The Labouchere System

The Labouchere System  Popular among gamblers, Labouchere is a negative progression betting system commonly used in roulette even money propositions. Casinos also use it in baccarat and blackjack. Unlike the simple progression systems, Labouchere is more complex system based on an equal probability of two events, whereby a player increases stakes after a loss.

The theory behind is to be able to recover big losses with a small number of wins. Developed by Henry Labouchere, it has also received other names as the Cancellation system, the Split Martingale or the American Progression. However, unlike the Martingale that aims to recover losses with a single win, Labouchere does so with multiple wins. A player has to set a winning goal and has a chance to reach his goal if he wins almost half of the bets placed.

The concept

The player first bets on a number of units, allocate a value to the units and decides how many of those he can risk. A sequence of numbers is written down, which predicts the total potential profit. For each bet, the stake equals the sum of the first and last number. Therefore, if your sequence was 4-5-6; the stake equals $10(4+6). When you win, you cross off numbers 4 and 6 from the sequence. A lost wager means you add the losing number to the sequence. For each following wager, the stake is always the combined amount of the last and first number. If only one number remains, then that is the amount of the stake. Winning that wager ends the cycle and the original sequence is re-invoked.

Pros and cons of the system

Labouchere does not require constant wins to meet the set winning goal. With the system, you are confident of at least winning a third of the times in the long run.

Labouchere is an interactive and interesting system that can be very addictive especially if you are not good at losing. A losing streak means the sequence gets longer and you keep making larger bets

Parlay Betting System

Parlay Betting System  Parlay is a system of betting that stacks together separate event odd to form a single, larger bet with a bigger pay-out. It is also called a combo or accumulator bet, and most recently a multi-bet. In a casino setting, and of course online it’s a method that can be used on mobile roulette apps for instance.

Originally used in casinos, it has spread widely to sports betting, with many punters attracted by the increased knowledge of teams and the bigger prize for every stake. It has also led to a rise in many predictors who give ‘expert analysis’ before matches.
Example:

Assuming a parlay in which you place £1000 on a night of European elite club football:

UEFA CL Fixtures
Home team Away team Home win Draw Away win Result
Bayern Munich Manchester United 1.70 3.20 4.50 0–0 (draw)
Sevilla Leicester City F.C. 1.70 3.30 4.40 2–1 (home win)
Arsenal Borussia Dortmund 1.30 4.00 8.50 3–1 (home win)

If you stake £1000 for a correct score on each match, then you receive a pay-out of $1,000 × 3.2 × 1.7 × 1.3 = £7,072, a £6072 profit above your £ 1000 investment.

The major downside is that a wrong prediction in any one of the parlay events means you have lost the entire bet.

Parlay does not have a specific sequence rule, and has no scientific assurance on any single bet accumulation. It is a forced dependence of independent events, meaning the possible wins are just and illusion to the gambler, and in no way affect any outcome. Calling a single bet is tricky enough; what about an accumulated bet. Bookmakers love it because of the lower possibility of winning, and also you lose more than in placing single bets.

If it pays off, however, it is a promise of an instant windfall, only bettered by a jackpot. In the 2016-17 season of the UEFA Champions League, for example, one night of group stage fixtures saw a win for all teams labelled ‘big’- Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, PSG etc. A parlay was relatively easy on that night, with a huge reward for the punter.

Card Counting

Card counting is a strategy principally used in the casino game blackjack. The system determines odds for player wins or house advantage. Card counting is a statistical tool effective in helping a player to keep track of density of cards over the course of a game of blackjack. Ideally, a higher density of high cards puts the player at a higher advantage for placing a higher bet. More low cards give the casino a high advantage. The beauty of card counting lies in the fact that you can alter bets depending on density of remaining cards as the game progresses.

System basics

The basic counting approach relies on a system of assigning a (-)ve, (+)ve, or (0) value to each card value available. Dealing a card of that value adjusts a card to its counting value. There are several card counting systems, ranging from very simple strategies that favour beginners to highly complex systems for experienced players. The most common among the level 1 (simple) is the Hi-Lo system, preferred for its accuracy. Other systems include the KISS, Knock out blackjack and the Red 7.
In the Hi-Lo system, all cards give a count of zero. A negative count means there are more low cards and the opposite is true for a positive count. The system subtracts 1 for each 10, King, Queen or Ace dealt and adds 1 for values between 2 and 6. Values between 7 and 9 are assigned zero and do not have an impact on the count. A high density of 10s and Aces is the player’s advantage as it implies a higher chance of smashing a natural blackjack with a 3:2 payout unless the house also has a blackjack.

The hi-lo approach is considered a basic system as the running count changes by a single predetermined value. Others like the Wong Halves and Zen count are multi-level counting mechanisms and are thus more accurate. Mid-level systems (level 2 and 3) like Omega II assign +2 and -2 values to cards and are considered more accurate than level 1 systems.
Your level of experience will determine which approach works to your advantage.

The Kelly Criterion

The Kelly Criterion  Kelly Criteron is a mathematical method that helps you determine how much money you should stake on a particular bet when the stacking of odds favours you. With gambling roundly acclaimed as an appeal to emotion, it is wise to take a different approach and put not just your heart, but also your mind in the placement of a bet. Many times attention is placed on who to bet on and what bet option to take, but how much money to place- an equally important factor- is often ignored.

The formula created by J. L. Kelly, Jr in 1956 has been used a lot over the years, and a good number of gamblers attest to its effectiveness. It has a complex derivation explanation; too much trouble for those interested in just placing a bet. Here’s a simplified version:

(BP – Q) / B
B = the Decimal odds -1
P = the probability of success
Q = 1-p (probability of failure)

Basically, the more chances you have of winning, the more money you should stake out, and vice versa.

And an example of how you can actually put it to use:

Let’s say you have 100 dollars you intend to stake in a race between two horses. Your favoured horse has a 54% winning chance. Thus:

P= 0.54
Q = 1-0.54 = 0.46
B = 2-1 = 1.
(0.54×1 – 0.46) / 1 = 0.08
0.08 % is the percentage of your available stake that you should place on this bet.
0.08 x 100 = 8 dollars.

There has been a back and forth discussion on whether the Kelly Criterion, though effective, is viable in all types of betting. There are those who claim it is not applicable in sports betting, the most common betting platform today. Experts dispute this as a case of miscalculation of probabilities, which makes the application faulty from the onset. There is also issue of big profits. Kelly Criterion is quite disciplined, and as such, it is not a guarantee for huge returns on small bets. Its only assurance is guarding you from illogical risk.

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