Winning with streaks

Nov 22, 2004 11:29 PM

By Huey Mahl

A lot of systematic play in a casino depends on the appearance or non-appearance of streaks. That is, a series of one side to appear consecutively — uninterrupted. The length of a streak is characterized by a consecutive (non-losing) series of any decisioned side finally terminated by a losing decision (opposite).

Knowledge of this for the various games gives us a hint on which decisions to play that are more streak prone or appear choppier (more easily interrupted).

As can be seen, in most games the chance for precisely a streak of one is about 25 percent for any specific side. That is, one decision followed by a terminating losing decision. The streak stops at one. At 25 percent, that’s 1 out of 4 or odds of 3 to 1 against.

For the baccarat bank side, we see the odds against for exactly a streak of 10 is 1,813-1. Now, that’s not nine or 11 but precisely 10. However, the odds against a streak of 11 or more is 1,765-1. That includes all streaks of 12, 13, 14, etc., on to infinity.

In the baccarat player hand, we see the odds against 11 or more in a streak is 2,384-1. That means that any time a player decision is dealt it would have 2,385 times before a streak of 11 or more is recorded. On the average, that’s about once every 70 shoes.

Baccarat has the advantage that there is no interrupting to terminate decisions. Ties occur about twice out of every 21 deals but will not chop up a sequence. That’s unlike the bar craps on the pass line or the zeros on roulette where the culprit is a losing streak terminator.

We can conclude from the table that baccarat is the most streak prone of all table games. The decisions are much faster than at craps and the sit down accommodations more comfortable, even at the mini games. It’s a streak players paradise.

It should be noted that all are 1-1 payoffs except the bank. Winning decisions pay only 95 cents on the dollar. Yet, it does not change streak frequency and it still better than the player bet.

In roulette, the red/black, odd/even, high/low decisions streak the same odds. However in the single zero European game with the "in prison" feature, the streak odds are about the same as the player odds in baccarat.

If you are strictly a money management system player and have no emotional ties to a specific game, baccarat seems your best game. Here to, limits are higher and give the progressive player more flexibility.