$30,000 Betting System Challenge

Fifteen years and counting without a taker

Started: April 2008 • Last update: January 2023

Any betting system that promises to make you a winner is a scam, and I'm so confident about this that I'm putting my money where my mouth is:  I'll wager $30,000 against any system seller's $3,000 that their betting system can't beat the house.  (Or I'll wager my $10,000 against their $1,000, if they prefer.)  My goal is to show that anyone selling a "winning system" on the Internet for $29.95 (or whatever) is selling junk.  Anyone winning to reveal his system for $29.95 should be falling all over themselves to try to win my $30k, but not a single one has.  The reason is simple:  They know their systems don't actually work.  Any system that you can buy is garbage.

I hope it's also obvious to everyone that if someone had truly figured out a way to beat the house, why would they need to sell that secret for $29.95?

Betting system apologists allege that people have indeed created winning systems, but that those people won't take my challenge because they don't want to reveal their valuable secret to someone else.  However, anyone with a winning system could simply submit a crippled version that wins a mere dollar an hour, preserving their secret sauce, and easily winning my $30k.  Of course, no one has ever done so, because winning betting systems don't exist.

Years ago the Wizard of Odds used to offer a similar challenge, but after many years he had only one legitimate taker.  (The challenger lost, of course.)  The Wizard eventually stopped offering the challenge because almost nobody ever went through with it and it was a waste of time dealing with inquiries that went nowhere.  So I picked up where he left off and offering a similar challenge myself, but the results have been similar—despite lots of inquiries nobody's actually gone through with it.  And pointedly, none of the inquiries have come from system sellers, they're from people who just think they've invented a winning betting system.

The challenge is now available only to people who are selling so-called "winning" systems.  Here's why I no longer accept challenge requests from the general public.

In addition, I offer a $1000 prize to anyone who finds an exploitable flaw in my challenge that could result in someone beating it.  That is, you don't have to put up any of your own money to get the $1000.  See the details below.

Betting systems don't work for one simple reason:  it's impossible to predict what's coming next.  Just like you can't predict heads or tails on a coin flip, you can't predict red or black in roulette, or Banker or Player in baccarat.  Basing your bet on the rounds that have happened before is completely irrelevant.  Streaks and patterns are observable only in hindsight, and have absolutely no bearing on future rounds.  People often ask me, "But what if there's some method you haven't thought of?"  The answer is IT DOESN'T MATTER, because there is NO way to predict the future.  It's the same reason I'm confident that if I let you choose any number of nickels, the average of your chosen coins can never be more than 5¢.

Here's a more detailed explanation about why betting systems don't work.

Anyway, here are the terms of my challenge.

Bluejay’s $30,000 challenge

  1. The Challenge.  I will wager my $30,000 against your $3,000 (or my $10,000 against your $1,000, if you prefer) that your betting system cannot beat a game of roulette, baccarat, or craps, as the player, using common Vegas rules, starting with a generous $5000 bankroll (play money, not real money), in a computer simulation, as per the additional terms below.

  2. Your system must be for sale.  I don't accept challenges about systems that are not for sale, for numerous reasons, period.  Don't waste your time or mine asking whether I'll test your not-for-sale system when I've already given you my answer. (This wording hasn't stopped idiots from writing and asking anyway.)

  3. Length.  Each test will run for 200,000 rounds, or until the bankroll has gone bust, whichever comes first.  A "round" is an event where any bet is resolved—i.e., your bet wins, loses, or pushes.  (In craps, if multiple bets are resolved on a single roll of the die, that counts as one round.)  It's fine for your system to sit out sometimes to wait for "streaks" or other conditions (up to 2000 rounds sat out per test), but 200,000 rounds must be wagered on for each test (unless your system goes bust first).  We'll run this test 20 times, and you win the challenge if your system wins at least 11 out of the 20 tests (i.e., it shows any profit at all).  This is extremely generous, because your system doesn't have to win even $1 per hour, and doesn't have win all the time, just a mere 55% or more of the time.  (For those who think this is a bad test because "nobody plays 200,000 rounds", see the explanation further below.)

