Oscar’s Grind Strategy for Roulette

Oscar’s Grind is a relatively popular betting strategy that is used in several different casino games. It is based on a very simple progression and aims at winning a single-unit profit after each session, which is why it is considered one of the safest betting systems in existence. Keeping the possible losses to a minimum, this strategy is suitable for all gamblers, even for those who have no experience in applying a specific system to their betting.

There are dozens of betting systems and each of them claims to be 100% secure and bringing guaranteed winnings to those who pay to use it. Indeed, many of these strategies can be purchased online or are published in books and guides dedicated to gambling. So, how is Oscar’s Grind different from them and is it worth using in roulette or anywhere else at all? First of all, who is Oscar and what does the grind here refer to?

This system was first described in the 1965 book The Casino Gambler’s Guide by math expert Allan N. Wilson. According to many gamblers, this is one of the best and most comprehensive books about major casino games such as roulette, blackjack, and craps. It explores the gambler’s fallacy in detail and explains various betting strategies, including the Oscar’s Grind. Oscar was a gambler Wilson interviewed and he used the system in order to “grind” out small winnings every day. His tactic was very simple – he kept his wagers low and stopped each session as soon as he turned a profit of 1 betting unit.

After the book was published, this method was adopted by many casino players and is still being used for roulette and any other game where two possible outcomes are equally probable to occur. Some players even apply it to non-even bets but by doing so, they increase the risk.

How the Oscar’s Grind Strategy Works

How the Strategy WorksThe Oscar’s Grind strategy works perfectly with even-money bets in roulette – black/red, even/odd, and high/low, as well as even-odds bets in other casino games, as well. The system is sometimes called Hoyle’s Press and sometimes the Pluscoup progression by French and German players and it means a winning progression. More accurately, this is a positive betting progression, which increases the size of the bet only after a win. After a losing round, on the other hand, the bet remains the same.

As you can see, Oscar’s Grind is a flatter, safer version of the Reverse Martingale and is similar to the Reverse D’Alembert. Its differences from the other betting systems, however, make it so popular among inexperienced and risk-averse gamblers. Before we can look at the rules and details of this method, we should specify the size of the basic bet, the wager we use to start the progression with. It can be $1, $5, $10, or even more, depending on the player’s entire bankroll and the table limits. Whatever the exact amount of money, we will refer to it as one unit.

In order to start playing with the system, players place a 1-unit bet on one of the even-money bets and keep their wager on the same field until the end of the betting session. They continue gambling with the same wager until they win, at which point they increase their bet with one 1 unit. Whenever the ball lands on a winning number, the bet increases by 1 unit. There is one exception, however – the size of the bet should not exceed 4 units so that the system can remain relatively safe.

Whenever the ball falls on a losing number, players keep the size of the bet the same and continue wagering that same amount until they win. Note that unlike other positive systems where the bet decreases after a loss, here players do not reduce the amount they wager. The betting progression runs until a net profit of 1 unit is registered. Once the 1-unit profit goal is achieved, a new session starts from the beginning. The table below demonstrates how Oscar’s Grind strategy works in 9 random spins.

Spin Bet (In Units) Outcome Payout Comment Profit/Loss
1 1 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -1
2 1 Win 2 Bet size increase by 1 unit 0
3 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -2
4 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -4
5 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -6
6 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -8
7 2 Win 4 Bet size increase by 1 unit -6
8 3 Win 6 Bet size increase by 1 unit -3
9 4 Win 8 Profit achieved, session ends 1
Total Bet: 19 units Total Payout: 20 units Net Profit: 1 unit

Oscar’s Grind Roulette Strategy Gameplay


Basic Concept

Basic ConceptSimilarly to most betting systems, Oscar’s Grind strategy is based on one fundamental principle – that losing streaks are followed by winning ones. Roulette is a random game based on probabilities and the house has a slight advantage over the players. Considering the probability of hitting red/black, for instance, is close to 50% (48.65% in European and 47.37% in American roulette), we could expect roughly the same number of red and black numbers to be hit in theory.

The concept should be applied only in the long term, however. It is not true in smaller samples, i.e. any real-life samples to be exact, because here the idea of a “long term” refers to a very long time and an indefinite number of roulette spins. If we have ten consecutive loses, for example, we cannot expect that 10 or so wins will follow. In fact, every outcome is random and independent of future or past outcomes, which suggests that the concept of winning streaks balancing out losing ones can be classified as the typical gambler’s fallacy.

Still, the strategy itself should not be dismissed entirely as its pattern has been proven mathematically to be successful in providing players with a profit of exactly 1 unit. This is guaranteed by the following rule – the following bet is increased only by the minimum amount of units that would bring a profit of 1 unit. If we are experiencing a winning streak, for instance, and we need to increase the current bet from 2 to 3 units, we will not do it, if a winning 2-unit wager would bring us a profit of 1 unit.

