Mythological Moment: Progression systems – part 3

Copyright 2001, The Mayor


Then there is the most common question of all from the neophyte: "What are the odds of losing x hands in a row?" Let’s examine this question more closely.

The neophyte, let’s call him Fred, decides that he will be okay as long as he doesn’t lose too many hands in a row. In that case he can always leave on a win, so that a progression system is sure to work. He thinks he is going to carry out some clever computation that will satisfy his instinct that he can survive the bad times ahead.

Progression systems are all based on the theory that unlikely events will NEVER happen. But they do, all the time, and when they do, that’s when you lose the farm. Or maybe Fred never loses the farm, maybe 100 Fred’s never lose their farm, they win using a progression system. But the most unlikely event will happen, and the particular Fred it happens to will be hurt so badly by his use of a progression system that his life savings, his inheritance, his 401k, his home equity line of credit, and more, is suddenly lost in that most terrible run of luck the gods have ever bestowed upon his sacred human form.

Do you want to take the chance that you are that Fred? Lightening does strike somewhere, and you are putting yourself on a golf range, with a 1 iron in your hand when you play a progression system. The losses can be astronomical, and hit you suddenly and unexpectedly, and then you are wiped out, not just for the session, but for life, everything, all gone, all at once.

Why would anyone play a system that has exactly the same expectation as basic strategy, but this incredible danger also associated with it? The answer is simple, it "appears" to be logical, it "appears" to win most of the time, and it "appears" to be supported by experts. However, the experts are only experts because simplicity and easy fixes sell. It is snake oil, run, don’t walk, as fast as you can get from these systems!

This is not advice for the advantage player, the shuffle tracker, or the card counter, this is advice for everyone who ever thought to himself: "I have an idea how I can beat the casino, what if I just double my bet each time…" You are in the running for idiot of the year if you think these systems work. And I will personally nominate you if you ever suggest such a system to another fellow human walking the face of this good earth.