“Systems”? bad staking plans – the Fibonnacci, the Kelly Criterion and the Martingale

They're not systems at all

Cyril's Betting Advice
Cyril's Betting Advice

During the week I ran across two offerings from different writers. They were both analysing the same “systems”. I’ve put inverted commas around the word system because in all my sixty years I’ve never seen staking plans referred to as systems. Because what they both called systems were by coincidence the same three staking plans. Fibonnacci. the Kelly Criterion and the Martingale.
How anybody could call them systems is beyond me and I have a portfolio of systems going back to the 50’s. A system is a set of rules and conditions which lead to the user making a selection(s) on which to place a bet. What they were offering were staking plans. Nothing less. And one of them you would never countenance once you’d recovered from your first losing bet.

The Martingale is something I wouldn’t foist on my worst enemy. It’s the worst staking plan known to man. All it is really is, “doubling-up”. And anyone worth his salt knows that leads to the workhouse.
The restrictions in doubling-up are ridiculous. You need a selection that returns EVEN MONEY at least. ( Your possible profit from this bet at any point is only ONE POINT. Any selection that has a reasonble chance of success will almost always start at very short odds and if you were backing S.P. it would almost certainly shorten to odds-on.( I know from experience). You need at least EVENS on each winner to have any chance of making a profit. Try it on paper and see how you get on.
Once you’ve started on a run of losers, and YOU WILL have such a run, your bookie will be keeping a watch on your bets. As you double each previous stake your bookie will be getting ready to block a future bet. Even a run of 8 losers makes for a large next stake. Just doubling-up from a first bet if £1.00 your next stake would be £256.00. The bookmaker isn’t stupid and by this time he knows that should you be fortunate to back a winner, although you would only make a £1. profit on the whole set of bets you’re not doing anything for his profit margin.
What I can’t see, is why anyone would recommend such a basic useless staking plan. But to call it a system is a big mistake.
There are systems which have turned in a losing run of FIFTEEN. Can you imagine trying to back the next selection. £32,768.00. And such a run is not uncommon. Mind you, you wouldn’t be able to get that far in reality. In fact I doubt any bookmaker would let you bet past 10 losers.

I’ve just read Mike Houghton’s Betting Rant. And believe it or not he’s just torn the Fibonaccci staking plan to shreds.
If anyone is tempted to use a staking plan, USE LEVEL STAKES. It’s the only way to make even the smallest of profits. With all the options open to us backers I don’t see a need for staking plans other than Level Stakes, especially as there are the Exchanges to back,lay and trade on. For others there’s the chance to “cash out”. Finally for the more adventurous there’s “Spread Betting”. An excellent vehicle for those so inclined.
There’s plenty of choices, use them wisely and only with money you can afford to lose. Just in case.