Progressive Betting and Professional Sports

Previously, we talked on The Sports Economist about improving your chances when betting on professional sports, specifically football.

We want to dedicate an article to a specific technique that betters swear by for improving their chances, called progressive betting.

Progressive betting is used in casinos and with table games such as roulette or online blackjack. Still, the statistics and theory behind it can apply equally well to sports betting or any other game of chance.

People don’t use progressive betting techniques in sports so much yet, but we think it’s a valuable learning system, and we tend to agree. Here’s why:

How progressive betting works

There are two types of progressive betting, positive and negative. In positive, progressive betting, you increase your bets when winning and decrease them when losing. In negative progressive betting, you do precisely the opposite. This even works in Horse Racing.

For this article, and while we acknowledge that harmful progressive betting schemes can have their uses, we endorse positive, progressive betting more for sports betting purposes. For one thing, it’s much simpler to learn and use. And also, it’s a lot less risky. Negative progressions are more for thrill-seekers who want to maximize their risk/reward and crave volatility.

Positive Progression

The theory is that you keep increasing your bet, usually by a fixed amount, every time you win. You can also adjust the definition of “winning” depending on circumstances. In sports betting, one would expect a win when something pays out more money than you put in.

The general idea is to maximize your winnings when you are winning and minimize your losses when you are losing.

Once again, and it cannot be said enough, please remember that progressive betting is a tool to use when betting. It’s not a magic wand like those found in Disney movies that guarantee you are winning every time you bet. Those do not exist in real life. Always gamble responsibly, and know and stick to your limits, no matter what.

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Pros and cons of progressive betting


-Progressive betting is easy to learn

-It can help with risk management when adequately used, assuming you are using positive, progressive betting.

-It can help maximize winnings, once again, when properly used.


-In some cases, it can drain your funds faster, especially with negative progressive betting.

-People tend to trust the system too much and lose the sense of when to stop.


Any betting will favor the house in the long run, of course.

The one area of absolute control you have when you bet is to stop at the right time. This is the one thing you can do to increase your chances over the long term.

Progressive betting can’t directly change the odds, of course. It can give you more of those golden opportunities to get out at the right time while you are ahead. This still requires discipline on your part, but the correct management of these techniques combined with the proper self-control and wisdom can be a very potent combination.

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Author: Ben Burd

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