The Oscar’s grind betting system is designed to help meticulous casino players grind out small wins on a regular basis. The general idea is to earn a single unit of profit in each cycle and then start again, so it is a pretty cautious strategy. You can apply Oscar’s grind to popular casino games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps. This Oscar’s grind betting system guide will teach you what the approach entails, explain its pros and cons, and explain how it can be applied to various table games at leading online casinos.
Oscar’s grind was first mentioned in a 1965 book called The Casino Gambler’s Guide by Allan Wilson. The author interviewed a gambler by the name of Oscar, who was renowned for grinding out small wins each day by following a cautious and disciplined approach. It is interchangeably referred to as the Oscar’s grind betting system, the Oscar grind betting system, Oscars betting system and Oscar betting system, but they all mean the same thing.
The Oscar grind betting system is also known as Holyes Press, and it is similar to the Pluscoup Progression. It is a pretty simple strategy once you get your head around the concept of playing in betting cycles. The goal is to finish each cycle with a single unit of profit.
A unit is a percentage of your bankroll, and it varies from one gambler to the next. If you have a C$1,000 bankroll to play with, you might decide to set your base unit at C$30. You then play a number of cycles throughout your session, and the goal is to win C$30 each time.
You should only use the Oscars betting system on even chance bets. For example, you would use the Oscar betting system on red/black when playing roulette, or pass/don’t pass when playing craps.
You always start the Oscar’s grind betting system by placing a one unit wager. If it wins, the cycle is immediately over, as you have achieved your goal of winning one unit per cycle. You then start a new cycle by betting one unit again.
If you lose, you bet one unit again, and keep betting one unit until you win. With the Oscar’s grind grind betting system, you only increase the size of your stake after a win. Once you win a bet, you increase the size of your stake to two units. If you lose, you bet two units the next time. If you win, you move up to three units.
Essentially, you keep the size of your stake the same when you lose and increase it by one unit each time you win. The cycle comes to an end as soon as you win a single unit of profit. You can then begin a new cycle by wagering one unit.
The easiest way to explain the Oscar’s grind betting system is to use an example. Let’s say you are playing an Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system and you have decided to make C$10 your base unit. This chart shows a hypothetical Oscar’s grind blackjack wagering session you might enjoy:
|#️⃣ Wager||🚲 Cycle||💰 Stake||🥇 Result||🔼🔽 Cycle Win/Loss||🔼🔽 Overall Win/Loss|
|1️⃣ First Bet||1||$10||Win||$10||$10|
|2️⃣ Second Bet||2||$10||Loss||-$10||$0|
|3️⃣ Third Bet||2||$10||Loss||-$20||-$10|
|4️⃣ Fourth Bet||2||$10||Win||-$10||$0|
|5️⃣ Fifth Bet||2||$20||Win||$10||$20|
|6️⃣ Sixth Bet||3||$10||Loss||$10||$10|
|7️⃣ Seventh Bet||3||$10||Win||$0||$20|
|8️⃣ Eighth Bet||3||$20||Loss||$20||$0|
|9️⃣ Ninth Bet||3||$20||Loss||-$40||-$20|
|1️⃣0️⃣ Tenth Bet||3||$20||Win||-$20||$0|
|1️⃣1️⃣ Eleventh Bet||3||$30||Win||$10||$30|
|1️⃣2️⃣ Twelfth Bet||4||$10||Loss||$10||$20|
|1️⃣3️⃣ Thirteenth Bet||4||$10||Loss||$20||$0|
|1️⃣4️⃣ Fourteenth Bet||4||$10||Win||$10||$10|
|1️⃣5️⃣ Fifteenth Bet||4||$20||Loss||$30||$10|
|1️⃣6️⃣ Sixteenth Bet||4||$20||Loss||$50||$30|
|1️⃣7️⃣ Seventeenth Bet||4||$20||Win||$30||$10|
|1️⃣8️⃣ Eighteenth Bet||4||$30||Loss||$60||$40|
|1️⃣9️⃣ Nineteenth Bet||4||$30||Win||-$30||-$10|
|2️⃣0️⃣ Twentieth Bet||4||$40||Win||$10||$30|
As you can see, each time you earn one unit ($10) of profit, you end the cycle and start again. If you lose a bet when following the Oscar’s grind betting system, you simply bet the same amount again. However, if you win, you increase the size of your stake.
The Oscar’s grind betting system is an interesting approach. It can be considered a positive progression system, because you increase the size of your stake after winning, and you chase a profit rather than a loss. However, it is not particularly aggressive, as you always go back to betting a single unit as soon as you earn a small profit, so it does not really aim to capitalise upon winning streaks.
In that regard, it is different to positive progressions systems like the Paroli strategy – which aims to secure a run of three straight wins – and the 1-3-2-6 system, which pays handsomely when you win four in a row. If you want a more aggressive positive progression system, you can check them out, or look at the reverse Martingale, which is even bolder.
