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Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2008-03-28 18:26, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Malu - The game is 50/50 in the sense that the player has two options red and black. Had you bothered to read on, you would have seen that the 00 and 0 are taken into account.


If you are going to act knowlegable about the game and you explain that it is 50/50 game you really miss the point.

What is the payout on a single number or on any of the bets? Whether the bet is a good or bad one depends on 2 things. What the "true odds" of an event happening are, and what you are paid when this event transpires. That is WAY simplified but makes the point. The difference in these variables is what gives most casino bets a negative expectation, or makes them a losing bet in the long run.

You need to start with the concept that "true odds", which you are desscibing, are very rare if existant in a casino. They DO NOT exist on the roulette wheel. Blackjack, poker, and the "free odds" bet in craps they may.

Now this does not take into consideration any sort of bias wheel, crooked dealer, soft dice throwers, or any sort of cheating or even card counting. I am talking about an average guy walking up to a table to play.

The casino propegates the 50/50 myth to get people to forget how bad the odds are.

Sort of the reason they put up that board to show which numbers have been hit in the past 20 times. That is the "illusion" of a paterm.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
silverking
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Simplified, the Martingale is for the lame amongst us.

It's bad enough on any game, but Roulette?...........oh my Smile

.....one things for sure though, you'll be on the receiving end of a lot of casino comps as long as you keep on playing!
kcg5
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Regarding benny binion, it was only in reference to his famous no limit betting strategy. he would supposedly take any bet, on anything. I once read on a bj dealers page that some broke gambler put down a vial of coke on the felt in the late 70"s, and binnion took the bet. Z-since in know you r in vegas, what stories have you heard about benny?


back to martingale, with enough money, and NO table limits, it is slightly in the postitive. its just time.



kevin
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it"- Sir Winston Churchill
JasonEngland
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For anyone who believes that the Martingale produces a long-term positive expectation, I challenge you to generate a computer simulation that demonstrates this.

The Martingale, just like every other betting scheme, loses money at a long-term rate that exactly coincides with the average bet times the disadvantage. This is true no matter how small the disadvantage is, or even if it is zero. A Martingale can't help you win a 50/50 proposition either, although you won't lose any money in the long-term.

Here's one of your difficulties for the folks who think the Martingale will win in the absence of table limits and bankroll ceilings: Everyone knows that under normal circumstances, every wager made in the game of craps or roulette has a negative expectation. (We'll set aside the issue of the "free odds" bet at craps for the time being.*)

We also know that there is no way to add up a series of negative expectation wagers to arrive at a positive expectation. This is true regardless of table limits or how much money you begin gambling with.

Usually, everyone agrees with me up to this point.

So...how then can you turn around and claim that the Martingale will show a long-term profit if the table limits and bankroll issues are ignored? Doesn't that contradict the first claim that one can't add a series of negative expectation bets to arrive at a positive expectation?

Answer: yes it does.

In fact, the two claims flatly contradict each other. Either you CAN add up a series of negative expectation bets in a manner that will produce a positive expectation (i.e. the Martingale) or you cannot.

If you cannot, then the Martingale FAILS regardless of table limits and personal bankroll issues.**

If you can, then an entire branch of mathematics needs to be rewritten.

Jason

*Another bet that makes little sense to me.

**I don't dispute that table limits and personal bankroll limits prevent many people from continuing a Martingale run. However, it is a fallacy to believe that these people would be successful long-term winners with the Martingale if only the table limits were abolished and personal bankrolls were a non-issue.
Eternal damnation awaits anyone who questions God's unconditional love. --Bill Hicks
silverking
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I agree, once you make it through the issue of the Martingale as a losing system, then the negative expectation of house bets (except perhaps one or two specific bets on specific games) will continue to remove your bankroll from your wallet until you're heading back home on the bus.

Although the equations on Jason's link were impressive, I've got a simpler one..........

Martingale + table game = 100% loser
Dannydoyle
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I personlly know a casino host who will send a plane and a limo to get you if you promise to keep using a system like this over a period of time with the right limits.

It is a guaranteed winner, for the house.
Danny Doyle
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stoneunhinged
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So...

...is anyone gonna stake me or not?

Jeff
Mr. Z
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Quote:
On 2008-03-29 13:48, kcg5 wrote:
Regarding benny binion, it was only in reference to his famous no limit betting strategy. he would supposedly take any bet, on anything. I once read on a bj dealers page that some broke gambler put down a vial of coke on the felt in the late 70"s, and binnion took the bet. Z-since in know you r in vegas, what stories have you heard about benny?


back to martingale, with enough money, and NO table limits, it is slightly in the postitive. its just time.



kevin


I've never heard of them "stopping the action." Kerry Packer didn't play at the Shoe because Benny refused to give him kickbacks like he got on the Strip.

The policy was "your first bet is your limit."

