Some of my readers have a lot to learn. Are you one of them?

I receive a heap of emails daily from readers. It takes up a lot of my day just replying to them. But I actually really enjoy having conversations with like minded people and have learnt a lot and hope some of my advice is also helpful. If you ever have a question or just want to say Hi, then send an email to admin@ this website and I usually reply within the day. But if you say something really really stupid I will have no choice to post about it.

Now usually when I receive a question, I also receive the same question from another reader, so by putting this up here it should hopefully help more then just the initial email sender.

I’m not here to advocate gambling in any way, while I do think the majority of my readers are pretty smart as if they have found my site they must be good at doing a bit of research, but even so I still try and dissuade most people from trying this as I feel that 95% of you will lose your money if you try to make money from gambling.

Just now I received one of the most idiotic emails ever from a reader. You may wonder why I seem so angry, it’s because he didn’t send the email to ask me my advice on this new system, it was a foregone conclusion in his head that it was 100% foolproof, and after all the evidence I presented to him, he would still not budge from his clearly wrong standpoint. His name was Michael (I will leave out his last name as not to embarrass him too much), but what makes it worse is he seems to be setting up a gambling related website. Now I rarely swear but I’m sure you will see a lot of curse words in the following post.

So this afternoon I received a simple message from Michael saying:

Hi Steve,

I believe I have an AFL betting system that could prove beneficial to you with the calibre of your bank.



His signature had a link to his website and to me this looked like spam. I replied saying as much and then received this in response. Now I warn you, there will be a test after you read this email. If you fail it, I implore you to never ever ever place another bet in your life. But I do have some magic beans you can buy that will produce a money tree.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The image might be a bit small on your screen but you can click on it to see it in full size. Basically he told me about this amazing system that I should bet in the AFL. All I need to do is bet on the underdog in every single game and if it loses I just need to bet double on the next game until I win. He said this has worked for the past 7 rounds he has been testing it “And with you bank size. You WONT lose. Simple.” Spelling and grammar aside, what do you think about this brilliant idea that has been presented to me?

Seriously take a minute right now and go over this. Does it sound good to you? Are there any flaws? or is this the holy grail we have all been searching for?

The Martingale system

This magic system is nothing new. It has been around since the 18th century. The concept is simple. You just need to double your bet every time you lose and eventually you will get a win. So if we are betting on odds of $2 to win 1 unit. We bet 1 unit and if that doesn’t win then we bet 2 units. If that bet wins then we have lost 1 unit on the first bet and won 2 units on the second bet for a total profit of 1 unit. Anyone starting out in the world of gambling will come across this system fairly early on. There are many dodgy ebooks you can buy that advocate this system for anything from Roulette to sports betting.

Now, Michael was just trying to help me as he felt he had stumbled upon something great and wanted to share it. I applaud his generosity and I’m sure he did not expect to be publicly ridiculed for trying to help. I also told him that at one time I was enamored by the lure and simplicity of this system. Now I could have explained the flaws in the system to him nicely and asked him to stop following it as he would lose money. But this would not have dissuaded him from following it. I needed to be as harsh and matter of fact as possible, and I was a little angry that he himself who is starting a gambling site could not see the issues. I was very harsh in my reply and now do wish I could have taken a bit more time to compose my email. But I will share in full my very quick and mean reply.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As you are too lazy to click on the image and read my response, I’ll rewrite it here for you. In a nutshell I said “Michael old chap, this wont work”. I then went on to explain with a simple example and will elaborate further and with more clarity here.

Let’s say we tested this on the AFL for this season. We have 23 rounds in a season and most have 9 games each week. Many games start before the other has finished but we will not take this into consideration. Say we decide to win $1,000 each round and will stop as soon as we have. If everything goes to plan and in most cases it will, we will win $23,000 over the season. I believe Michael wanted me to place the same stake no matter the odds on the underdog so in many cases we might win much much more. So in a best case scenario we might even win $100,000 over the season.

Over 23 weeks there is every possibility that an underdog would win 1 of the 9 games in each round. Now lets have a look at that one week where all the favorites win or even a week where it is the last game that the underdog wins. I have bet $1,000, then 2, then 4, then 8,16,32,64,128 and finally in the last game I need to place a $256,000 bet on the underdog to win $1,000. If it wins then I breathe a sigh of relief and take my $1,000 profit and start again next week. If it loses then I have just lost $511,000. So in a best case scenario I would need 5 years or 115 rounds where all the favs did not win.

If you have read Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book, The Black Swan: the impact of the highly improbable, then for many the inevitable result of following the martingale system would seem like a black swan event (It isn’t though). It is defined as:

an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight

Just like the Turkey who thinks life can’t get any better, every day he is being fed more and more food and allowed to pass his days however he sees fit, he believes that every following day will be like the one preceding it and things will only continue to get better and better. Then Thanksgiving day comes. Don’t be like the turkey.

I was going to end it there, as Michael is probably new to betting and made a mistake and now that he knows about the mistake he can stop now while he is ahead. But I have now just received a reply to the email I sent to Michael. I assumed he would have realised his stupidity and walked away from this idiotic system he has stumbled upon. Instead I received this.

Hi Steve

Haha I can understand were you are coming from, and I most certainly see your point of view. I myself used to think that with roulette

Please feel free over the coming weeks to show me when this won’t work with AFL and prove me wrong. Keeping in mind you were starting with $250.


It seems my wise words and harsh treatment still did not convert his thinking. I guess you can’t help them all and I guess we need some morons to pay the bookies who then pay us.

I’m sure many of you have experimented with this system, let Michael know how it turned out in the comments below.

EDIT: Thank god, received another email saying he was only paper trading but that after his huge sample size of 7 rounds it was a perfect system and he would continue to paper trade and keep me updated, I told him I already knew the final result and good luck with it. Like I said, we need someone to pay the bookies.

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  • Louisa Hislop

    Reminds me of myself and a certain NBA & MLB system that used Martingale. I was at the bottom of a very deep hole before I realised I was only ever going to lose. Unfortunately, that is also when it landed me in debt I couldn’t repay.

    Something I have learned is to research and do more research into a product before purchasing. Places like Secret Betting Club are a must for anyone wanting to make a profit gambling.

  • Hareeba

    I’ve come across many people like Michael over the years who swear by the Martingale and similar loss chasing systems, but I’ve found that no matter how much you try to convince them that they can’t defy mathematical gravity, they all stubbornly refuse to take the advice.

  • Breaking Dad

    Please send this guy my way as I will happily mortgage my house and block of land to take his bets.

  • Skg

    Another counter argument to Martingale is bet size limiting. You have a problem doubling to 10k if the books will only take 5k of bets.

    That said, if they see you betting Martingale they would probably up your limits.

  • It only took 11 rounds for every team to win in a week. If I had followed this system. I would have been up $10,000 at the start of the week and now down $501,000 right now. Gotto love when I’m proven right much quicker then usual.