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Are There Any Betting Systems That Work?

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People have been trying to crack the “secret” of gambling for ages. This was especially true for roulette – in France, countless wannabe mathematicians have tried (and failed) to create a system that would predict the outcome of a round. Actually, there’s no way to cheat the system. While there were some confirmed cases when someone broke the bank, each time it was proven that they used a bias in the game to win.

Things get even more complicated when it comes to betting, especially online sports betting. There are countless people out there claiming to have a “foolproof, easy, successful” strategy to guarantee consistent wins. Most of them will gladly share it with you for a one-time payment of $19.00, of course. All this while there’s no way to cheat the system without actually cheating. Here’s why.

Fairness is a must

Gambling is built on the premise that the events are random – as in neither the operator nor the player have any influence on them. This goes for casinos, which have to prove their games’ randomness – fairness – periodically, and for sports betting, where any attempt to influence the outcome of an event in any way is punishable by law.

The house advantage is built into the game

Casinos and betting outlets are under no obligation to pay you money. On the contrary: you are supposed to pay them for their services. Casinos and betting shops are not charities but businesses. They pay taxes, and salaries, and spend a lot on advertising. And, like all other companies, they are supposed to be profitable.

To make sure they are profitable, there is a “house edge” built into every game. In the case of casino games, their return to player (RTP) is always under 100%, with the casino’s profit margin built into it. Poker operators will perceive a “rake” – a percentage of every pot, a commission of sorts. And betting operators offer payouts slightly under the “real odds” of an outcome.

Betting systems are still around because of fallacies

Why do these betting systems continue to circulate when there’s no proof of their efficiency? Well, it must be because of the gamblers’ fallacies. Yes, there are several of them: gamblers tend to believe that past events influence future outcomes, that there is such a thing as a “hot streak”, and that they have control over the outcome of the games. Which, of course, are not true.

But these beliefs keep the illusion alive for many people, that there’s a way in which they can earn a lot of money without putting in any work. People want to believe that there’s a system that can be cracked and its secrets revealed.

A sense of accomplishment

No form of gambling is 100% predictable. But there are a few of them that come pretty close – namely daily fantasy sports and sports betting – some markets, at least. Both of them rely heavily on statistics.

Of course, there’s no way to precisely predict the exact score of a soccer match or how many points an NBA player will score in a game. But other things, like the total number of goals in a soccer match or points in a basketball game, can be approximated based on the teams’ and players’ statistics. And in most cases, that’s enough. Of course, these bets won’t pay a fortune. But they are still wins, and they will give you a sense of accomplishment.

Are there any betting systems that actually work? The answer is “no” – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Casino games are completely random, poker games rely on skill, not strategy, and sports betting doesn’t require a system, only hard work and in-depth knowledge of the game. Those who claim to know their secrets are probably lying – otherwise, they wouldn’t need to sell their books online, right?


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The collective team of Parlé Magazine. Twitter: @parlemag

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