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Games You Can Beat and Games You Canít
Caro on Gambling
by Mike Caro

Gambling is a sea of systems floating shore to shore, like notes in bottles bobbing on the waves. Pick up the bottles; read the notes. Youíll learn magic betting sequences that mathematicians have yet to discover. Youíll find advice on which numbers to bet on and when. If your optimism takes control, youíre apt to think that there must be systems somewhere that people have missed; ways to win that havenít yet been invented.

But, alas, you simply canít beat casino games with pre-established odds against you. It can be fun trying, though, and bargains abound if youíre looking to get the most for your entertainment dollar. Fine, but what if you want to win? Well, if you want to win in the long run, youíre going to have to find games where your decisions really matter. In order to overcome the odds against you, you must be able to make decisions that influence those odds and, Iíll say it again, your decisions must really matter. And I donít mean that your decisions can matter after you see the results. They must matter for logical reasons before you place your bet.

You see, observing that the number 24 has come up on the roulette wheel and wishing you had bet it doesnít mean betting 24 would have been a good decision. It would have been a winning decision (assuming nothing you did while betting would have influenced the outcome), but not a good one. Since you had no reason in advance to suspect that 24 was better than any other number, you would not have been making a decision that figured to cut into the houseís edge.

If youíre going to win long term youíve got to either have the advantage to begin with or find ways to make logical decisions that work in your favor. Thatís why you can learn to beat poker, where it matters whether you call, fold, or raise. Thatís why itís theoretically possible to beat blackjack, too, where it matters whether you stand or hit 13. And thatís why itís theoretically possible to beat sports betting, where the line is traditionally established by the publicís perception. If your analysis of a game is better than theirs, you might gain enough of an advantage to overcome the bookís built-in edge.

Craps has a very low house advantage, so itís a good deal for entertainment, but you canít make logical decisions that help overcome that small edge. Roulette is a harder still. Nonetheless, four years ago, I announced on the Internet that I had devised a roulette system that could cut the house edge to literally zero. In keeping with what Iíve just told you, hereís Caroís Roulette System #1 (see sidebar). Itís aimed at a standard American roulette wheel, with both zero and double zero.

This system cuts the house advantage to literally nothing, if you believe in it enough to never get frustrated and switch tactics. What Iím going to say may seem strange, but here goes.

First, never bet simply red or black. Also donít bet odd or even. These are equally poor, consistently losing wagers.

Second, donít be suckered into betting zero or double zero, despite what some experts may suggest. This may seem like youíre betting with the house, but for technical reasons you are actually betting against the houseóand you are taking the worst of it.

So, in order to negate the house advantage, you must stick to straight non-green number bets. All odd red numbers turn out to be bad choices, based on over two trillion computer trials. Donít bet them.

All even black numbers fair poorly, and cannot be bet, for much the same reason, which I wonít explain here.

Letís get straight to the money-saving advice. Any bet you decide to make must cover only even-red or odd-black numbers. There are no exceptions.

Finally, you need to be very disciplined in excluding the number 30 and the group of consecutive numbers that begins with 11 and continues clockwise through and including 14.

This system may seem mystical, but I take gambling quite seriously, and this works for me.

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