V.8:3 (105-108): Reverse Martingales by James William Ferguson

V.8:3 (105-108): Reverse Martingales by James William Ferguson
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Reverse Martingales by James William Ferguson

Perhaps the most celebrated legend in gambling lore tells of the French noble who, suspecting that he had detected an aberration in a roulette wheel on the Riviera, sent a team into the hall and had them record every coup. For several weeks he compiled the results until he learned the sequences to expect. Then, his suspicions confirmed, he rode the "runs" the consecutive reds or blacks, odds or evens, highs or lows in one grand foray after another until, finally, he broke the bank.

Only once have I encountered an unbalanced wheel. It was in a private club in London. I was a poor graduate student, but I still went to the gambling clubs quite often, enjoying the excitement and the few extra dollars I picked up from time to time. It was late one night, and I noticed two men, one tall, slim, blond, perhaps a Pole, the other dark, swarthy, stout, possibly an Egyptian, betting heavily at one table. A small group dotted with men from the house gathered behind them. Ah, some excitement, I thought.

I strolled over and watched their play. The two men were betting numbers and won several times. The Pole, often betting "odd" along with his number, seemed particularly lucky. As I stood absently recording the coups, I suddenly noticed a strange pattern: The wheel seemed to throw two or three "odds" for every "even." I watched for a while in disbelief, but the pattern continued. Then I began to bet.




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