Author of the publication: Rhys Williams
Today I am writing about gambling. But not just gambling. We'll see techniques for winning every time. And we'll see why they're actually *really* lame! Like the title says, we're going to talk about 'martingale'. What is a martingale anyway?
Martingale is a gambling technique that increases your probability of winning money. Can you tell me how to win at heads or tails every time? For heads or tails, you need to have a list of the number of heads and the number of tails that have already been thrown. Wait, what good is that? Well, if I've thrown a coin nine times and I've only had heads, then the next throw has a high probability of being tails, right? Not really. When you flip a coin, there is always one chance in two that it will fall on heads or on tails, regardless of the previous throw. In probability, we call these "Independent Events". Ok, but it's got to be impossible for it to happen a thousand times in a row. Yes, the probability of getting heads a thousand times in a row is close to zero BUT not equal to zero. In fact, it's equal to 1/2 to the power of 1000.
So, it's not an "impossible event". But wait, I have a great technique! Since I know that it will definitely fall at some point, I just double my money every time I bet. That way, when I do win- jackpot! Imagine that you go play roulette in a casino. You start by betting two euros on black and apply your technique. Ok, actually this business is pretty complex. Let's do a simulation, ok? I have a Google spreadsheet. In this column, I can randomly generate 'black' (noir) or 'red' (rouge) and on the left are all the bets I'm making and my winnings are on the right. So like we said, every time I lose, I have to double my bet. So, I'll always bet on black. And at first, I win. There, I get red, so I double my bet. I bet 4 euros and I get black. Very good. There, I lose, then I double my bet again. I win 0 euros. So I double again. And there, cool, I won. I bet 2 euros. I get black. Okay, four euros. I bet 2 euros there and I get red. I double my bet again, and again, and again... I keep doubling my bet...
So I just bet 1,024 euros...and I got red again. Next round, I have to bet more than 2,000 euros. And I lost again! Next round, more than 4,000 euros. Okay...I lost again! The next round is going to cost me 8,000 euros. If I were in a real casino-- luckily this is a simulation-but if this were a real casino, I would have to empty my bank account! Good, it landed on black. It came out black, so I won 16,384 euros! But what you might be forgetting is all those previous bets that we lost! And in total those come to 16,382 euros. I'll let you do the math to find out exactly how much you won. You're telling me that I just bet more than 8,000 euros and I only won 2 euros?! Sure, I only won 2 euros but I still didn't loose! Yes, but it only works if you have a bank account with unlimited funds. In the end, as you can see first of all, you only win a small amount. And second of all, you had to invest more than 16,000 euros in order to make only 2 euros! Imagine if you'd had to go even further, until you spent all the money you had in your bank account?
All that money would be lost forever! Yeah, I guess if I had that much money, it'd be better to put it in a savings account. And besides, if it really worked, it would be illegal to do it in a casino! Using weighted dice, counting cards, all that is against the rules! With martingales, on the other hand- the casino gives you the paper to take your notes on! They even put the information on screens next to the roulette tables! In the end, there's no miracle technique for winning at games of chance. You have to remember that each event is independent. When I flip a coin I only have a 50% chance of getting heads or of getting tails. It's the same with dice. When I throw a die, I only have 1 chance in 6 of getting any one side. There is no way that what happened on a previous throw can influence the next one! If you still have questions, if there's something you don't get, I'll be waiting for you in the comment section.