The stories are endless. An old-timer told me one about a guy who came in one day and played 21, all 6 spots at $5,000 a hand. Never took a hit, never looked at his cards--just tucked them under every bet. The dealer broke every hand, and the final score was some $390,000.

A very famous one concerned a young craps dealer from the Las Vegas Club named Ross who came into the Horseshoe to cash his paycheck, $300 or so. He lost $200 of it playing craps, then went to a 21 table to gamble the last $100. I guess you could say he got on a streak--he ran that $100 up to nearly $3,000,000, and was toking the dealer $5,000-10,000 a hand.

Limos from Caesars and the Desert Inn would bring their high-rollers downtown to the Horseshoe--those casinos only had $5-10K limits and wouldn't take the action.

You could walk into Binion's at 4 AM and find every crap game full with $50,000 on the layout, the line to get the $2 steak dinner at the coffee shop would extend out to Fremont Street.

Modern Vegas sucks. Smile
"...if you have to say you is, you ain't."--Jimmy Hoffa
Dannydoyle
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Your last sentence speaks volumes and is SO DEAD ON RIGHT.

When it was ran not by companies, but by "people" they knew how to keep you there.

I liked old Vegas a lot more.

Of course I never tried to cheat old Vegas LOL. Maybe my perspective would be different. I have never tried to cheat new Vegas either though in all fairness.
Danny Doyle
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The Great Marok
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Quote:
On 2008-03-29 04:23, JasonEngland wrote:

http://www.bjmath.com/bjmath/progress/unfair.htm

Jason

PS: The more astute amongst you will realize that nowhere in the proof does it say "Oh, but this would work just fine if only the table limits weren't there."


Jason my man,

Thanks for the link, but have you actually looked at this proof? Because already at the beginning they take

"n-1 = the greatest number of losses in a row that a player can handle, given the size of the player's bankroll. In other words, the nth bet must be won, otherwise the player's entire bankroll will be lost."

This directly implies that your bankroll is finite. The more astute amongst us will realize that nowhere in the proof do they take the limit of n going to infinity. And if they actually did take that limit, the whole proof collapses because all the things they do like rearranging terms and so on don't work any more for infinite series. So the finiteness of your bankroll is actually implied in this proof.

[quote]
We also know that there is no way to add up a series of negative expectation wagers to arrive at a positive expectation.

[\quote]

Again if you're right if the series is finite. But if you're dealing with addition of an infinite number of terms, you have to be very careful about statements like this. The problem is that a series like this will be divergent, and then it all depends on how do you define the "sum" of a divergent series. For example, the reason we know that our spacetime is 10 dimensional is because 1+2+3+4+... = -1/12. If you're interested more in this you can look up books on divergent series or, for the sum I wrote specifically look for zeta function regularization.

[quote]
If you can, then an entire branch of mathematics needs to be rewritten.

[\quote]

I assure you that no mathematics need to be rewritten, there's nothing really controversial here.

I've written in my first post above how you can win any amount of many you want with a martingale, provided you have infinite funds and infinite time. If I've made any mistake in my reasoning please point it out. Again a key point is that once you win, you don't bet any more (or you can restart the whole process)

I don't want anyone to think that I encourage the use of a martingale system, since clearly no one has infinite funds.
luvisi
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Way back in the eighth grade I decided to do a science report on how to win at Roulette. I figured that it must be possible given how many books at the library had chapters with names like "How to Win at Roulette." Unfortunately, most of them just explained the rules and not how to win. Scarne mentioned several systems, and said that they didn't work, but he didn't say why. Armed with a bunch of systems taken from Scarne's New Complete Guide To Gambling and some basic probability theory from Scarne on Dice, I set about trying to create a system that worked. I kept failing, but it took me a while to figure out why it must always fail.

Here is how I convinced myself that no system will ever work. It assumes minimum and maximum bets, and a finite number of possible bets in between.

I'm not going to try and write out the general case, but for example assume that the minimum bet is $1 and the maximum is $10, and that you can only bet multiples of $1.

Of the $1 bets that you make, you will lose more than you will win.
Of the $2 bets that you make, you will lose more than you will win.
...
Of the $10 bets that you make, you will lose more than you will win.

In an infinite series of bets, some amounts will appear a finite number of times, and others will appear an infinite number of times. The ones that appear a finite number of times can, at best, win you a finite amount of money. The ones that appear an infinite number of times will lose you an infinite amount of money.

When I finished my presentation, I only got one question. "Why would anyone play Roulette?" I didn't have a good answer.

Oswald Jacoby's How to Figure the Odds, one of my favorite books on the subject of probability, describes how several systems fail, and includes a great joke.
Quote:
One of the oldest chestnuts in the joke books is about the man who thinks the chain stores lose money on every item they sell. "But they make big profits," he adds, "because they sell so many of each."


