Classic Betting Strategies – The Ascot System

The Ascot strategy is an old-time roulette system for use on even bets, that is bets that pay one for one. Odds/evens, 1 through 18/19 through 36, and red/black pay even money at the roulette table. The Ascot system can be used for other casino games which have even money bets also, such as pass/don’t pass at craps, and banker/player at baccarat. 

To set up the Ascot system write down a series of numbers. You can make up any series you want, but it’s easier if you pick an odd number of numbers. For example 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 30. Place your even money bet on the middle number in the series. In this example your first bet would be eight units. If you win, step up to the next bet in the series. If you lose go down one step for your next bet. When you’ve won the highest number in the series or lost the lowest number, stop the series and start over. It’s that simple.

This method should enable you to play for a long period of time betting with a relatively small amount of money. On the negative side, any series that requires you to lower your bet substantially when you lose will cost you a lot of money if wins and losses alternate at the higher bet levels. In the example here, you would lose at 20, win at 13, lose at 20 and so forth. Not a surefire way toward profitability. 

Here’s a series of wins and losses I actually experienced at mini-baccarat at Caesar’s in Atlantic City. Use the Ascot betting schedule above and calculate whether I had a profit or loss. (The answer’s below.) You can use the same set of results to evaluate any Ascot series of your choice. 

This series contains 35 wins and 35 losses. Ignore whether the bets are banker (on which you pay a commission if you win) or player, and just assume even money bets.

Answer: Overall loss of 11 units. At the worst you would have been down 38 units and at best, up 115.

Casino, Sports Betting, and Lottery – A Comparison of the House Edge

The house edge, which is the commission that a gambling agent such as a

casino, a sportsbook (bookmaker), or a lottery administrator charges, is a

yardstick that measures how a specific gambling game is fair and reasonable.

It is one of the most important factors that every player should consider whenever he/she is engaged in any type of gambling, inasmuch as it indicates how much of the money wagered goes to the gambling agent’s pocket and how much is redistributed to the winners. Indeed, a house edge cannot be zero since casinos, sportsbooks, and lottery administrators have to make some money in order to cover their expenses, and to make some profit as well. Yet, a high house edge simply means that the players are unnecessarily being ripped-off, and as a result, any gambling game with a high house edge should certainly be avoided by a

knowledgeable gambler.

In this article, we shall compare, in the simplest way

possible, the house edges of a roulette, an evens-odd betting, and a Cash 3

lottery game as representatives of the three major gambling categories.

The Equation

The easiest way to compute a house edge is to compare the actual winnings that are

paid by the respective agents to the winnings that would be paid in a

fair game or bet. A fair game or a fair bet is one in which no commission

is involved; an obvious model is a game between friends. Therefore, in

percentage form, the house edge is obtained by subtracting an actual game winning

from a fair game winning and dividing the result by the fair game winning,

finally multiplying by 100. Thus,

House Edge = [ (fair game winning – actual game winning) / fair game winning ] *

100

Roulette

Because of its simplicity and popularity, we shall consider the roulette as a

representative casino game. A European roulette wheel has grooves marked by the

numbers 0 to 36; the American wheel (also called Las Vegas wheel) has an

additional groove marked as ’00’. So, the European wheel has a total of 37

numbers, while the American wheel has 38. Internet casinos usually make available

the option to select the type of wheel the customer prefers, but the brick and

mortar casinos normally offer only one type. The winning number in a roulette

game is the number corresponding to the groove where a spinning ball lands.

Now, consider a fair game in which 38 friends are playing the roulette at home,

and each one selects a number and places a $1 bet on the number (no two or more

players wagering on the same number). When the ball is spun and lands in a

groove, the number marking that groove will be the winning number.

The person who has selected this winning number collects all the money on the

table thus making him win $37. On the other hand, if the game were conducted in

a casino, the winner would be paid only $35. The difference between the two

winnings applied in the above equation gives us the house edge of a roulette game

as

( 37 – 35 ) / 37 * 100 = 2 / 37 * 100 = 5.4%

This means that every time you spend a $100 on an offline or online casino roulette, $5.40 goes to the casino and the rest is redistributed to the winners. Evidently, there are quite a number of casino games and the house edge varies

from game to game, many of them having a house edge less than that of the

roulette. For obvious reasons, a good gambler always prefers games that have low house

edges, while the casino itself loves those games with high house edges. For example,

the house edge of craps is 1.4% which makes it one of the most preferred casino

games by the players.

