What do roulette betting systems and The Da Vinci Code have in common? If you answered, “they’re both awful”, you would be right. More specifically, however, we are talking about the Fibonacci sequence. Believe it or not, many punters believe this centuries-old mathematical formula can guarantee long-term profits in real money roulette. They are wrong, but we’ll show you how it works (or doesn’t) anyway.
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What is the Fibonacci sequence?
If you turned up to your maths classes in high school, you almost certainly studied the Fibonacci numbers at some point. There is also a very good chance that you don’t remember a single thing about them now.
It’s actually quite simple. In the Fibonacci sequence, each number is the sum of the two numbers that preceded it. Thus, starting at one, the sequence goes like so:
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987… and so on.
This is a very old mathematical system which dates back ancient India. It is named for the 13th-century Italian mathematician Fibonacci, who introduced it to Europe in his book Liber Abaci.
The sequence has many practical uses in modern culture – especially in computer algorithms – and frequently appears in the biological structure of common flora such as trees, ferns and pineapples. But how can it be used to win at roulette?
How to use the Fibonacci betting system
For centuries, maths nerds and gambling gurus have worked at unearthing a fail-safe method for beating the odds at roulette. The Fibonacci strategy is one of those attempts.
Before you begin the sequence, you need to identify your standard betting unit. This could be a single chip of any denomination, be it $1, $5, $20 – whatever. For this kind of system, a smaller amount ($10 or less) tends to work best.
Next, you must choose which of the even-money bets you prefer to play: black, red, odd, even, low (1-18), or high (19-36). Once you pick your wager, you should stick with it for the entire betting session.
Start by betting one unit on your outside bet of choice. Move to the next number in the Fibonacci sequence after each loss, and move back two numbers after each win.
For example, let’s say we’re betting on red in $1 units. If we lose five in a row and then win on the next two, our stakes would fluctuate like so:
$1 – lose
$1 – lose
$2 – lose
$3 – lose
$5 – lose
$8 – win
$3 – win
The sequence ends once you win on the first step of the Fibonacci system, at which point you will have a profit. So if you lose the first two spins and win the next two, for instance, you finish the sequence one unit up (lose $1, lose $1, win $2, win $1 = $1 profit).
Does the Fibonacci roulette strategy work?
Not really, is the short answer.
The Fibonacci system has the same problem as any other negative-progression betting strategy: in order to come out on top, you have to risk plenty of cash and endure quite a few losses in the process.
While it might not be as risky as the Martingale strategy, where doubling your wager after each loss puts you at risk of hitting the bet limit in no time, the Fibonacci still functions on the idea that an even-money wager is bound to come up about 50 per cent of the time. Experts call that notion ‘the gambler’s fallacy’ because no single outcome – even a likely one, such as red to win – can ever be guaranteed to occur in chance games such as roulette.
The other big problem with the Fibonacci betting sequence is that the risk rarely matches the reward. If you suffer nine losses in a short period, for instance, you could easily find yourself putting down $340 when you’re only playing for an overall profit of $10.
Reverse Fibonacci system
The standard Fibonacci strategy is what is known as a ‘negative progression’ because you raise the stakes after losing and lower them after winning. The reverse Fibonacci, however, is a ‘positive progression’ in which you increase the wager after a win and decrease it after a loss.
Otherwise, the pattern of the reverse strategy is identical to the standard version: you move to the next Fibonacci number after each win, and move back two numbers after each loss.
For example, if we’re betting in $10 units, we might get a run like so:
$10 – win
$10 – win
$20 – win
$30 – lose
$10 – win
$20 – lose
$10 – lose
That demonstrates the big problem with the reverse Fibonacci – for even though we’ve won more spins than we lost, we finish the sequence $10 down. A better method would be to walk away as soon as you lose a bet, or after reaching a predetermined number of consecutive wins.