shockeroo
Joined: Dec 9, 2009
• Posts: 1
December 9th, 2009 at 2:48:05 PM permalink
I was wondering if there's some kind of bet where you put down a smallish amount (say \$1-\$20) and have a chance of winning a very large amount (\$1 million+) but with a more reasonable average return than actual lotteries.

OR if there's a good way to replicate this kind of bet playing a casino game?
DrEntropy
Joined: Nov 13, 2009
• Posts: 199
December 9th, 2009 at 3:07:14 PM permalink
One way to replicate this in a casino is to wager on a even money game (e.g. Baccarat. Blackjack might be better, but it is not a simple even money bet) and then if you win, bet it all again, etc etc. For example, start with \$5, bet it. If you win, take the \$10 and bet that. If you win, take the \$20 and bet that, etc etc. Of course, if you are so lucky as to win many times in a row, you will start to run into the casino limits, but you might be able to get them to lift the restriction...

Lets say you start with \$5 with a goal to win \$1.3 Million. You need to double up 18 times. (5*2^18 ~ 1.3 Million). The probability that you win one bet at Baccarat (player) is about .4938. So your overall probability of winning the million plus this way is about 1 in a 326000. Overall expectation for this wager is about -\$1, or said another way, this wager has a 20% house edge. Better then most lotteries (generally 50% house edge). You probably can figure out better ways using non-even money bets (i.e. other then Baccarat). Good luck!

PS: Don't use (American) roulette for this. The house edge on each wager is worse, and you would have less then half the slim chance you had with Baccarat!

Cheers!
"Mathematical expectation has nothing to do with results." (Sklansky, Theory of Poker).
Wizard
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
• Posts: 20327
December 9th, 2009 at 6:25:40 PM permalink
Quote: shockeroo

I was wondering if there's some kind of bet where you put down a smallish amount (say \$1-\$20) and have a chance of winning a very large amount (\$1 million+) but with a more reasonable average return than actual lotteries.

OR if there's a good way to replicate this kind of bet playing a casino game?

The advice already given about table games is good. However, the max bet in baccarat is usually 150K. Another idea would be to do an off-the-board parlay in the sports book. If you bet \$20, and parlay 17 events against the spread (laying 110) you would win almost 1.2 million. The house edge would be 55%, which is high, but at least it wouldn't be on an installment plan, as is the case with lottery jackpots.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pocketaces
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
• Posts: 158
December 9th, 2009 at 10:49:28 PM permalink
Theoretically speaking, if table limits were not an issue, I think one of the best ways to go for a very large win would be to progressively increase your pass line (or come) and odds bets, taking full odds at every opportunity. In this scenario your largest bets would not be exposed to the house edge. Obviously simple bet doubling would not work, but you could achieve the goal even faster if many points were established as the odds bets win more than 1:1.

Assuming 10x odds, a simple pattern of betting your bankroll divided by 11 and betting that amount on the pass line, and then taking full odds if possible would work well. Any odds bet loss would instantly end your run, with about 1 percent of your previous bankroll amount left over. For greater simplicity, you could divide your bet by 10 for the pass and take 9x odds and never have anything left over.

I don't know the house edge of this strategy, but I would have to imagine it would be the smallest of any game by far.

In this same scenario blackjack seems like a decent choice as well due to its low house edge, albeit every bet is exposed to it. However keeping money aside for doubles and splits would also not allow for you to press every bet. Increases would have to be incremental and it would take much longer. You could use the doubling strategy, however not having money for doubling and splitting makes blackjack a far worse bet than many other games (including baccarat and craps) so that is not a good option.

The other main problem: Even given a casino which would take a \$500,000+ bet, any sane player would surely quit far before this.

For these two important reasons, a sports parlay suggested by the Wizard is probably the only option. Odds would be far better than the lottery due to the 'winner take all' aspect of the parlay (none of the payout is for lesser prizes) and the fact that lottery jackpots are annuities, which the Wizard also mentioned.

If you could settle for a hundred thousand or so rather than a million and would not get cold feet at high bet amounts, high limit craps or baccarat would be better. You could even do a mixture of both since craps is less likely to be available at the high limits needed for your last couple bets.
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009