Even-odds Sports Betting

Again, because of its simplicity, we shall consider an even-odds betting as a

representative of this category of gambling. By even-odds we mean that the event

(usually a sports game) has equal chances of going either way. An example is a

tennis match between two competitive players each of which has an equal chance

of winning the match.

A fair bet, in this case, is just a simple bet between two friends who just

pick one of the tennis player as winner. If these two friends wager $1 each, the

winner will collect $2, thus winning $1. If instead the bets are placed

through a sportsbook, the winner will collect only $1.91, since the odds of an

evens game at most bookies and online sportsbooks is 1.91. If you are not familiar with the

decimal representation of odds, 1.91 is the same as 10/11 in UK notation and

-110 in US odds notation. Odds of 10/11 mean that you’ll win $10 when you wager $11; and odds of -110 mean that you have to wager $110 in order

to win $100. Anyway, since the winnings paid by a sportsbook is only $0.91, the house

edge of an even-odds betting
will therefore be

( 1 – 0.91 ) / 1 * 100 = 0.09 * 100 = 9%

So, this is how sportsbooks make a living. Since several internet sportsbooks offer odds higher than 1.91 in order to lure

bettors, the house edge could be smaller than 9%, which is one of the things that the bettor should be looking for when searching for a sportsbook. On the other hand, if the bettor is

wagering on parlays the house edge would be significantly higher than 9%; for

big parlays, it could go as high as 40%.

It should be apparent by now that the gambler is better off with casino games

than sports betting. It should also be noted that while the house edge could

be a major factor to consider while selecting a gambling game, it is by no means

the only one. For instance, one should consider the fact that casino games are

mostly games of chance, while sports betting also involves a learned decision in

selecting a pick, consequently leading to a higher probability of winning a bet.

Cash 3

Depending on the state you are in, this lottery game may be known by a

different name such as Pick 3, Play 3, Daily 3, etc. In this game, the player

selects a three-digit number from 000 to 999, and plays the number as a straight

or as a box. A straight play is a prediction that the number will come exactly

as selected while a box is a prediction for the number to come in any order. For

instance, if a player selects the number 672 and plays it straight, he/she will

win if the number drawn is exactly 672. Instead, if the player plays 672 as a

box, he/she will win as long as the drawn number contains a 6, a 7 and a 2, in

any order (276, for example). Obviously, a straight game pays much more

than a box game for the same amount wagered.

Now consider 1000 friends (maybe in a club) selecting a number as a straight,

each for $1, so that all the 1000 possible numbers are covered. When the winning

number is drawn, the person who has selected that lucky number will be deemed a

winner and will cash in all the $1000 collected, so making him win $999. This is

a fair game. In the case of state lotteries, however, the winner will be paid

only $500 in most states. Some states may pay a little bit less, others may pay

a little bit more, but $500 is more or less the standard. The winner therefore

wins $499. The house edge for a Cash 3 game will therefore be

( 999 – 499 ) / 999 * 100 = 500 / 999 * 100 = 50%

This house edge applies not only to the Cash 3 game but also to all state

lottery games such as Play 4, Cash 5, Mega, Fantasy 5, Lotto, Power Ball, etc.

So, whenever you are playing the state lottery, remember that you are wagering

only half of your money on the actual lottery; the other half, you are

just giving it away. Where this other half goes is not the gambler’s concern,

since his/her main objective is to win some money in order to pay the ever

present bills, or to get out of a miserable life, or to change his/her

20-year-old car. As regards contributing to education and other noble causes,

there are other means of collecting money called taxes and charities.

Unfortunately, many states do not allow casino games, and furthermore,

sports betting is illegal in the United States. The player is therefore left

with no choice but to cross state borders in search of a casino, or more

recently, to engage in online sports betting through the several offshore

internet sportsbooks. Nowadays, there is a plethora of trustworthy online

casinos and sportsbooks operating from Canada, the UK, Antigua, Costa Rica, and

so on.

The Conclusion

As far as the house edge is concerned, it has been shown that casino games

are the best choice for the gambler. On the other end, any state lottery is a

pretty miserable game to play. Nevertheless, besides the house edge, there is

also the possibility of winning to consider.