  4. Betting System.  Your system must be one that could actually be used in a typical Vegas casino, since the point of your challenge should be to prove that you can win in a casino environment.  So, for example, methods that attempt to exploit the computer's random number generator are specifically disallowed.  Any system that wins by screwing with the RNG cannot win in a real casino.  Similarly, any system that cannot be actually be employed by an average person with nothing more than a pen and paper is disallowed, since if a system can't be used in the real world then it's worthless.  Your system must be a traditional betting system, where bets are based on the outcome of previous rounds.  The point of your wager must be to prove your betting system, not find some flaw in my rules.  Systems that are optimized to try to exploit some flaw in my challenge (rather than general systems which are actually intended to work in actual casinos), are specifically disallowed, as are card-counting systems.

  5. Bankroll, Game Rules, and Table Limits.  Starting bankroll for each test is $5000.  You choose the game.  Roulette can be single- or double-zero.  Craps has standard 3-4-5x odds.  The table limits are $5 minimum and $5000 maximum, except $25 minimum for single-zero roulette.  In roulette, the minimum is for either a single outside bet, or the total of all inside bets; multiple bets can be placed on the same round, with each bet subject to the Table Max. (i.e., The Table Max isn't applied to the sum of all bets.)  In craps, maximum Free Odds can be taken on a Table Max pass line bet.

  6. Earnest Money & Contract.  We'll choose a third party (agreeable to both of us) to hold our money in escrow (e.g., any licensed attorney in good standing).  If the escrow agent has a fee, we'll split the fee equally.  You'll deposit your money with the escrow agent first to show that you're serious.  Once your money has been deposited, we'll both sign a contract, and then I'll deposit my money.  After this, any party who backs out or fails to proceed as specified below will forfeit.

  7. You will provide me your system rules within one week of our both signing the contract, and they must match what's stated in the version you're selling to the public.  If I feel the rules are not clear I have 48 hours to ask you to clarify, and you will have 48 hours to provide revised rules, with this process repeating if I feel the revised rules are still not clear.  After two weeks from your sending me the the initial set of rules, if I feel the last-received rules are still not clear, then at my option I can claim to the escrow agent that you've forfeited and ask him/her to pay out to me.  If the agent doesn't agree, my options are to either try to get an understandable set of rules from you or else go to arbitration, as specified below.  If the agent does agree, then you'll have the option of going to arbitration before the agent releases your funds to me.  (This rule exists because one potential challenger submitted complete gibberish.  Fortunately for him, it was before we signed a contract; now I require the contract be signed before I get the rules.)

  8. I will program a computer simulation within three days of my acceptance of the system rules, and provide you with the results as well as the source code so you can have your own expert(s) verify its accuracy.  If you dispute the simulation results because you think my code is in error, and I agree, then I'll correct it and run the simulation again, with the new test being the official one.  This will repeat as many times as you find errors that I agree are errors and fix.  If you believe my code to be in error and I disagree, you can claim to the escrow agent that I forfeit and to pay out to you.  If the agent disagrees, you may submit the case to arbitration as below.

  9. Arbitration.  Either side may appeal the case to arbitration as specified above.  Both sides will agree to the arbiter.  If no arbiter has been agreed upon within three weeks, one party can claim the other side has forfeited by not making a good-faith effort to agree to an arbiter.  (This time, the decision of the escrow agent can't be appealed to arbitration, for obvious reasons.)  Once an arbiter has been selected, the challenger will front any deposit required by the arbiter, no matter which side is bringing the arbitration.  Once the arbiter has ruled, the losing party will pay all of the arbiter's fees.  (i.e., If I lose, I pay both the amount fronted by the challenger and any remaining balance.)

  10. Since the first would-be challenger who wrote to me was concerned that I would use his winning system in the casinos myself to capitalize on it, I promise in writing (here and in the contract) to do no such thing.  Clearly if I'm able to offer a $30,000 challenge, I already have more money than I need.

