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March 11th, 2018, 03:56 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Probability in roulette

We went to casino last weekend, and I'm just curious: Is it possible to beat roulette somehow? We've tried martingale strategy and it worked nicely. Just in case you dont know what is that strategy about:
So let's say I start with 1000 units. probability of win is 18/37 and lose is 19/37.
With this system I can't lost more than 9 times in row
(19/37)^9 = 0.0025 = 0.25%

This probability means that statistically, 1 of roughly 402 Martingale cycles will result in losing 9 bets in a row, causing the player to be unable to place another bet.
So if I'm not totally unlucky, I should be able to make some money right? Just asking I'm not gambler, as I said I've tried roulette for the first time last weekend.
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March 11th, 2018, 04:22 PM   #2
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I think you need inside assistance to win at roulette. With Martingale you win very small and lose very big.

To illustrate: 401 winning Martingale cycles net you 401 (winning 1 more than you lose each time). The losing cycle loses you 511 ($2^9-1$). For an expected loss of 110. That's a conservative scenario too as your strategy requires you to stop at the first loss.

Last edited by v8archie; March 11th, 2018 at 04:34 PM.
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March 11th, 2018, 04:23 PM   #3
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To minimize your expected loss, bet nothing.
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March 11th, 2018, 04:27 PM   #4
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It's been done. In the 1970's a group of physics grad students built the world's first wearable computer. By observing a roulette wheel over a period of time and inputting the data into the computer, they could make educated guesses as to the result of the next spin.

It worked but they gave it up after a while. One team member burned a hole in her skin when the computer shorted out. There was a documentary I saw a while back about them.

In terms of betting strategies you can't beat the wheel. There are 36 numbers plus 0 and 00, but the odds pay off as if there were only 36 numbers. You eventually lose. But you have fun and get free drinks, which is the way to think about casinos.

Also Martingale strategies do work fine on paper. But they assume you have unbounded resources to ride out losing streaks. Since you don't have unbounded resources, the strategy fails.

Last edited by Maschke; March 11th, 2018 at 04:30 PM.
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March 11th, 2018, 04:44 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I didn't know about that thing with mini computer. That's interesting.

Last edited by skipjack; March 11th, 2018 at 06:33 PM.
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