Casinos and Luck
A few years after leaving school, I purchased a small Roulette wheel and spun it tens of thousands of times whilst doing border duty in the military, looking for ways to beat the odds. For those interested, I tested mainly methods that were much used in the first half of last century by the big casino players in Europe like the Martingale (doubling-up foolishly), Great Martingale (1,3,7,15,31, even more foolishly), Laboucherie, Montant D'Alemente and variations of these.
A few years later a friend wrote me a program that allowed me to test my strategies over millions of spins, and later, millions of hands of BlackJack.
It took me several years to come to accept the fact that the average person cannot win consistently against the casino, unless one gets seriously involved in searching for biased wheels, cheating or card-counting. I bought many books on the mathematics of gambling and card-counting, all of which led to the painful conclusion that the average person simply cannot beat 'cold odds'. I even looked into cheating, building a hand-held card-counter (two buttons, 5-8 gearing (picture-plain card ratio) to a centre dial) that I eventually decided not to use because of the shadiness of the action. I tried everything.
One of the most popular methods used by big roulette players (?) is to increase your bet by one unit if you lose and decrease by one unit after winning.
For what it's worth, my best Roulette 'method' is to play 5 of the "lines" (a line covers six numbers) for 2 spins, then play two of the thirds with the profit and start again. If you lose while playing 5 lines, 5x up, and again if you lose and can afford it or the ceiling permits. If you lose while playing 2/thirds (e.g. columns) keep tripling up until you hit the ceiling. Occasionally slip a quick single double-up-till-you-win run in. Quit when you have made approximately 3x your outlay (max 5). Quite boring, but fairly successful. Consider putting a smallish chip on the zero(s) if you are playing a big bet.
Keep switching styles. If you study printouts of thousands of spins for any pattern, sooner or later you'll find ones that will destroy any system you are playing. By switching pattern of play you are decreasing the odds of playing the wrong system at the wrong time. Once, in my computer-generated printouts of millions of spins of the wheel, I noted 28 blacks in a row. The randomizing function of the computer was working perfectly. Anyone like to double-up against this? Play columns, halves, thirds, sixths or numbers randomly. Don't just keep on playing one particular way.
With Blackjack, I just try and get in tune with the dealer's minor win/loss cycles. Never bet the same size unit all the time. Increase the size of your bet after the dealer has had a 21 or a few winning hands in a row. Likewise, bet small when you have had a few good hands. Quit when you have made about 8-10x your outlay. What I like to do is sometimes hit the dealer hard immediately after they have made a Blackjack, with enough money in reserve to double up once if you lose. Leave your credit card at home!
I share a smile with the mathematicians. All of these methods can work quite well in the short term, as long as you don't walk straight into a run of losses. Ride any roulette system for a long time and you 'ride home'.
I am not a big casino player, but the following is true. I have kept records of my wins and losses over the years and have always known my running total. For the first 15 years I gambled I was running at a loss. After discovering astrology in the early nineties I reversed my position and am now in profit, at an average of 700%, at 4 of the main casinos in our country, Sun Coast, Grand West, Montecasino and Sun City. Only the Wild Coast Sun still has some of my money from the early days and I've never been back.
Having testing almost every method and theory I came across, I can say something which I hope will save you a lot of time and money: Unless you get into rhythm with your fortunate planetary transits, the casino will, long term, eat you up. You are moving up and down on a steadily descending graph that will eventually deplete your resources.