The house always wins, or so they say, but with the proper casino strategy players can reduce the house edge to manageable levels, so that they have a fighting chance. Not all the strategies and systems advertised online are effective and most of those who try to sell them are scammers, but there are some that do a decent job of protecting your bankroll. Knowing a bit about the casino strategies and systems you might come across makes it easier to avoid scams while maximizing your chances to win.

The Martingale System

Roulette is essentially a game of luck and the house holds a slight edge that depends on the number of zeros on the wheel. The American roulette has a higher house edge than its European counterpart, which explains why the latter is more popular online. The martingale system has been around for quite a while and it is here to stay, despite the strong evidence brought by experienced players against it. While used extensively in the game of roulette, the martingale can be applied to virtually any game, due to its easy to figure out system.

In theory you can’t lose by applying this strategy, because all you need to do is to double or triple the amount of money wagered after each losing round. When playing the Roulette and betting on red or black, it is enough to double the stakes because eventually you will offset the loses. On the paper this looks very encouraging, because if you have enough money eventually even the longest losing streak with end. The martingale system can also be used when playing blackjack, with the upside being that in case the player is dealt a blackjack he will cash in 3:2 the amounts wagered.

It is obvious that if the martingale would be as good as it looks, the casinos would be out of work because anyone playing the Roulette or blackjack would beat the house. What really happens is that every roulette has a betting cap, so eventually the player will be unable to bet to the desired amount, because it would simply exceed the limit. In most cases it is not the limit which represents the problem, but the simple fact that the player does not have enough funds to deal with a long losing streak.

Due to the cap it is clear that the martingale system can potentially lead to bankruptcy. The risk might not seem very real, but if the worst-case scenario becomes reality you can lose your entire bankroll.

The Fibonacci and D’Alembert Systems

Roulette players are probably aware of the Martingale system, but if they don’t like the inherent risks posed by it, they will return to more conservative solutions. The Fibonacci system is similar to the martingale, but in this case the goal is to limit potential losses with a progressive system. The bets need to follow the Fibonacci sequence, which means that each wager represents the sum of the previous two amounts. If the player loses he continues to increase the amount, and when he wins he returns to the initial value and the cycle restarts.

The D’Alembert system is even easier to comprehend, because instead of a string of numbers the betting pattern changes with just one unit after each betting round. Each time the player loses, the next bet is increased by one unit and every time he wins the exact opposite happens and the amount wagered is decreased. In theory, by sticking to this straightforward rule, the player will stay profitable regardless of how unlucky he is, without allowing things to escalate as quickly as they do in the traditional martingale.

There is of course the opposite D’Alembert system which recommends players to increase the amount they bet when they win and to decrease it by you need when they lose. The difference is negligible, and what is important is for the initial wager to be higher, because this is not a system that chases losses.

Card Counting

Blackjack is just as popular in regular casinos and online, because it has a decently low house edge and rewards skilled players. The casinos still make a lot of money with this game, but this is due to the fact that most of the players have no idea about some common sense rules which can improve their chances. They are either too greedy and double up when they shouldn’t or ask for more cards to be dealt to them just to make sure they win, or simply have poor bankroll management and lose in the long run.

One of the first things that players should know is that insurance should never be taken, because it represents an unnecessary waste of resources. If the dealer has the ten that will give him a blackjack you cash in on the insurance, otherwise the play resumes and you have a good chance of winning the hand. This is why many players assume that this is a smart move, but in the long run they win more by not taking this side bet, because they’re not getting proper value (e.g., the risk is higher than the potential reward). The bottom line is that “insurance” is a misleading term in this context because the player doesn’t insure anything, only mitigates risks.

Counting cards is a skill that will help you win in the game of blackjack and if you are very good at this, you might even find some opportunities to take insurance. By knowing how many cards with a value of ten that are in the game, you get a better picture at the odds of the dealer to make a blackjack. The ability of keeping track of the cards that were dealt is not only useful in this situation, because knowing the ratio between high and low cards is helpful throughout the game.

It also helps in deciding when it is convenient to double up or split cards and it is 100% legal, although there is a chance to be invited out of the casino if you are suspected of counting cards. If you don’t have this skill, you should at least remember only to double down when you have a hard 9, 10 or 11 and not to split tens or fives. Standing on hard 17 and soft 19 is also a wise choice while keeping soft 17 is a must.