How to playA betting strategy (also known as betting system) is a structured approach to gambling, in the attempt to produce a profit. To be successful, the system must overcome the house edge. Betting systems are often predicated on statistical analysis.
Card games – Card counting: A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or gamespecific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games (such as poker). A small number of card games played with traditional decks have formally standardized rules, but most are folk games whose rules vary by region, culture, and person. Many games that are not generally placed in the family of card games do in fact use cards for some aspect of their gameplay. Similarly, some games that are placed in the card game genre involve a board. The distinction is that the gameplay of a card game primarily depends on the use of the cards by players (the board is simply a guide for scorekeeping or for card placement), while board games (the principal noncard game genre to use cards) generally focus on the players' positions on the board, and use the cards for some secondary purpose. Card counting is a casino card game strategy used primarily in the blackjack family of casino games to determine whether the next hand is likely to give a probable advantage to the player or to the dealer. Card counters are a class of advantage players, who attempt to decrease the inherent casino house edge by keeping a running tally of all high and low valued cards seen by the player. Card counting allows players to bet more with less risk when the count gives an advantage as well as minimize losses during an unfavorable count. Card counting also provides the ability to alter playing decisions based on the composition of remaining cards. Card counting, also referred to as card reading, often refers to obtaining a sufficient count on the number, distribution and highcard location of cards in tricktaking games such as contract bridge or spades to optimize the winning of tricks.
Roulette – Martingale: Roulette is a casino game named after the French word meaning little wheel. In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number or a range of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether the number is odd or even. To determine the winning number and color, a croupier spins a wheel in one direction, then spins a ball in the opposite direction around a tilted circular track running around the circumference of the wheel. The ball eventually loses momentum and falls onto the wheel and into one of 37 (in French/European roulette) or 38 (in American roulette) colored and numbered pockets on the wheel. A martingale is any of a class of betting strategies that originated from and were popular in 18th century France. The simplest of these strategies was designed for a game in which the gambler wins his stake if a coin comes up heads and loses it if the coin comes up tails. The strategy had the gambler double his bet after every loss, so that the first win would recover all previous losses plus win a profit equal to the original stake. The martingale strategy has been applied to roulette as well, as the probability of hitting either red or black is close to 50%.
Since a gambler with infinite wealth will, almost surely, eventually flip heads, the martingale betting strategy was seen as a sure thing by those who advocated it. Of course, none of the gamblers in fact possessed infinite wealth, and the exponential growth of the bets would eventually bankrupt "unlucky" gamblers who chose to use the martingale. The gambler usually wins a small net reward, thus appearing to have a sound strategy. However, the gambler's expected value does indeed remain zero (or less than zero) because the small probability that he will suffer a catastrophic loss exactly balances with his expected gain. (In a casino, the expected value is negative, due to the house's edge.) The likelihood of catastrophic loss may not even be very small. The bet size rises exponentially. This, combined with the fact that strings of consecutive losses actually occur more often than common intuition suggests, can bankrupt a gambler quickly.
Sports – Handicapping: Sport is generally recognised as system of activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition, and other organisations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports.However, a number of competitive, but nonphysical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee (through ARISF) recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five nonphysical sports: bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), Go, and xiangqi, and limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports.
Sports are usually governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be determined by physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first. It can also be determined by judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression. Handicapping, in sport and games, is the practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning. The word also applies to the various methods by which the advantage is calculated. In principle, a more experienced player is disadvantaged in order to make it possible for a less experienced player to participate in the game or sport whilst maintaining fairness. Handicapping also refers to the various methods by which spectators can predict and quantify the results of a sporting match. The term handicap derives from handincap, referring to a system wherein players placed bets or money into the cap of a neutral arbiter to reach an agreement as to the relative values of items sought to be traded. Handicapping is used in scoring many games and competitive sports, including go, chess, croquet, golf, bowling, polo, basketball, and track and field events. It also serves to foster wagering on horse racing events. Often races, contests or tournaments where this practice is competitively employed are known as Handicaps. The term is also applied to the practice of predicting the result of a competition, such as for purposes of betting against the point spread. A favored team that wins by less than the point spread still wins the game, but bets on that team lose.
Kelly criterion: In probability theory and intertemporal portfolio choice, the Kelly criterion, Kelly strategy, Kelly formula, or Kelly bet, is a formula used to determine the optimal size of a series of bets. In most gambling scenarios, and some investing scenarios under some simplifying assumptions, the Kelly strategy will do better than any essentially different strategy in the long run (that is, over a span of time in which the observed fraction of bets that are successful equals the probability that any given bet will be successful). It was described by J. L. Kelly, Jr in 1956. The practical use of the formula has been demonstrated.
Although the Kelly strategy's promise of doing better than any other strategy in the long run seems compelling, some economists have argued strenuously against it, mainly because an individual's specific investing constraints may override the desire for optimal growth rate. The conventional alternative is expected utility theory which says bets should be sized to maximize the expected utility of the outcome (to an individual with logarithmic utility, the Kelly bet maximizes expected utility, so there is no conflict; moreover, Kelly's original paper clearly states the need for a utility function in the case of gambling games which are played finitely many times). Even Kelly supporters usually argue for fractional Kelly (betting a fixed fraction of the amount recommended by Kelly) for a variety of practical reasons, such as wishing to reduce volatility, or protecting against nondeterministic errors in their advantage (edge) calculations. In recent years, Kelly has become a part of mainstream investment theory and the claim has been made that wellknown successful investors including Warren Buffett and Bill Gross use Kelly.
Split martingale: The Labouchère system, also called the cancellation system or split martingale, is a gambling strategy used in roulette. The user of such a strategy decides before playing how much money they want to win, and writes down a list of positive numbers that sum to the predetermined amount. With each bet, the player stakes an amount equal to the sum of the first and last numbers on the list. If only one number remains, that number is the amount of the stake. If bet is successful, the two amounts are removed from the list. If the bet is unsuccessful, the amount lost is appended to the end of the list. This process continues until either the list is completely crossed out, at which point the desired amount of money has been won, or until the player runs out of money to wager.
Antimartingale: This is also known as the reverse martingale. In a classic martingale betting style, gamblers increase bets after each loss in hopes that an eventual win will recover all previous losses. The antimartingale approach instead increases bets after wins, while reducing them after a loss. The perception is that the gambler will benefit from a winning streak or a "hot hand", while reducing losses while "cold" or otherwise having a losing streak. As the single bets are independent from each other (and from the gambler's expectations), the concept of winning "streaks" is merely an example of gambler's fallacy, and the antimartingale strategy fails to make any money. If on the other hand, reallife stock returns are serially correlated (for instance due to economic cycles and delayed reaction to news of larger market participants), "streaks" of wins or losses do happen more often and are longer than those under a purely random process, the antimartingale strategy could theoretically apply and can be used in trading systems (as trendfollowing or "doubling up"). (But see also dollar cost averaging.)
Oscar's grind: Oscar's Grind is a betting strategy used by gamblers on wagers where the outcome is evenly distributed between two results of equal value (like flipping a coin, betting on red or black in roulette, etc.). It is an archetypal positive progression strategy. It is also called Hoyle's Press. In German and French it is often referred to as the Pluscoup Progression. It was first documented by Allan Wilson in his 1965 book,The Casino Gambler's Guide.This progression is based on calculating the size of bets so that in the event of a losing streak, if and when a samelength winning streak occurs, a profit is obtained. The main concept is that there are periods of many wins and periods of many losses. Losses and wins often come in streaks. Ideally, bets are kept low on losing streaks and increased on winning streaks, which hopefully will follow.
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