Some players believe that probability theory is "useless" for the gambler. Reasons put forward for this opinion may be that your playing sessions are too short for the rules of chance to be applicable. E.g. in the Talos_Dump thread:
I studied a lot of math. Roulette is not a probabilties game
(you play too few shots for the rules of chances to be involved).
It is just math, plain and simple.
But what math is needed to create systems? Even if you ignore bet selection (as DrTalos advocates), you still need to design a money management plan appropriate for the location(s) you play, and that plan must necessarily take into account, even if by trial and error, the probabilities of the events.
This is quite easy to show by a simple example. Suppose you've never played roulette but find yourself in a casino. You learn that single numbers pay 35-1 and that appeals to you. You have $100 to play with and decide to put $10 on number #17 until your bank is lost, or until a win. Is that a sensible use of your resources, given that you're looking forward to an evenings entertainment? Obviously not, because the chance of a win is only about 24%. Any MM scheme must take account of the probabilities of winning/losing runs if it's to be "successful" (however you define that).
Also, to say that probability theory doesn't apply in the short run is not true. It applies just as much to 1 bet as a million, the difference being that in the latter case the "error" is much less, but in any case variance or dispersion can also be quantified using probability theory. After all, probability theory is successfully used by advantage players, who play just as many or few spins as the average system player in a session, so why should it be useful to the former but not the latter?
Then there's the objection that probability theory, being merely a "theory", is a kind of junk science offering only tentative conclusions. People fixate on the word "theory" not realizing that in a scientific context the word doesn't mean what it means in everyday speech, where it usually means a "hypothesis" or guess. In my dictionary a (scientific) theory is defined as a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena
. So, not a "guess", then.
Another objection made by many system players is that because the "theory" says no system can win, it might as well be abandoned as useless, or just wrong. But this is based on a very narrow view of probability theory, which is a huge field of study with new applications and results being discovered all the time. To reject the entire field on the basis that you don't like one isolated result is to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
It's true that the theory says, given certain assumptions
, that no winning system is possible, but you can use the principles and results of the theory to test
those assumptions, or develop methods which are appropriate for your style of play and risk preferences.
Please don't trash probability theory; it's bigger and better than you think.