6 Gambling Strategies That Can Up Your Game

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Most games of chance have a strategy associated with them. People have been developing methods of play to tip the scale in their favor since the beginning of gambling. Understanding the rules and the sequence of a game are the basis for developing a good strategy. But if it was easy wouldn’t everyone be millionaires?

The strategies on this list are broad. Some of these items apply to a specific game, others to wagering in general. This list won’t turn you into a super-gambler but it will familiarize you with practical gambling strategies you can apply in real life. Just being aware of these ideas will provide you more confidence and flexibility in gaming.

1- Due Column Betting

Due column betting is a type of wagering strategy. Players determine how much profit they’ll attempt to make before starting the game. With each loss, the player increases their wager to keep their original profit target until eventually winning. In general, these and other similar betting strategies are known as ‘progression systems’.

In due column betting, players wager enough each game to meet their profit target and recoup any loses. This means continually increasing wagers as a player loses. For some, this may seem like doubling down every time you lose a game which isn’t far from the truth. Due column betting hinges on the idea of eventually hitting a payout to cover your loses and making a profit.

As you can probably imagine the system doesn’t always work as intended. It does not guarantee a profit. Once a player has experienced enough loses his upward trajectory becomes impossible and diminishing returns begin. With enough knowledge and experience, a due column betting system can provide a loose road map for some players but its effectiveness is questionable.

2- Dice Control

Dice control is a disputed theory in craps where players claim to practice rolling dice similar to a sport. Dice control proponents liken it to darts or bowling. Detractors claim the techniques are not effective and will not help a player overcome the house advantage.

The technique revolves around ‘controlled shooting’. The player must first grip the dice appropriately and toss at just the right angle. The goal of the toss is to land the dice just close enough to the back wall of the craps table, bouncing it off the wall while the dice remains on the correct axis. Needless to say, the technique is hard, if not impossible to master.

Many casinos require the player’s dice to hit the back wall of the table which is covered in an angular texture. This prevents gamblers from creating a controlled spin on the dice. Proponents show clear positive results when the dice are not required to touch the textured wall of the table. When players have to bounce dice off angled surfaces this advantage disappears.

3- Asian Handicap

An Asian handicap is less a gambling strategy and more a type of wagering. Betting in this style can give the player better odds but with a smaller payout. The name was coined by a journalist describing a form of Indonesian football betting that later became popular across the world.

Although the wagering system began with Asian football (soccer for our American friends), it can be applied to any sport where a tie is possible. It serves to narrow the three possible match outcomes into two, removing the chance of a draw. It does this by creating a form of spread-betting. Favored teams are given a deficit while underdogs are given a head start.

The system handicaps teams in ½ and ¼ point increments, forcing a payout. Player’s wagers are divided into two separate bets, one for a whole point spread and another for the ½ or ¼ increment. This means a teams handicap will be expressed by 2 numbers; a whole number and an additional fractional increment. Because Asian handicap betting aims to give each side in a match 50/50 odds there is a low margin of return.

4- Martingale Systems

Martingale is a type of betting strategy. It posits that players increase their bets with each loss to re-accrue money in an attempt to break even. Due-column betting is a type of martingale system.

Mathematical analysis says that martingale systems are not realistic wagering strategies. Given a finite number of games with a house advantage, expected losses will always outweigh expected wins. Without boring you with a mathematical formula; all martingale systems only work if a player has infinite time and infinite resources. Even then the system offers no predictability of when a win will occur.

This is further confused by player’s expectations about probabilities. It is common for players to consider streaks of wins and losses as less possible. This skewed view increases a player’s faith in the martingale system. With each successive loss, a win is expected. Because of this players believe they can increase their bets to re-accrue losses.

There is also a system known as the reverse martingale that proposes the opposite of a martingale system. Players lower bets after losses and raise bets after wins. This system assumes streaks will occur and is even less mathematically predictable.

5- Labouchère System

The Labouchere system is a type of roulette strategy. It is a method of wagering in roulette using even bets such as red/black, even/odd, and 1-18/19-36. Like due column betting, players come up with a predetermined goal for winnings. Unlike due column and other martingale systems, players are not required to double their bets after each loss.

The Labouchere System Can Be a Little Tricky

Players determine a goal and make a list of numbers that add up to the goal amount. The player then wagers the sum of the number found at the beginning of the list and the number found at the end of the list. If a player wins both numbers are removed; if a player loses no numbers are removed and the amount wagered is added to the end of the list.

To illustrate this best you should write out a sequence of bets that equal your goal and begin simulating wins/losses. You’ll see that as you win the list decreases until all numbers have been marked off and you’ve reached your goal. When you lose, your losses are added to the end of the list so that with each loss you bet the previous amount and the first number in your sequence.

This cancellation system offers an alternative to the immediate doubling of bets required in martingale systems. Like martingale systems, the Labouchere system is unpredictable due to losing streaks and can face constraints due to table limits. Alternatively, a reverse Labouchere can be used by adding the sum of winning bets to the end of your sequence and removing numbers as you lose.

6-  Card Counting

Card counting is an often misunderstood concept. It’s used to determine if the next hand dealt will be advantageous to the house or the player. Card counting is more readily deployed in games of the blackjack family but the strategy can be employed in other games as well such as dominoes and bridge.

For simplicity’s sake, apply this to blackjack. Each card is assigned a positive, negative, or zero value. These values correlate to the cards Effect of Removal (EOF). By assessing the EOF for the cards dealt players can determine the house advantage based on the remaining cards. This is the most basic of card counting systems and other systems can increase in complexity exponentially.

Card counting systems are a balance of betting correlation, playing efficiency, and (in the case of blackjack) insurance correlation. Betting correlation is how well a system informs a player of the value of undealt cards and provides confidence in betting.

Playing efficiency is how effectively the system facilitates gauging and changing strategy. Insurance correlation is the amount of value a player can expect from taking the insurance bet in a game of blackjack.

Nobody said counting cards is easy and many casinos will remove players suspected of card counting. Countermeasures are instituted at blackjack tables such as shuffling after a player increases a wager, continuous shuffling machines, and decreasing the number of cards dealt before a shuffle. Penalties a casino may enforce for card counting include the canceling of comps, confiscation of chips, and banning known counters.

There are no laws that expressly outlaw card counting and there are in fact laws that limit the countermeasures casinos can impose on skilled players.


Strategies in gambling run the gambit from mental feats to physical tricks. Many items on this list are wagering strategies. Wagering strategies are important because most can be applied to all gambling games. This adds a second layer of challenge. A good player will have a playing strategy as well as a wagering strategy for the game they choose.

Some of these method’s effectiveness may be questionable and others may require a level of mental gymnastics that can be intimidating. Pick a gaming and wagering strategy that fits your skill level. Players that are aware of these concepts, even if they’re not applying them, are more equipped to play smart and win.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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