A Guide To Gambling Systems

Gambling Systems

A betting system is a method of wagering based on patterns that a player perceives to be happening in order to increase their chances of winning. Also known as gambling systems, these supposed "tricks of the trade" are widely panned by most of the serious gaming community.

Players should be aware that using a gambling system is not illegal, but in the long run, probably won't result in positive gains and is no substitute for solid game theory knowledge. The most common gambling systems fall into one of three types: a positive progression system, a negative system, or a hedge system. On this page we'll look at all three of the major gambling systems, see how they are applied to games like roulette and blackjack, as well as if they actually work.

Positive Progressive System

In the positive progressive gambling system, players try to ride out hot streaks by increasing their wagers as they win. At its core, a positive progressive system calls for players to slowly increase bet sizes after a win, and decrease bet sizes after any loss. The good news with this system is that no single bet will ever wipe out what you have on the table. The bad news is that you'll never win big either.

It's widely agreed that one of the best suited games for this system is roulette. It's common to see a roulette wheel tilt a certain way for a period of time and this system maximises the profits taken in during that run, while minimising any losses that eventually hit the table. The key to this system is that players need to lock up a minimum amount of money to ensure a win before increasing their bet amounts and progressing through the system further.

Negative System / Martingale

The negative betting system, also known as the Martingale, might be the most widely talked about betting system that players employ. The advantage here is that you are more likely to win in the short term, but the longer a session goes, the odds of losing increase. When a loss does hit you, the loss will be catastrophically large.

The Martingale (or also known as the negative) system calls for players to double their bets every time they lose. In blackjack, if you play a $5 hand and lose, the next hand would be for $10. If you lose again, you bet $20, and if you lose yet again, you bet $40. Let's say you win on that $40, you then bring you bet back down to the minimum $5 wager.

Hedge Betting

Often seen in craps, the hedge betting system is when a player makes two offsetting bets in order to win a small profit, or to minimise the loss of a big bet. This type of betting is not to the player's advantage in the long run but could be used to grind out a small profit.

Players in craps often use this strategy by playing a bet on the pass line and then making a $1 bet on "any craps" line in case one of the craps numbers is thrown. If the shooter rolls as 2, 3 or 12, the player will lose the $5 pass line bet, but win $7 for hitting craps. If the shooter throws anything but those three numbers, they lose the $1 craps bet. While this might sound like a smart move on the surface, this has proven to be a bad short-term betting system.

A Real System That Works

As many players know, blackjack card counting and keeping a point system can in fact give you an edge against the house. The main issue that online players have is that the deck is reshuffled after every hand, so keeping a count of the cards is pointless. In a casino, the house combats card counters by using six or more decks at a time. While card counting and keeping a point total can work, both online and land based casinos have made sure it's nearly impossible to be effective.

Who Invented These Systems?

The Martingale betting system dates back to 18th century France and was applied to one of their favourite games, roulette. Since that time is has made its rounds around the world and into many a gambler's ear. While the system does have its merits, mathematically speaking it does not give the player any inherent edge on the house.

Card counting in blackjack was invented by American mathematician, Dr. Edward O. Thorp back in 1960s. His book, published in 1962 titled "Beat the Dealer", outlined various betting strategies for optimal blackjack play. Some of the techniques in the book no longer are valid since casinos quickly took counter-measures in the way they take bets and deal hands. Card counting has been widely noted to be effective with teams taking millions from casinos back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Should You Use a System?

It's pretty well documented that a betting system is no substitute for playing perfectly at your game of choice and understanding broad game theory. Instead of mastering a betting system that's been mathematically proven to be a loser in the long term, spend your time learning games that offer you the best odds and master the game theory behind those games.