This may sound too complicated for some players but, as you can see from the following example, it is quite simple and straightforward.

Spin Bet (In Units) Outcome Payout Comment Profit/Loss
1 1 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -1
2 1 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -2
3 1 Win 2 Bet size increase by 1 unit -1
4 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -3
5 2 Win 4 2 units needed for a profit -1
6 2 Win 4 Profit achieved, session ends 1
Total Bet: 9 units Total Payout: 10 units Net Profit: 1 unit

As we can see, the fifth spin in the sequence wins and our net loss becomes 1 unit, which means that there is no need to increase the size of the next wager to 3 units. If we had followed the typical progression, we would have wagered 3 units on the sixth spin. In case of a win, we would have won 2 units instead of the expected gain of only 1 unit at the end of the session. If the bet had lost, however, our net loss would have been 4 units, which is hard to recover and would require continuing the session longer than necessary.

When applying Oscar’s Grind and aiming for only a minimum profit, roulette players are effectively reducing the risk. Moreover, the bet size for any following spin could be decreased if needed. By following these rules, we can be certain that at the end of a betting session, we will turn a profit. Indeed, the winnings with this system are not high, but they are guaranteed, which is our goal.

Risks to Consider when Using Oscar’s Grind

Risks to ConsiderThe betting system is incredibly safe and easy to use in both online games and in land-based casinos but players should take a few possible setbacks into account. As safe and reliable Oscar’s Grind may be in theory, it involves a certain risk associated with one’s limited bankroll and time. Every roulette player knows well that losing streaks are real and sometimes, they can continue for a long time. Some contribute such unfavorable occurrences to bad luck, others believe in superstitions, but in reality, a long series of losing or winning spins are random and cannot be predicted.

This means that it is possible that after a long losing streak, players may have to continue the Oscar’s Grind progression for a very long time and even increase the bet size to over 4 units in order to compensate for the losses. It is possible that their bankrolls are depleted before they can regain the money they have lost. In addition, the progression may take dozens and dozens of spins until a profit of just one unit can be achieved. Below, we can see a simple example of this:

Spin Bet (In Units) Outcome Payout Comment Profit/Loss
1 1 Win 0 Bet size increase by 1 unit 1
2 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -1
3 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -3
4 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -5
5 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -7
6 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -9
7 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -11
8 2 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -13
9 2 Win 4 Bet size increase by 1 unit -11
10 3 Win 6 Bet size increase by 1 unit -8
11 4 Win 8 Maximum bet size -4
12 4 Lose 0 Bet size remains the same -8
Total Bet: 28 units Total Payout: 20 units Net Loss: 8 units

The example here simply shows how a losing streak could influence the system – note that the progression has not ended. It would take at least 3 consecutive wins for a profit to be achieved and if any of the following bets lose, the sequence could continue indefinitely.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Oscar’s Grind

Advantages and DisadvantagesNo betting strategy is perfect and the Oscar’s Grind system comes with its disadvantages. When we consider its pros and cons, we should first focus on the fact that it is a very safe strategy that can be used with ease by everyone. Longer progressions, however, may require paying closer attention to the money wagered and won. Overall, the system is incredibly simple and suitable for all kinds of players.

Unlike most betting strategies, Oscar’s Grind is reliable and the minimum profit of 1 unit is guaranteed. This is probably its biggest advantage, even though such small gains are not particularly appealing to some roulette players who prefer high-stakes games where they have the opportunity to score huge winnings with a single successful bet. Still, players can depend on the system to bring them decent gains over time.

As mentioned above, the biggest disadvantage of adopting this method is the uncertainty of the length of each progression. A sequence of 20 or even 30 bets is very possible, yet it would bring only a single-unit profit whereas, with other similar progressions, players could win significantly more. The risk of depleting one’s bankroll is very low while reaching the table limits before turning a profit is practically impossible with Oscar’s Grind.

Another downside of this system is that it relies on winning streaks to compensate for previous losses. It cannot recoup the lost funds with a single win and often, such a winning spin would only escalate the problem by increasing the bet size. Those who decide to play more aggressively without a maximum bet size limit of 4 or 5 units may end up in a particularly bad situation.


roulette strategyThere are many roulette betting systems out there and it could be difficult to decide which one would be effective, especially if the player is not certain of the goal he or she wants to achieve – to win large amounts of money in a short period of time by exposing themselves to a really high risk or to make small gains in a safer, more conservative manner. Other players simply focus on the entertainment aspect of playing roulette and do not mind paying the cost.

Oscar’s Grind is suitable for those who want to keep the risks to the minimum and generate small winnings, often over a long period of time. The strategy has the same weakness found in almost all betting systems – that it is based on a well-known gambler’s fallacy. Overall, it is recommended for novices who wish to learn the basics of betting systems and how to apply them to random games such as roulette.