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Last active Dec 15, 2015

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How spam helped me win big at the casino

I was clearing out spam from my inbox, and one email caught my eye:

yo mate, ok I`ll give you my trick...
you know in roulette you can bet on blacks or reds. If you bet $1 on black and it goes black you win $1 but
if it goes red you lose your $1.
So I found a way you can win everytime:

bet $1 on black if it goes black you win $1

now again bet $1 on black, if it goes red bet $3 on black, if it goes red again bet $8 on black,
if red again bet $20 on black, red again bet $52 on black (always multiple you previous lost bet around 2.5)
if now is black you win $52 so you have $104 and you bet:

$1 + $3 + $8 + $20 + $52 = $84 So you just won $20 :)

now when you won you start with $1 on blacks again etc etc.  its always bound to go black
eventually (it`s 50/50) so that way you eventually always win. But there`s a catch. If you
start winning too much (like $1000 a day) casino will finally notice something and can ban
you. I was banned once on royal casino. So don`t be too greedy and don`t win more then $200
a day and you can do it for years. I think bigger casinos know that trick so I play for real
money on smaller ones, right now I play on elite world casino: <link removed> for more
then 3 months, I win $50-$200 a day and my account still works. <snip>

Obviously to good to be true right? My presumption was that the exponential growth of the bets you would need to place would soon exceed the maximum bet of the table (and the balance of your bank account).

I decided to code up a simulation to get an idea whether it really is possible to win big using this method. Firstly I knocked up a quick and dirty Roulette spin simulator http://gist.github.com/169004 it's a bit more verbose that it needs to be, but what the hell.

Test 1

My first test wasn't so successful, I had made the assumption that there was no maximum bet and that if you had a win, the next bet would still be 2.5 times the previous bet. I also set an initial bank of £2000 and the algorithm won't let you bet above your bank balance. I ran 1000 iterations of this betting pattern and the results are as follows:
Number of Wins(e.g. make a profit): 338
Number of Losses(e.g. lose money): 662
Average win: -£8

In summary, your odds of winning are 33% and long-term you don't stand to make any profit.

The code for this pattern is here: http://gist.github.com/169045

Test 2

As per the previous test but this time introducing a betting limit of £500
Results:
Number of Wins(e.g. make a profit): 484
Number of Losses(e.g. lose money): 516
Average win: -£24

As you can see, this brings your odds back to around 50%, but the long-term wins are still effectively zero.

The code for this pattern is here: http://gist.github.com/169048

Test 3

So how about if every time we win, we reset our bet to £1? Would this yield different results. I kept the bank at £2000 and the betting limit at £500 (although instead of quitting when hitting the betting limit we reset our bet to £1). Also as we'll often be making small bets with this method, I added a limit of 100 bets per iteration.
The results were quite interesting:
Number of Wins(e.g. make a profit): 887
Number of Losses(e.g. lose money): 113
Average win: -£21

So you now have an 88% chance of winning! That's great, right? Well no. The average win is quite telling in this scenario. Although you have a really good chance of winning, you stand to win only a small amount and you will often have to make large bets. Below is a sample of winning amounts (remember these are after 100 spins of the wheel):
£163, £90, £145, £248, £160, £140, £186, £95

Compare these to the below sample of losing amounts:
£1865, £1980, £1922, £1961 - you get the idea!

The code for this pattern is here: http://gist.github.com/169059

In summary the losses that you are going to make will pretty much wipe out any profits and therein lies the problem. With the method you are forced into making big bets and you are going to reach point where you either reach the limit of the table or your bank balance.

So when the spammer says he makes $50-$200 dollars a day, he could well be - most days. However every week or so, he's going to lose $2000. I for one, have no sympathy.

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