Sports Betting

What is a Ladder Bet, How to Distribute with Pros and Cons

Have you ever heard of what is a ladder bet? It is a popular strategy in sports betting, specifically in football. It includes placing a bet and using the winnings to place another bet and continuing to use the profits on further bets, making a ladder-like format to increase winnings at every stage. 

In this article, we will explain everything about ladder bet in sports betting. It can help you increase the profits. So, make sure you read carefully. 

Ladder Bet Meaning

Understanding What is a Ladder Bet Strategy

To answer the question about what is a ladder bet, it is a strategy of sports betting that will see you take advantage of the alternative lines provided by a bookmaker, to make a system of higher payouts. 

In this betting strategy, instead of just making a single bet on a side, on a specific result, you will bet that side in multiple ways across different results. In addition, on lines that get progressively bigger in odds as they rise up. 

Moreover, a ladder bet involves creating multiple bets, however, differs from a parlay bet in that it only involves betting on one single event. For instance, when you are betting on an underdog team in the NFL, and want to use what is a ladder bet, you may begin by taking that team on the game’s standard spread. 

Instead of just betting the spread at the regular line being provided, you will distribute your bankroll across a variety of results, where the odds get progressively bigger. 


  • Risk management
  • Gradual increase in wagering
  • Diversification


  • Will not guarantee profits
  • A series of failure might happen
  • Limited winnings
  • Odds dependency

Example of Ladder Bet

Look at the example of a spread-based ladder bet below:

  • New York Giants +7.5 -110 (0.5 units) = MYR 50 to win MYR 45
  • New York Giants +3.5 +150 (0.25 units) MYR 25 to win MYR 37.50
  • New York Giants Money Line +200 (0.15 units) MYR 15 to win MYR 30
  • New York Giants -2.5 +350 (0.1 units)  = MYR 10 to win MYR 35
  • *1 unit = MYR 100 

While the odds on offer betting like this vary across different sportsbooks, the concept of how we will distribute the bankroll units across a ladder bet remains the same. 

In the example above, if the Giants were to lose by 7.0 points, the 0.5 unit bet will be paid out MYR 95 (MYR 50 first bet + MYR 45 profits), however, the rest of our ladder bets will lose. That leaves us down just MYR 5 and result in a very small loss. 

While we can simply bet the regular spread (+75) with our entire MYR 100 unit (and come out with a MYR 90 winning), using a betting system like what is a ladder bet offers you chances at a higher payout. 

How Do You Distribute Units Across a Ladder Bet?

After knowing what is a ladder bet, you must also want to know how to distribute your bankroll across it depending on how much you expect to take on. The alternate lines with higher odds will give us better payouts, but also will have less chances of winning. 

With this, we can boost our risk (and the possibility of higher payouts) in a ladder bet by simply distributing more of our units across the results with the higher risk. 

Using the example above of what is a ladder bet, simply lowering our unit to 0.40 units on the regular spread result (Giants +75) that had the worst odds, and putting 0.05 additional units on every bottom two steps of our ladder bet (Giants ML +200 and Giants -2.5 +350). It will lead us an additional MYR 27.50 of winning if our total ladder bet hits:

  • New York Giants +7.5 -110 (0.5 units) = MYR 40 to win MYR 45
  • New York Giants +3.5 +150 (0.25 units) MYR 25 to win MYR 37.5
  • New York Giants Money Line +200 (0.15 units) MYR 20 to win MYR 40
  • New York Giants -2.5 +350 (0.1 units)  = MYR 15 to win MYR 52.5
  • *1 unit = MYR 100

(a revised ladder bet, set to the higher payouts, however, with fewer units or security on our higher probability bet of Giants +7.5)

How to Use Ladder Betting Strategy

Now, let’s take a look applying what is a ladder bet in several steps:

  • Start by deciding you starting rate and the number of stages (steps) in your “ladder”
  • Place a bet on a low-odds event ti boost the likelihood of winning in the first stage
  • If your bet wins, increase the bet size in the next stage by a certain percentage
  • Continue to increase your bet at every winning stage
  • If your bet loses, you can go back to the original bet and start the sequence again

Always keep in mind that what is a ladder bet strategy doesn’t guarantee consistent winning and depends on random results. Wise bankroll management can help you use this method more efficiently.

When Should You Place Ladder Bets?

From what is a ladder bet, it is a betting management method that is commonly used for betting on events with low odds. The basic idea is to begin with small bets and gradually increase with every winning result. 

At the first stage, you can make a minimum bet on a low-odds event. When your bet wins, you make a small win. In the next stage, you will increase your bet by a slightly bigger amount. 

This allows you to boost your potential winning and recover possible losses from previous stages. In order to successfully use ladder strategy, you have to analyze the events you will bet on beforehand. You can choose low-risk events with a good potential winning. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion of what is a ladder bet, it can be a good strategy for sports betting, however, it is important to approach it with caution. By deciding to choose the right sport and identifying the right betting market, you can bet your chances of winning. With the right approach, ladder betting strategy can be a fun and profitable method to bet on sports. 


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