The Oscar’s Grind betting system is a strategy used by casino gamblers, and sometimes those betting on sports and other events. It is sometimes known as Hoyle’s Press or the Pluscoup Progression, but is most commonly called Oscar’s Grind, named for a gambler called Oscar, profiled in the 1965 book The Casino Gambler’s Guide by Allan Wilson.
This is, then, a strategy that has been around for a while, and was used by casino gamblers long before the invention of online gambling. Keen online gamblers are, however, busy tailoring the system to their own needs, and many of them are finding that it is paying off for them.
In the world of gambling, the term “grinder” is often used to refer to a regular player who frequently wins small amounts, and Oscar’s Grind is a positive progression strategy that aims to help players do just that. The system relies on calculating the size of wagers so that even if the player suffers a losing streak, they will, in the event of a subsequent and similar winning streak, recoup all losses and make a profit overall. Unsurprisingly, however, there is a little more to it than that.
Oscar’s Grind is based on the concept that losses and wins often come in streaks, and the system focuses on keeping wagers low when you are losing and then increasing them when you are winning. The idea is to bet in cycles, and make one unit of profit during each of these cycles. Once that profit is made, it is the end of that cycle and you start a new one. When you win, you increase the next wager by one unit. If you lose, you do not increase the bet at all.
This system works best in games that offer even-money bets or very close to it, and is popular with roulette players, when placing straight “red or black” or “odd or even” bets. This also explains why some sports betting enthusiasts are using the system. The theory behind the system applies equally well when you are betting on any two-team sports events with a close to 50/50 chance of a win for either side. The strategy involves betting reasonably small amounts so that when a losing streak hits, the losses are not too bad. When you are winning, bets are increased in order to increase winnings, until you lose again.
The first thing to do is to determine what a unit will be. This is at the player’s discretion and will depend on your bankroll and betting limits, as well as which game you are playing. Remember that every time you win, you will be increasing your bet by the size of that one unit, and that every time you are in profit by one unit, this will signal the end of that cycle of play and you will have to make the next wager bigger by one unit.
Let’s say, for example, that you determine a unit as $10. You’ll start by betting $10, and if you lose, you’ll continue betting $10. However, if you win, you’ll increase the bet by exactly one unit (another $10, making the next wager $20), and if you win again, that’s another unit added to your next wager, for a $30 bet. When you lose, you continue betting, but the size of the wager is exactly the same as the last wager. You only get to increase it again when you win another unit of profit, and then you increase it by another $10.
You can, of course, set the stake unit to be much higher, or lower, as long as it complies with the betting limits at the casino at which you’re playing. However, once it is set, it stays consistent, and everything else about this strategy hinges on that stake unit. Picking your stake unit should be done while also keeping in mind your initial bankroll. If you have an initial bankroll of $50, a $10 unit will not work for you, as you could easily have a five-bet losing streak and run out of funds. If, however, you have a $300 bankroll and a $10 unit, you would have to lose 30 times in a row to wipe out your funds, which, while possible, is statistically highly unlikely in an almost-evens type of game.
While it can sound complicated, this strategy is one that is actually very simple in practice, so once you get the hang of it, it is easy to implement. As with any betting strategy or system, however, there are both advantages and disadvantages.
One big advantage of the system is that it is less risky than many other strategies. Unlike other progression systems such as the Martingale system, you do not increase the stake amount with each loss, but continue to bet with just one pre-defined unit. In fact, you wait until you have won one unit back to “close the cycle” and start again with an increased bet, which is aimed at minimising losses.
Another pro is that once learned, the principles apply to pretty much any online casino game that has even, or near even, odds. Although it might take a while to get the hang of the system, it will be useful in a variety of table games at any online casino, and, as mentioned, it can also be adapted to sports betting.
As with any online betting system or strategy, there are also some disadvantages to the Oscar’s Grind betting system. Critics of the system will point out that it is not as profitable as many other systems. The built-in limit of only ever increasing your wager by one unit may be good at protecting you from large losses, but it also limits your winnings, meaning that you will tend to win modest (though steadily increasing) amounts even when you are lucky enough to be on a long winning streak.
It is also possible (though unlikely) that you’ll hit a long losing streak and exhaust your funds before you start winning again. Advocates of the system insist that this simply doesn’t happen in practice, as long as you match your stake unit well to the amount of funds you have to play with, as the likelihood of a really long losing streak is very small. In theory, however, it could happen.
Like other progressive systems, the Oscar’s Grind betting system can be applied to a lot of different online casino games. As we have stressed, it is designed to be used only with games in which the house edge is already very small, as the whole system rests on the assumption that the player can expect to win almost 50% of the time, when playing for an extended amount of time.
It is, therefore, very popular with roulette players, but is also used with many other games such as baccarat and craps. It’s also highly popular with blackjack enthusiasts, which is understandable as blackjack is considered to be the best-odds game at most online casinos, with a low house edge of between 1% and 2%. As long as you are playing something where you have close to a 50% chance of winning, this system will apply.
As you can probably see by now, the logic behind this system is sound. Probability tells us that in a 50/50 game, most players will, over time, win as often as they lose, so by putting these limits on the way that you bet, you should be able to protect yourself from significant losses and consistently take home small wins.
It is also vital to note that the system is not infallible – no betting system is. There is always the possibility of losing money when you gamble online, or anywhere else, even with games in which the house edge is very small. It is often the case that these systems based on probability will work for a lot of the people, a lot of the time, causing some players to get overconfident in the system, which is why some gamblers will swear by this strategy, even though there are clearly no guarantees of winning every time.
For most online gamblers, it is certainly worth giving this strategy a try to see how it works out for you, especially if you are new to gambling and want to play in quite a conservative way. It won’t suit the high rollers and risk-takers, however, as the whole system is built on caution, and it tends to limit winnings as well as losses.
Are you ready to start trying out the Oscar’s Grind betting system? It’s easy to get started with online gambling with Bitcoin. We have a wide range of table games, including roulette and blackjack. Start playing Bitcoin casino games today.
Words: Sean McNulty
Images: Shutterstock and Bitcasino