Pros and Cons of the Fibonacci Number in Sports Betting

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The progressive systems in betting are not really the strategies I would recommend, however certain punters claim that they made big profit using the mathematical series. I took a look at the Fibonacci system to see if the investment output of the investment is truly worth the risks.

The essence of the Fibonacci system for football betting – this was published in 2007 by Fragiskos Archontakis and Evan Osborne – is simple: bet on a tie and if you lose, bet on another. Repeat this process until you win. There are only two additional rules – essential – which must be followed:

  1. Do not bet on a tie when the probability is over 2.618.
  2. Increase the sequential betting stake, as follows: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 etc. (where the following number is obtained from the sum of the previous two)

The Fibonacci betting system is based on the theory that ties are the hardest to anticipate by the betting houses and as such, they can be exploited.

The idea is based on a theory from 1989, according to which the ballot draw is the hardest to predict by the betting operators and as such, can be exploited. The idea is that as long as you constantly increase the stake, every victory will cover the previous losses.

The Fibonacci System In Practice

Looking back at the data from the 2011/12 Premier League season, there were 93 ties in 380 games – that means 24.5% of all matches ended with a tie. The interesting fact is that all odds for a potential tie in all the 380 games were over the 2.618 threshold proposed as inferior limit by Archontakis and Osborne.

That means that – on average – there must be a win every four games. Transposed in a series, that means that the winning stake shall be the forth Fibonacci number: 3, with a total bet for each of RON 7 (the winning stake added to the three odds after: 1, 1 and 2). Given the fact that, during the season the average odds for a tie were of @ 4.203, which means that the average wins could have been of RON 12.61 (a stake of RON 3 multiplied by the odds), with a profit of RON 5.61, after you deduct the stakes.

For 380 games, this equals a theoretical profit of RON 1786.7 – starting from an initial stake of only RON 1.

The Fibonacci Number Is Limited

There are numerous practical impediments and limitations in the application of the Fibonacci number with a certain consistency. For starters, many games are disputed simultaneously, which means that there is no option to increase the stake of the following Fibonacci number if there is no tie, as games end at the same time.

However, you can consider applying a certain series of Fibonacci betting to individual teams.

But this strategy is somewhat risky when it comes to the shape of the teams. Without ties, huge holes can occur in the betting budget.

With regards to the longest Premier League series without a tie (Manchester United in 2008/09); the Red Devils had 20 matches without a tie, in the end, closing with 0-0 with Arsenal.

As the Fibonacci number leads to an exponential increase, you should have to bet RON 10.946 on that game to cover your losses and gain a profit. Including this bet, anyone who respected the strategy should have had RON 28,656 – a huge amount for a system which usually only offers wins of RON 21.02. Interesting enough, the odd for a tie for that game was of 4.10, which would have offered winnings of RON 44,878.60 or a profit of RON 16,222.60. It is also clear that there could be potential benefits, which are impressive.

The Fibonacci Number In Short

The Fibonacci number is one of the best known numerical sequences, characterized through its simple formula:

N3 = N1 + N2

This indicates the fact that (after the two numbers in the beginning), each additional number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two number. For example, the Fibonacci sequence starts with 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and 21. Looking at the beginning of the sequence:

  • N1 = 1, N2 = 1 and therefore N3 = 2
  • N1 = 1, N2 = 2 and therefore N3 = 3
  • N1 = 2, N2 = 3 and therefore N3 = 5
  • N1 = 3, N2 = 5 and therefore N3 = 8


Conclusion – should we or shouldn’t we use this series?

The Fibonacci betting strategy is best appreciated as a mathematical concept. That is, it looks dashing in examples.

As with the progressive betting systems, such as the Labouchère system, the ideas function perfectly when you have an unlimited budget and computer patience. However, when you take into account the real world constraints, the series is confronted with the same limitation as all bets in the real world – the unknown.

Using the aforementioned Man Utd example, a punter should have risked a total of RON 28,656 in over 21 matches to gain a profit of RON 16,222. If the last amount of RON 10,946 didn’t exist, while being necessary to place the final bet… that would mean a loss of RON 20,000, an amount more than substantial.

At a certain point, you will inevitably reach a limit – be it due to the budget or imposed by the betting operator – the Fibonacci number cannot go on forever, and as such, it is not a long-term profitable solution.

by Mircea Panait

Author: Editor

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