NYGambler
NYGambler
Joined: Jun 16, 2016
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June 16th, 2016 at 7:29:30 AM permalink
I just signed up here and saw the immediate disclaimer ease know that all betting systems are equally worthless and none of them have ever, or can ever, beat the house in the long-run." Does this also mean the different card-counting systems for blackjack do not work as advertised?
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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June 16th, 2016 at 7:54:52 AM permalink
Quote: NYGambler

I just signed up here and saw the immediate disclaimer ease know that all betting systems are equally worthless and none of them have ever, or can ever, beat the house in the long-run." Does this also mean the different card-counting systems for blackjack do not work as advertised?



No. Mike differentiates between systems that rely on bet structuring due to past performance, streak prediction, or combining different -EV bets (some examples from many), and bj card counting, where events of prior hands do affect remaining cards, and an advantage can be found.

The effectiveness of various counts is the subject of much debate, but the concept is sound.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
MrGoldenSun
MrGoldenSun
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June 16th, 2016 at 8:24:23 AM permalink
Yes, Mike's point is really about games where the trials are independent. The roulette ball has no memory, the craps dice have no memory. The blackjack shoe does, so there is a way to take advantage of that info.
Romes
Romes
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June 16th, 2016 at 8:50:14 AM permalink
Quote: NYGambler

I just signed up here and saw the immediate disclaimer ease know that all betting systems are equally worthless and none of them have ever, or can ever, beat the house in the long-run." Does this also mean the different card-counting systems for blackjack do not work as advertised?

You're comparing to apples and oranges. Counting Systems are not the same as Betting Systems. In blackjack the advantage swings back and forth between the player and house depending what cards come out. Counting Systems track these cards to know when the advantage is on the players side, and then you bet more. Thus, counting systems track the CHANGE in the house edge.

With betting systems they're worthless because it doesn't matter if you bet $10 or $100, if you have no additional information to go off of (such as the actual changing house edge in blackjack) then you're gambling all the same and the more you bet the more your expected loss will be. A lot of betting systems are focused on games like craps and roulette where every spin and throw of the dice is an INDEPENDENT TRIAL. Thus past actions have NO EFFECT on future actions, yet some people dilute themselves in to thinking "10 red came up in a row, black must be coming!" which is the gamblers fallacy and false.

If you'd like to learn more about card counting, and the math behind it, feel free to check these out:

http://wizardofvegas.com/articles/A-to-Z-Counting-Cards-in-Blackjack/
http://wizardofvegas.com/articles/A-to-Z-Counting-Cards-In-Blackjack-2/
http://wizardofvegas.com/articles/A-to-Z-Counting-Cards-in-Blackjack-3/
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
TomG
TomG
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June 16th, 2016 at 9:40:58 AM permalink
Quote: MrGoldenSun

Yes, Mike's point is really about games where the trials are independent.



So it should say "All betting systems are worthless, except for ones that aren't."
Romes
Romes
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June 16th, 2016 at 9:47:23 AM permalink
Quote: TomG

So it should say "All betting systems are worthless, except for ones that aren't."

No, all betting systems are indeed worthless. What's not worthless is additional information. When you change your bets with no additional information (betting system) then it's 110% worthless.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
TomG
TomG
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June 16th, 2016 at 9:59:31 AM permalink
Quote: Romes

When you change your bets with no additional information (betting system) then it's 110% worthless.



I may have some examples that would disprove this. Is the definition of a betting system "Changing bets with no additional information?" Or is there anything else to it?
MrGoldenSun
MrGoldenSun
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June 16th, 2016 at 10:09:55 AM permalink
Quote: TomG

I may have some examples that would disprove this. Is the definition of a betting system "Changing bets with no additional information?" Or is there anything else to it?



I think he's referring to "betting systems" mostly as varying your bet size, or sometimes the specific bet made (e.g., at roulette, bet red instead of black), based on results of prior hands. Like "I jump my bet if I win two hands in a row, and then I keep increasing until I lose a hand."

I am confident you have counterexamples, as it's indeed not correct to say "all systems are worthless." However, for the people who need to hear someone say that, it is.

In other words, if you already know enough to correctly identify counterexamples to disprove the statement, you don't need Mike to explain EV to you. If you already understand the reasons why craps systems can't work, but card counting does, then you aren't really the audience for the statement. But if someone hears about the martingale and is all jazzed to try it, and so they come here to discuss it, it's very useful to have someone slap them upside the head and say "this will fail."
Last edited by: MrGoldenSun on Jun 16, 2016
TomG
TomG
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June 16th, 2016 at 10:28:32 AM permalink
Quote: MrGoldenSun

I am confident you have counterexamples, as it's indeed not correct to say "all systems are worthless." However, for the people who need to hear someone say that, it is.



That's how I've always read it. What it lacks in accuracy it more than makes up for in eloquence and succinctness.
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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June 16th, 2016 at 10:23:30 PM permalink
Quote: TomG

That's how I've always read it. What it lacks in accuracy it more than makes up for in eloquence and succinctness.

The nature of what Mike means by "betting system" is that it has nothing to do with the game being wagered upon. Most betting systems use even-money bets (Martingale, cancellation, etc.) but which even-money bets don't matter at all: pass line, red, blackjack, player, coin flip.

If there is a betting system that happens to alter the edge of a game like blackjack, it's not because the betting system itself works, it's because there is a correlation between when the betting system increases the stakes and when the shoe goes player-positive. The same betting system would be wholly ineffective when applied to roulette, for example.

I personally don't consider any game-specific strategy to be a betting system. Playing wheel bias in roulette, hole carding, counting, edge sorting - none of those are betting systems.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563

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