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Progressive Betting and Professional Sports

Previously, we had talked on The Sports Economist about how to improve your chances when betting on professional sports, specifically on football.

Now, 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 a lot in casinos and with table games such as roulette or blackjack, but the statistics and theory behind it can apply equally well to sports betting, or indeed, any other game of chance.

People don’t use progressive betting techniques in sports so much yet, but our friends at HelpBet think that it’s a valuable system to learn, 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 exactly the opposite. This even works in Horse Racing.

For the purposes of this article, and while we acknowledge that negative 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 to be 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 guarantees you winning every time you bet. Those do not exist in real life. Always gamble responsibly, and know and stick to your own personal limits, no matter what.

Pros and cons of progressive betting


-Progressive betting is easy to learn

-It can help with risk management when properly 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 sense of when to stop.


Any kind of betting is going to 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. What it can absolutely do is 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.