This thread is about understanding that -as long as the wheel is even - there is no superior betting strategy for Roulette. The house will always win in the long run.
Roulette is a negative expectancy game. For this type of game there are two strategies that make sense.
(1) Do not bet. This is the best strategy.
(2) If you bet, bet only once. Your chance is still 47.4% to win.
Doubling up your bet sizes - a classical strategy known as Martingale - is one of the safest way to lose everything.
Emotions simply act as a catalyst. Emotions induce you to increase the size of your bets. This is what the house wants. The house will make an average return of 2.6 % on every bet. The higher the bets the more the house will win.
The following user says Thank You to Fat Tails for this post:
Do they have any wheels with just one green numba...a zero but no double zero? That is called French or European Roulette. Some "American" boards also have only one green. Then instead of 47.37% red or black and 5.26% green you'd have 48.65% chance red or black and 2.7% chance green. If you did a ratioed risk spread on red or black and green, even with two greens (pays 17:1) and bet all your money on a single spin I believe you have created the best possible scenerio. Is that incorrect? DB
Most other bets available on a roulette game have the same expectancy, although there a some bets that are even worse.
If I have to play, and I know that the expectancy is negative, my choice depends on the utility function. Best I do not play and just watch you playing. Every time I place a bet, this is mathematical nonsense, unless somebody else pays me for doing it or forces me to place a bet.
Under these circumstances, it is quite difficult to find a solution. Any solution adopted depends on the boundary conditions that somebody has imposed on me. If I am forced to play one time and bet everything at once, and if the total sum is an important part of my wealth, then I would try to go for a haircut. Easiest way to do so, would be to bet half on red and half on black. With a high probability, I will only lose 2.7% and keep the rest. In case that green comes up, I will take the profits, run away and never play Roulette again in my life.
The following 3 users say Thank You to Fat Tails for this post:
Great thread. I read every page, excellent discussion of the mathematics of trading and gambling. I learned a lot.
Thank you all, especially to fat tails who patiently took the time to explain hard statistics.
Anyone wishing to further their study of the religion of statistics, I would highly recommend Jeff Ma's recent book 'The House Advantage'. Jeff was the original member of the MIT black jack team, both the book and the movie were based on him.
last year he gave an interesting talk, authors at google. If you like to look it up on youtube.
The following 2 users say Thank You to cedar for this post:
If you want to have an edge betting on a 50 50 event such as a coin toss you will need to get odd of better than even money.
If you have odds of less than even money it will be a -ev bet. progrssive betting patterns will not change a -ev bet to a +ev bet it will just lead to lots of smaller wins followed by a bigger less freqent loss to offset it.
As far roulette goes there is a way to get an edge playing roulette. You need a hidden computer which is used to track the ball. Normally relative to the zero a few times after is has been set in motion. This information can then be used to predict the area where the ball is more likely to fall.
If you do this in Nevada and get caught you will be breaking there anti device law and could go to jail. There was a group of players doing the in a UK casino a few years ago who were arrested but then released because they found not to have broken any UK law.
Of course, if you measure speed and angular momentum of the ball after it has been released, then you may calculate an estimate of where it will stop. Not easy though, because you have to place your chips, after the ball has been released.
Typically this type of information is disseminated by sellers of so-called roulette computers. As there is no system conceivable to beat the house, the greed of the gamblers can only be exploited by selling them cheating devices.
This depends on the rules of the casino. You may not place any bet after the "rien ne va plus", and this may be well after the ball has started to roll. Otherwise there would be no reason for using any cheating devices.