Posts Tagged ‘upsets’

The Martingale betting system has been around since the 18th Century where it originated in France, and is a simple one in principal.  You place a bet on a 2-1 outcome.  If you win, you double what you bet.  If you lose, you double your bet, and you keep doing this until you win, where you will win back all your losses plus make a profit of your initial bet.  After the win you reset and start again.  The Martingale system also assumes that you have an infinite bank roll and that there is no table limit or a limit to how much you can bet.  Let’s take a look at an example:

You bet $10 at 2-1 to win $20 – a $10 profit.

Bet $10 – lose

Bet $20 – lose

Bet $40 – lose

Bet $80 – lose

Bet $160 – win $320

Now if you look at the bet amounts, they are $10 more than the sum of all previous bets, which is how much profit you are going to make when you finally breakthrough for the win. $10 + $20 + $40 + $80 = $150 (lost), plus the $160 you bet = $310, and you win $320 for a $10 profit.

This system was commonly used to play roulette betting on either black or red, but you don’t get a pure 2-1 return as there is a zero or double zero on the wheel which yields no win for either red or black.  This is the house edge imbedded in the odds, so you also have to overcome that when chasing your profit.  You may also find that if you suffer a losing streak you will quickly reach the table limit for how much you are allowed to bet.  Say you happen to lose 10 bets in a row; with the 11th bet you will be wagering $10240 to make a $10 profit.  And losing streaks happen! So if you can find me a gambler who is willing to bet $10240 to be $10 up, you’re finding me a fool.

$10, $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, $640, $1280, $2560, $5120, $10240 for the 11th bet.

Sports Betting Variation

This system can easily be applied to sports betting, using the multi-bet with favourites with a win/loss result to get to your 2-1 or more odds for each bet.  There is some merit in this if you think you can tip winners consistently, and you may also feel that you have some control over the result as you can pick the teams you want in your multi-bet.

Let’s look at the simplest ways to get to 2-1.  These are some of the variations you could use for a 2-leg multi if you wanted to cap the fav at 1.7 to get just over the 2-1 odds:

1.7 x 1.2 = 2.04

1.65 x 1.25 = 2.06

1.6 x 1.3 = 2.08

1.55 x 1.35 = 2.09

1.55 x 1.3 = 2.02

1.5 x 1.4 = 2.1

1.5 x 1.35 = 2.03

1.45 x 1.45 = 2.1

1.45 x 1.4 = 2.03

Of course you could back 1.7 x 1.7 to get odds of 2.89, or back just the one outsider at 2.2 if you thought it had a good chance of winning, but basically you’d want to ensure that you’re 2-leg multi yields more than 2-1 each and every bet.  Why only 2-legs?  Well there are 4 possible outcomes for 2 head to head matches, but 8 possible outcomes for 3 head to head matches.  To get a return of 2-1 on a 3-leg multi which has 8 possible results is increasing your risk of losing dramatically.

Another approach is to bet on a single soccer match, with the fav at about 2-1.  Now this may seem more difficult as there are 3 outcomes for a soccer game (home win/ draw/ away win), but as mentioned there are 4 outcomes for a 2-leg multi, so you are actually reducing your possible outcomes by one by betting on a lone soccer match.  Now a 2-1 fav in the soccer isn’t guaranteed to win, but you know what, how many short priced favs in the soccer have cost you a multi-bet when the match has ended in a frustrating draw or even an upset loss.  Never forget there are no certainties and you are gambling with every bet, so you may as well risk a good return on your wager.

From here it is simply a matter of choosing your starting stake, and being disciplined in your betting to stick to the system.  To lose money, you’d have to endure a losing streak where one of the two favs loses for a prolonged period of time in the 2-leg multi approach, or your 2-1 soccer fav keeps getting rolled.  If you know your sport and have a good strike rate as a tipster, then this system could be for you.  But buyer beware; it doesn’t take long in a losing streak to be betting large amounts of money, and if your bankroll isn’t very deep, you could find yourself in a hole very quickly.  You’d also want to find out what the max bet is with your sports bet agency to know how many losses you could endure based on your starting amount.

Let’s say you had a bank roll of $2000 and decided to start with a base bet of $50.  Now assuming the worst and you have a horror run with 5 losing bets, you won’t be able to place the 6th bet to try and recoup your losses thus far, as you would be required to bet $1600 but only have $450 left.

$50, $100, $200, $400, $800 = $1550 down after 5 losing bets.

This is assuming a minimum of one upset a week for 5 consecutive weeks, but if you’ve read the blog or have any experience in sports betting, there is absolutely no guarantee that a favourite will win, no matter how short the odds are.  UPSETS HAPPEN!

I don’t know about you, but I’d be starting to crack after only 3 consecutive losses starting with $50, where I’d have to be betting $400 just to make a $50 profit.

So if you are a gun tipster and think you can avoid the upset regularly, then the Martingale approach to sports betting will make you money over time.  My personal belief though is that you are still gambling, and it only takes the one seemingly impossible losing streak to wipe out all your gains and more when you either exceed your bank roll or you reach the max bet the bookie will take.


The sure thing Monday night game let me down this week, along with countless others out there no doubt, killing my multi and ending my winning streak.  I blame Kenny’s entry about landing his white whale on the upset that ended my multi this week.  I didn’t want much, just a $20 profit on my $50 bet, but it was obviously too much to ask for with Ahab watching over.

10th August

NRL Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders

Sydney Roosters (Head to Head)

1.20 – WIN

12th August

NRL Canterbury Bulldogs v Gold Coast Titans

Canterbury Bulldogs (Head to Head)

1.17 – LOSS

$50 Multibet @ 1.404 = $70.2

Result: LOSS

This means I got to 11 wins in a row and lost on the 12th, a 1.17 fav at home in a match they were heavily favoured to win.  It also means I lose $50, my first loss since the 5th July, and this is a bit hard to take.  It’s bloody typical though, as soon as you start thinking the money is in the bank, you are guaranteed to lose.  And this is what I did once the Roosters won on Saturday; I started to work out how much I had won in the last few months (already counting this week as a ‘win’) and how the NRL is being kind to me and how not chasing big returns is a more reliable way of betting.  Losing though changes everything, as a $50 loss wipes out 2 x 40% profits ($20 each), so after winning for the 4 weeks and then losing 1 bet, the profit drops from $242.64 to $192.60, a reduction of just over 20%.

I was correct to steer clear of the AFL in Rd 20, as four of the five upsets I flagged last week got up (see On a Roll – Part 3).  The upsets for Rd 20 were, based on the mid-week odds, the Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, West Coast and Adelaide.  Tough tipping round, and anyone who picked 9 this week is either a guru or knows nothing about the game.  But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and when you analyse games on form over reputation, you often get a clearer picture of why some results unfolded the way they did.  As I’ve mentioned constantly and I’ll say it again, it is hard work trying to make money on the AFL on a consistent basis over time, as the games are hard to pick and the odds you get don’t reflect how close the game is likely to be, and you get crap odds on the sure things, who still are never over the line till the final siren sounds.

The sports betting focus is now going to shift to the EPL season, starting this weekend.  Soccer is an interesting betting sport, for altough there are 3 possible outcomes on each match and the odds on the favs to win are usually much shorter than the 3-1 break even odds, quite often two of the three options pay more than 3-1, and the draw almost always pays more than 3-1.  So to get odds of greater than 3-1 where there are 3 possible outcomes is a ‘good bet’, something all punters should be searching for.