Myths vs. Reality

Do Betting Systems for Casino Games Work?

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Written by Joshua

A recent question from a slot player in a community of which I’m a part triggered a question I’ve never answered, but have seen periodically. It came up because another casino author (one I won’t link to because of the problems with the material they publish) was telling people they could “test” slot machines to see if they would pay under certain circumstances.

But we can zoom out to a much simpler question: Do betting systems for casino games work?

STATUS: No betting system works consistently against the house edge.

There are all sorts of betting systems out there, but each falls down because each wager you’re placing still goes up against the house edge of the casino. You can bet red and black concurrently on roulette, but occasionally those green 0/00 (or I hope you’re not playing 000) roulette spaces will clear both wagers away. You can bet pass and don’t pass but there’s rolling a 12 on the come out roll not being balanced.

Then there’s betting systems like the Martingale, where you are supposed to double your wager after each losing one and then reset when you win. But you’ll have some scenarios where you lose enough times to either run out of money or hit the table limit, and then you can’t recover your losses successfully. That crash out is how the house wins.

In the case of the example shared, a slot “expert” said you could do five spins on a series of slot machines, and see if they give you a “taste.” His claim is the more machines that give you a payout (whether an actual win or false win), the more likely the casino’s using “tastes” to get people to play.

He hedges his comments in all sorts of ways that lets him be opaque – only a fraction of casinos do this, the longer a game’s idle the better the taste (like any player would know how long a machine is idle), and so on. He says if half the machines or more give you a “taste,” this casino’s using this system.

Except. This doesn’t factor in real things about slots, like the game’s hit frequency. Five spins on any slot machine doesn’t tell you much about the game as a whole. Oh, and for games to be properly running on an RNG any outcome should be theoretically possible when you hit spin, and not reacting to outside conditions like how long a machine has been idle, so a “taste” would violate that premise.

Slot manufacturers would not purposefully try to side step gaming regulations so that casinos can offer players a “taste.” The risk to their business would be too great and there’s no value for them to do this. So don’t fall for the hype.

Betting systems can certainly make things interesting – some people stair step slots to spread their bets out so they’re not just constantly max betting, for instance. And they can certainly be fun when you get on a good run. But casinos aren’t going to leave loopholes where anyone who bets with a certain structure consistently can beat the house.

There may be short term advantages that can exist on slots, as we’ve discussed at length about some of the persistent state machines, but those will still collect money for the house over the long term. So there is no betting system out there that can promise you con

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.


  • Dear Joshua.

    I know I’m being stupid when I ask this, but it’s something that’s so obvious to you you’ve never said it here, presuming it’s equally obvious to goons like me. Well, here’s the question, if you read it I’d love an answer!

    OK. Now I’ve never played a casino slot because I’ve got enough probs., with the 30p a go ones, don’t want to touch casinos, but I love watching the YouTubers and this would help me understand what they’re doing. So you’ve got a mythical bandit with 20 paylines. If it’s 1c denom, would that make max bet 20c? (Therefore if $1, $20 max bet and so on.) But I’m sure I’ve seen them play $50 a spin (for example, and I don’t know how many paylines their machines have because I see bunches of symbols flash all over the place) on different denominations and I don’t see the point. I mean if you’re playing $50 on 1c or $10 it’s still $50! Also, HOW do you bet large amounts on a 1c slot? As it’s 1c per winline, to bet $50, say, would be 5000 winlines, no? So $5 denom would make it 10 winlines? If my thinking’s right, wouldn’t the 1c denom giving you 5000 winlines be much better as you’d have many more chances of hitting wins?

    Or have I misunderstood totally what’s going on? I’ve re-read your denom thing several times and I still don’t see that bit.

    Yours respectfully


    • Great question Christopher! I’m going to do a distinct post on this but wanted to give you an answer for now. There’s a couple of things to keep in mind.

      Let’s take that example of 20 paylines, and a 1 cent denomination. Betting all lines would be 20 cents. But! A couple of other things can be in play.

      First, there’s the line multiplier, or bet multiplier:

      Let’s say you bet each line x5, or 5 cents per line. That 5 cents, times 20 lines, would be $1. Most slots have a max bet that has a line multiplier of 10x, 20x or sometimes even more. This is one way they can push the bets up – you’re just betting more credits for each line.

      A second can be a specific feature bet:

      A feature bet can be a side bet, a bonus amplifying bet, or something else that drives up the total wager without adding lines. You could have 30 lines but a 75 cent or a $1 bet, because you’re also paying for features on top of the lines.

      Finally, there’s games that are known as all ways pays games:

      These games don’t have lines at all – placing a wager unlocks the ability to pay as long as symbols appear on enough consecutive reels. And these games may have extra feature bets or whatnot as well.

      All of these things help drive up an overall bet without even bringing in the idea of a different denomination, but that’s how you get to $5, $10 and even beyond on a slot machine wager.

      Hope this helps, but let me know if you’re uncertain about anything!

  • Joshua. Like the site! Think u need guest reviewers though. I’m from Chicago land area & just made trip to western New York State region including World class Niagara Falls, USA Indian casino resort. You must have many other friends who could provide unbiased in-the-know reviews that would be edited by yourself? I’d submit my reviews just to get the low down on the many many other casinos around this country & even Canada.

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