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Fisher Strategy

Last updated: 11.25.2022 by Andrew Shepard

The Fisher roulette system isn’t quite as popular as many others, like Fibonacci and Martingale, but it is known in narrow circles. Not a lot is known about the origins of the system. According to some, Samuel Fisher owned a casino in London in the 1800s. Other sources say that Fisher was a professional roulette player. Then there are those who believe that he didn’t actually exist at all.

The biggest piece of evidence relating to his existence is a book written by a man named Samuel Fisher. The Sealed Book of Roulette & Trente-et-Quarante was published in 1924, and it covers the Fisher strategy. So, we decided to examine this system and find out if it has any merit.

How the Fisher System Works

One of the interesting things about the Fisher system is that different sources interpret it differently. As such, we will go with the most common interpretation, which goes like this:

  • All bets are placed on even-money outside bets.
  • We wager the same base unit each round.
  • If we lose four rounds in a row, then we multiply our stake amount by three.
  • If we win after raising our stake amount, then we return to the base stake amount for the next round.
  • If we lose four consecutive rounds, raise our stake, and lose four more consecutively, then we triple our stake size again.
Fisher System

The strategy itself tries to minimize the risks of the Martingale system somewhat because, in the latter case, a series of consecutive losses under actual conditions puts the progression to a standstill - depending on your bankroll, you can lose all the money, for example, in 8 moves. In the case of the Fisher strategy, if you lose eight times in a row, then for the first four losses, your bet will increase by three times, and for the next 4 - by another three times, for example, from 5 to 45.

Let's say for 12 losses in a row, and your bet will increase to 135 units with a starting unit of 5. The probability of such a sequence is 0.51^12=0.03%. Let's take an even worse option - 16 losses in a row and a corresponding bet of 405 units. The probability of such an outcome is 0.51^16=0.002%. Thus, this approach significantly minimizes the risks.

Putting the Fisher system to the Test

So, does the Fisher roulette system really give us any kind of advantage? Well, let’s run one of our simulations to find out. We will use JavaScript to program the progression. We’ll run the test with three players who each have a starting bankroll of $1,000 to use over 1,000 rounds. Player 1 will wager $5 per round, Player 2 will wager $10, and Player 3 will bet $15 per spin. Our graph will chart the dynamics of the respective bankrolls and stake sizes.

Player 1’s session went like this:

Fisher system to the Test

The first thing we notice is that Player 1’s session didn’t see a lot of successes. Instead, he pretty much the entire session in the red and finished with a $170 net loss. His largest wager was $45, indicating that he suffered through a couple of long losing stretches. Now, on to Player 2.

Fisher system to the Test 2

Once again, we see a pronounced negative trend highlighted by a couple of 12-round losing streaks that caused the stake amount to hit a high of $270. Yes, the player got pummeled, by he would have likely zeroed out had he been using Martingale. While Player 2 got off to a profitable start, he quickly went into the red after an extended losing streak. With that said, the simulation does show that the Fisher system might be viable only over the short term.

Let’s move on to Player 3, who had a base unit of $15.

Fisher system to the Test 3

As it was with the first two players, Player 3’s bankroll progression is negative despite being up $240 by the 386th round. This session again indicates that the Fisher strategy may work in short bursts, but it looks like a bankroll drainer over the long term.

Pitfalls of the Fisher Strategy

If we compare the results of Player 2 and Player 3 to the results of Player 1, we can easily conclude that the Fisher system doesn’t guarantee profits even in the short term. If we stick with Fisher for a long session, our bankroll will inevitably trend to zero. This pitfall is all too common among similar betting patterns. If we happen to find ourselves in the black at any point, it’s probably wise to quit.

Conclusion

Fisher's strategy is far from new, but beginners have never heard of it, and in vain, because it is much more effective than most of the “known” strategies.

Judging by the Fisher algorithm, its goal is to modify the Martingale algorithm with risk minimization. Instead of doubling after every loss, we triple the bet after four consecutive losses. Thus, the chances of quickly draining the entire bankroll amount are simply negligible.

We tested the Fisher algorithm by building a game simulation with base bets of 5, 10 and 15. Only 2 cases can be considered successful because the players reached profit in the short term at certain intervals. In the remaining case, the player never made a profit during the game. That is, we can conclude that even in the short term, the strategy may not always work.

Finally, it is worth asking the question: which is better? Use the Fisher strategy or the classic Martingale? It's up to you, but we think Fischer has the upper hand. Even though it is possible not to reach a profit, the risk of a bankroll drawdown is often reduced. So the strategy is suitable for players with a limited bankroll. But in this case, it is worth choosing the base rate value wisely.

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