August 15, 2023 by

Slots Play Casinos Demonstrates Why Betting Systems Don’t Work

As a casino watchdog, we here at Slots Play Casinos try to give gamers the best advice about all things related to casino gaming.

This article is appropriate for both land-based casino players and online casino gamers.  It is about the foolhardy reliance on betting systems to get an edge over the house.

Betting Systems Don’t Work

There are many betting systems out there for sale on the internet.  There are betting systems that are available for free and still some players pay for them!  The single most common characteristic of all betting systems for sale are that they guarantee that you will win if you use them

In fact, in the very long run, a player who uses some of the more popular betting systems will win but, to get to that point, the player has to risk a very large sum of money

Here we will talk about a few common betting systems and we will show you why they are not good choices for gamers.  Then we will discuss betting techniques that are good for gamers.

The good betting techniques will not guarantee that you will win.  What they do is guarantee that you will not risk money that you ought not to risk and that will lead you to having a lot more fun playing casino games.

The Martingale System

This is the most famous of all of the betting systems.  This system works best with games like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.  In roulette, there aren’t true even money bets since the 0 (or 00 in American Roulette) cause players to lose immediately (with the exception of a bet on the 0).

In these games, the player makes his or her bet.  If the bet loses, they double the bet the next time.  So, if the initial bet was $5 and it lost, the player bets $10 next and, if he or she wins, they win a total of $5.

The Great Flaw in the Martingale System

This seems too good to be true and it is.  The Martingale System works only if the player does not have a losing streak.  However, with the Random Number Generator determining the outcomes of all online games and the cards and dice determining the outcomes of all table games at land-based casinos, there is no reason to assume that a player will not have a short losing streak.  In fact, a short losing streak is very common in casino gaming.

So, let’s look at what happens in the Martingale System if the player has a short losing streak.

Bet                                 Outcome

$5                                  lose

$10                                lose

$20                                lose

$40                                lose

$80                                lose

The player has lost five bets in a row.  This outcome is very common in all types of casino gaming.  By the same token, winning five in a row is also very common.  In our example, if the player were to win five bets in a row, his or her winnings would be $25.

The Next Bet is Simply Too High

But now, with a short losing streak, the player has to bet $160!  The player will win only $5 if the next bet wins.  Here is the arithmetic: the total amount of all bets is $315 and the amount the player will win if the next bet wins is $320 which is the bet of $160 plus the winnings of $160.

Thus, even with the Martingale System “working” the amount the player can win is only his or her original bet of $5!

We can borrow a term from poker, pot odds, to see how poor the bet of $160 is.  The pot, so to speak, is $160 and the bet therefore has pot odds of 1-1.  But the pot is made up entirely of the player’s own money.  The player is asked to put up $160 to win $5.

Even Secretariat paid better at the Belmont Stakes!

The Other Top Betting Systems Also Do Not Work

There are three betting systems that are almost as well-known as the Martingale.  They are the Fibonacci, Labouchere, and Paroli.  Without going into great detail, these systems fail for the same basic reason the Martingale fails.

A Successful Betting System is Really a Good Gaming Plan

Betting systems do not work so let’s think, instead, of good gaming plans.  The first thing we have to realize is that the house has an edge in every game.  The one possible exception is Deuces Wild video poker where the player has a miniscule edge.

What are the Main Elements of a Good Gaming Plan?

  1. Set a reasonable monetary budget.  It is important to be able to play without worrying about losing your bankroll.  This leads to the next item on the list.
  2. See gaming as a form of entertainment.  At a land-based casino, the entertainment side is all the peripheral stimuli.  The gambling itself is often stressful!  That is one of the main reasons we recommend online casino gaming!  Ata land-based casino, players may find themselves “stuck” at the casino for another day or two!
  3. Online casino gaming lends itself to gamers setting good time limits on their gaming.  There is always the chance to come back to the online casino the next day or soon thereafter.
  4. Understand the difference between the return to player rate and volatility.  See the next section for more detail.
  5. Budget gaming for a progressive jackpot.
  6. Learn blackjack and video poker which have the highest return to player rate of about 99.5%.
  7. Do not drink alcohol while gaming.
  8. Stay hydrated with water.
  9. Play only when you are fully awake and alert.
  10. Play only if you feel well.

Return to Player Rate and Volatility

Volatility refers to how the money won in slots is divided among gamers.  A slot with high volatility will return the money to relatively few players and a slot with low volatility will return the money to relatively many players.

Two slots can have the exact same return to player rate but the distribution of the return can vary quite dramatically.

Volatility refers only to slots.  That means that in a session of video poker or blackjack, a gamer can expect to either win a little or lose a little.  This simple fact makes playing these games a lot of fun for gamers!

Slots Play Casinos Wishes All the Best Gaming to All of Our Readers

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Jack Marsh Picture
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Jack Marsh enjoys examining the world around him from many different points of view: the mathematical, the psychological, the political, and the philosophical.

He will write from a mathematical perspective on why the cards fall the way they do, from a psychological perspective on why gamblers gamble the way they do, from a political perspective on why forms of entertainment that are encouraged in one place are prohibited in another, and from a philosophical perspective on the nature of happiness ... [Read Jack Marsh full bio]