The d’Alembert System is a betting system used by sports bettors as well as other types of gamblers. It is also known as montant et demontant (translated as upwards and downwards) and as the pyramid system. The system was created by Jean le Rond d’Alembert, a French physicist, mathematician, and philosopher who lived in the 18th century.
Basics of the System
The idea behind the d’Alembert System, which is designed to be applied to bets that have even odds, is that if you win a wager, it’s likely you will lose the next and if you lose a wager, then it’s likely you will win the next. Following this idea, a bettor should raise his bet when he loses, but lower it when he wins. This system may be used for spread wagers and totals.
Understanding the System
Initially, you must choose your unit wager. For our purposes we’ll choose $20 as our unit. We have a bank of $1000. You begin with the minimum bet. If you place a $20 bet on a sporting event, here’s how the system would work.
- Wager $20 and you win.
- Stay with $20 for your next bet.
- If you lose, add a unit and wager $40 on your next game.
- If you win, go back to the one unit, $20, wager; if you lose, bet an extra unit, $60.
- basically, as you win you subtract a unit and as you lose you add one.
The idea behind this, as noted, is that if you win, then chances are good that you will lose your next bet, but if you lose, then there’s a good chance you will win the next.
Does the d’Alembert System Work?
The primary concern with the d’Alembert System is that it uses a misunderstanding of the law of averages. It is based on the idea that with even odds bets, the two outcomes always even out. That is, if you lose, then you’re going to win on your next bet and vice versa.
This is what is known as the Gambler’s Fallacy, which is founded on the idea that the first of two successive events (such as the initial turn of the roulette wheel) influences the following event (such as the second turn of the wheel). In reality, the two spins are completely independent of one another, which means that the first event in no way determines what will occur with the second event.
In sports betting, being correct in one game does not in any way influence how you will do in the next. You may win four bets in a row, lose four straight, alternate winning and losing, or have any combination of wins and losses.
Is this System Right for You?
Like many betting systems, the d’Alembert takes logic out of the bankroll management equation. How many units you bet is decided by a prior event. Thus, you have to determine if this is really how you want to manage your cash. If you do, then the d’Alembert System, which can be fairly conservative as long as you’re winning, may be your cup of tea.