Whether you play Blackjack, Slots, Roulette or basically any casino game, you can change the amount you bet on every single round. For example, in Blackjack you can risk $5 one hand and then $10 next hand, etc. Some gamblers vary their betsizes depending on their mood or if they feel like a lucky hand or spin is coming. But we know better: by strategically altering the amount you risk, you can make your casino experience even more fun and enjoyable.
To discuss betting strategies, you have to understand the rules of Blackjack and Roulette - if you don't already know them, read our related articles.
The use of betting strategies
Betting Strategies are generally used for two things, the first of which is scamming. There are several sites on the internet claiming they make a constant profit out of Roulette using these betting strategies, but all they really found is a way to exploit people who have a bit weaker math skills. We have bad news for you: there is no winning strategy for Roulette - however, you can easily influence how often or how big you win using these betting strategies. And with this we arrived to the second use.
Every person is unique, and there are several factors constructing human psycholgy. One of them is the attitude towards risk. Risk aversive people tend to choose the safer outcome with lower variance and potential loss, while risk seeking personalities want to bet big to win big. Finally you can be (in theory) risk neutral, who risk $10 or $2000 equally happily if the expected outcome is the same. Though gamblers are generally risk seeking, you can find examples of either type in casinos easily. But that's enough psychology for today, back to betting strategies.
Betting strategies can be used to fulfil your personal attitude towards risk. Let's look at two examples: Martingale and reverse Martingale. Using the Martingale system in every session you risk your whole bankroll for $1 - the chance of losing is almost non-existent (only almost!), but there is still a chance. On the other hand, after every session in which you don't bust you gain $1. This is a risk seeking attitude, you take a pretty huge risk (your entire bankroll) and gain $1 in return - but you win frequently. Reverse Martingale works the complete opposite. After every losing session you lose $1, but in the rare case you hit your preferred ceiling, you win big. You risk a very small amount to win big - rarely. This is for the risk-averse.
Playing with the house's money
This is one of the most popular and widely used betting strategies (also known as parlay betting system). The goal is to win some money from the casino in the beginning and then hopefully never risk your own money again. You do this by increasing your betsize while you win, but after 2 or 3 wins you only risk a part of your winnings leaving some chips behind to play with if you happen to lose. If you don't have any more of the house's money, you bet the original amount. Let's look at an example...
You bet $1 and win, bet $2 and win again. Now you've got $3 of the house's money. You decide to not bet $4 (as the pattern would suggest), but only $3. If you win, you are $6 ahead of the house, if you lose you're still breaking even. Let's say you win again. Now you can only bet $4 or $5, so if you happen to lose, you still have some of the house's money.
Psychology of betting strategies
You can probably see how parlay strategy can be attractive for new players. If you get a winning streak, you probably won't have to risk your own money ever again. If for nothing else, this betting system is very useful to show how flawed our mind and thinking can be. First of all, you won't always win or start with a winning streak. There will be nights when you start off with a loss and never go back to zero, or even if you do, a loss or two takes you back - it's part of the game, the 'strategy' conveniently forgets to mention that.
Also if you win any amount of money, that's your money from that point on. You can walk away with it and never come back again. Therefore you never play with the house's money, you always play with your own (and the opposite is also true: the house doesn't have your money - it's the house's after you lost it). It feels great to have more money at the end of the night than at the start. But these two dates are only significant to you (given that you will gamble sometime in the future), but your bankroll, Fortuna and the cards have no sense of time.
Now you can see all the biases surrounding betting strategies, but keep in mind that enjoying gambling is the main goal, and if you enjoy winning, no matter how small it is (or don't mind losing small amounts to win big), you might want to stick to one of these strategies. If you're interested in different betting systems, take a look at Martingale - the double-up strategy, the Reversed Martingale and Paroli strategies, The Labouchere system, and Oscar's system.