I just pulled out The Casino Gambler's Guide, and I notice that on page 237 he says
Quote:
It sounds easy as pie. There is only one hitch. An unbroken series of losses may very quickly lead to preposterous bet sizes. Starting with $1.00 and doubling ten times in a row, you reach a bet of $1024. And doubling 20 times in a row, your bet would exceed $1 million! Remember that we saw the color black lose 20 times in a row on a roulette tale!

There are two immediate limitations. Only a few casinos permit a maximum bet of $1000; in many the limit is $500, or even $200. While it is true that occasionally a casino will raise the limit, each casino has a point beyond which it will positively not go. Secondly, for most people, there is the limit of your own resources.

This seems to imply that Allan Wilson considers the maximum bet and the size of your bankroll to be the main problem with the Martingale.

On page 284, the beginning of Appendix B, "Proof of the Fallacy of a Progression in an Unfair Game," which I assume is what Jason is referring to, Wilson says
Quote:
n - 1 = greatest number of losses in a row that can be sustained (that is, the nth play must be a win if preceded by n - 1 losses; otherwise all playing capital is lost).

Wilson's proof thus seems to assume a finite amount of playing capital.

Andru
JasonEngland
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Marok and Andru,

I never used the term "infinite" in relation to a person's capital. I merely stated that it wasn't necessary to consider the player's capital to demonstrate that the Martingale fails.

And I've already admitted that the casinos table limits come into play in real world situations. Naturally they are the first "stop" against making money with the Martingale.

However, Allan Wilson's book explains why the system would lose regardless of capital or table limits. I'm not near the book now, but will be on Thursday (I'm traveling).

Andru, if you find what I'm referring to in The Casino Gambler's Guide, you'll recognize it immediately. From what I remember, it is a fairly airtight case against the Martingale that simply demonstrates that it can't make money in the long run.

Working from memory, I believe it states that the chances of making any given sum of money with the Martingale are exactly balanced by the chances of having a string of losses that perfectly wipes out that precise sum.

If that is correct, then the Martingale can win NO sum of money in the long run, regardless of table limits or the size of a player's bankroll (assuming it's massively large but still finite).

Jason
Eternal damnation awaits anyone who questions God's unconditional love. --Bill Hicks
luvisi
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Quote:
If that is correct, then the Martingale can win NO sum of money in the long run, regardless of table limits or the size of a player's bankroll (assuming it's massively large but still finite).


We agree then. No matter the size of the bankroll, so long as it is finite, you will eventually lose it all.

Of course, if it's large enough, the expected time until you get wiped out may be longer than your lifetime. But if that were the case, your bankroll would probably be large enough to just live off of for the rest of your life.

Andru
Dannydoyle
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A nice theoretical debate, but in the real world, it is a disaster! No matter how you look at it.

My understanding is that if you get a casino that lets you take enough free odds bets, you can have a very slight advantage, (DO I MEAN SLIGHT!) over the casino. I still have never heard of a system for craps which overcomes the house edge. (again I am not saying anything about past posting, soft throwing, dice manipulation or any other methods for less than honest play, ONLY of a guy walking up to the table and playing what the casinos call "legit")
Danny Doyle
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Mr. Z
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Quote:
On 2008-03-30 20:41, Dannydoyle wrote:
A nice theoretical debate, but in the real world, it is a disaster! No matter how you look at it.

My understanding is that if you get a casino that lets you take enough free odds bets, you can have a very slight advantage, (DO I MEAN SLIGHT!) over the casino. I still have never heard of a system for craps which overcomes the house edge. (again I am not saying anything about past posting, soft throwing, dice manipulation or any other methods for less than honest play, ONLY of a guy walking up to the table and playing what the casinos call "legit")


There is no such thing as a "free" odds bet.

Taking the odds is like 2 for 1 hamburgers--you still gotta buy the first one.
"...if you have to say you is, you ain't."--Jimmy Hoffa
Dannydoyle
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Is the bet not called "free odds"?

I was confused if it is not sorry.

Here is what I am saying.

Pass/Come odds or the Don't pass/Don't come odds pay at actual odds. The house % on THESE PARTICULAR BETS is 0%. I am speaking of ONLY THOSE BETS.
Danny Doyle
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luvisi
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I think Mr. Z's point is that you don't get to make a "free odds bet" until after you've made a bet which has a house percentage (do/don't pass/come).

Buy one = do/don't pass/come
Get one "free" = take/lay odds

Andru
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^That is correct.
"...if you have to say you is, you ain't."--Jimmy Hoffa
Dannydoyle
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True. But that does not make my statement wrong now does it?

I really get sick of debating little word games with "experts" who feel that they have to nit pick something just to be right.
Danny Doyle
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silverking
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At no point did Danny indicate that he thought free odds were "free".

That they're not in fact "free" (like anything in a casino ever would be) was unsolicited information offered up for reasons known only to the poster who offered them Smile
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