Casino Betting Systems

This page is dedicated to explaining and critiquing various casino betting systems used by players who believe that they gain an advantage from implementing them.  The truth of the matter is that no casino betting system will actually give you a positive expectation against the house and the best method to increase your odds is to use proper casino strategy rules for games like blackjack where it is applicable.

Over the years many have claimed that they have a winning system which is a sure fire way of beating the casinos.  You may even see some books for sale online that make the same outrageous claims, but be forewarned these are nothing more than marketing ploys designed to make money.  If you have an understanding of casinos, you will know that every game is based on house edge which is a proven mathematical return that the house will make from each game.  Because all casino games are designed with the house edge in mind, the rules for both the player and the dealer in each game make it impossible to alter the effects of the edge % over time, that is unless you are planning on blatantly rigging or cheating at the game.

While some casino betting systems can provide the player with a win in the short run, no matter what anyone tells you the casino always has the advantage in long term play and that will never change.  Below we have summarized some of the most popular betting systems used by players from around the world.  Each summary provides an overview of how to use the system as well as insight into any negative aspects of using it and how it cannot guarantee positive wins every time.

Martingale Betting System

The Martingale betting system is by far the most popular betting system used in casinos and is quite simple to follow.  Basically the Martingale system states that every time you win a bet, you take the wager off the table and every time you lose a bet you double your next bet.  The idea is that if you lose one of your wagers, doubling your next bet you will always win back the first bet lost (assuming you do actually win the next hand).  While this system is straightforward and can be used effectively, there are some limitations with Martingale for the average casino player.

The obvious drawback to using the Martingale system is your casino bankroll which can seriously limit the effectiveness of this betting style.  Since Martingale requires you to double your bets after losing a bet, it could become extremely expensive to use if you were to hit a bad streak at the tables.  For example say you started with an original bet of $20 on black in a roulette game.  If the ball consistently landed on red you would be betting $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, $640, $1280 and so on.  As you can see, using Martingale can be a very expensive proposition for the player.

Although the Martingale system can get pricey, it is not a bad tactic to use in the short run if you are simply trying to break even or make a small profit in the game.  The way the system is designed you will never make a ton of money betting this way however it can be effective if say you are wanting to recover losses from previous bets in roulette or other casino games.  Overall, Martingale is widely used by casino players but just make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you go on a bad streak and start betting away your entire casino bankroll.

Cancellation Betting System

A cancellation betting system makes use of a series of numbers which determine how you much will bet in a casino game to win a fixed number of units.  Below is an overview of how you could use a cancellation system in a game of casino roulette.

  • To use this system, you first must decide how many betting units you want to win in a session, for example 10 units at $25 per bet is a $250 overall win
  • This system is used on casino games with bets that pay out 1:1, for example in a casino roulette game the player would be betting on either red or black
  • Next you should write down on a piece of paper a series of 1's representing each betting unit, for example 10 units (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1)
  • Each bet that you make is the sum or the first and last number on the piece of paper, for example your starting bet in the example would be 2 units or $50
  • If you win a bet, cross off the first and last number ex. (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1)
  • If you lose a bet, add the sum of the first and last number to the sheet and use that to determine your next bet, ex. (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2)
  • In the example right above, your next bet would be 3 units or $75 in the game
  • Continue using the system until all numbers have been crossed off the sheet

The idea of the cancellation system is that you will eventually arrive at your goal by continuing to increase your wagers for losing hands while maintaining a stable betting pattern to help you reach your desired amount of betting units.  Once again as we saw with Martingale, this system does have it limits particularly with regards to your casino bankroll being exhausted.  For this reason, players would need to have a substantially large bankroll to consider implementing this system during play and even then would run a high risk of ruin due to the largely increased bets made.

The Gambler's Fallacy

The Gambler's Fallacy isn't exactly what you would categorize as a casino betting system however it is directly related to why people buy into them and think that they can work.  The Gambler's Fallacy is when a player makes the assumption that an event (such as a winning hand) which has not happened recently becomes more likely to occur over time.  If you have every been to a casino I am sure you have heard someone say "This machine is due to payout" or "There's a new dealer this is going to be a great shoe".  The blatant and honest truth is that this "myth" is far to commonplace with players and actually works very well to the casinos advantage.

Since we know that casino games are designed with the house edge in mind and are based on fixed rules and probabilities, we should know that each round played no matter what casino game it is will have no affect on the outcome of the next hand, pull, betting round and so forth.  Although this is the case many customers in the casino "want" to believe that they can control the tables and make their luck turn around.  Unfortunately for them, this often results in increased bets made on a gut feeling, when in reality the outcome of the next game cannot be predicted.

Perhaps the best example of this is slot machines, which are notorious for making players believe that they are about to pay or hit the jackpot.  What you need to realize about slot machines is that the way that the end of a game is determined has nothing to do with the spins which occurred before.  Slot machine use randomly generated numbers in conjunction with a computer program to determine the out come of each spin of the reels.  What this means is that one reel combination is just as likely to be hit 3 times in a row as another and there is no distinguishable pattern to the way the reels land.  As you can see from the above example, casino betting systems have never been proven to give an advantage when playing and if used should be done for entertainment purposes....or if you feel like losing money.