Betting Systems - Positive-Expectation Situations
Online casinos are not the only ones to offer positive expectation games. Using basic strategy some Las Vegas casinos offer games with a negative house edge. There are video poker games all over the country with a positive expectation assuming optimal strategy. The reason the casinos can afford to do this is that the vast majority of players make errors in strategy. As someone who has played hundreds of hours of blackjack in casinos all over the U.S., I seldom see other players playing proper basic strategy. Money management has nothing to do with it.
Joe from Harrisburg, US
With the exception of rare positive expectation opportunities in blackjack and video poker, yes, that is what I'm saying.
Gavin P. from Bury, St Edmunds, England
Thanks for the compliment. I address the vulnerability to card counting in my baccarat appendix 2. To make a long story short, no, baccarat is not countable unless you use a computer.
Gavin from Burt St Edmunds, England
Parrando's Paradox states that two sub-optimal games of chance can show a long-term gain if played alternately. However the games can not be independent of each other, which eliminates any comparison to casino games.
Siew from Sydney, Australia
Assuming you could get paid for your play then yes, it would be very possible to make a profit from playing junkets, depending on if the commission is more than the expected loss gambling. I've heard of a professional gamblers exploiting such offers in Asian casinos.
I addressed robot players in the September 20, 2001 column. Assuming you could create a robot then it should do well against a game with over 100% return. However I would recommend programming it to play at a human speed and reasonable sitting times. Some online casinos have been known to blame players for using robots even when they weren’t, as an excuse not to pay in my opinion.
Yes! If the player had the advantage a betting system could not help but work in the long run. The reason is the house/player advantage is immutable. Betting systems can not change it.
Yes, this is true. It is not unusual for "whales" to get a 10% rebate on losses. In my opinion this is a very risky offer to make and a sharp player could easily abuse it and gain an advantage. The kind of player who would make an ideal recipient of this offer is one who grinds out a lot of play in a high house edge game. The kind of player who could best exploit this offer is one who plays a low house edge game, for a short time, and with a wide range of bet size. It sounds paradoxical but under this deal the player must lose to gain any benefit. Thus the player should set a high winning goal and relatively low losing goal. If we can ignore the house edge for the sake of example if the winning marker were $1,000,000 and the losing marker $100,000 then the probability of success is 1/11, as I show in a later question. The expected value after the 10% rebate is (1/11)*$1,000,000 + (10/11)*(0.9*-100,000) = +$9091. A good strategy to achieve a high winning goal quickly would be something like an anti-martingale, or anything where you bet more after you win.
Flat betting and only five spots, I think not. However if you bet seven spots and progressively more on each spot to be played then yes. This is called depth charging and is treated lightly in the book Burning the Tables in Las Vegas by Ian Andersen.
I would recommend flat betting. The expected return is the same regardless of how you bet, but flat betting is best for minimizing volatility and ensuring bankroll preservation.