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Training session 38: Gambling Made Easy
Difficulty: Medium
Learn how to Win with Statistics
Creator: m101


I dont know anyone who doesnt like to money, and a large proportion of people love to gamble in an attempt to gain more money. Personally, im one of the type that will not bet unless the odds are 80% in my favour at a minimum, however every day thousands and thousands of people go through the local Casino trying their luck at making a bit of extra cash. Now, if the odds of winning were against the Casino, then the Casino would obviously be losing money, and endup going bankrupt. So to combat this, Casino's attempt to offer games with the possibility of winning around the 30-40% range. This means that if you were to Blackjack for example, you would generally win four out of every ten games you play. Although these odds are accepted by half of society, i do not find them to my liking.

I find that a common past time for me is to try to reverse every situation i come accross, Casino games being no exception. So naturally card counting was a natural step. Now, for those of you who dont understand why card counting is so effective, its because it allows you to predict with a high possibility what cards are going to appear at what times. The famous example of this is the movie Rainman. For someone with a perfect memory like this, card counting is a sinch, and this is why. The game of Blackjack has generally got either four or six decks to a shoe, so four decks are taken, shuffled together, and placed in what is called a shoe. When the shoe is empty, another is filled up and the game continues. Now, for our example the shoe will be a single deck of 52 cards. When the first card is drawn in a well shuffled deck, the chances of any Deuce coming up would be one out of thirteen. However, if no Deuces had been drawn after the first 40 cards, then the probability of a any Deuce coming up would be one out of three. This would mean that at this point, if we required a Deuce to beat the opponent, we now have a one out of three chance of getting it. So by this rule, with a perfect memory, it is possible to remember every single card that appears on the table, and as the shoe loses more and more cards, you are able to predict with high accuracy what cards are going to appear.

For the average person, remembering four decks of 52 cards is nearly impossible, let alone a single deck, so methods have to be created to allow simple counts to be performed. Firstly though, let me explain to you why Blackjack is the game of choice for gamblers with real skill. A totally unmodified game against a dealer with no memory of prior cards and using no techniques has around a 38% chance of winning. After applying a simple strategy, the chances of success are more around the 43% mark. After applying a simple count this is increased to around 48% and with a complex count, and betting tactics, it is increased to around the 58% mark, well and truly in your favour.

The basic strategy is as follows. The dealer gives you to upturned cards, and places a single upturned and a single card facedown for himself. The dealer is fixed to his/her actions, that means that for example the dealer is forced to draw cards to 16, and hold hold on all 17's and higher. Now, if the dealers showing card was for example a Jack, then the mix of the dealers two cards will range from 12 to 21. But however, if the dealers showing card was a Deuce, then he/she could only have a total from between four and 13. Now, the aim is not too get 21, but to beat the dealer, as you arent really playing anoyone else in the game. Speaking as a rule, you should never draw above 15. Now if the dealer showed an eight, and you had a total of 12, then the total of the dealer will probably he high, and therefore you should draw. Now of the other side, if the dealers card was a three, and you had a total of 16, then you should stand for sure, as the the total of the dealers cards has little chances of beating yours. To put it as a rule, never draw a card when you are high, if the dealer shows high, then you are forced to try to draw high, and if the dealer is low, then you dont need to draw unless you are under 11. Insurance comes into it when you are counting, and splits can be taken when the dealer is low, but never when the dealer is high. Following these simple rules increase your success rate to roughly 43%.

