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MichaelBluejay
MichaelBluejay
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October 25th, 2010 at 4:31:38 PM permalink
Note: I edited the following in response to suggestions by the community, so note that some of the posts that follow this one refer to an older version of this post.

I want to radically overhaul my betting system challenge, and with this thread I'm soliciting input from the community about whether my proposed revisions are good, and other revisions I should make.

I started the challenge only to pick up where the Wizard left off when he stopped offering his, because I wanted one to be available, somewhere, as testament to the fact that the systems hawked by system sellers don't work. So when I started the challenge I mostly copied the Wizard's rules, and made only some minor changes. But on reflection, the rules don't seem that practical and relevant to real-world situations, hence the proposed overhaul.

(1) What constitutes a win. In the original challenge, any profit at all after a billion hands would constitute a win. But few people would consider a system that won $0.01 after a billion rounds to be a successful system, in practical terms. So I propose that the system must show a profit of at least $7 per hour of play (i.e., per every 60 rounds). [Nixed this idea after several others disagreed.]

(2) Starting bankroll. The challenge currently assumes an unlimited bankroll, which is silly. Nobody has an unlimited bankroll in the real world. And if their bankroll is huge, they certainly don't need a winning betting system anyway. Finally, no system seller suggests that their system needs a big bankroll -- in fact they all say the opposite. So I'd like to require a starting (virtual) bankroll. What would be fair? $3,000? $5,000? $10,000? This would be the initial bankroll for each "lifetime" trial, as described below.

(3) Short term vs. Long term. The billion-round requirement just begs people to protest that their system can work in the short-term of a lifetime but not for a billion rounds of a computer sim. So I'm thinking of saying that we run the sim for the same number of rounds you could play in a "lifetime" -- 10 hours (for a weekend trip) x 20 weeks a year x 30 years. And because sometimes the sim might show a profit and sometimes it might show a loss for such a small sample, we run that lifetime test 1000 times and take the average. Yes, this is really no different from running a gazillion rounds all at once, but for folks who don't get that, maybe this will remove their objection. (Not just the objection of would-be challengers, but also the general public who would otherwise think that the challenge is unrealistic because it's based on long-term rather than short-term results.)

(4) Accepting the challenge. As it stands the challenger has to send me the system rules *before* we sign the contract. Many challengers would assume that I would then secretly simulate the system and if it showed a profit I would then decline the challenge, and then go play the challenge in the casino. So I want to change the order so that we sign the contract *first*, and *then* I get the system rules. I think the Wizard asked for the system rules first in order to weed out anyone trying to find and exploit a loophole in the terms (i.e., trying to beat the *Wizard* rather than proving that they have a legitimate betting system). If we sign contracts first then I run that risk, but I think if the contract is worded properly, I'll have enough protection. Below are the sample terms I'm proposing so you can see what I mean.

(5) What I can publish. I'd like to clarify what results I'm allowed to publish. For the daily sessions I'll be able to say the % of sessions that won, the win $ amount, the % of sessions that lost, and the losing % amount. If someone wants to prove that they have a winning system (rather than just paying for a test), they shouldn't object to this. And if they *are* looking for just a test, they're looking in the wrong place, because that's not what I'm offering. I'm offering a betting system challenge, not an expensive test.

Here are the proposed changes:

Quote: Proposed Challenge Terms


Note: These terms have changed since originally posted, as I've revised them to reflect input from the community.

1. The Challenge. I will wager my $30,000 against your $3,000 (or my $10,000 against your $1,000, if you prefer) that your betting system cannot beat a game of roulette (single- or double-zero), baccarat, or craps (3-4-5 odds), as the player, using common Vegas rules, in a computer simulation, as per the additional terms below. You win the challenge if your system shows any profit at the end of the simulation, I win if it does not.

2. Pick your test. You can choose any of the following for your test. In craps, a "round" is any roll in which at least one bet is resolved.

. . . . . (a) Win by showing an average profit of at least $1 and win at least 25% of sessions, averaged over 4 million sessions. Each session as 120 rounds (equivalent to two hours in the casino), and your system must play at least 30 rounds per session. Start each session with any bankroll amount up to $500.

. . . . . (b) Win by showing an average profit of at least $1 per lifetime and win at least 25% of lifetimes, averaged over 1 million lifetimes. A lifetime is 360,000 rounds (60 rounds per hour x 10 hours/weekend x 20 weekends/year x 30 years). (This assumes your system places a bet every round; for systems that involve "sitting out" some rounds in order to wait for presence or absence of streaks, we'll simulate additional lifetimes to make up for the difference. That is, we simulate as many rounds in total as we would if your system never sat out.) Starting lifetime bankroll of $5000.

. . . . . (c) Win by showing any profit over 100 million rounds, starting with an unlimited bankroll. Your system can sit out to wait for "streaks" or other conditions, but must place a bet on at least 5% of total rounds. Also, if sitting out some rounds, we'll simulate additional rounds until 100 million rounds have been wagered on.

