Hard Numbers: Applying Strategy to Casino Games

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Everyone has their flawless strategy when it’s time to hit the casino floor. From auto shop mechanics to weird uncles to live poker champions, gamers don’t hesitate to offer assured advice to a newcomer.

Some swear by simple superstitions, like facing a certain direction or wearing a specific shirt while playing. Others bring out heavy books that cover statistical analysis. Other players cite popular films like 21 or Ocean’s Eleven when it’s time to instruct.

In the end, the industry’s best advice relies on probability, observation, and skills in self-control. Whether a gamer is sitting down in front of a slot machine or logging into a live poker casino online, the same rules of engagement apply: keep your head cool and don’t deviate from the plan.

Minding the basics and embracing new opportunities

Even longtime gamers can forget the basic rules sometimes. Those looking to learn new strategies or take a second look at some of the industry’s leading tactics can apply the strategies listed below. For those nervous about applying what they’ve learned, today’s online casino market offers unprecedented deals and offers.

This is especially true for the US, which is currently seeing a boom in online sectors. Though New Jersey has the largest online market in terms of gaming opportunities in the US, Pennsylvania isn’t far behind. Much like the Garden State, Pennsylvania’s online gaming, sports betting, and live poker sectors have been live since 2019.

According to US state law, online casinos must partner with existing brick-and-mortar establishments. For gamers, that means online Pennsylvania casino offers are some of the most competitive and reliable in the industry—without sacrificing on variety.

Typically, registering with a new online casino comes with free bet offers and other promotions. These are perfect for trying out new games or strategies while mitigating risk. Be sure to check for minimum wager amounts before beginning a new trial, and don’t forget to check your email for ongoing offers.

Martingale Strategy – AKA the Zero Expectation Scenario

The Martingale Strategy can be applied to investments as well as gaming.  At its most basic, the strategy looks to cover losses by doubling the next wager. This is most easily applied when there are only two outcomes, such as winning or busting in a standard game of blackjack.

Invented by French mathematician Paul Pierre Levy in the 1700s, the tactic involves a rather optimistic view that current losses can be cured by investing in a future increase. In other words, a gamer can’t keep losing.

Let’s look at an example. A bettor wagers $50 on a hand of blackjack, but the house wins. The bettor will wager $100 on the next hand, looking for the house to bust so they can regain the $50 they lost last round (or, even better, hit blackjack and earn $150). If the bettor also loses their second wager of $100, they would wager $200 on the next to make up for their second loss.

The anti-Martingale Strategy

In the world of gaming, the Martingale methodology is considered high-risk. In response to the critiques of the Martingale Strategy, a reverse or anti-Martingale System was developed. As implied in the name, this system calls for gamers to double their wager only when they win a hand.

The Martingale Strategy can also be applied to investments.

D’Alembert System

Similar to the Martingale Strategy, the D’Alembert System was developed by French mathematician Jean Le Rond d’Alembert. The system requires bettors to increase their wagers after a loss. However, rather than doubling the original amount wagered, bettors should add a ‘unit’.

Prior to hitting an online casino or a brick-and-mortar establishment, gamers choose a ‘unit’ of money they will use as their standard bet. Oftentimes, this is a small amount of money. Following a loss, gamers increase their wager by one unit. Only the first lost bet is doubled.

Labouchere Staking Plan – AKA the Cancellation System

The Labouchere System requires gamers to choose a set goal. For example, say a gamer wants to leave the casino with $100. Like the D’Alembert System, split this goal into units. For simplicity’s sake, a gamer would choose 10 units, each worth $10.

From there, create a sequence of numbers that equals one unit (or 10), such as 1 2 2 3 2. A gamer’s first bet will be the first and last numbers of the Labouchere System (in this case, 1 + 2). 3 units are equivalent to $30, so the gamer bets $30. If they win, they can cross out the first and last numbers in the sequence, leaving only 2 2 3.

This pattern continues until the line disappears. Much like the Martingale System, the Labouchere Staking Plan is considered risky, as losing bets aren’t accounted for in the tactic. Like the D’Alembert System, gamers can use small amounts to determine each unit’s worth.

Caption: Be sure to take notes to see which strategy works best for you.

Game-Specific Insight

Try Spanish 21 Instead of Blackjack

Blackjack enjoys a reputation as one of the fairest card games available on the casino floor. In other words, the house edge (around 1%) works in favor of bettors. However, playing the standard Vingt-en-Un and American versions isn’t the ideal way to win playing blackjack.

In Spanish 21, blackjack is played without 10-point cards. The deck has 48 cards, which includes all face cards, rather than 52. This means the player and dealer are less likely to draw blackjack.

Other rule differences include the house paying gamers 3:2 when both have blackjack (instead of a push) and the ability to split aces twice. The drawback? The house edge in Spanish 21 is about 3% rather than 1%.

Maximize Slots Earnings

Modern slot machines can offer multiple pay lines, but most gamers remain wary. After all, with up to 25 pay lines running per play, it seems that losings can add up. However, the same slot machines are designed to pay out larger amounts when players use the maximum number of lines.

Gamers can lower their wagers and spread them out across each payline to maximize winnings. Similarly, players can increase the volatility of slot machines by allowing intervals between plays. The general idea is that random number generations (RNGs) follow local patterns from time to time.

While these patterns are brief enough to ensure the integrity of the randomness of the slots, giving the machine a prime-numbered and seconds-long break between plays can restart an RNG if it’s on a localized pattern. Keep in mind that the jury isn’t out on this slots strategy—not yet, at least.

Just A Guy Thing is a men's lifestyle magazine focused primarily at guys wanting to better themselves.

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