Open Archive 6

Re: Progression Theories

Posted by T-Hopper on 21 August 1999, at 12:26 a.m., in response to Opened my eyes, posted by Hot Dealer on 20 August 1999, at 3:42 p.m.

Progression systems do have theories behind them, but their goals and methods are considered suspect by mathematicians and professional gamblers.

One type of progression is the negative progression, such as the Martingale. The goal in this case is to have a high probability of winning a small amount, such as a single unit. For example, you could bet \$5 on the pass line at a craps table, then go to \$10, \$20, \$40, \$80, \$160, and \$320 until you finally win. You will win \$5 the vast majority of the time and lose \$635 just often enough to keep your overall expectation the same -1.4% of your total action that it would have been if you were flat betting.

Another type of progression is the positive progression, also known as "pressing" or "let it ride." With this strategy, when you win you leave the winnings out there and double the bets. It is basically the reverse of the above strategy. You will usually lose every bet but sometimes you will hit a streak and win big. Still, as above, the expectation will still be in proportion to the total amount bet.

The mathematically correct approach for negative expectation games depends on your goal. If you want to play as long as possible, make minimum bets at all times. If you want to win a certain amount, bet as much as you can at once up to the amount you have to play with, the table limit, or the amount you are short of the goal. These strategies of minimum or maximum variance are dull but they are consistent with clearly defined goals if you are going to play a game without having any advantage.

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