Friday, September 9, 2011

The moral of this entire blog is: Don't waste wins! If two wins in a row don't save your bacon, you're doing something wrong...

(Target's sports betting experiment continues to prosper! For current information, please go to the Sethbets website)

We're a visual bunch, us humans, and all of a sudden today it occurred to me to devise a picture that says more about the efficacy of progressive betting than 10,000 words ever could.

(At least when those 10,000 words are being read by someone who simply won't believe that casino games of chance can be beaten!).

The screen shot above is from an Excel spreadsheet that's been set up to apply a 1.5% house edge to 1,960 consecutive rounds of...whatever.

One thing Excel does that my trusty and ancient version of Quattro Pro never could is provide a color map that screams a rude riposte to anyone who claims that paired or grouped wins don't happen often enough to enable progressive betting to do what I say (and have proved) it will.

I can't tell you how much money you will need to take to the table - or a succession of layouts of the same or different games - before you can turn things around and walk out with a decent profit.

But I can say for certain that if you DON'T bet a wide spread and if you DON'T bump up your wagers in such a way that you can recover prior losses in fewer bets than it took you to get in the hole, then you're done for.

Long, long ago I thought of calling my then blissfully uncomplicated betting method the "Twin Strategy," since all it needed to turn a losing trend around was a pair of wins or better: 2wins or Twins.

When it became clear that the method was a little too easy (not just to play, but for dealers and pit critters to spot), those bells and whistles I'm always talking about had to be added, and the whole thing morphed into Target.

My reasoning was, and remains, that if you lose ten $10 bets in a row, then after a win, you push out a $100 bet to get ahead, you're likely to attract unwanted attention.

So instead, a series with 10 opening losses might go -10, -25, -50, -100, -100, -100, -100, -100, -100, -100, +100 (bet=750).

Still a big jump, percentage-wise - but by then, you will have established a pattern as someone who doesn't bet "flat" and there's a good chance the extra bump will go almost unnoticed.

I have no polite response to anyone who says "It's crazy to bet $750 to win $85" other than to say in measured tones that betting $750 to recover in two successive wins what it took you 10 wrong bets in a row to lose makes excellent mathematical sense.

But there you have it: Those who insist that winning in the long run is an impossible fantasy may never change their minds and will insist, like Mr. Expert, Ph.D., that I am attempting to subvert the law of gravity.

Do the job right, and you will soon learn that what goes down must come up.

You just have to have a plan.

I'm serious about those wasted wins, though.

I can't dispute that after a single win, your chances of a second successive win are no better (or worse) than at any other time.

All I am saying (and illustrating) here is that twinned wins really do occur a lot and it's wise to be ready with the right bet at the right time.

When the first win comes along in the middle of a recovery series (defined as a succession of bets that have temporarily reduced your bankroll) you can't be sure that substantially increasing your bet is the right thing to do.

What you can know for certain is that if you DON'T goose your bet and the next hand is a winner, you will not have improved your situation and may well end up risking more before you finally turn things around than you would have done otherwise.

Every win that comes your way after one or more losses offers you an opportunity.

In a game with a house edge of 1.0% it is safe to guess that 49.5% of all your potential turnaround bets will be winners and the majority (50.5%) will tank.

But because you are betting progressively, adjusting your bets upwards with each new potential turnaround, you are sure to hit a winner next time or the time after that or...and so on.

Will you at some point be required to place a bet that exceeds the current table limit?

Of course!

And when that happens, you simply back away from the game, take your remaining chips with you to a layout with a higher limit (even if it means putting your next bet on hold for a while), and then continue as if you had not been rudely interrupted.

It's really elementary - and entirely supported by the math that the You Can't Win Brigade constantly try to distort to "prove" that progressive betting is the slippery slope to hell and damnation (or at the very least, heavy losses).

Just look at those (almost) 2,000 bets up top and see how gloriously inclined wins are to group together like birds of a feather on a wire (or whatever).

There are gaps in between, of course, because statistically, more player wins are followed by a loss than are followed by a second win - that's what a house advantage will do, and it remains true even when the RNG formula in this simple sim is set at 0.0%.

It is also true that more house wins are followed by a player win than by a second consecutive house win. The numbers take sides in a game with a negative expectation...but not by much.

When mid-series win are repeatedly followed by one or more losses, your bankroll will at times be very seriously threatened.

But it is flat-out impossible to win in the long run if you don't bet sums that are proportionately tied to the combined value of the losses you need to recoup - setting a win target, in other words.

It's really your choice.

Do you bet relatively flat amounts and hope you hit a winning streak, knowing that most of the time, you will lose?

Or do you use tried and trusted arithmetic to your advantage, recognizing that sometimes, your confidence in the numbers will take more faith - and folding green - than at other times.

The casinos want you to want to be lucky, because they know that in the long run, you won't be.

I'm here to tell you that you don't need luck, just discipline, confidence and cash (more and more of which, over time, the casinos will supply!).

(I know someone's bound to ask the question, so let's be clear that in the screen shot above, Bet #1 is at top left, Bet #2 is below it, and the columns are filled top to bottom from left to right! For the hard-core pragmatists among you, I'm signing off with a screen shot that picks out isolated wins between the islands of happy green. Each solo winner drives the stakes higher - but when you bet more, you win more!)

An important reminder: The only person likely to make money out of this blog is you, Dear Reader. There's nothing to buy, ever, and your soul is safe (from me, at least). Test my ideas and use them or don't. It's up to you. One more piece of friendly advice: If you are inclined to use target betting with real money against online "casinos" such as Bodog, spend a few minutes and save a lot of money by reading this._