Gambling News

Systems and Strategies: Part II


"Remember this: The house doesn't beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself." - Nicholas (Nick the Greek) Dandalos

The number one problem with using betting systems is that they all rely in some part on the gambler’s fallacy. The gambler’s fallacy is simply this: the idea that an event becomes overdue and more likely to occur if it has not happened in a long time. For example, if a person thinks that black is more likely to come up on the roulette wheel because the last 3 spins were red, they are falling prey to the gambler’s fallacy. What’s important to understand is that wheels, reels, dice, and any other instrument of chance in the gambling world have no memory. The roulette ball does not know that it has already landed on red 3 times. It can therefore not ‘react’ on the next spin by aiming for a black. For each and every spin of the wheel, the chances of wither red or black are always 50/50 (well-slightly less than that because of the green pocket/s). One never becomes more or less likely than the other to occur.

Betting systems depend on the idea that after a losing streak you are more likely to win, as well as vice versa. If you lose 5 hands, you are more likely to win the 6th and get your money back, or something similar. An example of this is any system like the Martingale where you double your bet every time you lose. Then, when you finally win, you’ll have earned back everything you lost plus the initial wager amount. For instance, if I start off betting a dollar, lose 3 hands and then win the fourth, the pattern would look like this: lose $1 on first hand, raise bet and lose $2 on 2nd hand, raise bet and lose $4 on 3rd hand, raise bet and win $16. I will have lost $7, in total on the first 3 bets. When I bet $8, I get back the $8 I was betting and win an additional $8, which makes up for the $7 I lost plus gives me an addition unit of $1 (which was my starting bet). Sounds good, right? Except that this means I risked losing $15 to win $1, because if I had lost that 4th hand I’d be out the$8 plus the other $7 I’d already lost.

You’d be surprised at how this can add up over time. At the betting rate in our previous example, after 13 losing hands (a streak that is far from impossible) you’d have lost over $8,000 just trying to win $1. Other types of betting systems depend on the opposite concept. They require you to up your bet when winning and decrease your bet after a loss. Still others depend on even more complex algorithms to determine the bet amount per hand, or spin. In the end though, no system can change the laws of averages. Mathematicians have repeatedly tested betting systems over the course of multiple hands. No matter how you look at it, it levels out to be that you lost slightly more than you made, to a percentage that is fairly approximate to the house edge on the game you are playing. Check out this article at Online Casino Lane for more on information on how they test this.

Every once in a while a player gets extremely lucky, of course, and takes home a huge jackpot. However, with the exception of skill-based games such as poker, these wins are always a function of random chance. They are just as likely to happen to non-system users as they are to players using a system. If you really feel like trying a system out, then pick it up at your local library or look them up online for free. Never let anyone talk you into paying for the system. If it were worth anything to begin with, they could use it to win everything they needed in the casino, and they wouldn’t need to be selling their idea to you.



Systems and Strategies: Part I

The average online gambler very quickly comes into contact with advertisements and articles purporting to offer the best ‘system’ for beating a particular game, including slots. Sometimes these systems are referred to as sure-fire ‘strategies’ for winning or betting methods that promise to turn you into a table shark in the casino. First of all, I’d like to point out that while the terms ‘system’ and ‘strategy’ are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between them when it comes to gambling. Many online salesmen overlook the difference because the term strategy implies a measure of skill that makes their supposed guaranteed method sound more reliable, but what they are selling is not really a strategy.

The difference between a system and a strategy is that one specifically controls the wagering component of a game and the other relates to actual gameplay. For the purposes of clarifying that, think of the terms as ‘betting system’ and ‘gaming strategy’. For instance, in a regular game like checkers or chess, gaming strategy is how you move your pieces around on the board in order to win. A betting system relating to chess or checkers would be something like betting on who’s going to lose a piece next and saying, ‘every time I lose a piece, I’m going to raise my bet for the next turn. That way if they lose the next piece, I’ll win back what I just lost”.

Losing that piece makes a difference in terms of your strategy (after all, you no longer have that piece to move with and your opponent has changed their position) but you could continue playing the game and using strategy to win without ever changing your wager (as you would with a system). Occasionally you’d lose a piece and occasionally your opponent would. How you go about betting on the pieces in between does not change your gameplay strategy, only the amount of money you stand to win or lose. A person playing a game that is not being bet on and utilizes no money at all still uses strategy to win. A betting system only pertains to the amounts of the wagers when real money is being used to gamble on the game’s outcome. Do you see?

