Gambling and Luck – Part 1 – Systems – The Great Illusion

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I’ll never forget the first time a gambler showed me his new system to beat the odds at roulette.

I was living in Madrid at the time, and Carlo, an Italian guy who occasionally liked to go to the casino and play European roulette, had just heard about a “no lose” system that would guarantee he’d leave the casino a winner every time he went.

I was not a gambler, yet I doubted that this was possible. Carlo insisted on showing me how it worked. Intrigued, I suggested we do the following experiment. Using a deck of playing cards, I removed the jokers, leaving 52 cards in all, 26 red (hearts and diamonds), 26 black (spades and clubs). I said I would act as the casino, and would choose a card at random, the color of the card corresponding to red or black at the roulette wheel.

For the bets, I would simply write down the amount that Carlo told me, and we’d trace his wins and losses that way. Carlo said he would, for the sake of simplicity, always bet on red.

I picked a card. He won. I picked another, he lost. It went back and forth like this for a few rounds, then he lost twice in a row. He doubled his bet, from one unit to two. Losing again, he doubled again, now betting four units. Another loss, and he bet eight units. The next round he won, thus recovering all he had lost.

As we continued to play, he used this strategy every time he lost more than once, and to be sure, at the end he was ahead. He was ecstatic that his new found wonder-method would assure him unlimited gains, yet I was still skeptical.

After all, if it were this simple, casinos all over the world would soon go broke as more and more situs slot terbaru 2020 bonus 100 discovered the strategy.

I thought a bit, and then explained to him why he had no reason to rejoice.

“Suppose”, I said, “you lose nine times in a row. That would mean that, assuming your first bet was $3.” (the minimum bet at the time at the casino in Madrid). “That would mean that in the end, you’d have to place a bet of well over a thousand dollars just to regain your initial three dollars. And if you lost again, you’d have to bet thousands.”

Of course, he said that it was highly unlikely that he’d lose so many times in a row. I calculated for him the expected frequency of that occurring, and indeed, it wouldn’t happen very often. Nonetheless, it was plain to me that such a system could soon bankrupt you.

Many of you have no doubt realized by now that what Carlo had “discovered” was the age-old Martingale system. Any professional gambler (not to mention many amateurs) will tell you that this, as well as similar systems, is a sure way to go broke!

Since that day back in the early 90s, I have examined many “systems”, and in each and every case, I can assure you, there is no way you can beat the casino over time. The house will always have the edge as calculable in the basic odds of the game (that in the case of European – single-zero – roulette, for example, give you a chance of about 48.6% of winning.

You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure this out. Yet amazingly, there are thousands of gamblers who are convinced that there are mathematical systems that will guarantee profits. The internet is full of dubious offers of such systems. Some of them are even free, though these are almost always sites that are fronts for on-line casinos, or whose purpose is to house affiliate links to casinos.

How is it that so many gamblers, many of whom are intelligent people, continue to be fooled, either by others, or by their own wishful thinking?

How do gambling systems create the illusion of sure profits? Is it merely due to blind greed on the part of the players, or the tendency of human beings to believe the most far-fetched things?

Those factors no doubt occasionally play a role, yet the illusion in fact rests on a foundation that is seemingly quite a bit more solid…

What would you say if I were to tell you that I could explain a system to you that would guarantee you that (on average) out of ten visits to the casino (off- or on-line), you will leave a winner on nine of those occasions? Yes, it is possible.

But before your heart begins to race in anxious anticipation, let me say that there is a catch…

In Part 2 of this series, I will give you just such a system, and for free. Yet I will also show you why the strategy is not advisable.

The truth is, over time, you cannot win at roulette, or at any other game based solely on random occurrences, by using a mathematical system. Yet that is not to say that systems are completely useless. A seeming contradiction? Stay tuned for parts two and three of this series, and the mystery will be cleared up.


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