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Do Betting Systems Work?

There is so much talk about surefire betting systems that we felt it was necessary to set the record straight.  At every online casino, the outcome of every game has no relevance to the game before it.  That’s because the casinos all use a Random Number Generator to determine the next card or the next number.  In slots, the RNG continuously spins the reels and when you click on “spin” the RNG is designed to stop at the same moment going forward.  You have no idea where the reels are when you begin the spin so you can’t have any hand in determining which symbol will appear on any reel when the “spinning” stops.

Systems that Do Work

In blackjack, card counting does work.  Card counting is less a betting system that a decision making system.  In blackjack, you set your bet before the dealer deals the cards.  In blackjack, there are systems that work by directing your decision as to whether you should take a card or stand.  These systems are based on the cards you hold and the card the dealer has showing.

Card counting is based on statistics.  It is also very difficult to master.  In a famous story (and movie), mathematical geniuses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took card counting to the highest possible level.  Then they were discovered and banned from all Las Vegas casinos.  Card counting is perfectly legal but casinos don’t like to lose money so they banned the MIT boys.

There are different levels of card counting and even the simplest version requires great concentration.  It is certainly not for everyone.  However, you can learn to make the best possible decisions based on statistics.  This type of decision making system is relatively straightforward and accessible to everyone.

Video Poker

There are also ways to determine, based on logic and statistics, what your next move should be.  This is also not a betting system but a decision making system and they work very well in video poker.  The return to player rate in video poker is as close to 100% as you can get at a casino.

True Betting Systems

The most famous betting system is called the Martingale System.  Essentially, you double your bet after a loss.  When you have recovered your loss, you revert back to your default bet be it $1 or $100.

Mathematically, it would seem that by using the Martingale System in roulette you would at the very least break even over the course of a gambling session— because you’d quit after recovering any lost money before stopping the session—and, if you were lucky that day, you would come out ahead.  The profit you realize would come from any profits you gain on the first spin after a recovery.  You put away all profits and continue with your default bet until you lose and have to start doubling your bets.

Two Major Flaws in the Martingale

Before we get to the two flaws in the system let’s look at the only types of bets for which this system might work: the even money bets.  There are three even money bets in roulette: red or black; odds or evens; and the first half of numbers or the second half of numbers.

These are perfectly fine bets but there are so many other bets available in roulette that most players will take from their profits stack to make bets with higher payouts but longer odds.  The Martingale cannot work with these bets.

Now, regarding the even money bets, there are two flaws in the system.  The first is actually pretty obvious while the second is a bit hidden from immediate view.

0 and 00

These numbers are losers in American roulette.  European roulette has only 0 so the odds are a bit better for players.  But players cannot bet on these losing numbers singly and they are not considered red or black, odd or even, nor in the first or in the second half of the complete set of numbers.  As such, they lose automatically.

It is impossible to escape these numbers.  Eventually, you’ll lose because of them unless you are being very lucky.  Most roulette players play because they feel lucky.

Accumulating Losses

Let’s say you start with $100 and make a starting bet of one dollar.  If you lose, you increase the bet to two dollars for a total of three dollars “invested”.  If you lose five times in a row, you’ll be betting $32 but you’ll have a cumulative total of $63 invested.  Most players are leery of making such a high bet on a single spin in roulette.  The system fails because players feel uncomfortable following through with the system when they have the inevitable long losing streak.

Rather than come to the roulette table with $100 determined to make only even money bets and break even or win a little, many roulette players with a $100 bankroll might make many other bets including a bet on their “favourite” number.  If you continue with $1 bets all around, you might very well lose the hundred or you might score some moderate wins which would serve to extend your gaming session while increasing the fun side of it.

In short, using the Martingale System is very boring and becomes depressing for many players.  Roulette is a game and following the Martingale System is like going to the grand casino buffet while you’re on a serious diet; there’s a lot to see but you can’t touch anything.

Martingale in Other Games

Some use a similar system in blackjack or video poker.  This system works even less well in these games.  Blackjack and video poker have winning decision making methods as mentioned above.  Learn to make the best decisions and you won’t feel the need to follow a betting system.