In a game like roulette or slots where betting is the only real aspect of gameplay, the line between the 2 can be still confusing. However, in roulette, for example, a player may place bets in different places on the board so as to cross wager and increase their odds of getting a payout. This would be a strategy. A system relating to roulette (and there are many) would be increasing or decreasing the amount of each wager depending on whether or not the previous spin was a winner. A legitimate strategy is something that everyone can use. In poker strategy plays a large part in determining who ultimately wins and takes home the jackpot. A betting system by comparison can never bring you more than temporary gain, and usually at the cost of large future loss.

This is what one person had to say about Betting Systems: “They all work. We’ve never lost long term on any of them. Of course when I say "we" I mean those of us who work in the casino. “ ~ Casino Manager

I’ll cover more on Betting Systems, how to spot them, and why you should avoid them in our next post.



How Gambling Has Changed Since black Friday


Though more than a year has passed, it’s worth looking back at Black Friday in order to see what effect it has had on the online gambling community since it happened. Though Black Friday affected U.S. online poker sites specifically, the effect was on more than U.S. residents. There were many players in other countries that were personally affected, of course, and as gambling legislation in the States evolves there are also broader implications for the online gambling industry as a whole.

Prior to Black Friday, the U.S. was a messy free zone of antiquated law and unreliable methods of transactions. The Wire Act of 1961 apparently made internet gambling illegal and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 made it nearly impossible for banks to process any funds associated with gambling. However, poker was not (and still is not by many) considered the same as pure gambling because it requires a degree of skill and technique to play well. Online poker sites were extremely popular, as one of the only online gambling sources available, and raked in millions of dollars. Because gambling online was illegal, hence unregulated as an industry, and processing the funds was therefore also illegal, these companies had to get ‘creative’ in terms of how they conducted transactions. Moreover, they could get away with little business transparency because there were no formal rules to govern their practices.

Though the poker companies were eventually charged with money laundering and fraud, in a country with no firm distinction between poker and gambling, no rules governing online transactions conducted for one versus the other, and no legal body controlling the people and companies who could operate such online companies, something like Black Friday was bound to happen eventually. Millions of players were hit economically by the event, and many players have yet to receive the money that was rightfully theirs in casino bankrolls. Anti-gambling proponents have used Black Friday as a means to justify banning all gambling, citing it is an industry of criminals and damaging to society.

However, more good than bad has probably come from Black Friday in the end. For one thing, it became very apparent, even to the public outside of the gambling world that some kind of Federal ruling needed to be made on the subject. This was a classic example of what happened if you did not regulate a large and growing industry. The 1961 Wire Act has since been re-evaluated and the original ruling that it disallowed online gambling has been revoked. Now there’s a possibility for U.S. States to offer online casinos, if they so choose. Many U.S. politicians have come out in favor of online gambling as a means to rebuild the economy and generate much needed revenue. This means that the industry can be more tightly regulated, rogue casino operators can be properly identified, and winnings can be taxed. Taxable winnings means lighter regulations on banks, who will now be more readily able to process these funds (at least in states where gambling will be offered).

This has an impact on everyone outside the U.S. as well. A newly regulated jurisdiction means a greater amount of international business, as U.S. customers join the global market and foreign companies align themselves with U.S. developers. Existing companies will now better be able to serve both the new customers and the old, assuming they make wise choices in the next couple of years. Of course, some companies may be swallowed up as the industry continues to evolve. Still others may choose to forego joining in the U.S. market completely; especially as it appears that initially the market will be small and states will have the ability to form their own regulations and rules, which may differ from one state to the next.

Could this ultimately hurt or help the industry? Many other countries are also reforming their own laws. Some are becoming more open and accepting of online gambling, while still others are becoming even stricter. In the end, U.S. policy is going to have an impact on how online business operators conduct themselves and promote their casinos, but regional and country laws will vary for the rest of the world as well. Those will quite naturally take precedence.


Why Understanding Terms & Conditions is Important


This is a straight forward notion, but one that cannot be stressed enough. Over 60% of the time when there’s a problem cashing out winnings, it turns out to be the player’s fault because they didn’t read or understand the terms and conditions of the online casino where they were playing. A casino has the right to set forward whatever rules and restrictions they like. It’s their establishment, and they have every right to put forward their terms for letting you ‘in’ to play in their establishment. Some have conditions that are stricter to adhere to than others.