Now, 43% still isnt nearly enough to satisfy me, so here is how to perform a basic count. As the cards a dealt out to however many players are on the table, 'grade' the cards. By this i mean, cards 10 or higher receive '-1', cards 6 or less receive '+1' and cards 7 to 9 receive '0'. Now as the cards appear keep a total of them in your mind. So for example 3,5, Jack, Ace, Deuce, nine would be a count of '+1'. This means that the probability of a high card appearing is greater than that of a low card. As the shoe is emptied, this applies more and more accurately, so when their are five cards left in the deck, and the count is '+5' we know the cards left are all high and we can play accordingly. You get used to this count after a while, and it becomes nearly a sixth sense. This increases your probability to 48%, which is starting to get quite reasonable. Now, although i could explain the idea of a complex count here, it is basically just a very large table of numbers you have to remember, and is someone past the scope of your average player, so instead i will teach you a very simple method to betting which should be able to increase your probability of winning to around 52%. This is dont simply by betting according to the position in the shoe. So for example in the first half of the deck you would bet low as you have very little chance of guessing the cards, but however in the last quarter of the shoe, you might bet higher as the probability of your success increases due to your account.

Although i dont mind a bit of Blackjack every once and a while, its still not quite to my liking even with a complex count and all the rest of it. Although i still like to play against friends and pilfer their pockets dry.

Now as you would guess, i wouldnt be a fan of Casino's period if im not making money. So, lets think of what games start with a reasonably high probability of winning. Apart from Casino Wars which is only played in large Casino's, the only one i can think of is roullette. Now, you tell me that roullette is well and truly not in my favour, but however the table can be used with a possibility of winning of around 47%. For those of you that dont know how roullette works, basically you bet on the outcome of where a ball will land. There are 38 possible results, 18 being red, and 18 being black, but that only makes 36, so the last two are the 0 and the 00. The following methods require you to bet on whether the outcome of the ball will be either red or black. These two results provide the Casino with their statistical favour of winning. Now, the problem with this is that everyone beleives they can be one of the few who manage to beat the statistics. Let me just say, it is very rare, too rare to even consider. So, if this is true, then how do you win at roullette? Well you dont actually win more times than you lose, but you gain more than you lose. For example, if i had six games, two i won and gained $800, and the other four i lost $300, then i have gained more than i lost, but i have not beaten the odds of winning.

In my experiences, the following metthod sits around the 98% mark of success, and in ideal conditions can truly even be 100%. Although i havent looked specifically, i have never seen this method printed anywhere to my knowledge. I found it one weakend a while back and have never looked back. So, let me first explain the first simple method. This is called the double bet method. If you have enough money, and the table limit is high enough, you cannot lose. The basic method is this. Start by placing down a bet, for example $10, if you lose, double your bet, if you win, just put down $10 again. Here is a table to demonstrate this:
Start with $500
Bet $10
Win
Pot $510
Bet $10
Win
Pot $520
Bet $10
Lose
Pot $510
Bet $20
Lose
Pot $490
Bet $40
Lose
Pot $450
Bet $80
Lose
Pot $370
Bet $160
Win
Pot $530
Bet $10
Lose
Pot $520
Bet $20
Lose
Pot $500
Bet $40
Lose
Pot $460
Bet $80
Win
Pot $540
Bet $10
Win
End with $550

Games: 12
Wins: 5
Loses: 7
Profit: $50
As you can see, although less games are won than are lost, money is still made. So how is this possible? Well if you take $10, lose it, then double your bet to $20, this means that if you win you make up your initial bet and gain $10. Now, if we lose $20, we bet $40, making up for the $10 and $20 we have already lost, and still making $10 if we win. So, as you lose you bet more and more. The longest streak of bad wins ive seen was around 12 games in a row, with an average of around 5. That means, if our initial bet was $10, we would at a maximum need to walk into a Casino with 2,000,000,000,000 and have to go to a table with no limit. As you would think, thats just stupid, so we need ways to do this more comfortabely. In alot of the US Casinos ive seen, the minimum limit of a table is around $1, with the maximum bet being around $10,000 without going into the high rollers room.

