T Nation

My Gambling/Money Making Theory


So ive always had this theory in my head about an unbeatable way to make money off casinos. I told my friend it and we cant seem to find anything wrong with it.

Here it is:

Say you want a sure way of making $100,000 off of a casino at a roulette table. Whats to stop someone from betting $100,000 on black and if you lose bet again at $200,000. If you lose again bet $400,000. If you lose again bet $800,000. UNTIL you finally win and win $100,000. You can do this with any denomination of money, it doesn't need to be that high. Eventually you will hit black. Is this against the rules at casinos or am I missing something?


Try it flipping a coin. Write down your observations. Put it in a spreadsheet if you want.
Note how much money you're winning, and how much money in reserve you require to not go bust.
You bet on black. After ten spins, you're ahead. But then it hits 6 reds in a row. $100k, $200k, $400k, $800k, $1.6m, $3.2m. If you have infinite wealth and there's no betting limit at the table and they don't kick you out, you will eventually succeed. But if you only have 'near-infinite wealth', you will eventually lose everything.

There's 18 reds and 18 blacks, but also a green (0), and sometimes two greens (0 and 00). The house has an edge.

Blah blah, this is known as the Martingale betting system. Google it or Wiki it at your leisure.


The fact that you don't know why you can't do this, tells me that you have actually never set foot in a casino.

Am I right?

If you had actually been inside a casino, you'd know why you can't do this.


The method is known to quite a number of people already and i heard that casinos don't allow such bettings.


This is a common flaw in thinking.
It is explained really good on this site http://wizardofodds.com/gambling/bettingsystems.html



Roulette was my favorite game though. I was up about $500 dollars my first day in Vegas.

Lost it all the second day, and it was the most fun I've ever had losing half a stack.


Oh boy. Bad math for the fail...

Wizard of Odds is awesome and anybody with a slight interest in gambling should read thoroughly. If you don't both to read that, let me try to break it down.

First of all, what you are describing is a progressive betting system and is perfectly acceptable and, in fact, pretty much encouraged by casinos. Why is it encouraged? Because in the long run, it will make them more money.

If you play a negative expectation game (such as roulette), where the house has the edge, the house will ALWAYS win in the long run. There is no way around that. Betting systems can only change how much and in what increments you put your money on the table, they can do nothing about the odds. If the odds are against you, you will lose in the long run.

The problem with a progressive betting system, such as the one you describe, is that you are exposing yourself to an incredible amount of risk for a relatively low payoff. Let's say you bet $100 increments because I don't think there's a casino in the world who would take a $100,000 roulette bet.

The odds of hitting a bet on "black" are 18/38, or about .474. Thus, the probability of losing that bet is .526. The probablity of losing twice in a row, then becomes .277. The probability of losing 4 times in a row is .076 and the probability of losing 8 times in a row is .005 or roughly once in every 170 times.

Here's your bet amounts: (1) $100, (2) $100, (3) $200, (4) $400, (5) $800, (6) $1600, (7) $3200, (8) $6400.

So you can see that, with this strategy, you have a very high probability of a single session win of $100. If you have a $10,000 bankroll, you can expect to win $100 over 99% of the time. However, you can also expect to lose your entire bankroll about 0.5% of the time, which is an incredible risk compared to the potential profit.

If you don't like math, then just use common sense. This is not a complicated strategy and a lot of people use it. Then why are casino still incredibly profitable businesses? Because no betting strategy can change house odds which are, for the vast majority of games, including roulette, stacked against the player.


Very good analysis. And as someone earlier alluded to, at some point you will run up against maximum table stakes - you cannot continue to double your bet without limit. At some point during a losing streak, you will max the table limit and you will not have the ability to recover your entire loss in one spin. There is no way to "beat" a house game over the long term. Every single house game has a built in edge.


It is called the Martingale Theory, but the result of a large negative run exponentially grows past a large positive run. It can only be successful under the premise of an inexhaustable supply of funds, but in the end, you end up gambling say...a million dollars, just to cover your initial 10.00 bet.


scratches head


Plus its boring as shit. Even with the thrill of hitting it "big" fucking just betting black while some joe butthead hits big on fucking 28 starts to get on your fucking nerves. You feel like a tard cause you sit there and say to yourself damn I was gonna put a hundo on that number and it just hit, but I'm only betting black tonight, fuck my life.


If you think you will ever make money from gambling you are an idiot. Gambling is an expensive form of entertainment. I've occaisionally won money in poker games, or at the race track, but I only go to have a good time, and only take as much money as I can afford to lose. I used to work in an off-track betting parlor. I saw a lot of people come through, and those who expect to make money usually end up miserable.





You could not be more correct!


I'm not sure what you mean by this. If you mean, why he won't win with this, then I completely agree, but it sounds like you're saying that casinos won't let you do this, in which case, I completely disagree.


There is definately a betting system that works.

The author of that analysis fails to account for comped drinks.

If you make minimum bets on the pass line and order double shots of something every time the waitress comes by, you easily make up the .5% disadvantage to the house in liquor.

Roulette moves to fast for this to work, but a pass line bet in craps can easily take a few minutes to fall.

It is not really gambling. It is actually standing in a circle watching other people gamble while you get drunk on the casinos liquor.


It is very possible to make money off poker. The problem is that most people don't have the patience, the math skills, and/or the ability to pay detailed attention to other players.


But the waitresses get good at circling past the guys who are betting and taking longer to get to the guys betting minimums, they know where the tips are!


Anytime you think you can win at gambling just remember this; casinos, companies that manufacture slot machines, anything that involves probability basically will have HIGHLY educated mathematicians and statistics people who are far more intelligent than you, and who's job it is to make sure the house is the one making money, not you.


Very true.

That is why for the strategy to work best, you need to go to the casino with someone who gambles like an idiot. They will attract the wairess, at which point you can pounce on a double shot of yeager.

You can also find a table with lots of action already and then jump in.

A busy craps table might have 8 to 10 players at a time, there is bound to be someone worth the waitresse's time.

You just have to be oppurtunistic.