3. Table Limits. The table limits are $5 minimum and $5000 maximum ($1 minimum on inside bets in roulette, with a total inside minimum of $5 if any inside wagers are placed). In craps, the Table Max refers to the Pass Line bet, so a Free Odds bet can exceed the table max.

4. Real betting systems only. Your system must be one that could actually be used in a typical Vegas casino, since the point of your challenge should be to prove that you can win in a casino environment. So, for example, methods that attempt to exploit the computer's random number generator are specifically disallowed. Any system that wins by screwing with the RNG cannot win in a real casino. Similarly, any system that cannot be actually be employed by an average person with nothing more than a pen and paper is disallowed, since if a system can't be used in the real world then it's worthless. Also, card-counting systems in baccarat are disallowed, because the whole point of this challenge is to disprove traditional betting systems, where bet size and placement is based on the outcome of previous rounds.

5. Contract. We'll execute a contract, and then deposit our money in escrow up front with a neutral, mutually-agreed-upon third party who will also act as judge. After signing the contract, any party who backs out or fails to proceed as specified below will forfeit. Either party may appeal any decision made by the judge by our employing a mutually agreed-upon neutral professional arbiter to decide the issue, with the losing party in the arbitration paying the arbiter's fees.

6. System Rules. You will email me your system rules within one week of our both signing the contract. If I feel the rules are not clear I will ask you to clarify within 48 hours of my receiving the rules, and you will have 48 hours to reply. After two weeks from your initially sending me the rules, if I feel the rules are still not clear, then at my option I can ask to the judge to rule that you forfeited by failing to submit an understandable betting system, and if the judge rules against you then you can appeal via arbitration as per above.

7. Simulation. I will program a computer simulation and provide you with the results as well as the source codeso you can have your own expert(s) verify its accuracy. If you convince me of an error with my code I will correct the error and run the simulation again, with the new test being the official one. This will repeat as many times as you find errors that I agree are errors and fix. If you believe my code to be in error and I disagree, you can ask the judge to rule for you. If the judge rules against you, you may submit the case to arbitration as per above.

8. Promise to not use the system.. Since the first would-be challenger who wrote to me was concerned that I would use his winning system in the casinos myself to capitalize on it, I promise in writing to do no such thing. I have more money than I need anyway.

9. Free advertising. In addition to the $30,000 (or $10,000), a winning challenger will also receive, on the front page of VegasClick.com, a prominent ad on the front of VegasClick.com for the system along with my statement that the system beat my challenge, for a period of at least one year from the date of the test.

10. Reporting the results. I will not disclose the challenger's contact information or the specific rules of the system without the challenger's permission. I will be allowed (but not required) to publish:
(a). The address of the website selling the system, if it is for sale to the public.
(b). The name of the challenger, if it appears on the challenger's own website about the betting system (otherwise, I need the challenger's permission to publish his/her name).
(c). A general description of the system, e.g., "This is a standard positive-progression system," "This system is based on betting on red after a certain pattern of red/black hits has been established," etc.)
(d). The overall results, including the percentage of weekend sessions won/lost, the average profit/loss for won & lost sessions, and the average lifetime profit/loss.




What does everyone think of these changes?
Last edited by: MichaelBluejay on Feb 7, 2017
7winner
7winner
Joined: May 31, 2010
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October 25th, 2010 at 4:53:52 PM permalink
"I realize that we all want to believe that there's a way to beat the casinos, because knowing a guaranteed way to win would be a lot of fun. But no such way exists, and wanting something else to be true doesn't make it so."

http://vegasclick.com/gambling/betting-system-challenge.html

Mr Bluejay, those words at your website that I placed in this post are so true.
Why do you even want to waste your time and continue this?

What do you get from doing this? if I may so ask?
7 winner chicken dinner!
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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October 25th, 2010 at 4:54:55 PM permalink
$7 an hour seems reasonable. Alternately, the win could be proportional to the starting bankroll, since a player with a starting bankroll of $200 will have very different definitions of a "win" vs. a $10k player.

As for the "lifetime" bankroll... That is a tricky definition, since a player who wins early will have "house money" to re-stake, and possibly expand his next session, and may never have to touch his original stake in a, "lifetime". Alternately, the vast majority of players will lose the original stake, save up, and try again. Over the course of 30 years (or 35 as stateed in another place), that could easily add up to $90,000+ "cycled" for an "average" player ($3,000 year). I am not sure what is fair here, but a few thousand for a "lifetime" is way too low.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
thecesspit
thecesspit
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October 25th, 2010 at 5:16:37 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

$7 an hour seems reasonable. Alternately, the win could be proportional to the starting bankroll, since a player with a starting bankroll of $200 will have very different definitions of a "win" vs. a $10k player.

As for the "lifetime" bankroll... That is a tricky definition, since a player who wins early will have "house money" to re-stake, and possibly expand his next session, and may never have to touch his original stake in a, "lifetime". Alternately, the vast majority of players will lose the original stake, save up, and try again. Over the course of 30 years (or 35 as stateed in another place), that could easily add up to $90,000+ "cycled" for an "average" player ($3,000 year). I am not sure what is fair here, but a few thousand for a "lifetime" is way too low.