  11. In addition to the $30,000 (or $10,000), a winning challenger will also receive a prominent ad on the front of Easy Vegas for the system, along with my statement that the system beat my challenge, for a period of at least one year from the date of the test.

  12. I will not disclose the specific rules of the system without the challenger's permission (except to the escrow agent and arbiter, if there's a dispute).  I will be allowed (but not required) to publish:
    1. The address of the website selling the system.
    2. The name of the challenger, if it appears on the challenger's own website about the betting system (otherwise, I need the challenger's permission to publish his/her name).
    3. A general description of the system.  (e.g., "This is a standard positive-progression system," "This system is based on betting on red after a certain pattern of red/black hits has been established," etc.)
    4. The basic results, including things such as the amount won or lost for each test, average bet size, percentage of time the system was ahead, and the largest number of rounds in each test at which the system was ahead before going into the red and not recovering.

I do not test betting systems outside of this challenge, period.  My only interest in offering the challenge is to prove that betting systems available for sale are junk; I certainly don't need any more programming work.  If all you want is a test of your system, hire anyone with some programming skills for $50 to $100, on craigslist or upWork.

Those who are confident and agree to the terms without any modification whatsoever are invited to accept the challenge. (i.e., Do not write if you intend to suggest any change to the rules.)

Terms are subject to change.  I don't guarantee to offer this challenge, or the one below, forever.

"But no one plays 200,000 rounds!"

Some have said the challenge is unfair because a system could win in the short term, even if it can't last 200,000 rounds.  They're missing two things.  First, I'm offering a whopping 10 to 1 odds.  With such generous odds, even a system with a lousy 9.1% chance of beating the challenge is a good bet for the challenger (and a bad bet for me and my $30,000).  Their system could lose 91% of the time in the real world but still beat my challenge.  And a system that loses 91% of the time in the real world is the farthest thing from a "winning betting system".  So I've got to make sure we play long enough that a challenger doesn't have even a lousy 9.1% chance of winning.  (And once I have time to run the numbers, I'll offer a challenge with far fewer than 200,000 rounds per test, but it'll be an even-money bet, not 10-1 odds.)

Next, my criteria for what constitutes a "winning system" is really soft:  In the real world, a system that showed a measly $5 profit after 200,000 rounds (less than a penny an hour) would be considered a miserable failure, but that would be enough to win a test in my challenge rules.  My challenge does not require the system to win a meaningful amount (say, $20 an hour); it counts even tiny, pathetic amounts as wins.

By the way, you absolutely could play 200,000 rounds anyway.  Playing baccarat at 125 hands per hour, 8 hours on a weekend, 26 weekends per year, for 35 years, is nearly a million rounds.


No one has ever accepted this challenge

One reader said that a system-seller claimed to have beaten my challenge (or perhaps the Wizard's challenge, he wasn't clear).  Let me be clear: no one has ever even accepted my challenge, let alone beaten it.  And the one person who accepted the Wizard's challenge (back when he offered it), lost it readily.  Anyone who claims they've beaten my challenge should show you the alleged contract we signed, listing the supposed escrow agent, allowing you to verify whether any challenge really took place. 


$1000 prize for finding an exploitable flaw in the challenge

Because I'm offering 10-to-1 odds, it's possible that someone could beat my challenge even though their system would fail in the casino, since the casino doesn't give you 10-to-1 odds.  So to help me find flaws in my challenge rules, I'm offering a $1000 prize to anyone who submits a system that would beat the challenge (even if that system would fail in a casino, as it certainly would).  To claim the prize, you must have already programmed the simulation (or had it programmed for you) and send me the source code.  (I'm not going to personally program a million people's random guesses about a system that might beat the challenge.)  In the case of multiple people identifying a similar exploit, the first one to contact me gets the whole prize.