The Oscar’s grind betting system is more likely to appeal to slow and steady players that like trying to grind out small wins and to make positive progression after securing a win. Read on to learn the main advantages and disadvantages of the Oscar’s grind betting system, and how to apply it to blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps.
There are several key benefits to using the Oscar’s Grind betting system:
|👍 The Oscar’s grind betting system sounds slightly complex at first, but it is actually very simple when you get the hang of it. Just remember to play in cycles, maintain the same size stake after a loss, increase your stake by a unit after a win, and end a cycle as soon as you secure a profit of at least one unit. You do not need a pen and paper to follow the Oscar’s grind betting system, and it is difficult to make any mistakes, as you only ever go up by one unit at a time.||👎Some people find this strategy to be a real slog. You often have to put in a lot of time and effort in order to earn a very modest profit, hence the name Oscar’s grind. It is not a particularly bold positive progression strategy, which can be off-putting to some casino players.|
|👍 Losing streaks are never particularly painful when following the Oscar’s grind betting system, because you do not increase your stake after a loss. Negative progression systems like the Martingale, the D’Alembert and the Labouchere require you to ramp up your wagers after suffering a loss in a bid to chase and wipe out those losses. Your bankroll can quickly become depleted, and you have to place large wagers in a bid to recoup those losses, which can be psychologically difficult for some players. That is not the case with the Oscar’s grind betting system.||👎 The Oscar’s grind betting system does not capitalise upon long winning streaks unless you have already suffered heavy losses. You only keep betting until your cycle ends up in profit, and you always go back to wagering one unit after a cycle ends. If you were to win five bets in a row at the start of your session, you would only be ahead by five units. By contrast, if you were following a reverse Martingale, you would be ahead by 31 units. You would be 13 units ahead by following the 1-3-2-6 system, and 10 units ahead by following the Paroli system. The Paroli is probably the closest strategy to the Oscar’s grind betting system, and it is better at rewarding winning streaks.|
|👍 The cautious, grinding nature of the Oscar’s grind betting system means you do not need a huge bankroll to enjoy a long session at the table. Instead you play in cycles, bidding to make lots of small profits, while keeping losses to a minimum.||👎 You do not chase losses with the Oscar’s grind betting system, so you can pull off a couple of wins and still be down overall. If that does not appeal, you might consider the Martingale system, which requires you to double your stake after each loss. The idea is that when you finally win a bet you will wipe out all of your previous losses. If that appeals more to you, it might be worth checking out negative progression systems.|
|👍 The Oscar’s grind betting system helps you to practice sensible bankroll management. It is arguably better to put some thought into the size of your wagers and apply mathematical rigour to the process than to simply make up random stakes as you play.||👎 The Oscar’s grind betting system can decimate your bankroll if you go through a bad spell. For instance, let’s say $20 is your base unit. If you follow this pattern – lose, win, lose, lose, win, lose, lose, win, lose, lose, lose (-17), win, lose, lose – you will be down $460. Periods in which you win and then lose two or three in a row, win again, lose two or three in a row, and so on, can quickly grow painful. In this sort of scenario, it can be difficult to recoup your losses and secure one unit of profit. You would need to enjoy a prolonged winning streak.|
|👎 You can then fall foul of the table limits when playing a particular game. If you need to play a $640 wager as part of your Oscar grind betting system sequence, but the table limit is $500, your betting system falls apart.|
|👎 No system can ever overcome the inherent house edge on casino games. Players use the Oscar’s grind betting system on even chance wagers like red/black on a roulette wheel or win/lose on a blackjack hand, but they are not really even chance because the house edge skews it in favour of the casino. It might therefore be advisable to quit when you are ahead when following the Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system or applying Oscar’s grind to another game.|
Following an Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system makes sense due to the high theoretical RTP featured in this popular casino game. Classic blackjack has an RTP of 99.41%, and some variants go even higher due to bonus features, so your chances of winning are very close to 50/50. Remember, you only use the Oscar’s grind with these roughly even money (1:1) bets, so the Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system is popular among many players.
You start off by choosing your unit price and placing a wager equal to that amount. If your base unit is $20, your foray into Oscar’s grind blackjack begins with a $20 wager. If that bet is successful, you can congratulate yourself on a job well done. The cycle is complete. You can now start the Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system again by placing another $20 wager.
If you lose, you simply keep betting that amount on each hand until you win. However, at this point, you will not be in profit for your cycle, so you increase the size of your stake by one unit after winning. In the case of this Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system example, you would go up to $40 for your next wager.
The idea with the Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system is to keep increasing the unit by one – in this case by $20 – with each win. This is quite similar to chasing a loss, because you are ultimately chasing just one unit of profit. As soon as you are in profit for the cycle, you go back to start a new Oscar’s grind blackjack cycle, regardless of whether you have just won a bet for a single unit or for 20 units.