Casino games, like lotteries are mostly games of chance; the player just

selects a number or numbers and waits to see what luck brings him/her. There is

absolutely no basis to prefer one number to others. Some people try to analyze

previously drawn numbers in order to see the trend and predict the next numbers.

This strategy may work a few times, but not always. Keep in mind that it is the

players, and not the machines, who remember the previous numbers. In short, the

possibility of winning a roulette or the lottery entirely depends on luck.

While there is little or nothing that a roulette or a lotto player can do to

initially select a possible winning number, the situation could be quite

different in the case of betting. With a lot of information and some assistance from

sports handicappers, it is possible to predict the outcome of a sports event

with more certainty than predicting a Cash 3 number.

NCAA Basketball Betting: How to Make Money on the Mid Majors

The vast majority of people analyzing the college basketball betting board, or squares as we call them, will always gravitate towards the lines of the top 25 teams. The big names in college basketball such as Duke, UNC, Kentucky etc. Games between ranked teams and teams in the power conferences always attract the most action with bettors but experienced college basketball handicappers will often look for the soft lines involving mid major teams or teams that rarely play on national television. Listed below are the reasons why you too should start to bet less on the marquee matchup and more on the mid majors. Betting Action

As we eluded to above, the majority of the betting public doesn’t care about mid major teams until March Madness. This is a mistake. When you’re looking at the daily odds take notice of the amount of action that is bet on the two teams. Whenever the betting action is heavier on a college basketball game the more concerned you should be with wagering your money. You’ll often find that with a top 25 game between two top programs the line can move depending on the public loyalties and smart money. Often times the value will be bet out of a line due to the books adjusting to the betting action. When you bet mid major teams the lines move much slower due because sportsbooks aren’t as concerned with their exposure. This is your chance to find significant value and you can become far more profitable then betting to name brand teams. This is where real college basketball handicappers make their money.

Public Knowledge and Media Coverage

The average college basketball fan knows may know a lot about Kentucky, Duke or UNC or about a specific conference such as the ACC. This is no surprise considering that ESPN will air games featuring ACC or Big East teams on a weekly basis. It’s no shocker that Dick Vitale has a love affair with Duke and UNC and so does the majority of America. The public consumes vast amounts of information regarding the major conferences and very little amounts of information on the mid majors. But did you know that Rhode Island’s starting PG E.C. Matthews, who lead the team with 16.9 PPG in 2014-15 and was a key component to Rhode Island going 16-10 ATS last season, will miss 2015 due to a knee injury? Public knowledge is general knowledge so you’ll need to dig deep and have a depth of knowledge pertaining to all teams in college basketball. With over 300 teams it’s hard to know everything about every teams so pick out a mid major conference such as the WAC or the Colonial Athletic Conference and become familiar with the team and players. Follow them on social media and receive alerts and updates relating to these teams. Your goal is know more about the lesser known teams then the general public. This is where real college basketball handicappers make their money.

Talent and Experience

Every year there is a new team that emerges on the national spotlight during the NCAA Tournament. George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, North Florida in 2013 and the list is long and wide of teams that gain national attention by upsetting major conference teams during the tournament. Often times you’ll find that these teams have starters that are juniors and seniors and have played together for several years. While power conference teams with the top recruits are starting true freshmen and sophomores will very little experience playing when the game is tight, win or go home. A lot of the top programs have adopted a “one and done” recruiting mentality. When the NBA required players to attend 1 year of college before entering the draft, teams like Kentucky were recruiting magnets for the top talent. It took Coach K and Duke several years to adopt this mentality and it paid off last season when they won the National Championship. What happened when the season ended? Duke lost their 3 top recruited freshman who were drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NBA Draft. This type of overhaul doesn’t happen to the mid major teams which is hugely beneficial when it comes time to play the big boys. There is more of a team cohesion and team first mentality which pays big dividends when wagering. A good tip to remember is to research the teams rosters and player history. Teams with starting point guards that have experience are great teams to back. Experienced players with game tested nerves are often times a smart wager.

The above represents just a fraction of what experienced college basketball handicappers and bettors will research before placing a wager. You have to remember that more times then not the value is with the mid major programs and not the media darlings. Sharp bettors focus on soft lines and they can be spotted with the lesser known teams. So the next time you’re researching college basketball don’t forget what we discussed and look for the value in the mid major basketball teams. I would love to have you join me and commit to winning some money this season. Luck!