Hero image

Guide To Online Betting Systems

All any online gambler in Britain wants to do is win. But if it were that easy, they wouldn't call it gambling at all. So is there a way that bettors can improve their chances and turn a safe bet into a sure thing?

In this guide to online betting systems we'll look at the popular strategies adopted by the most successful online sports gamblers in the UK. To see if there's any truth in the methods they use.

  • Discover the systems that online bettors use to advance in gambling
  • Learn quick tips to make your £ stretch further at an online bookies
  • Find out how to use the most successful betting systems, step by step

What Actually Is A Betting System?

A betting system, or strategy, is a specific approach to gambling that's undertaken because it's believed it will boost your bankroll and help your chances of winning. There is no one overriding system, and over the years various ones have come and gone. But a few have stayed the distance. And for those bettors who follow these to a T, they swear these methods improve their fortunes.

Here's some of the easiest ones sports bettors in Britain can put into practice at today's bookmakers online.

Learn How Online Betting Odds Work

Betting In Europe: Using Decimal Odds

You may have heard of matched betting. As systems go, this one has been gaining a lot of traction and attention of late. Especially since it's being touted as a fail-safe and risk-free way to beat the bookmakers at their own game.

Matched betting specifically makes use of the free bet offers bookmakers extend to new members. And because there's no shortage of these goodwill offers online, nor a limit on the amount of bookies you can join at once, it's a system that can keep you in pocket for quite some time.

  • You open an account at betting site A and get rewarded with a free £10 bet to make online.
  • You decide to use your bet to make a wager on Chelsea to beat Man U in their next Premier League meeting. Because you've specified one outcome, this is known as a straight or back bet.
  • Now (and here's the important bit for the system to work) you must make a lay bet against your back bet at a betting exchange. Remember, the odds at a betting exchange are being offered by other bettors (who are also looking to profit). So shop around for good odds.
  • Your lay bet should be the exact same value as your original back bet, and should go something like "I bet £10 that Chelsea will not beat Man U". The wording is vital. Your bet needs to cover Chelsea losing, or the match ending in a draw.
  • So, now you have a £10 bet that wins if Chelsea wins, and another £10 bet that wins if they lose or draw. So in effect, you've covered all eventualities of the game and you basically can't lose. No matter what the result you'll win back money. That's the matched betting system.
  • Finally, repeat all these steps again at a different online bookmakers offering a free bet when you join.

The Martingale (Or Reverse Martingale)

In this popular staking strategy, bettors either double their next stake following a loss (aka The Martingale) or double it after each win (The Reverse Martingale). Using either system offers bettors a simple way to recoup their losses and maximise profits. But you'll need to pick one of the two - and stick to it - to see the strategy work its magic.

The Martingale teaches bettors to double your stake after each loss and start betting at the lowest amount possible. For the sake of this example we'll start at a £1 wager and say the bookmaker is offering odds of 1:1 each time.

The Martingale

Here's a table to illustrate how the two systems can help bettors gain an upper hand.

Sequence Result Profit Total Next
Bet 1 Loss 0 0 £2
Bet 2 Win £4 £4 £1
Bet 3 Loss 0 £3 £2
Bet 4 Win £4 £7 £1
Bet 5 Loss 0 £6 £2

So by following the system of doubling your losing bets, and staking the smallest amount following wins, in this example, you've managed to turn a £1 wager into a total profit of £6 following 3 losses and two wins.

The Reverse Martingale

Now let's try the same thing with The Reverse Martingale:

In this system you double your wagers following wins instead.

Sequence Result Profit Total Next
Bet 1 Loss 0 0 £1
Bet 2 Win £2 £2 £2
Bet 3 Loss 0 0 £1
Bet 4 Win £2 £2 £2
Bet 5 Loss 0 0 £1

In this betting sequence you'll actually end up with £0 after 5 bets. However, if the next bet you make wins, you'll be back in profit again. And if the one following that one wins, you'll double your money. That's the beauty of The Reverse Martingale; with every win you increase your stake so the potential next profit margin is even larger.

Hopefully these two examples demonstrate why The Martingale and The Reverse Martingale are considered to be risky. But, also how they can equally benefit bettors who are prepared to put in the time and the cash to see them through to success.

Only Bet On 'Undervalued' Odds

Each individual bookmaker online is responsible for setting their own odds. And another tip the most successful sports bettors use is to shop around the different bookies to see where the return is best. But one sports betting system takes this a step further. And encourages bettors to hunt out odds that appear as though they've been undervalued.

What do we mean by 'undervalued' odds?

Each bookie will make its own assessment of who it thinks the stronger contender is in a football match, horse race, or tennis final. But, just because they've decided who they think the favourite is, doesn't mean you have to agree. Bookies aren't psychic. They have just the same chance of predicting the right outcome as a bettor. And, if there's anything we've come to learn about betting on sports - it's that there are always upsets. Leicester winning the 2015/16 Premier League being a prime example.

So don't be afraid to do your own analysis and challenge what the bookies are backing. This is where knowledge of sports comes in handy. So do your research and if you think a bookie's odds are undervalued, take advantage. Even if you only put a few quid down, with undervalued odds you can see your profit margins spike even on relatively low investments.

Which Strategy Is Best?

While online betting strategies will promise to help you turn a profit quickly, the long and short of it is, with gambling, nothing is guaranteed. So if you're going to take on one of the systems we've outlined here, or any other you come across for that matter, bear in mind the following things:

  • Set yourself a betting limit and never stake more than you can afford to lose (see our guide to bankroll management).
  • Don't gamble while under the influence of alcohol. It will cloud your judgment and can lead to you taking dangerous risks.
  • Take regular breaks, particularly when you're losing. Chasing losses can often lead to poor decisions and bigger hits to your bankroll.
  • Don't borrow money off anyone to gamble with. If you're at this stage, you should seek help as you may have developed an addiction.
  • Always carefully read the T&Cs of any offer you take up at a bookmaker. Failure to comply could result in loss of winnings.

Other Betting Systems And Further Reading

Of course, we've focusedon the most common betting strategies for sports in this guide. But the methods we've included here aren't the sum of all systems out there in 2019.

If you want to delve deeper into the world of betting systems and strategies we've compiled a list of 10 of the best sports betting books that teach you all about online sports gambling. Including a few which cover off strategy, and use guided examples of how to put betting systems into practice. So take a look at these top picks from our team for more info on the approaches some gamblers in the UK use to get one over online bookmakers.

And finally, remember that gambling in the UK is only legal if you're aged 18 years old or over. So please bet on sports responsibly, and never join a betting site if you're below the legal age limit.