Travel Fanboy

My 3 Cents on Betting Systems

You’ve probably heard someone spout on about how one can “beat” the casino by using an intricately designed betting tactic or system. These are popular advertisements in casino based magazines and newsletters. They may claim that if you spread your bets out ‘this way’ or increase your bets at ‘this time’, then you can decrease the house edge or, perhaps, even come out ahead. Systems like the Martingale have become infamous by the bullheaded who attempt them. As with all things, people have differing thoughts on particular topics, even some as straightforward as this. Here are three takeaways from me on betting systems, which are not ground breaking:

  1. The people who champion any type of system to beat the casino either ignore statistical analyses or are ignorant to them all together. This is because…
  2. …they don’t work. The games are not set up to be beaten, no matter the strategy you use. Besides card counting or taking an advantage in a serious flaw of game management, which happens very rarely (this Phil Ivey situation is a good example), there is actually no way, in a statistical sense, to come out ahead in the long run.
  3. Let’s have some fun and say that they do work, which they don’t . Even if they were to some way give you a slight edge over the house, the way most systems are set up, it would require you to increase your bankroll exponentially hand after hand, surely taking you out of your maximum bet comfort zone. This flies in the face of all the responsible gambling strategies I like to promote. Essentially, what these systems have you doing is chasing your losses.

If someone tells me they’ve found a tactical way to beat the casino at a particular game, I say the same thing I was taught in 5th grade to reply with when approached by drug dealers: I just say “No!”

If you’d like to learn more about the statistical side of these systems and see the flaws yourself, then head to my go to source for gambling and numbers, Wizard of Odds.

photo credit: Matthew Powel


Host of the Vegas Fanboy podcast. A reluctant Millennial. An amateur human.

Add comment