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# A simple gambling question

2 January 2018

Simple Gambling Question: Please explain to me what the best progressive betting system is in order to beat the house.

Simple Gambling Answer: Do you want the bad news first or do you want me to explain and then hit you with “there is no best progressive system because none can beat the house”? Yes, you can have some that are less dangerous than others (I’ll grant you that), but in the long run you are going to lose more money using a progressive system than not using one.

Let’s take a simple example since I am answering everything simply in this column. There are two basic types of betting systems, negative and positive. Negative ones try to limit the losses of a player and positive ones try to make the player more money than if he flat bet.

The most famous negative gambling system is called the Martingale. It is used by new players quite a lot (most think they invented it). You double your bet after each loss. Thus you bet \$5, lose, then you bet \$10. If you win that \$10 you have made up for your first loss of \$5 and you are now ahead \$5.

Now let us say that you lose that \$10; then you go to \$20 in order to be ahead (yes, yes, you got it) that \$5. You don’t need many losses in a row to be devastated. It all depends on the house maximum bet. Watch how fast you get to the \$500 maximum (which is often the maximum at a \$5 game). \$5, \$10, \$20, \$40, \$80, \$160, \$320 and that is as high as you can go to win that measly \$5.

Now, the positive betting systems call for the increasing of bets that you have won. The most common is called the Parley (or the Paroli System). You bet \$5 and win, you put the \$5 win on top of your initial \$5 for a \$10 bet. If you win that \$10, you now put that on top of your \$10 bet. You are now betting \$20. If you win that you take your bet down to the original \$5.

Some Parley players will go four or five in a row to get a big win; some will break up the increase and maybe only go up half a bet or something such as that. But you can easily see that building, building and building your bet can end with a big fat loss.

You will note that with either the positive or negative betting systems you can take a beating. A \$5 player losing seven decisions in a row is merely down \$35. Check out how much seven losses in a row costs the Martingale player. And seven losses in a row? That happens enough that regular casino gamblers have experienced such an event many times.

Keep adding winning bets to your initial bet, and (ba-da-boom) a loss wipes out all your wins.

So you can see clearly that progressive betting, be it either negative or positive, merely just makes you a bigger loser than you would have been had you just flat bet.

Simple Gambling Question: What is the best game to play in the casino?

Simple Gambling Answer: There are three factors that you have to consider to answer this question. The first is the house edge at the game. The second is the speed of the game. The third is how much you bet.

For example, regular (high roller room) baccarat is a great game with a low house edge on two of its three bets. The speed of the game is slow. However, the stakes are high. Its counterpart mini-baccarat has the same house edges but the speed is lightning. With so many decisions (could be over 150!) the low house edge is tempered with the speed of the game.

With that established here goes:

• Pass line bet at craps. About 1.4%.
• Don’t pass bet at craps. Slightly lower than 1.4%. These two bets have a lot of lag time in being decided. Thus the number of decisions is low.
• Blackjack with good rules at a crowded table. Blackjack is a fast game but with a full table the number of decisions is quite low. The house edge if you use the correct basic strategy is about one-half percent.
• Roulette at a crowded table. Roulette has a relatively high house edge on the typical America double-zero wheel (5.26%) but at a crowded table the game is amazingly slow.
• Slots and video poker can have high to low house edges but the speed of play for most players is quite and the stakes vary from one cent to one-hundred dollars or more!

Now, I would go with blackjack or craps but that is just my personal opinion. Any of the table games as described can be fun and the losses should be somewhat contained.

Frank Scoblete’s new books are “I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps”; “Confessions of a Wayward Catholic” and “I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack.” All available from Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores. Visit Frank’s website at www.frankscoblete.com.
Recent Articles
Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

#### Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

#### Books by Frank Scoblete:

Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!
Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

#### Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com