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Gambling Systems: What’s The Deal?

If you’re one of the eleventy-billion people worldwide who occasionally like to dip their toes into the enticing waters of online gambling (and you probably are, because who isn’t these days?) you may have noticed the huge number of sites advertising “gambling systems”.

Oftener than not, they’re very-nearly-guaranteed to make you Win Big and probably Never Have To Work Again.


What many of them have in common is that, just prior to being made party to the Gambling Secrets Of The Lucky Few, you have to give them some of your money. The question arises, like a curious fawn in the sun-dappled woodlands of your mind: if these gambling systems work so well, why are you selling them to other people? And why do you need my money?

Luckily for us, some people test these things. Fortune Palace (a casino strategy and recommendation site) has taken a critical look at some of the most popular systems. Here we’ll attempt to summarize their findings regarding a few of them.


1-3-2-4 is a system that can be used for Roulette, but in principle works better for Punto Banco (Baccarat). It’s a variation of the older 1-3-2-6 system, and it’s designed to be better for gamblers who want a lower risk (obviously with a lower reward.) The idea is that you bet the sequence in units; we’ll use $1 as the unit. In roulette, over 4 plays your bets would be $1, $3, $2, $4.

If all four bets win, return to step one. And well done! But if any bet loses, you also return to step one. The result is that as long as the first 2 bets win, the sequence will always return a profit. It has the advantage of being a fairly straightforward system to test with play money at an online casino. If you’re a math genius you can probably figure out a way to check whether it works using Excel or something…


The Martingale system is one that often appeals to Roulette players, especially less experienced ones. It’s very simple in principle. Bet $1. If you win, return to step 1. If you lose, double your stake. A reasonably likely run of wins and losses should result in a profit. However, when you hit a losing streak, you’d better have deep pockets. After 9 losses in a row your stake will be $512. Can you afford to lose that? After 12 losses (admittedly that would be fairly rare, when betting red or black) your stake is $4096. Oh dear…


Finally, the d’Alembert system. Again it’s straightforward in theory; bet higher after a loss and lower after a win. For red/black Roulette bets, on a losing streak you’d bet these amounts; $1, $2, $3, $4, $5. If you won the next spin you’d bet $4, and so on. The main advantages seem to be that players don’t lose a lot of money in a short time, and that they can stay at the table longer; though huge wins are unlikely, as you’ve probably spotted already. Perhaps the best “system” is to not gamble more than you can afford to lose.

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