Fibonacci – Good for Math But Not for Gambling

Fibonacci Betting System

Continuing our look at gambling betting systems, this week we look at the Fibonacci betting system. The Fibonacci betting system is a negative progression betting system based on the Fibonacci sequence of numbers. Let’s take a look at the system to see whether it can be a viable strategy for gambling.

What is the Fibonacci Sequence

The Fibonacci Sequence is a series of numbers that starts with zero and 1 and then the next number is the sum of the prior two numbers. For example, the third number is a 1 (0+1). The fourth number is then 2 (1+1). Next, the fifth number is 3 (2+1), followed by 5 (3+2), 8 (5+3), 13 (8+5), 21 (13+8), and so forth. This sequence can go on to infinity.

How to Apply the Fibonacci Sequence to Gambling

The way you apply the Fibonacci sequence to gambling is to start with the 3rd number in a sequence. For the sake of this article, we will consider each number as units. We will also assume that each unit is worth $5.

You start by betting 1 unit. Anytime you lose, you move your bet up to the next number in the sequence. Let’s say you lose three bets in a row, on your fourth bet, you will be betting 5 units.

Once you win, you will move down two numbers in the sequence. Using our above example, you will move from 5 units down to two units. In cases where you have not moved up at least two numbers in sequence, you will simply start back over with one unit.

You continue with this sequence until you reach your desired profit or you run out of money.

Problems With Fibonacci System

When looking at the potential problems with the Fibonacci System, let’s just take a look at a standard 10 number Fibonacci string that would be used for this system:

1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 24, 34, 55

If you go on a 5 hand losing streak in blackjack, you will bet 21 units on hand #6. That’s $105 for a $5 game. After a nine-hand losing streak, you’re betting 55 units, or $275. Extended losing streaks can get very expensive.

What’s worse is that when you do win after a losing streak, you don’t recoup all of your losses. Let’s say you lose 5 hands in a row. That’s 19 units you’ve lost. On hand six, a winner only gets you 13 units. You will then drop two numbers, and a win then will recoup only 5 units. You’re still down one unit.

The problem is compounded with longer losing streaks. A 10 hand losing streak will lose you 166 units. Winning the 11th bet will only win you 89 units. Drop down two numbers and win 34 will still leave you down 43 units.

With this system, the longer you lose, the more you have to play to try and recoup your winnings. Sure, if you have an unlimited bankroll, you have a good shot to win with this system, but most players cannot withstand the inevitable losing streak with this system.

Fibonacci is Good for Math But Not for Gambling

The Fibonacci system is a great tool for mathematics, but it is not a great idea for gambling. Systems like the Martingale, while high variance, do at least give you a chance of recouping your losses when you finally do win. With the Fibonacci system, you have to continue playing to chase losses. Typically, this will result in your losing even more money trying to catch a hot streak. Other systems like the 2-1-2 system or Oscar’s Grind will give you a less volatile system. While all gambling systems are flawed, the Fibonacci is definitely one you should avoid.