A Guide To The Fibonacci Strategy

Does the Fibonacci Sequence work in betting?

Money Management & Betting Systems

As a keen punter, you may well have heard of the Fibonacci Strategy. This is a straightforward betting system that a lot of punters turn to and while the name may sound as if it is going to be a real fancy, complicated affair, it’s not. It basically works off a very simple premise and that is “beat the bookies by betting on a draw”.

The Premise

This is a progressive betting system and not a complicated one at all. It initially came out in 2007 when Fragiskos Archontakis and Evan Osborne published their paper. All there is to it is that you place a bet on a draw. If the bet loses, just go and bet on another one. Then just keep going until you win.

There are two additional rules to the Fibonacci Betting system. Odds on bets have to be above 2.6 decimal and the progressive betting stakes have to follow the Fibonacci sequence. So that leads us on to the next obvious question. What is the Fibonacci sequence?

The Fibonacci Sequence

This is a famous numerical sequence which can be found in mathematics. If you want to get all nerdy about it the formula is N3 = N1 + N2. What that basically means is that the next number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two (after the initial two starting numbers).

Simplified, the start of the Fibonacci Sequence is 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and 21. In among there you can pick two numbers, add them together and see that the next one is the sum of those two numbers.

Why the Draw?

So you use the sequence to know how much to bet, based off of your original set stake. So if your initial stake was 5 then your sequence of bets would be 5, 5, 15, 20, 35, 55, 90 and so on. As you can see the stakes can rack up pretty substantially in a short amount of time if you find yourself on a losing streak.

So why focus on the draw? It works under the premise that the draw is always the most difficult outcome of a football match for a bookmaker to predict and that opens a window of opportunity for punters to potentially cash in. It is true that the drawn outcome in matches is really the bookmaker’s friend because the majority of punters will back a home or an away win and disregard the risky draw.

Draw Frequency

In the 2017/18 Premier League season there was a draw in 26% of all matches. Let’s look back at five seasons worth of Premier League season and see the percentage of games drawn in them.

2017/18 – 26%
2016/17 – 22%
2015/16 – 28%
2014/15 – 24%
2013/14 – 21%

The average of those five seasons are 24.2% so you are generally looking at the probability of a quarter of all matches in a given season ending in a draw. Because the drawn match is a tough outcome to call, you will generally not have a problem finding odds above the minimum threshold as proposed by Fragiskos Archontakis and Evan Osborne.

So that means that the average payout would be on every fourth game in your sequence. If you start with a base of a 1 stake then you would at the point have placed a total of 7 in stakes (1, 1, 2, 3) based on the Fibonacci sequence.

You can generally average odds on a drawn game around 3/1 and so going by that if the fourth bet in the sequence won then that would be a 21 profit earned on that fourth bet. Knock off the stake total of 4 from the three lost stakes before the winning one then that would be a 17 profit.

The Fibonacci Caution

Progressive betting systems are fundamentally flawed because of one reason. They can’t predict the unpredictable. Let’s say that you picked Liverpool at the start of the 2017/18 Premier League season on which to do your Fibonacci sequence. During the season they twice had runs of six matches without a draw.

Long streaks without draw aren’t just exclusive to the big guns in the league. Burnley had six and nine-match streaks without a draw and both Tottenham and West Ham both had six match sequences without a draw.

Looking at extremes Manchester United went on a fifteen match sequence without one while Champions that season Manchester City went eighteen without a draw. You, of course, don’t have to stick to one team only to do your sequence on, but it is just to highlight the fact that sequences, which the system can’t allow for, do happen.

When they happen they can cost a pretty penny. Let’s go back to the Fibonacci System and our initial stake of 5. Remember the sequence of stakes would be 5, 5, 15, 20, 35, 55, 90 so if you went on just a six-match sequence of not predicting a draw then you would be having to dig pretty deep into your pocket to try and record.

This is where yet again, a progressive system assumes that you have a bottomless bankroll. What if you got to that seventh bet and didn’t have enough to stump up the 90 that you would need to try and recover? You would be down 135 in stakes by that point.

In Summary

Basically, you are chasing big odds on drawn matches which is not an easy thing to pull off at the best of times. Therefore the Fibonacci System, as with all betting systems comes at a risk. In any progressive system, the stakes can rise pretty quickly and you have to think that there is a limit somewhere.

You will run out of bankroll at some point if the losing streak is big enough and even when you are in a hole you need a whole lot of cash to try and pull things back together in searching for that one elusive win. The best advice is to try it out on paper first before placing any bets and see how it works for you. It may end up not being a particularly good long-term system for you to rely on.