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Oscar's Grind

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That's what this progression is, a long slow grind. It is a negatively skewed progression. It's like a conservative version of the Martingale. Oscar bets more after a win. If you are not experiencing a positive expectation, this is about the only reason to bet more than the table minimum, when you have won and are up a few units. Oscar bets more after a win, but only while you are within a loss. Let me explain.

In a perfect game, we will win every hand. Bet one unit, win one unit. Bet one unit, win one unit. This may happen a few times, and then you could lose a bunch more than you just won. With Blackjack we can expect to win 47% of our hands. By doubling and splitting we win back the difference in single deck games and hopefully break even.

Oscar starts with a one unit bet. This could be $1 or $10, and every unit would be the same size. We bet one unit and win. That is the end of the first progression. If we bet one unit and lose, we bet one again. We lose again, then bet one. Then we win one. Then we bet two units to end up with a one unit win when we win. If we lose this two-unit bet, we go back down to one unit. We drop a unit after each loss until we get down to one unit. We increase our bet by one unit after each win, unless we get to a bet that will produce more than a single-unit win. Let's say we are down four units. Bet one and win, bet two and win, and we are down one unit. We want to end the progression up one unit, so we will bet two units instead of three. You could bet three, but that is not a true Oscar's Grind. I'll give a real example now.

I got an offer in my e-mail from a certain casino for a free $20 bonus. All I had to do was download the program, get a real account, and e-mail the pit boss. I could cash out if I had at least $30 and had bet the full $20 out at least once. I could also get another $50 bonus if I deposited $25. I decided to play them out for the first $30, see if I got my check then take them on for the $50 bonus, a nice 200% bonus.

Many people would go in and bet the full $20, double or nothing. The though crossed my mind, but I wanted to get this money off them to check them out. I used Oscar to do this and this is how it turned out.

1L;1W;1W = 1
1W = 1
1L;1L;1L;1L;1DBL W;2P;2W;1L;1W;1BJ = 1.5

A W is a win. An L is a loss. 1DBL is a doubled bet. A BJ is a Blackjack. I had to log off after putting in $16 worth of action, but got back at it again the next day. In the end I put in over $50 worth of action to rack up the $30 to cash out. They gave me a bit of a hard time, but with a few convincing e-mails they sent me the check. I told them I was checking them out to see if they were honest before I made a deposit. I got the check in about a week, quickly logged on, deposited $30 which they matched with their $50 and I was good to go for $80.

As you can see with the third example, it can take quite a few bets to get your final unit out. This is the grind part of the progression. You hardly will ever get into really large bets, but it can happen. You can be down ten units and it can take quite a few wins to get you back out of the hole. What I will do is split this into two sessions of five units. I'll play out the five-unit loss until I am up one, then tackle the other five-unit loss until I am up one on it as well. This is a simple modification, probably thought of before, that keeps the progression to a reasonable size.

Again, Oscar can work for so long, but the inevitable will happen against a game with negative expectation. If we play Roulette, 5.26% of all of our bets will be lost sooner or later. It's a mathematical fact. The only way to win is to quit if you are ahead. Blackjack with an Internet bonus is not a negative expectation game, and Oscar does well to get your play in a give you a reasonable chance to make a score.

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