The Truth about Betting Systems

The Truth about Betting Systems

Posted on 28/06/10 - by Theodor Mavrodis Features

Do betting systems work? It’s a question that many gamblers want to know – especially amateurs who want to get into the gambling world and want to become rich, fast.


The answer is: No. There’s no betting system that can enable you to beat the house.  

Why They Don't Work

Most people are hoping for a betting system that will enable them to overcome the house edge in a game.

However, the reality is that no pattern of betting can effectively exploit the house edge.

Systems like "middling" in sports betting can work because there is no edge built-in to the game, and systems like card counting work because they are based on the composition of the deck, not on a pattern of wins and losses.

In casino games, the house is ahead on every bet you make, and you can never come around that by placing the wagers in a special order or change the size of the wagers throughout the gambling session.

There’s simply no mathematical evidence that betting systems work in casino games.

Why People Think They Work

Most people can be led to believe that a betting system can work because they have a fundamental misunderstanding of logical mathematical principles. This is great for people trying to sell betting systems, but not so great for the players.

It almost feels like the human brain is designed to see patterns in contexts that are completely random. Almost as if we can’t stand randomness and want a reason for a certain event to happen or a certain outcome.

If you toss a coin and it ends up on heads five times in a row, it’s hard to believe that the next toss is 50-50. Even though we understand it intellectually, we feel that tails are coming up next.

The classic example is the negative progression system Martingale. The idea behind the Martingale system is you keep betting the same way, for example, on red in roulette, and each time you lose, you double your bet.

When you eventually win, you will come out ahead by the amount of your initial bet, so if you started with $5, you will eventually book a $5 win.

This illustrates the failure to understand the gambler's fallacy or the law of big numbers, which essentially state that even though the likelihood of an individual outcome may be 50-50, in the short term a certain outcome may appear much more frequently.

Black can and does come up 5, 10 or even 15 times in a row, and this ruins the system by forcing the player to bet more than they can afford or are allowed.

Usefulness of Betting Systems

Betting systems can spread out your risk however, and you may enjoy using a positive progression, where you increase your bets after a win. This will result in a lot of small losses, but occasionally you will have a nice big win.

Unfortunately though, it won't make up for all the losses in the long run, which is true for all betting systems you'll find out there.

But if you want to try a system, feel free to do so. Just remember that it won’t change the house advantage. You’re chance of winning doesn’t improve, but it doesn’t decline either.