This is why it’s important that you read the terms and conditions through thoroughly beforehand. Once you sign up with that casino, you have entered into a binding agreement. They agree to provide the games and pay you money if you win. In exchange, you agree to abide by the rules of their establishment. If it turns out that you have mistakenly or inadvertently broken one of their rules during gameplay, then you’ve broken the “contract”. Once you’ve broken the contract between you and the casino, the casino operator is no longer obliged to keep their end of the bargain either. And most of the time, this means no winnings, and possibly even having your account closed.

As mentioned, some casinos have stricter rules than others. By reading the T&Cs; before you sign up an account, you can evaluate for yourself whether or not you can abide by the terms they’ve set forward. If the terms sound overly harsh or difficult to play by, find yourself another casino. Make sure you read through both the general T&Cs; and the T&Cs; of any specific bonus you want to claim. Many of these bonuses will have additional terms or requirements that must be met, and it’s important for you to know what these are so that you can claim anything you win with bonus credits.

A final consideration is that some online casinos are not completely up-front with how their T&Cs; are laid out or written. Some are confusing and others have clauses that are hidden on other pages or in fine print. These are not the casinos you want to be playing at. A good tip is to use a site like to find casinos that have received few complaints. There’s always going to be some people who are dissatisfied or feel like complaining, regardless of how fairly the casino is operated. However, fewer complaints are definitely an indicator that most people were able to understand the T&Cs; and abide by them; thus, most winners were able to withdraw their winnings without any problems.

For the record, all of the sites referred on our site are reputable casinos with easy to understand T&Cs.; However, we still encourage everyone to thoroughly read through everything before registering an account.


Games Other Than Slots That Meet Wagering Requirements

Slots are fun, engaging, and quite exciting if you’re on a lucky roll; but every once in a while everyone feels like trying something new. Even if you prefer a game that is luck based as opposed to skill based (i.e. poker), there are other games out there that you can try- usually for free if you aren’t sure you want to risk money on it at first. In the case of playing in ‘free’ mode, it really doesn’t matter which game you choose. You can feel free to try them all! However, in real-money mode, it’s worth noting that when you accept a bonus there are usually game restrictions on what you can play. Most casinos do not count traditional stud pokers, blackjack, or craps towards your wagering requirements. So what are some non-slot casino games that usually DO count towards these requirements?

The first is the most obvious: scratch cards. Scratch cards are the most like slots in that you have no control over what you’re going to get. They also come in interesting designs, themes, and attached to various jackpots or other prizes. A few of the most popular ones feature celebrity icons like Elvis, t.v. shows, and famous films. Others are themed around the holidays and have special prizes that correlate to that specific time of year. The thing about scratch cards is that the fun is pretty instantaneous, and you can eat up a bankroll on them pretty quickly.

Another game that usually counts toward wagering requirements is Keno. My advice is to stay away from this one. It can be fun but it has some of the worst odds in the industry. The house edge can range from anywhere between 25%-45%! Also, there are a few animated and interesting keno games out there, but by and large few people play them for long. This is because you lose so quickly on them. Since few people play it, game developers haven’t really had much incentive to come up with exciting new versions. Chances are, you’ll get bored pretty quickly.

A final one that is usually offered as a means of reaching a wagering requirement is Pai Gow poker. Don’t let the name fool you. You really don’t have to know much of anything about poker for this one. It relies far more heavily on luck. In pai gow, you are dealt 7 cards. You must then try to make the best 5 card hand and best 2 card hand out of these 7 cards. You do not get to discard any of them, nor will you be dealt any new cards. What you see is what you get. If you’ve got a pair, put them together. Get a bunch of the same suit- put them together. Have nothing at all? Put the highest card you can in each hand. One of the only real rules is that the 5 card hand must be better than the 2 card hand.

A player (or dealer) only wins if BOTH hands are better than the other person’s. This means that a great majority of the time, the result is a ‘push’. This means you had 1 hand that was better and the dealer had 1 hand that was better. Since you tied, no one wins. This means that even though the game is based largely on luck concerning the hand you are dealt, it also has very good odds- much better than scratch cards or keno. This makes it a great way to grind through a WR without risking your entire bankroll.

All in all, there are lots of fun games out there. If slots are starting to bore you or if you think you might be ready to try something new, give pai gow poker a try. It’s very absorbing once you get the hang of it.