Sometimes you complete the cycle quickly, but sometimes it takes dozens or even hundreds of bets. That is why it is called Oscar’s grind and not Oscar’s breeze.
Blackjack differs from other games, because you can win more than just your stake when playing it. You win one-and-a-half times your stake if you are dealt blackjack, you can double your winnings by doubling down, you can double your winnings by splitting aces or another pair, and insurance can cut your losses when applicable.
There are no official Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system rules for what to do with your extra winnings. Most players just add them to their bankroll and treat it as a single win. However, if successfully doubling down or splitting aces puts you into a narrow profit, you might decide to end your Oscar’s grind blackjack cycle and start a new one. This is a personal judgement, and different players have different interpretations when following the Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system.
You can apply the Oscar’s grinds betting system to all outside roulette bets that carry a roughly even chance of success: red, black, high (19/36), low (1-18), odd and even. Most people following the Oscar betting system make the same bet with each spin of the wheel. However, you can mix it up if you like, as long as you stick to those options with odds of almost even money.
You would not use the Oscar’s grind betting system on individual numbers, columns and so on, because you could quickly go on a lengthy losing streak that wipes out your bankroll and potentially pushes you over the maximum betting limits.
Start off by betting one unit on red, black, 1-18, 19-36, odd or even, watch the wheel spin and hope for the best. If your bet pays off, you start the Oscar’s grind betting system again. If you lose, keep betting at that same stake until you win. When you win, always increase your stake by just one unit. Keep going until you are in profit for the cycle. That is all you need to remember when using the Oscar’s grind betting system for roulette, so it is actually a very simple strategy.
One thing to note when playing roulette is that systems like the Oscar’s grind work best when the odds are as close to evens as possible. French roulette has the highest RTP, followed closely by European roulette, but American roulette has a significantly higher house edge due to the double zero, so you might want to stick to the French or European variants. You can also check to see if there are any other roulette games that offer bonus features to reduce the house edge further.
Oscar’s grind also works well on certain baccarat bets. You should not use it when betting on a tie, as that has a low chance of success. Of course, the odds are much better, but the probability of lengthy losing streaks is high, and that could quickly deplete your account balance.
Your two options when using the Oscar betting system for baccarat are the dealer hand and the player hand. The dealer's hand has a slightly higher RTP, so many players prefer to go for that when following the Oscar’s grind betting system. The RTP is very close to 99% in either case, so it is certainly possible to grind out some small wins, enjoy plenty of time at the baccarat table and walk away in profit, but there is always the risk of going on a long losing streak and being unable to recoup it.
If your base unit price is $5, that will be your first baccarat bet when playing to the Oscar’s grind strategy. If it loses, you bet $5 again. If that loses, bet another $5. When you win, ramp up the bet to $10. Keep it at $10 if you lose, and go up to $20 if you win. The system requires you to keep going until you end up in profit for the cycle, so you could end up placing $200 bets eventually.
Craps players often use the Oscar’s grind betting system in order to slowly accumulate units of profit, moderate losses and enjoy a long session at the table. The Oscar’s grind betting system is only applicable to certain craps bets that carry a roughly even chance of success.
For craps, those bets are pass, don’t pass, come, don’t come, Big 6 and Big 8. You would not want to use it on long odds bets like hardways, field bets, aces, Any 7, ace deuce, Boxcar and so on. It would also be rare to use them on bets with odds considerably below even money, such as lay bets of 4 or 10 or place lose bets.
Stick to the bets with a roughly even chance of success, choose your base unit amount and make your first wager for that sum. If it is $50 and you lose your first bet, your second wager would also be for $50. When you win, increase the stake to $50. Keep increasing it by $50 – the equivalent of one base unit in this Oscar’s grind example – until you are in profit for the cycle.
As soon as you move into profit, close the cycle and start again. This will allow you to grind out a steady stream of small profits if your luck holds up. Remember that the house has a low edge on bets such as pass and don’t pass, so they are probably the best options for an Oscar’s grind strategy.
You can also claim casino bonuses and ongoing promotions to further reduce the house edge. These bonuses can be claimed before following an Oscar’s grind blackjack betting system, an Oscar’s grind craps strategy or any other game with roughly even chance bets. You can then apply the Oscar’s grind system to your favourite games, see if you like it and check out alternatives like the Labouchere, Fibonacci and Paroli systems too.
Ziv Chen has been working in the online gambling industry for over two decades in senior marketing and business development roles. Ziv writes about a wide range of topics including slot and table games, casino and sportsbook reviews, American sports news, betting odds and game predictions. Leading a life full of conflict, Ziv constantly struggles between his two greatest loves: American football and US soccer.Read Full Bio