Ah, "systems"! If you're even remotely prone to believing that this or that system is going to give you an edge over Roulette or Craps or whatever then the Web is gonna seem like heaven to you. There are hundreds of guys ready to sell you thousands of "systems" that promise to make you richer than God or Bill Gates.
Ok, so if you're one of those believers I say "That's great! Go get 'em tiger!" and you can stop reading right here. You're a believer right? Well I'm about to rain on the party so there's no point in hanging around for that, is there?
Martingale, Fibonacci, Parlay, Paroli, and so on. They're all "systems" designed to beat the House edge. And they all basically try it the same way: adjust your bets so that when you win your winnings exceed your loses.
- Martingale says "double your bets each time until you win".
- Fibonacci says "bet in the following series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ..." where the next bet is the sum of the last two.
- Parlay says "make a bet and leave the winnings there for the next bet".
- Paroli says "bet in a 1-3-2-6" sequence.
All of these systems are based on one simple belief: if you've lost one, two, three, whatever times in a row then your chances of winning on the next go are better than when you started betting ... and losing.
Only problem is that this assumption is quite wrong. As much as we might like to think that everything works according to the numbers the truth is that the numbers are long-run concepts and we're trying to win in the short run. Neither dice nor cards nor RNG know or care that they've done this or that play in the past. They're not going to get embarassed for having made you lose 10 times in a row and decided that gee, you're a nice guy and your wife really would like that new car so what the heck, here's that win you've been waiting for.
Nope! The bottom line is that your chance of losing this round is the same as it was two minutes or two years ago, no matter how many times you've lost in the meantime.
I'd love to go into all kinds of number crunching and statistical analysis but you know what, it ain't my thing. You can't do better than the Wizard of Odds (www.wizardofodds.com) for the number stuff and that's really where you should go if you're interested. I recommend "The Truth about Betting Systems" (http://www.wizardofodds.com/gambling/scam.html) as a great place to start.
If you're still here then let me wrap things up with a quote from the Wiz. This is it, the final word, the curtain-call for the systems I've mentioned and all those I haven't. This is as close to the Word of the Gambling Gods as you're going to get:
"... Martingale is neither better nor worse than flat betting when measured by the ratio of expected loss to expected bet. All betting systems are equal to flat betting when compared this way, as they should be. In other words, all betting systems are equally worthless." -Wizard of Odds
Here is a list of some of the best online casinos we can recommend for practising your skills at for free or for playing for real money:
> Platinum Play
> 7 Sultans
> Colosseum Casino
> Desert Dollar