If you were to search for casino strategies, chances are at least half of the results will lead to articles detailing various betting systems. What so may people fail to understand is that a casino strategy and a casino betting system are two very different things.
There are actually two major differences here. One is the way a gambler uses them. The other is the efficacy of the plan, or how effective it may (or may not) be at producing a positive result. We’ll take a brief look at each one.
A strategy is something a player can utilize to decrease the house edge. In blackjack, for example, standing on a pair of Queens would give you the highest possible chance of beating the dealer. Splitting Queens would increase the house edge, thereby lowering your odds of winning. Sure, we all want to split tens now and again, but it’s never the right move.
In decision-based games, strategies will tell a player exactly what to do in any given situation. They can be applied to most other card games too, like video poker, casino hold’em, red dog, 3 card poker, etc.
You would not, however, be able to use a strategy to play roulette. In this game, the player can only decide how much to bet, and where to place that bet. These will not effect the house edge in any way.
Many have argued that there are no strategies for slot machines, but that’s not necessarily true. If a game gives you a higher chance of winning – perhaps activating a progressive jackpot – by placing a larger bet, then it would be a good strategy for casino players to bet the higher amount.
Gambling strategies such as these are effective, and – when properly applied – will give the player a lower house edge to contend with. This doesn’t mean you’ll push the edge into your favor. It just doesn’t work that way, or casinos wouldn’t be in business anymore. But for what they’re worth, they do work.
Casino Betting Systems
Betting systems are a whole different ball game. Players are not required to make any game-based decisions. Instead, they are placing variable bet sizes on wagers that carry a close-to-50% chance of winning. Systems are commonly applied to games of baccarat and European roulette, where the house edge ranges from 1.06% to 2.70%.
There are several types of progressive betting systems that can be used. Some are as simple as requiring the punter to keep increasing their bet units until they win (Martingale). Others are much more complicated, betting odd amounts of units back and forth, based on the previous win/loss (Fibonacci). Whatever the case, the goal is always the same. At the end of one successful round of systematic betting, you should have a profit of one unit.
There are two inherent flaws in all of these wagering systems. First, the house edge never changes. Second, there are table limits – minimum and maximum stakes – in every casino game that systems can be applied to.
If a players fails to win on a progressive system after placing so many bets, they will eventually hit the table limit. Once this happens, not only do you lose, you lose a lot. Since the house edge never changes, you are pretty much guaranteed to hit that losing point if you keep playing. And since your profit per success is only 1 unit, anyone looking to make decent money will keep playing until they hit the table limit.
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