Gambling Systems

I want to start out right away by telling you about myself. I spent over 10 years in the casino business in Las Vegas. During that time I was employed as a dealer, boxman, floorman, pit boss, and assistant casino manager. I have seen every casino game and probably every kind of system player there is. System players are easy to spot. They never seem to be having as much fun as the recreational gamblers. They are very serious and deliberate about what they are doing. Some will even try to disguise or hide what they are doing so the house doesn’t catch on. Now that is funny. Funny because the house loves system players. Why? Because there are no systems that can beat casino games. There are ways to gamble smart and stay ahead of the game, but that is not so much a system as it is a method and discipline. More about that later. Let me deal with each of three games that seem to be the most popular, blackjack, craps, and roulette.

Blackjack has the distinction among those three games, of being the only one of them in which you actually participate in making decisions about your play and I mean not only about betting, but in the play itself. You decide whether to hit or stand, split, double down, etc… So you have some control over what happens in the game. In blackjack the one obvious advantage that the dealer has over the player is that the player has the opportunity to bust out his hand (go over 21) first. In fact, if all the players on the game bust their hands, the dealer doesn’t even have to play his or her hand. Now that is a huge advantage. The only blackjack system worth mentioning here is of course, card counting. With card counting the player stays aware of the number of cards already dealt, or more accurately the number of cards remaining in the deck, the number of tens that have been exposed, and to a lesser extent, the number of smaller cards that have been played, and the number of aces left in the deck. When there are a lot of tens remaining in the deck and there are fewer (maybe less than half the deck) cards left, the deck is said to be rich. This is advantageous to the player, especially if there are also a good number of aces left. The player’s chances of getting a blackjack are increased with a rich deck. Counting also makes the player aware of how many remaining cards can bust out his hand and he might play his hand accordingly. Not a bad system. This could probably give the player an edge or maybe at least level the playing field. In fact it does! If you are playing on either a single or double deck game and you are more than halfway through the deck and you are aware the deck is rich, you would increase the amount you are betting as the odds swing a bit in your favor. It is worth mentioning here that the dealer’s chances of getting a blackjack have also increased. When I first read about card counting, I got excited. Here was a chance to really win some serious money. It made a lot of sense and in fact, in theory, card counting is the only system that can give you an edge. So, why aren’t there a lot of people out there making money on blackjack with card counting? The answer is simple. Card counters are very easy to spot. You see, any floorperson or pit boss also knows how to count cards (at least they should, to some extent). So they can also determine if the deck is rich and if someone is increasing their bets accordingly. Should a card counter be spotted, there are 3 things the house can do. Just ignore it and let play proceed and see what develops. Or they can nicely tell the player that he or she is not welcome to play in their casino. Yes, they have that right according to gaming commission rules. Or they can simply tell the dealer to deal one or two hands and shuffle. This completely nullifies any advantage that a counter might have. In fact, when I was working in the pits, this is exactly how I handled it when I spotted a counter. I can remember one incident when I noticed a young woman walk up to the game and she was very deliberate and serious. Something instantly told me to watch her play. So much for trying to hide! Well I watched the game she was playing on and she was in fact the only player on the game. Sure enough, when the deck got rich she immediately increased her bet. I leaned over to the dealer and smiled and told her to shuffle the deck. It was so funny. The player actually yelled out, “Hey!” I just smiled and walked away, instructing the dealer to deal 2 hands and shuffle. Needless to say, the player went elsewhere with her money and probably had the same thing happen to her wherever she went. Counting is very over-rated. Money management is the only way you will be a winner in a casino.

Now let’s briefly talk about roulette systems. I don’t want to spend too much time on it because it is a silly game. there is no possible way anyone can predict where that little white ball will fall on a roulette wheel. I have seen players poring over little notepads, scribbling down God knows what, thinking that this will enable them to determine what will hit next. Think about it…the wheel does not spin at a constant speed. The dealer does not set the ball spinning with the exact same force or from the exact same point every time. This is all random. When the dealer takes the ball from the wheel, he or she will give it a little nudge to keep it spinning, hence the non-constant rotating speed. And to think that the balls position can be influenced by the preceding spin is pure folly. For instance, let’s say that 5 has hit twice in a row. What do you think the odds of 5 coming up on the very next spin will be? My friend, the odds are 37 -1 against the 5 hitting again. The odds of any number hitting at any given time is always 37 – 1 no matter what happened in the previous spin(s). This is a point that many players do not see. You don’t even get paid 37 – 1 when you do hit a number. You get paid 35 -1 ! You are already beat! Hence, very simply, there is not a system in the world that can beat roulette. Sure, you can get lucky and win on the game but that is just luck. No system can guarantee a winning session. It is all complete random. As Einstein said, “The only way to beat a game of roulette is to rob the game.” He is right. Do not ever pay anyone that claims that they want to sell you a roulette system. They are all scams, period!

Okay, we have dealt with blackjack and roulette. That leaves us with craps. Now craps is a pretty complicated game and there are literally hundreds of ways to bet on the game. I am not going to go into any betting systems as that is not exactly what I am trying to debunk here. My concern here is the player that actually believes or tries to sell the fact that he can control the roll of the dice. This type of player will set the dice in a certain way, throw them a certain way and claim that he or she can determine how the dice will fall. Do I really need to say more? A craps table is 8 – 10 feet long, with a hard surface underneath the felt layout. The dice bounce and rebound off of that surface at completely random angles and velocity. There is not a person in the world that can have that kind of control. Even the master magicians in Vegas can’t do it! Have you ever seen a magician even try it?” Of course not.

I want to conclude here that the only valid system I have ever seen is one that minimizes losses and maximizes wins. It is a money management system that actually takes a great deal of discipline to use. This system can be applied to any game but poker. I have actually seen players use this method and stay ahead, day after day but it is a money management method and not really a system. I will write about that in my next article.

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