The Fibonacci Sequence & Betting

Updated February 18th, 2020
Published February 3, 2020

The Fibonacci sequence can be used as a betting system for both casino games and sports betting.

But whether or not you remember this famous number sequence from your high school math class, it’s probably not the best overall staking plan for your sports bets.

Let’s examine the origins of the system, precisely how it works, and the advantage and drawbacks it provides when betting on sports. Ultimately, we’ll explain why you should avoid the Fibonacci betting system.

What Is the Fibonacci Sequence and How Does It Work?

Unsurprisingly, the Fibonacci betting system is based on the Fibonacci sequence. Named after Italian mathematician Fibonacci, the sequence contains a progressive series of numbers. Starting with 0 and 1, each number in the sequence is the sum of the two immediately preceding numbers.

fibonacci sequence infographic

Fibonacci pointed out numerous natural occurrences of the integer sequence, from the branches of most trees to the arrangement of pines cones and many flowering plants. It’s been widely used in music and artwork.

Eventually, gamblers realized they could use the Fibonacci sequence as the basis for a staking plan used with 50-50 casino game scenarios like black vs red in roulette. Eventually, sports bettors began adopting it for their uses.

Note that staking plans do not tell you what to bet. These systems are used to plan how much you should bet under specific circumstances.

Let’s dig into the details of using the Fibonacci sequence as a sports betting staking plan.

How to Use the Fibonacci Betting System

Like all staking systems, the Fibonacci betting system requires you to use betting units and maintain a consistent unit size. Once you’ve determined a sustainable unit size you’re comfortable wagering over the long haul, the amount of units you wager will be determined by the Fibonacci sequence.

The Fibonacci betting system requires you to increase the size of your wager every time you lose. The idea here is that you can recover your losses by placing a larger subsequent wager that allows you to gain back what you’ve lost and profit further.

The following rules apply when following the Fibonacci betting system:

  • Every time you lose a bet, move one number up the Fibonacci sequence. Bet this number of units.
  • Every time you win a bet, move two numbers down the sequence. Bet this number of units.

An example is helpful to illustrate exactly how this works. For simplicity, let’s assume your unit size is $1.

Remember that the Fibonacci sequence progresses from 1 as follows:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…continues with each number as the sum of the previous two

fibonacci sequence betting strategy infographic

This process continues until you’ve profited your intended amount or exhausted your bankroll. Theoretically, following such a pattern of increasing and decreasing stake sizes will ensure you recover any losses and even profit in the long run.

But the story isn’t so simple. Let’s examine the supposed advantages of following the Fibonacci system and why they simply don’t apply in real world situations.

Betting with the Fibonacci Sequence: Are There Any Advantages?

Bettors are drawn to the Fibonacci system because it is exceptionally easy to follow and does guarantee profit assuming you have an unlimited bankroll and the right odds.

Following a staking plan, even a poorly constructed one, will likely yield better results than simply sizing up your wagers based on emotion and intuition alone.

That said, there are several highly unlikely preconditions that must be met for the Fibonacci sequence to work as promised when betting.

You Should Avoid the Fibonacci System

The Fibonacci betting system is designed to be applied to games with even odds, such as black vs red in roulette. Furthermore, the odds need to be the same on every wager placed for the formula to guarantee recovered losses and profit.

The ‘guaranteed wins’ promised by staking plans that encourage chasing losses can lead bettors to risk more than they should.

Sports betting odds are rarely 50/50 (+/-100). Spread and totals lines can consistently be found at (-110), but moneyline, futures, and prop bet odds vary widely. That means they must generally be avoided when following the Fibonacci betting system.

But even if you are strictly betting point spreads at (-110) odds, you need an unlimited bankroll to guarantee profit. It’s just too easy to find yourself risking massive amounts after only a handful of losses.

Assuming a $10 unit size, you would need to risk $890 on a single bet after a losing streak of only ten wagers just to break even. Sustained losing streaks can be devastating to your bankroll when following any negative progression system, and the Fibonacci system is no exception.

Ultimately, all negative progression betting systems are a form of chase betting. Sports Betting Dime discourages emotionally chasing after your losses, and the ‘guaranteed wins’ promised by staking plans that encourage the behavior can lead bettors to risk more than they should.

At the end of the day, you should only be placing wagers that are informed by logic and offer positive expected value.

The Fibonacci Betting System Relies on Flawed Logic

The Fibonacci system relies on the assumption that even odds will ultimately result in each potential outcome occurring half the time. While this is accurate over an infinite time horizon, it leads most people to fall into the trap of a common logical fallacy.

Just because you hit ‘red’ on the roulette table this turn does not increase the likelihood that the next spin will hit ‘black’ – the odds are still 50/50 irrespective of the previous outcome or outcomes.

The gambler’s fallacy is the belief that past results are predictive of future outcomes. It’s hard to let go of the cognitive bias that fools you into thinking sustained losses increase the likelihood of future success, but an accurate understanding of probabilities will quickly show you otherwise.

Find a Staking Plan that Actually Works

While the Fibonacci betting strategy is not the right choice for most sports bettors, there are plenty of viable staking plans and sports betting strategies for those willing to do the proper research.

The key is finding a plan you can easily follow that also fits the size of your bankroll, your appetite for risk, and the type of wagers you prefer to make.

Take some time to explore the options, and whatever method you pursue, never risk more money than you can afford to lose.

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