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Betting Systems

The Truth About Betting Systems

Everyone is always looking to beat the House, and the reality is that most of the time, it may be possible in the short term, but in the long term, the online casino is going to take your money. People keep trying though, and one of the ways they try is through the use of betting systems.

Why People Use Betting Systems

People use betting systems under the mistaken belief that the right pattern of betting can exploit the structure of the game and eliminate the House edge. The source of this belief may come from the success of betting systems in games without a House edge, such as the process of “middling” (getting two different point spreads on the same game and betting both sides) in sports betting. In video poker online games though, the House edge is inviolate. Remember, Las Vegas wasn’t built on the backs of all the winners.

The Temptation of Betting Systems

For some, this truth may seem obvious. The game is designed for you to lose, so the more you bet, the more you can lose. However, some betting systems are insidious in that they appear logically like they should work, even though in fact they do not. One system that is particularly dangerous is the negative progression system known as the Martingale system.

Progressive Betting Systems

Progressive betting systems involve increasing your bet when certain conditions are in place. This may sound similar to card counting in blackjack but it is very different, because in card counting the conditions are based on the composition of the deck, which is a factor in the House edge, while progressive systems only focus on whether you have won or lost your last bet, which is meaningless in relation to the House edge.

Do Progressive Betting Systems Do Anything?

Progressive systems do actually do something. They do not reduce the House edge, but they can change the way the House edge affects you. Essentially, they allow you to decide where and how you pay the House edge. A negative progression system like the Martingale allows you to book many small wins and an occasional big loss. In the long term, that big loss will cover your wins to the extent of the House edge. A positive progression will do the opposite, giving you frequent small losses and an occasional big win that falls short of making up for your losses to the extent of the House edge. The reason the Martingale is so dangerous is that people can typically weather many small losses more easily than one giant one.

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