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The Natural Tendency Paradox, by Mark A Srebnick

Recently I had a discussion with someone who says in no way will one be a winner in the long run and how his computer simulation model has proven it. Well many of us know the Law of Large numbers, Random Walk, etc., and how the vig ties into that. However, based on observations, I don't believe laws of Large numbers are something that can be measured in a few visits or over a 1-2 hours of play. And Kanzen's Roulette Strategy website certainly brings up some points to illustrate this. However, we must know that they exist if we know what's good for us. But just as this law exists, so does the "cluster principle." We must know that we'll hit lucky streaks, unlucky streaks and choppiness over perhaps as little as just one hour of play. We must be prepared for these events.

After reading a few books, taking notes to my own mistakes, I compiled some rules that I had to obey if I had any chance of consistently taking home (small) profits in roulette. And it was not until I started obeying these rules that my game really started to improve. Here is what I came up with. I have grouped them together and call it "THE NATURAL TENDENCY PARADOX:"

  1. Play even money and/or 1:2 bets (No large bets without Green hedges) on a Single Zero wheel if possible
  2. Never increase when you lose (Please!!!).
  3. Don't panic when losing - this leads to compulsive betting. You must be patient. Due to natural laws, one or 2 trends will begin to take shape shortly - No pressing until it does. (Rule number 5 will protect you if it doesn't.)
  4. You MUST PRESS WHEN YOU WIN!!! This is your only chance! Unfortunately, its probably the toughest to do.
  5. Don't get caught into continuum. Take several 10-15 minute breaks but never break when you're winning. Set loss limits and win limits. Leave when its time.

Now I have strictly adhered to rules 1-3. I am still struggling with 4 and 5.

Based on these rules, I would venture that most don't think very much of what I am about to say because they just want to win. Ever hear of "I wouldn't have that job for all the money in the world"? That's what I've discovered gambling to be. It is hard!!! Why? Because sticking to the rules above goes against one's natural tendencies. Gambling to win is not fun!!! People think, "Oh gee, there must be a system out there." But they don't think of that gut-wrenching, energy-draining process that it takes to win just a few dollars.

Now I'm not an expert. I'm not even an amateur. But the rules that I mention above are rules that I would guess 95% of the people will never ever be able to abide by, myself included sometimes. They compulsively press out of desperation when losing (I did this early), are too scared to press when winning (I still do this at times but I'm getting much better, especially when I've seen that it really works!) and wind up in that play continuum that just inevitably exposes them to the "NATURAL TENDENCY PARADOX" all over again. And for the players that are good at pressing when winning, most of them have another problem - GREED!!! But remember, all this is natural. And that to me is what encompasses the House edge - not the mathematics!!!

My conclusions have been based on 3 things:

  1. Self-observations concerning inevitable trend-development
  2. My own self-evaluation of what I have done wrong during play
  3. Information gathered from different books, particularly a book called "Gamble to Win" (R. D. Ellison).

In "Gamble to Win" R. D. points out that Gambling is hard work. When I first read that, it was at a time when I thought gambling was fun and that it wasn't hard at all. But then the losses came. So it has only taken me a couple of years to find this to be true and that everything he says in his book is for the most part accurate.

By obeying my rules, rules which are mostly found in many books about gambling, I have seen some consistency with wins. But it is hard work. Finally if you are able to see long-term results, then start focusing on the low profile rule - don't brag about your wins if you know what's good for you.

Mark A Srebnick (e-mail: is a System Admin/Programmer at the Florida Atlantic University. He usually gambles on weekends and his favorite game is roulette. He acknowledges that much of the credit for his findings is due to R. D. Ellison's book "Gamble to Win" and his professional advice.

The book "Gamble to Win" by R. D. Ellison can be ordered through this web site from the Gambling books page.

[Article submitted June 2004]

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