A lost belief

I thought that this:

  1. Start at one of the lowest minimum bet tables. This allows you to become comfortable with your strategy with the least amount of investment.
  2. With each losing hand, double your bet until you win back the money lost. This is whats known as a “reverse-progression”, “Martingale strategy” or “double bet strategy”. (source)

Could actually be working. It doesn’t.

  • Like all betting strategies, in the long run the math is against you. This way of playing (aka “Martingale”) will be successful only in the short term. Yes, you will see it work say, 9 times out of 10, but the winnings from your 9 successful session will not cover your losings from the 1 losing session you are bound to come across sooner or later. Casinos always have the edge on your money rather than the other way around.
  • If you have a starting bid of $1, you will make $1 from the strategy.
  • The reason casino blackjack tables have a maximum bet is exactly to counter the Martingale strategy. For example, a $10 minimum Table typically has a $500 maximum. Playing the Martingale strategy, if you lose only 6 hands in succession, then you would need to bet above the maximum on the 7th hand in order to keep the cycle going until you win back the total you have lost (10, 20, 40, 80, 160, 320, 640). This is how the house beats this strategy.
  • The house would actually still gain money if there was no maximum, because people have a maximum that they can spend/borrow, so though more people win, every time someone wouldn’t, they would gain more from that person than they lost from all the others. So even if everyone had a billion dollars, and betting could start at one dollar, one person would lose a billion dollars before a billion people would win. So even if you find somewhere without a maximum, you will still lose.

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