I don't think you need to define a lifetime bankroll or a minimum per hour win. Both, while realistic, should be meaningless in the large scale you are talking about, and we can work out the per hour and total mximum bank roll required for each lifetime after running the results.

You should win any challenge without these limitations (I've not looked at it hard enough, but there is one possible loop-hole that could work if you did have a limited bankroll). If the challengee wants to state "if you are ever $xxxx in the hole, stop using the system" as one of it's variables.... would that not be a fair enough rule?
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
MichaelBluejay
MichaelBluejay
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October 25th, 2010 at 5:46:41 PM permalink
Quote:

I am not sure what is fair here, but a few thousand for a "lifetime" is way too low.



Not according to the system sellers. Those that bother to say how much of an initial bankroll is required, always give a very low one. $5000 should be sufficient for any system to start winning, and then the system can simply play with "won" money. If the system can't start winning money with $5000, then it's impractical...and that's the point.

Quote:

If the challengee wants to state "if you are ever $xxxx in the hole, stop using the system" as one of it's variables.... would that not be a fair enough rule?



It wouldn't. The casino doesn't let you play for free and get in the hole, and so neither does my challenge. Remember, I'm trying to have the challenge mirror the real-world as much as possible. I also see no advantage of letting the player be in the hole vs. having them start with an initial bankroll, which is how we all expect a player is going to start playing.

(And yes, casinos will let you play on credit if you've of sufficient means, but let's not nitpick here.)
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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October 25th, 2010 at 6:02:39 PM permalink
Quote: MichaelBluejay

Quote:

I am not sure what is fair here, but a few thousand for a "lifetime" is way too low.



Not according to the system sellers. Those that bother to say how much of an initial bankroll is required, always give a very low one. $5000 should be sufficient for any system to start winning, and then the system can simply play with "won" money. If the system can't start winning money with $5000, then it's impractical...and that's the point.



Agreed. $5,000 should be plenty to "prime the pump" in the first session. A winning system should have not problem building from there.

Is $7 an hour a reasonable minimum win for a player who stakes $5k in their first session? Given the current parameters (10 hrs./day) that's $70 walk away each day. I'd be happy with it, but as I have never staked $5k in a single session, I don't know if that player would consider it a "win".
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
thecesspit
thecesspit
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October 25th, 2010 at 6:06:52 PM permalink
Quote: MichaelBluejay

It wouldn't. The casino doesn't let you play for free and get in the hole, and so neither does my challenge. Remember, I'm trying to have the challenge mirror the real-world as much as possible. I also see no advantage of letting the player be in the hole vs. having them start with an initial bankroll, which is how we all expect a player is going to start playing.

(And yes, casinos will let you play on credit if you've of sufficient means, but let's not nitpick here.)



Sorry, what I meant was would a system that had a rule "if you bankroll is now $2,500, STOP" (or even "if your bankroll is now $100,000, STOP") be fair game within our system.

I was referring to in the hole meaning being in a net loss situation.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
mrjjj
mrjjj
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October 25th, 2010 at 8:20:40 PM permalink
"Sorry, what I meant was would a system that had a rule "if you bankroll is now $2,500, STOP" (or even "if your bankroll is now $100,000, STOP") be fair game within our system" >>> Very good point. Ken
soulhunt79
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October 25th, 2010 at 8:55:44 PM permalink
Quote: thecesspit

Sorry, what I meant was would a system that had a rule "if you bankroll is now $2,500, STOP" (or even "if your bankroll is now $100,000, STOP") be fair game within our system.

I was referring to in the hole meaning being in a net loss situation.




The averages in #1 should solve these. If they play 50 rounds out of 5000 that would have occurred over a lifetime, the total won is still divided by 5000 and not 50. To prevent just a random lucky streak I see that 1000 lifetimes are averaged out.

Stop losses and protecting winnings is extremely common even for gamblers that know they will lose, so I don't know why someone couldn't integrate that into a system.


One option is if the system does include a STOP, then the system is restarted for the rest of the lifetime. At the end of the lifetime any previous STOPs with profits(or losses if they have a stop loss) are added back into the bankroll.
MichaelBluejay
MichaelBluejay
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October 25th, 2010 at 10:37:25 PM permalink
A system can certainly set stop parameters for a playing session, but it can't stop a *lifetime*. Well, it *could* in theory sit out for the rest of the lifetime, waiting for the right combination of previous wins/losses to come up, but that's unlikely. And if someone's "system" is to quit while you're ahead FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, then that's not really a betting system, is it? What kind of system makes you quit for your whole life just because you get a ahead a little bit?

And yes, soulhunt79 is right, the win for the year would still be averaged over the total lifetime hours for the year, including the hours they intentionally sat out, not just the hours they played.

And point of order, we're looking at 12,000 rounds a year, not 5000. (60 rounds x 10 hours/weekend x 20 weekends/year) And that's 360,000 rounds for a lifetime.

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