Although a modern gambling system, the exact origins of the Grind system have been lost. It is first described in 1965 by Allan Wilson in his "The Casino Gambler's Guide", attributed to a gambler named - believe it or not! - Oscar.
It's also known as Hoyle's Press, though no-one knows who Hoyle is, either! Some Roulette players use a very similar system which goes by the name of the Pluscoup Progression.
Whatever you call it, the Grind gambling system is simple.
When using the Grind, you see your overall gambling session as a series of betting cycles. The aim of this system is to make just 1 unit profit per cycle. Once this profit is achieved, the cycle stops. It doesn't try to make more than 1 unit and even stops itself from doing so.
The Grind system works as follows:
You bet 1 unit.
If you win, the cycle is ended and you start again.
If you lose, you continue through the cycle as follows:
We've tested a number of gambling systems in a set of realistic scenarios. One of those is the 'Alternating Loss' test where you don't hit a long winning or losing streak (Lose, Lose, Win, Lose, Win, Win, Lose, Win, Lose, Lose, Win, Lose). This kind of sequence is one that can often cause problems for Positive Progression systems.
The table below shows how the Oscar's Grind fares in this scenario:
|#1||1||Lose||-1||Bet stays same|
|#2||1||Lose||-2||Bet stays same|
|#4||2||Lose||-3||Bet stays same|
|#5||2||Win||-1||Bet does not increase|
it is seeking to literally grind out a 1 unit profit and no more
After 5 bets, you're down 1 unit and the bet size is 2. The system says to raise the bet when you're winning, but raising the bet size to 3 would give an overall profit of 2, which goes against the rules of the system! To make sure we don't win more than 1 unit for the cycle, we have to keep the bet size at 2.
This last rule gives rise to the most confusion when first using the Grind gambling system. But it's important to remember that it is seeking to literally grind out a 1 unit profit and no more.
The table below shows how the Grind fared in all of our systems tests.
For a reminder of the tests we use, check out our systems summary page…
1. Alternating win
2. Alternating loss
3. Consecutive win
4. Consecutive loss
5. Good win
6. Bad loss
Overall result for all 6 tests
3 units profit
2 units loss
5 units profit
5 units loss
9 units profit
13 units loss
3 units loss
The above series of tests shows that the Grind gambling system won't win or lose large amounts. As the name says, it's a slow, methodical process in pursuit of a steady 1 unit profit.
Regardless of whether conditions are alternating or consecutive, the Grind system returns a profit in an overall winning situation and a similar loss in an overall losing situation. In other words, in a realistic gambling scenario of a significant number of sessions, Oscar's Grind will tend to break even. For this reason, it's important to bear in mind our first Golden Rule of Gambling: quit when you're ahead!
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The limited nature of Oscar's Grind makes it suitable for small consistent wins when betting on the close to Evens chance bets in Roulette (Red/Black, Odd/Even, 1-18/19-36) or Sic Bo (High / Low).
Please bear in mind that these bets are not true 50/50 bets - the Zero in Roulette and the Triple bet in Sic bo mean that the odds are not quite 50/50:
Incidentally, the figures above show why we recommend playing European Roulette, rather than American!
Oscar's Grind may seem like a good staking plan for Blackjack if you're a disciplined player who only bets the same amount on each hand. However, using this system really inhibits your play in an unnecessary way. For example, there will always be situations when playing Blackjack where the best bet would be to Double or even Split. This could result in wins of half units or plus or minus two units. As the goal of the Grind is to win exactly one unit, this puts you outside of the rules of the system. You're then faced with the choice of sticking to the Grind system and potentially no longer playing with an optimal Blackjack strategy, or playing perfect Blackjack and halting the Grind mid-stream. Clearly, we'd recommend neither!
If the slow, steady nature of this gambling system appeals to you, our only warning is to bear in mind our overall gambling strategy and set a limit to your losses. Although these will never be huge, the Oscar's Grind system does not allow a quick method of winning them back.
It may appear a low-risk system, but our tests show that the Grind can get into a situation it would be difficult to get out of again. For that reason, we recommend it for medium-risk gamblers, those who can withstand small losses in pursuit of moderate gains.
If you're looking for something safe and steady like the Grind, but a little faster-paced, a number of systems fit the bill.
In our gambling systems test, 3 systems returned an overall profit - the Paroli, the 1-3-2-6 and Fortune Palace's own 1-3-2-4. Before committing to the long-haul of the Grind, it might be worth checking out one of those first!
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