I don’t want to go over again all the reasons why betting systems won’t work in online casino games. If you think they don’t, that’s fine. If, like me, you believe in the possibility that progressive betting systems can give you an edge over some games, then read on.
I said previously about the gambler’s fallacy that I understand the reasoning behind the odds, but reject it in favor of the other side of the odds, namely, the casinos side. The casinos rely on the odds working out over the long run, and evening out any lucky streaks their patrons might experience. All they really have to do is make sure that their player keeps on playing, and all the money will come back to the house.
And so I believe that the same rule applies to the results of whatever game you are playing. If for example you are playing straight numbers on the roulette table, where the odds of any particular number coming up on any particular spin are 37 to 1, then I believe that if any particular number has not come up in an extended series of spins, it is more likely to come up sooner rather than later. It is ‘due’ if you like.
Every expert will tell me that I am wrong, but I still believe it.
One system that is based on this ‘fallacy’ is the Martingale betting system, where you double your last bet on each losing bet, until you win. And this progression will ensure that you will always win one unit at the end of the series. This is in fact a true system, though it doesn’t work for a couple of logical reasons. First, doubling your last bet can increase the size of your stake quite quickly and quite dramatically. If your first bet is 1, the second must be 2, then 4, then 8, then 16, then 32, then 64, and next 128. So now you are betting 128 units to win 1 unit, and that is only after losing 7 bets in a row.
It is quite probable that you will experience 7 losing bets in a row in any reasonably long session. So for the Martingale to work you will need a very large bankroll. And the second reason this won’t work in real life is that casinos know that it could work, so they set table limits. Many tables will have limits of $1 to $100 so that if you try to double up to recoup your losses you will quickly reach the table limit and then you are out of luck.
So, can you find a way to bet progressively withouot needing to start with a massive bankroll or run the risk of hitting the table limits? I think you can.
In a modified version of the Martingale, where you increase the bet size by just one unit on every losing bet, and decrease the bet size by just one unit on each winning bet, you should be able to, in theory, make a profit of 1 unit on each completion of a win – loss sequence.
Let’s look at that in a little more detail. If you were to play 100 hands of blackjack then you could expect to win about 50 hands and lose about the same. Given that there is a built in house edge in blackjack, even if it is quite low, the numbers might be more like you win 49 and lose 51.
Starting with a first bet of $10 and increasing by $1 when you lose and decreasing by $1 when you win, after playing 100 hands you would expect to have won 49 hands, each of which should have been paid at a bet sixe that is $1 higher than the losing 51 bets. Without going into the numbers too deeply here, if you win 50 hands and lose 50 hands, the result should be a profit of $50. I might go into more detail in another post on this topic, but for now this one is getting too long to elaborate much.