Random number quality, and the "Live Casino Challenge"

Some system sellers claim that their systems work in a casino, but they can't beat a computer simulation because "a computer isn't a real-world test".  Anyone who understands basic probability knows why that claim is ridiculous, but in any event, I have two ways to remedy that objection.

First, instead of using computer-generated numbers, I can use actual random numbers from Random.org, which are based on atmospheric noise.  These are not computer-generated numbers, they're generated by the natural world, and are perfectly random by definition.

Second, if the challenger insists on a real-world test, then they can do the Live Casino version of my challenge.  The live challenge is the same as above, except:

  1. It takes place in a Vegas casino, with you and me (or my representative) present.  You will bank and place your own bets.
  2. You will choose the number of rounds to wager on before we begin (1000 to 10,000 rounds).  If your system is played in "sessions" it doesn't matter: you keep track of your "sessions" however you define them, they're irrelevant to me.  You win by showing the required overall profit (defined below), no matter how many "sessions" you divided your play into.
  3. The challenge is an even-money bet between you and me (not 10-1 odds). The amount wagered between you and me is any amount you choose, between $1000 to $30,000, with a minimum of $50 per hour of play (including time you spend at the table not betting while waiting for "streaks" or other conditions). Yes, you won't know the exact number of hours you'll be playing in the casino to finish your X number of rounds, so you should estimate well to make sure you meet the minimum challenge wager. Roulette, craps, and baccarat are typically played at around 40, 50, and 70 rounds per hour respectively, but if you're waiting for streaks or other conditions then your play will be slower.
  4. All play must be completed within one month.
  5. Starting bankroll is 1/3 the number of total rounds, in dollars, banked by you.  (e.g., a 1500-round challenge means a starting bankroll of $500.)
  6. You win if you achieve a profit of at least $15 an hour on average. (Win must be at least [total hours played] x [$15].)

Those who are confident and agree to the terms without any modification whatsoever are invited to accept the challenge. (i.e., Do not write if you intend to suggest any change to the rules.)

The government won't protect you from fraudulent system sellers

If you thought that the government prosecutes people selling fake "winning" systems, think again.  I couldn't find any cases of actual prosecutions of any of the numerous fake systems being sold all over the net.  I once wrote to my state attorney general to complain about a commercially-sold "winning" slots system.  I never heard back from him.  He's a U.S. senator now.

Why the challenge isn't available to the general public

The challenge is now only available to those selling purported "winning" systems.  I made it available to the general public as well for over ten years, but I finally ended that, for sooo many reasons.  Here's why.

  1. The whole point of the challenge is to prove that what system-sellers are pushing is junk.  Disproving some random guy's worthless idea is a far less interesting to me.
  2. I don't want to punish the ignorant.  System-sellers deserve to be publicly debunked and to lose some of their ill-gotten gains, because they're trying to deceive the public.  (They're generally not believers in their own systems; they know they're selling bunk.)  By contrast, someone who thinks he's figured out a winning betting system is merely mistaken, not evil, and I have no desire to prey upon someone's ignorance.
  3. Would-be challengers have wasted a lot of my time.  I've spent far too much time for ten years fielding inquiries from them.  They ask about things that are clearly spelled out in the terms (that they didn't bother to read).  They don't understand the terms.  They want to change the terms.  They want me to explain the terms to them.  And they never proceed with the challenge anyway.  So enough is enough, I'm done.
  4. The Wizard was right.  The Wizard of Odds retired his challenge too, after many years, for similar reasons.  Now I understand why he gave up.
  5. Anyone who thinks he has a winning betting system should simply test it.  He should learn how to write a computer program, or hire a programmer.  If the results show that the system is successful, it was programmed wrong, and he should hire another programmer to code it properly.  A properly-coded program will show that every betting system fails, and thus the inventor has no need to lose $3000 by taking my challenge.
  6. The challenge was open to the general public for over ten years, but there were no takers.  The opportunity was available, but nobody ponied up.  That's telling.  Anyway, they had their chance.

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