This site would not be complete if it didn't have something to say about systems, which are controlled gaming procedures that aspire to outperform random wagering.
Let me say this -there are no honest systems which will consistently overcome casino odds. Gaming systems just don't work. While I agree that structure is important in your game plan, too much of it introduces an excess of rigidity. It's only a matter of time before a table zero's in on the weak link, and hammers it into the shape of Frisbee.
If progressing blindly through a mechanical process worked (at a table), it would have been a huge media event. It would have changed the face of gaming as we know it. Every sharpie in the world would be ravaging the casino until they either changed their game, or closed their doors.
Until you read about that on the front page of The Telegraph assume that systems still do not work, just as effectively as they have not been working for all these years!
The Martingdale is usually the first choice of a novice gambler. It sounds perfect, wait until a table result is statistically due, then launch a wagering series. If you lose, double your bet. Lose again, keep doubling. Given time, the odds will be so heavily in your favour, that you'll have to win.
Hold on. Not so fast. Do you recall the table I told you about when an even money proposition didn't show up for seventeen spins? Do you know how much it would cost to finance a series of eighteen bets that double each time?
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Assuming that you start at the $5 level, your eighteenth bet (which would net a $5 profit would cost you $655,360. Financing those bets would cost you over a million dollars. But it's a moot point, because you would never get a waiver against the house maximum in the midst of all that. And that point would be reached about half way through the series.
I think the casinos do that to prevent fools being parted from their money on such a grand scale. The reality is, that if you play long enough, you're going to hit the mother of all bad tables.
Of course, you could limit your series to, say, five stages and you would win most of your sessions. But speaking as one who has performed thousands of numerical trials, I've found that on average, no matter how many stages you use, you'll encounter a full series loss at roughly the same rate it takes to earn the units to pay for it. And when you figure in the house edge, the two sets of figures match up almost perfectly!
Amazing stuff, huh?
This is a Martingale that is limited to three stages. At the $5 level, a series of even money bets is $5-10-20. If you don't win by the third stage, you must write off the series as a loss.
A series costs $35. You only have three chances to win, and it will take seven wins to compensate for a series loss.
At a choppy table, a mini-Martingale could keep you winning indefinitely. But when the table pattern changes, you're gonna get a load of buckshot in your butt.
While this ain't the ticket to long-range success, you could do worse. Its like running a yellow light. If you don't do it too often you might be able to dodge the man for some time.
The D'Alembert is also known as the Pyramid, because of the shape of its fluctuating wagering structure. Its pretty simple: increase your bet one unit after every loss, and decrease one unit after every win.
This is one of your pummel-your-way-to-victory deals, and it frequently does work. But there will be times when your bets have been pushed to the ionosphere, and there will be no one on hand to talk you down. Because by that time, a lot of money will be gone, so who would want to?
This is one of the chilling facts of gaming: in the same spirit that everyone loves a winner, nobody likes a loser.
THE CONTRA D'ALEMBERT
This is another system opposite (like the Anti-Martindale), but it applies to the D'Alembert. With this one, you increase after every win, and decrease after every loss.
Because it offers reasonable protection of the downside, it is one of the better ones to try (if you're determined to play systems), because when the losses come, your bets regress to the base level, where they will stay until the wins return.
It's not a bad way to exploit a winning run, if it is used as a sporadic technique. In fact, I have been known to employ betting schemes that are based around this concept!
THE 1-2-3-4 SYSTEM
I can't let you out of this section without telling you about a wagering device that is frequently used by seasoned players. Think of this one as a one-way D'Alembert, which has been blessed with a four unit ceiling.
This system calls for you to increase your bet size by one unit after every loss until you win, or reach the four unit level. If you don't get a win there, the series is over.
The word "system" is used rather loosely here, because this is more a technique than a system. If played on that basis, I have no strong objections to it. If goves you a strong chance to win, without compelling you to mop up a huge mess when it fails (unless you can't stomach a 10 unit loss). Now, once you reach the third stage, all you're shooting for is to get all or most of your money back, with no hope of showing a profit for the series. But it usually keeps you in the game, and that counts for something.
Although it was designed for even money bets, the 1-2-3-4 can be used for other bets, preferably those which pay somewhere between even money and 2-1. Depending on the payoffs of the bet you're pursuing, it would be possible to garner a profit regardless the stage you're at when the win occurs.
Year's ago, I used this technique quite a bit. But these days, I find that I am more conservative. I seldom chase anything for more than 2 or 3 stages, even with bets that pay 2-1. Time and seasoning have taught me that if you don't catch something early, the prudent move is to abandon the chase. At the next opportunity you'll get your man.
It helps to have that inner knowledge.