Fictions about roulette (part 1)
FICTION: Betting Progression Helps You Win (Changing Bet Size)
Changing bet size is called “progression”. Positive progression is increasing bet size after losses, and negative progression is decreasing bet size after losses. They just don’t work. Ask yourself this: Does changing your bet size influence the winning number? No, of course not. The wheel and ball have nothing to do with your bets.
If you’re like most players, your strategy would be to use a trigger, then betting progression. A trigger is simply an event you wait to occur before betting. For example, the trigger may be wait for 3 REDS to spin in a row. Your bet would then be doubling bet size until you win. But again this wont work because the odds haven’t changed, the payouts are the same, and all you’re doing is making difference size bets on independent spins.
Because progression is popular, it needs special attention. Here’s a typical betting progression:
Bet 1 unit on red: LOSS
Bet 2 units in red: LOSS
Bet 4 units on red: LOSS
Bet 8 units on red: WIN
In this example, the player doubles bet size after losses. The player thinks they’ll “eventually win” and profit. They think their “chain of betting” helps them win. But in reality they’re making a series of independent bets with these odds:
1 unit bet, odds 18/37, payout 1:1
2 unit bet, odds 18/37, payout 1:1
4 unit bet, odds 18/37, payout 1:1
8 unit bet, odds 18/37, payout 1:1
Most players don’t understand is this is no different to 4 different players making 4 different bets. And the odds of winning and payout are the same regardless. So what has the player changed with progression? Absolutely nothing except the amount they bet. The chances of winning or losing are the same on each spin. So if your system doesn’t win with flat betting (no progression), then it will fail with progression.
So does a progression help you win? It’s like asking whether or not changing bet size help you win or lose. You could get lucky and win big, OR you could be unlucky and LOSE EVEN MORE. Progression is a double-edged sword, and the casino still has the advantage.
FICTION: You can build a system around a “rare event” that you’ll never see in your lifetime
Another common mistake is believing you can use progression to win before a “rare event” happens. It’s incorrect because the odds still haven’t changed. Your perception of a “rare” event is actually something that will eventually happen in enough spins.
For example, you may have never seen these winning numbers in a row: 1,2,3,4,5. But chances are you’ve never seen this sequence either: 32,4,18,9,1. If you see enough spins, they will happen exactly the same amount of times. Each sequence is just as rare as the other.
Another example is expecting you’ll never see 37 different numbers appear in 37 spins. Firstly, it will happen just as often as any other sequence of 37 spins. So why would you favor one group of 37 numbers over another 37 numbers? There is no difference at all. Each spin is independent and with the same odds. It’s exactly the same as expecting to never see four reds in a row (RRRR). It may occur less often than a mixed sequence like BRRB or RBRB, but the odds of any specific sequence happening are exactly the same. So thinking one sequence is more rare than another is delusion.
Put another way, imagine waiting many years to see the spin sequence 1,2,3,4,5. It seems really rare, and you bet that #6 wont spin next. But actually the odds of #6 spinning next are the same as any other number. Run some proper simulations and you’ll see no matter how you play it, you cannot change your odds by betting that rare events wont happen.
FICTION: An eventual win helps you profit
Yes a win will eventually happen, but how much have you lost while waiting for the win? The amount you lost is because of the house edge, which I’ll explain later.