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The Oscar's Grind strategy, also known as Hoyle's Press or Pluscoup progression, is a system with positive progression. This means the stake is increased when you win and decreased when you lose. A positive progression is therefore always a little less risky for the player than a negative progression.
Allan Wilson first wrote about the Oscar's Grind system in 1965 in his book "The Casino Gambler's Guide". Wilson is said to have found the notes of a craps player who wrote down his approach and bets very carefully. Based on these notes, Wilson simulated several hundred thousand sequences, resulting in the successful Oscar's Grind system.
Although originally developed for craps, the system can also be used in all other casino games with even-money chances. The Oscar's Grind system assumes that both wins and losses can often occur one after the other so bets should be placed in such a way that the stakes are as low as possible on losing streaks and as high as possible on winning streaks.
This is how it works
As previously mentioned, the Oscar's Grind system is a game strategy with positive progression. If you win you increase the next stake by one unit and if you lose you reduce the next stake by one unit. In the Oscar's Grind system, the entire game is divided into rounds. A round ends with a profit of one unit.
At the beginning of the game the player places the minimum bet. This minimum bet is one unit for the further course of the system, meaning the player can flexibly adapt the system to the table minimum. The goal is to make a profit of just one unit each cycle. If this succeeds, the progression starts all over again and the player puts down another minimum bet of one unit.
If you lose your first round, only one unit is wagered in the following round. If you win a bet, the next wager is increased by one unit. For all rounds won after that, the stake is also increased by one unit. The player does this until he has made a profit of one unit. If this goal is achieved, the Oscar's Grind system starts over.
Like many other betting systems, the Oscar's Grind system is only played on even-money chances (although of course, these don't really exist, because there’s always a small house edge). So in roulette, it would be either red or black, even or odd numbers or the first or second half of the roulette numbers.
How is the Oscar's Grind system played?
Now let's take a closer look at using a specific example with a €1 unit. Again, as a reminder, the goal is to win one unit. A round does not have a fixed number of progression levels but lasts until one unit is won at the end.
Let’s say you lose your first two bets. That would mean you are down a total of €2. You win €1 on the 3rd bet. According to the rules of the system, you have to raise the bet from €1 to €2. You win this round again which makes up for all of your previous losses and leaves you with a profit of exactly €1, or one unit. This means you have reached your goal of making a small profit and you’ll start over with the minimum bet again in the next round.
It is a very conservative betting system that can be understood quickly and has a clear goal in mind. This helps many players that are using a betting system for the first time. Once the goal has been reached, the progression starts all over again. Simple as that.
Although originally developed for craps, the betting system can also be used in all other games of chance with even-money bets. Since the stakes are usually based on the table minimum, the player has a clear specification. However, you can also start out with units higher than the table minimum if you prefer.
The system assumes that with an infinite bankroll, you will come out with a profit at the end of every round. If you do not meet this requirement, you will end up losing out. And that's one of the big problems with the Oscar's Grind system.
While it is a very conservative game strategy, it will never be successful in the long run, even with an unlimited bankroll. This is because every casino has a limit for the maximum bet that can be placed. At some point, you will have to increase your wager in the next round according to the system but the table limits simply won’t allow you to do so. This means that in a real-life scenario the Oscar's Grind system won’t reliably work.