Friday, September 27, 2013

Most people don't think they can win and some worry that because gambling is "wrong" they don't deserve to win. So they're suspicious of anyone who tells them they don't have to lose!

An e-mail dropped into my inbox this week that came as quite as a surprise because it was from a website that touts mystical strategies that claim to be able to predict winning trends.

I paid polite attention because the betting strategy, simply named "2-2-1," was a less-aggressive version of the "3-Play" method that I posted here more than six months ago.

Pure coincidence, I'm sure, and I am not about to claim that I was the first person to come up what these days is often referred to as a capped Martingale.

I have been writing for years about players who exploit the effectiveness of progressive betting by placing no more than two or three successive bets at any one layout, before moving on in search of the single win that will get them out of the red, and back into profit.

I see them at work pretty much every time I play in a crowded casino, and yet for years I have been hearing that they don't exist or can't exist, or if they did exist, they'd go broke in a heartbeat.

All I can say to those who insist that they have never seen Martin Gale at work is Pay attention!

The truth is that both 3-Play and 2-2-1 work well because they take advantage of the fact that most of the time, potential losing streaks are terminated by a player win within two or three consecutive player losses.

I have posted reams of corroborative RNG output on that topic, so there's no need for me to repeat it.

All I want to say this time as that in spite of detailed proof that long-term winning is possible against casino table games and in the sports books, the majority of players would much rather lose than win, and will never try strategies that would make gambling profitable for them in the long run.

I came to the conclusion long ago that it's all about guilt!

Most players (especially weekend punters on a shoestring budget) feel in their hearts that when they place a bet, they're doing something they probably should not be doing, and subconsciously they expect, even want, to be punished.

Those that don't have guilt in the back of their minds are pragmatists who assume that if it were possible for a player to win in the long run, casinos and bookies would not take bets.

And so, again, they expect to lose.

I found the 2-2-1 pitch contradictory, because the same source promotes courses and seminars that cost around $700 a pop, and claim to "teach" players how to spot a winning trend ahead of time, and milk it before backing off at just the right moment.

The truth is, of course, that both winning and losing streaks (or trends) can only be accurately measured after the fact, and nothing can change the mathematical reality that every bet is subject to the same negative expectation, give or take a tiny fraction of a percentage point.

Target, its 3-Play variation and 2-2-1 all exploit the plain truth that most of the time, a player loss is followed by a house loss, and vice versa, and that three consecutive player losses are a relatively rare event.

Use 2-2-1 and L, L, W won't make you money, but 3-Play will.

On the other hand, 2-2-1 will save you a little against a L, L, L sequence, and 3-Play will push you further behind.

Both methods require that you chase a potential winning streak if you are still in the hole after a mid-recovery win, and both are intended to protect you against a prolonged losing streak.

This blog has existed for more than four years, along with other posts I have been putting up since the late 1990s, for the benefit of the one player in a hundred who is willing to believe that losing is not an inevitable punishment for daring to gamble in the first place!

For even longer than this blog has been up, I have been demonstrating a progressive betting variation that is consistently profitable against horse-race and sports betting, in each case making selections essentially at random but applying an algorithm which is disciplined and fearless.

But as with casino table games, track and sports punters would mostly rather lose than win.

That's their right, of course.

For the sake of the few readers who agree with me that long-term profits from gambling don't have to be exclusive to casinos and bookies, here are a couple of summaries that compare 3-Play and 2-2-1 results against a random number generator set up to simulate field bets at craps.

As you can see, the house edge for the data set, which is of course the same for each of the above summaries, was far less than negative expectation for field bets at craps, which is normally just a pip or two better than -3.0%.

But in each case, after 5,000 rolls of the dice—equal to at least 2-3 weeks of continuous daily play!—the outcome bore no relationship to the negative outcome that would have applied if bets had been placed randomly.

2-2-1 delivered a solid win with the least risk of the three variations of progressive betting shown, 3-Play won a higher percentage of greatly increased action, and 2-2-2 won handily but was not quite as profitable as the other capped Martingales.

Those two deadly words, progressive and betting are routinely derided by casinos and bookmakers, and feared by most players because they conjure up a picture of huge risk for little or no reward.

In fact, progressive betting is the one and only way that negative expectation can be overcome, a statement that will come as no surprise to readers who have passed this way before.

Negative expectation is an immutable enemy that every gambler has to face down with every bet he makes.

But it can be beaten, again and again, and long-term player profits are possible in spite of it.

Unfortunately, most of you don't wish to know that!

 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. _