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# The Experiment Proving that Betting Systems Are Useless

In multiple articles, reviews, and comments published on Casinoz, we have repeatedly claimed that betting systems (not to be confused with optimal strategies) do not lower the house edge in online casino games.

The conclusion is obvious:

We have provided indisputable facts, offered articles by famous mathematicians, and engaged in open debate with software vendors. In short, we made every effort to show you the truth.

Nevertheless, some of our readers have not been convinced. Many still believe that there is a betting system that really will help them win at roulette or slots. We will not retreat and will continue to struggle with the illusions.

This article will tell you about the practical experiment conducted by Michael Shackleford, the owner of Wizard of Odds, one of the most influential English-language web resources about casinos and gambling. If you still believe in the efficacy of betting systems, be sure to keep reading.

## Michael Shackleford's Challenge

Between 1999 and 2005, Michael challenged all betting system supporters by offering them a bet. He bet \$20,000 against \$2,000 that any system proposed by the reader will not be effective within one billion hands, spins, rolls dice, etc. To check it, he suggested using computer simulation.

Naturally, during this time, many approached him, but nobody agreed to participate in the bet. The reasons for refusal were different.

• Some did not trust Sheklford (or tried to justify so), although he was not against the involvement of third parties, which would ensure fairness.
• Others doubted that the simulator would give the correct results (too weak " excuse ").
• Some people tried to cheat Michael, convincing him to play by the rules that give a mathematical advantage to the client.

It seemed that practical tests would never happen...

## The First Competitor

But in 2004, Daniel Rainsong dared to challenge Shackleford. Moreover, he was so confident that he offered to double the bet: \$40,000 of Michael against his \$4,000. The owner of Wizard of Odds agreed.

After a long correspondence by e-mail, participants met personally to discuss the details and conduct an experiment. Daniel set a condition: if he won, Michael would tell about their contest on his website and recommend Rainsong's book. Shackleford agreed.

Then they signed a notarized contract. The entire amount of the bet was transferred to an independent judge. It was a professional card counter with a degree in statistics (his name was not revealed).

For the experiment, they chose the blackjack with the following rules :

• The game is played with two decks;
• The dealer stands on "soft 17;."
• Split can be done up to four times;
• Double after split is allowed;
• No resplitting aces;
• One card is dealt to split aces;
• No surrender is allowed;
• The dealer cuts a quarter of the cards in the shoe;
• There are no unusual rules.

In such conditions, the house edge is 0.26% if the player does not count cards or use other professional techniques.

Daniel Rainsong's procedure was not related to card counting and did not depend on the depth of cutting decks in the shoe. He did not want to disclose its details, so Michael did not share it with readers.

Daniel said he used the latest scientific discoveries in genetics to develop the technique. This system allowed him to win more than eight thousand in thirty-three thousand hands at a starting bet of one dollar.

To explain the method, Rainsong tried to put pressure on the proposal to give him only half the forty thousand without calculations. But, of course, Shackleford refused that "tempting" offer.

## The Experiment on Betting Systems

The game was held in October 2004. It took about fourteen hours for the simulator to generate one billion hands. The opponents decided to track the outcomes. They agreed to stop the experiment if the resulting data was apparent.

At first, the system won, but it shifted to the read after 170,000 game rounds. Then, the result worsened. After ten million deals, it became clear that the method was a failure. Rainsong admitted his defeat.

The results were as the following:

• Number of deals: 10000000
• Total bet amount: 10,357,394
• Final bankroll -30 381.5
• The final hand with a positive bankroll: 168 621
• Fixed house edge: 0.2933%

As you can see, the numbers speak for themselves. If the experiment continued until the end (i.e., up to a billion hands), the casino advantage would probably have decreased and approached the level of 0.26%, but it would not disappear.

The author of this technique continues to sell his book on how to win at the casino on eBay and even asks Shackleford to tell his readers about it. And it does not amaze us because fools will buy this product and try to apply it in practice. Some people are surprisingly persistent in their pursuit of realizing impossible dreams.

## The End

Although no one else wanted to participate in the experiment, many wrote to Michael, but no one agreed to bet. In 2005 Sheklford announced that he no longer accepted challengers.

## Conclusion

We do not want our readers to make wrong conclusions. The fact that Rainsong's system was in the black for the first hundred and seventy thousand hands does not mean that players can use it to beat the casino and need to quit at the right moment.

It is only a matter of luck. If you repeat the experience, you might start losing from the very first hand. And the longer you play, the closer your results will be to the theoretical house edge.

When it comes to blackjack, you can have an advantage over the casino. To do this, find the offline casino offering the best rules, play by the optimal strategy, count cards, and use other professional tricks. But in practice, it is much more complicated than in theory. And at online casinos, it is impossible.

We hope that the story about this awesome experiment convinced you that betting systems would help you beat the casino. However, studying optimal strategies for blackjack, video poker, table poker, and other games can be beneficial. They help to achieve better results.

P.S. Casinoz recommends you read the article about betting systems and the house edge written by an American professor of mathematics.

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