two places.

While they’re likely to be priced as favorites to make these places, the bet is likely to win enough to make up for the odd loss.

How aggressive you bet is up to you, but don’t go too crazy.

Now, these opportunities don’t come up too often as there are only so many races that have between 5 and 7 runners.

Further, not every race will price two runners low enough to keep you below your maximum liability.

The place laying betting system won’t get your rich quick, but you will build some small profits over time.

Arbitrage Betting

We won’t go into the details into arbitrage betting in this post.

However, you should know that arbing requires finding odds across a few sportsbooks where the parity in prices means you can bet on both outcomes and profit, regardless of the actual result of the event.

It does work, but the sportsbooks know when their best odds are available.

If they realize you’re only using them to get their best odds, they will monitor your account and probably restrict you from making bets in the future.

Matched Betting

Match betting has been popular for a little while now.

It does work – but only in the short-term.

Matched betting requires arbing; you use multiple bookmakers to make small profits via free bets and promotion.

However, there are some obvious flaws that prevent it being a long-term solution.

For example, there are only so many free bets you can claim.

Again, similar to arbing, using a bookmaker just for their free bets will likely see you banned from claiming any of their current and future promotions.

Consecutive Winners

This betting system is based on accumulators, but rather than making the bet a multiple, it’s a system of single bets where the total return of a previous winning bet is placed on the next.

So for example, if you bet $100 bet on heads in a fair coin toss and won, in a consecutive winner system, you would then bet $200 on the next flip.

If that wins, you’d bet $400, and so on.

Many people have tried this betting system to turn a small amount of money into a war chest.

They would start with, say, $50 and place it on -1000 favorites every time.

While it may seem like it would take a while to achieve anything, you can make more than $5,000 from 50 of such bets.

After 50 more, you would have more than $650,000 to your name.

Of course, it’s much harder to achieve this level of success than it sounds.

-1000 favorites lose more often than you’d think.

If you were to stick 50 -1000 favorites into a single accumulator, the odds combine to +11700.

This can be fun to do alongside your normal bankroll.

That way, if you do lose, you don’t lose it all.

Betting Systems That Don’t Work

There are so many betting systems that don’t work – they probably go into the thousands.

Here are some of the most popular.

Betting On Losing Favorites

There are probably some really good reasons why the favorite lost in their last outing.

But that doesn’t mean that they’ll win the next time out either.

The next game may have an entirely different context, it may be at a different location, there may be different lineups, or a host of other variables that impact on the result.


The Martingale system requires doubling down on a previous losing bet.

In theory, over time, you should always breakeven.

However, it has major flaws and could be one of the worst betting systems ever invented. 

Martingale, for all intents and purposes, is a loss-chasing exercise.

If you fall on the wrong side of variance, you could end up in a spot that you cannot recover from.

Betting System FAQs

None of them!

You must expect to lose sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that the betting system is failing.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the betting system should have a high enough strike rate at average odds to make a profit.

For example, if every bet was made at +100, then it would be reasonable to expect to lose four times from every time and still make a profit.

On the other hand, if the odds are shorter. say -1000, you must average a lot more winners to break even.

Either way, understand that losing is a part of being a long-term winner.

For sustained long-term success, then the only betting system that will bring you profits is value betting.

There are other systems out there that can profit but are more constrained to the short-term.

Find out how you can make consistent, long-term profits here.

You need to become the bookmaker and build an edge into your odds.

Check out how betting odds work here.

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