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Thursday, June 6, 2002
The Fibonacci and the Oscar's Grind systems are often referred to as two mathematical systems. People tend to use those in various occasions. This week, we'll have the facts on those systems and clarify in which instances it would make sense to make use of them.
The Fibonacci series is as follows:1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, The next number in the series is simply the sum of the previous two numbers. The starting number is 1. The second number calculated from 0 +1 (no number in front of the first 1) and is 1 again. The next number is 1 +1 or 2, then 1 +2 for 3, then 2 +3 = 5 and 5 +3 = 8, etc. The system works similarly to the Labouchere or cancellation system, only the player starts out with an empty line. If the first bet is won, then the sequence is over and the player has won. No numbers need to be written down. If the first bet is lost, then a line is started and a "1" is written down. The next number in the sequence represents the following wager size. If this bet is lost, then it is added to the end of the line. As each bet is lost, it is added to the end of the series. If a bet is won, the last number in the series is crossed out.
An example here will
help clarify things:
The player starts with a one unit loss, so a "1" is recorded to start the line. Another "1" is added after the second wager of one unit loses. The third stake requires a two-unit wager and loses, so a "2" is added. The fourth bet of three units finally wins and the "1-2" can be cancelled from the line. Because each wager adds up to the previous two bets, the last two numbers on the line can be crossed out when a bet wins. The next three bets lose, escalating our eighth stake up to five units. The player experiences a win at this level, allowing him to cancel out the "2-3" at the end of the line. The ninth bet of two units loses, so the line grows to "1-1-2." A win, loss and win on the tenth, eleventh and twelve wagers finally wipe out the betting line. The player needs and gets a win at this point to go up a net profit of one unit and win the sequence.
With only five wins
and eight losses, this particular sequence of wins and losses is tough, but
the player is able to pull it out. On the eighth wager, the stake reaches a
high of five units. If that bet had lost, the player would be twelve units
in the hole. At a $5 unit size, that equates to a $60 deficit. The next
wager from here would be eight units and another loss would put him back 20
units total. If you elect to use the Fibonacci, I would highly recommend
that you limit your top bet to five units. If you lose your wager at this
level, then abandon the series. Things get ugly too quickly from here. Stop
and regroup. Let's take the Fibonacci up to twelve straight losses to see
how quickly the wagers can mount:
The first reference I can find regarding this more modern betting system appeared in Allan Wilson's "The Casino Gambler's Guide," copyright 1965. Wilson was intrigued with this system after a dice player named "Oscar" produced detailed records showing modest, but consistent profits. Wilson ran 280,000 sequence simulations on an IBM 790 mainframe computer that was available to him. The analysis showed that while Oscar was a bit on the luckier side, his claims were at least possible. Now remember that Oscar was a pass line bettor only attempting to buck a -1.414% house edge as compared to a -5.263% house edge for double zero roulette. In addition, Oscar had a mega-bankroll and the willingness to risk it all for a one unit per cycle win.
Let's look at the
details of the "Grind." The system has the player bet one unit. If he wins,
the sequence is over and a new one can be initiated. If the wager is lost,
then the next bet will be the same size as the one just lost. Whenever a bet
is won, the next stake is one unit larger, unless it causes the bettor to
net more than one unit of profit for the sequence. At that point, just
enough is wagered to net one unit if the bet wins. That's it! A sample
sequence might look like this:
The player starts with a loss so his second stake remains at one unit. This bet is won, putting him back to even. Because he is only seeking a one-unit win for the progression, he does not escalate his bet to two units. Bets 3 through 5 are losses so he stays with a one-unit stake. After the sixth bet wins, he now increases his wager to two units. The seventh bet also wins, but again he only needs a one unit bet to win the sequence. The eighth bet loses so the ninth wager is one unit. Finally, the tenth bet wins and the player wins the entire progression.
Notice that out of ten total wagers, nine were only one unit in size. This system tends to be more conservative and less volatile. The sequence illustrated above contained five wins and five losses. I like the fact that this system does not quickly escalate your losing wagers and blindside you like some of the others. However, as your losses outnumber your wins, the amount you must wager after a win will steadily mount.
Oscar's Grind will excel in streaky games. The Grind minimizes your betting level if you are amidst a string of losses. It also directs you to gradually increase your wagers during a streak of wins, helping to optimize profits. This can be one of the safer systems to use if you limit your maximum bet size or impose a stop-loss parameter for choppy games. If you plan to use Oscar's Grind, I would recommend a stop-loss of about ten, no more than 12 units per cycle.
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