View Full Version : Beating the Casino Edge with a Solid Betting Strategy?

08-30-2005, 09:25 PM
I havn't thought the math out on this one, and I really just want to get it down on "paper" while it is fresh in my mind. So feel free to tear me apart if this is totally wrong. Ok here goes.

Let's say you are playing a Casino game where the House has an inherent edge, like a roulette table. I start by placing a $1 bet on Black. If I win, I take my profit and on the next hand I bet $1 again. Now let's say I lose this time. Instead of betting $1 on Black, this time I double my bet and place $2 on black. Now if I win this time, I start at $1 again. If I lose again, the next time I bet $4, and so on and so on.

Now it would seem that if you found a game that had a small enough House edge, you'd be able to play this as a winning strategy since EVENTUALLY you'd be gauranteed to win your exponentially expanding bet and net a profit of $1 per "series". No?

This seems to go against all common sense, so someone prove me wrong with some math!

08-30-2005, 09:41 PM
If you really could double forever, it would be a great strategy. You'd just tell the house to keep spinning and giving you credit until you won, then you'd go out and enjoy yourself.

But you will hit a limit due either to the table limit or lack of funds. Suppose you start with $1,023. You bet $1 on red using this system. The list below shows the probability that the indicated spin will be your first red, 47% chance of red on the first, 25% chance of black on the first and red on the second, 13% chance of two blacks and then a red; and so on.

1 0.4737
2 0.2493
3 0.1312
4 0.0691
5 0.0363
6 0.0191
7 0.0101
8 0.0053
9 0.0028
10 0.0015
More 0.0016

As long as a red comes up on the first 10 spins, you make $1. But 0.16% of the time, you get 10 blacks in a row and lose $1,023. Your last bet was $512, you can't bet $1,024 either because it's above the table limit or you're out of money (by the way, you'll have trouble finding even a 1,000:1 bet range at a table).

Your expected loss is $0.67. You'll average 613 wins in between losses, but when you lose $1,023, it wipes out the $613 and more.

08-30-2005, 09:58 PM
Those darn casinos thought of everything, didn't they?

Thanks for clearing this up for me, I'll just have to keep looking for other loopholes in other games... Keno? Bingo?

08-30-2005, 09:58 PM
"If you can suppose an infinate bankroll, I can suppose infinate losses" - Someone

09-05-2005, 09:59 AM
Google "martingale theory"

09-05-2005, 01:34 PM
Here's some solid wagering advice -

"Don't bet more than you want to win."

09-06-2005, 08:02 AM

09-06-2005, 08:49 AM
A buddy of mine and I tried this out with roulette back in college . . . it didn't work. Its not just a question of infinite backroll to cover your swings, the casinos also put a max bet on the table in proportion to the minimum bet allowed. With incremental betting, you will only have about 10 spins until you hit the table max. This happened to my friend and I twice in one session.

09-06-2005, 11:49 AM
What if the bets were minimalized for profit and extent of time. For example:

bet $1 lose TOTAL LOSS $1
bet $1.25 lose TOTAL LOSS $2,25
bet $2.50 lose TOTAL LOSS $3.75
bet $4 lose TOTAL LOSS $7.75
bet $8 lose TOTAL LOSS $15.75

So on. Your betting and winning less but you can extend the streak longer. I figure its the same results.

09-06-2005, 01:05 PM
works like a charm.

ps let's keep this to ourselves, so don't tell anybody.

09-06-2005, 01:33 PM
This question has been asked a million times. Every play you make at roulette you lose money, past results dont affect future ones, -EV, blah blah

I still find myself doing this at blackjack even though it is quite easy to lose 10 hands in a row in the long run. Its like driving without a seatbelt on the interstate... your chances of crashing are somewhat small, but when you do crash, you're [censored]...

Your odds of losing this way are small, but when you do lose its a [censored] catastrophe, so your net expected value is still negative by the law of averages

09-06-2005, 08:43 PM
What if the bets were minimalized for profit and extent of time. For example:

bet $1 lose TOTAL LOSS $1
bet $1.25 lose TOTAL LOSS $2,25
bet $2.50 lose TOTAL LOSS $3.75
bet $4 lose TOTAL LOSS $7.75
bet $8 lose TOTAL LOSS $15.75

So on. Your betting and winning less but you can extend the streak longer. I figure its the same results.

[/ QUOTE ]

I think you're suggesting increasing the bets after each loss, but not doubling them. You're correct that this allows you to play longer with a given bankroll and initial bet (or ratio of maximum to minimum bet allowed). But one win doesn't wipe out all past losses and give you the fixed profit.

In your scheme, you have a 47% chance of winning $1 by winning the first spin, 38% chance of winning $0.25 by winning on either the second or third spin, 11% chance of losing $0.75 by winning on the fourth or fifth spin, and 4% chance of losing $16.75 (not $15.75) by losing five times in a row. Your expected value is -$0.19.

09-07-2005, 11:40 AM
You can either think of it as a series of individually losing bets, or, you can think of it as betting the table maximum (since you're committing it) at relatively low payout. Either way, it stays a bad bet.

Mike Haven
09-07-2005, 02:58 PM
as others have told you, you can't beat a game that has an inbuilt mathematical disadvantage for the punter, but people have come up with many betting systems that try to give you a better run for your money

one i always liked for a "50%/50%" chance (red/black; odd/even; etc) is to first bet 1 unit, and then increase the next bet by 1 if you lose or decrease by 1 if you win

for example:

win/lose: LLWLLWLLWW:

bets: 1,2,3,2,3,4,3,4,5,4:

running total: -1,-3,0,-2,-5,-1,-4,-8,-3,+1

every time a "1 bet" wins you have won as many units as you have wins in the sequence to get to the winning "1 bet"

that is, continuing the example above:

win or lose: W,W,W

bets: 3,2,1

running total: +4,+6,+7

if you chicken out during the sequence, there are usually times when you have won a unit or two - you can see there were six losses and only four wins at the start of the example sequence, yet you were +1 in profit at that point - you could choose to stop the sequence at that time, and start a new one with a new "1 bet"

you'll still lose your money, in the end, but it's quite a good fun and active betting system to while away a bit of time at the tables