For eons, man has attempted to beat the odds and maintain an edge over the ‘house’, the modern-day Casino. He has developed intricate ‘betting systems’ and theories promising extravagant advantage over the Casino. This article is designed to debunk the top myths and fallacies surrounding Casino games strategies and betting systems. We shall discuss universal misconceptions and illusions which cloud a player’s strategies and impair their judgment.
Before we begin, let’s get the obvious out of the way! Casinos might seem very welcoming with all the ‘bling’, free alcohol, free food and entertainment; however, all Casino games are based on a robust “Applied Mathematics” backbone. They don’t beat the player because they are lucky; they beat the player because the odds favor them. The house edge can vary from 1% to 25% depending upon the game. The 1% edge might seem miniscule but in the long run the ‘house’ always wins. No wonder it’s a USD 600 billion Industry. One might speculate, why play at all if the Casino is always going to win; however, even though the odds are stacked against you, still you can certainly come out ahead in the short run.
Now, let’s look at a few myths shrouding these Casino games.
1.Gambler’s Fallacy or “Monte Carlo Fallacy”
Gambler’s Fallacy simply refers to the mistaken belief that an event which hasn’t happened recently becomes overdue and is therefore more likely to occur. For example, in Roulette, in case the last 8 spins have landed on red; an innocuous player might believe that the next spin is going to land on black since it’s ‘due’. The fact remains, roulette balls have no memory, dice have no memory and nor do cards have any memory. Each spin, each hand dealt, every dice rolled is independent from the previous event. The player assumes ‘Law of Probability’ will favor them and help them win. Many betting systems have been devised around this myth. Remember, no betting system can convert a sub-fair game into a profitable enterpris.
2.The Martingale System
The Martingale System is a popular betting system used by players who believe in its logic and simplicity. Basically, the gamblers double bets after every loss, with the logic that the first win can recover previous losses, as well as win a profit that is equal in size to the original bet. This system encourages you to keep on betting until you win one hand thereby relying solely on the “Law of Probability”. As one can see, using this system isn’t fool-proof and one needs deep pockets as well as a game which allows no-limit gambling. If by chance, a player hits a losing streak, this system fails miserably.
Many movies have been based around the “Card Counting” theory and beating the Casino at Blackjack has garnered a sort of cult status. Learning Card Counting, the ‘Aces and Fives Count’ system can give the player a slight edge over the Casino. However, ever since Continuous shufflers have been adopted by Casinos, these strategies have become redundant. One thing which does work is, ‘Basic Strategy’. It’s based on logical hand evaluations delineating the optimum method to play Blackjack. Again, Basic Strategy doesn’t ensure a win, but does help you better your odds.
4.Playing Multiple Spots
Gamblers tend to play multiple spots in various Casino games feeling they might increase their odds of winning. This can’t be further from the truth. Players don’t increase their winning rate when playing multiple spots. A few strategies might dictate playing multiple spots, however it’s very game specific.
5.Casino Games are all based on Luck
All Casino games are based on calculable probabilities. Learning about game strategies and probabilities affects the chances and informed actions can improve a player’s odds to reduce the house edge and in turn, increase the likelihood of leaving with a profit.
6.Casinos rig the Games
One might think the Casinos cheat in order to make a killing. However, Casinos globally follow stringent rules to enforce fairness. The truth is, Casinos don’t need to cheat. The mathematical odds ensure that Casinos always win in the long run. Also, Casinos have immense help from gamblers who don’t follow basic strategy, don’t keep track of their pots, rely solely on luck and make poor decisions.
Humans have this tendency of finding patterns in randomness. It’s ludicrous to watch people study the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ numbers in Roulette and place their bets accordingly. This holds true for Baccarat score boards or any other Casino game for that matter. People tend to fool themselves in thinking a pattern has emerged and they can profit from it.
8.Other Betting Systems
Other noteworthy popular betting patterns like the Paroli System, Fibonacci System, Cancellation System, Parlay System, Andrucci System, 3/2 Roulette System, Oscar’s System and Labouchere betting system, have tried to break the casinos but none have a 100% fool-proof success rates. These systems might be an awesome way to vary bets and some of them might even help you beat the ‘House’ on a good day; sadly, the Casino will always maintain a slight advantage.
Casinos are happy to encourage the use of delusional betting systems where players ignore rules of probability and independent plays. The Internet is full of ‘snake oil’ salesmen selling their betting systems and techniques promising to beat the casino. Sadly, no system has ever proven to work and it would be maniacal to support such fallacies. The best advice: study the mathematics behind the game, learn about optimum strategies, house odds and probability; and finally trust in lady luck!