So, if we take our highest streak of bad luck to be 8 with a minimum bet of $1, that would mean we need $256 to sustaint he bad streak. With a streak of 12 we would need $4096. The main issue is people will get worried that they will loose their money with a massive streak, but the required money isnt as large anymore, so your a bit safer. This strategy is called the Double bet method, and is pretty much for rich no-brainers. The next method is the Curve method. This method works on the theory that after a large ammount of games the number of wins to losses will start to even out back to the zero point. Statistically speaking, and practically speaking this is normally always the case with enough games. This method also makes the most money. Basically the money isnt made when you win, but when you lose. This may seem a bit strange, but here is basically what you do. Start a curve at 0, bet the minimum multiplied by two, so $2, if you win, the curve becomes 1, and you now half your bet, so you bet $1. From this point, if you win, you keep your bet the same and just keep counting your position in the curve. Now, when you loose your bets go double like this:
Start Pot $500
Bet $2
Count 0
Win
Pot $502
Bet $1
Count 1
Win
Pot $503
Bet $1
Count 2
Win
Pot $504
Bet $1
Count 3
Lose
Pot $503
Bet $1
Count 2
Lose
Pot $502
Bet $1
Count 1
Lose
Pot $501
Bet $2
Count 0
Lose
Pot $499
Bet $4
Count -1
Lose
Pot $495
Bet $8
Count -2
Lose
Pot $487
Bet $16
Count -3
Lose
Pot $471
Bet $32
Count -4
win
Pot $503
Bet $16
Count -3
Win
Pot $511
Bet $8
Count -2
Win
Pot $515
Bet $4
Count -1
Win
End Pot $519

Games: 14
Wins: 7
Loses: 7
Profit: $19
As you can see, the profit is made when the curve is returning back to zero in your favour. Being as skeptical of my method as i am, i decided to run this through a few random computer simulations, and found that the worst count i ever reached was -10 after around 100,000 games. Personally im quite happy with that result as i beleive i should be. That would mean i would have needed would be $1024, but i would have taken $4096 just to be sure although i probably wouldnt need it. That is the Curve strategy, i hope its clear enough to you, if not, just follow it through for a while and youll get the idea. The next method i produced being my usual paranoid self is called the Conservative method. This is probably the safest approach of all, but ofcourse with minimum results. This method is similar to the Double bet method, except however you only start doubling your bet after the second loss. This allows you to extend your losing streaks far in excess of what you normally could, but money is made less. Here is an example:
Start pot $500
Bet $10
Win
Pot $510
Bet $10
Lose
Pot $500
Bet $10
Lose
Pot $500
Bet $20
Lose
Pot $480
Bet $40
Lose
Pot $440
Bet $80
Lose
Pot $360
Bet $160
Win
Pot $520
Bet $10
Win
End Pot $530

Games: 8
Wins: 3
Loses: 5
Profit: $30
As you can see, the money is made when you win more than once in a row. The use of the conservative bets allows you to keep streaks running much longer on a table with a low maximum. Profits from this strategy are quite low, but definately worth the security. Although this method is quite good, i prefer the following method as it maximises profit and security. I name it the Conservative Curve. What happens here is that you mix both the Conservative and Curve method as the name suggests, with a single addition. What happens is that like the Conservative method, you only start doubling your bets after the second loss, and like the Curve method you count your losses and adjust your betting accordingly, except that instead of halfing your bet after a win, you quarter it. This means that you still have the ability to run long streaks, with the added advantage that you make profit on the comebacks of your losses. I dont think its necessary to demonstrate this, except to show a few small examples. If you bet $100, and you won, you would quarter the bet to $25. If you lost, you would still double it to $200. If your minimum bet is $10, and you won at $10, you still bet $10, however after two losses at the minimum bet you then start doubling it and following the curve till you reach your minimum bet again.

I hope that wasnt too confusing for you. I have personally tested these methods without a single large loss, but however, you may be an exception, so dont come crying to me if you lose all your cash. Run through the methods to see what is most suitable for you, and become proficient and happy with how to use it. By the way, these are my methods, i didnt find them on the net or in books, so dont steal credit for them. They may exist elsewhere but i dont know of them, and ive never seen any decent strategies to roullette before, but if you find any, please feel free to find my email and email me them.
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