What Roulette Can Teach You About the Coronavirus

It’s not very often that we can look to casino games to teach us about a global viral epidemic, but the rapid spread of the coronavirus is one such occasion.

We have been watching the spread of this virus, and we have noticed that the doubling period seems to be every six days.

Humans have a terrible grasp of exponential growth. It’s not natural, and we can’t grasp it easily. We realized that a well-known roulette strategy could help people understand how fast this virus could spread.

The strategy is called “The Martingale,” and it involves doubling your bet every time you lose on an even money bet such as red/black.

Here’s an example of how the Martingale strategy works. In each case, we assume you have lost the bet and so you double it.

  • Bet $1
  • Bet $2
  • Bet $4
  • Bet $8
  • Bet $16
  • Bet $32
  • Bet $64
  • Bet $128
  • Bet $256
  • Bet $512
  • Bet $1,024
  • Bet $2,048
  • Bet $4,096
  • Bet $8,192
  • Bet $16,384
  • Bet $32,768
  • Bet $65,536
  • Bet $131,072
  • Bet $262,144
  • Bet $524,288
  • Bet $1,048,576
  • Bet $2,097,152
  • Bet $4,194,304
  • Bet $8,388,608
  • Bet $16,777,216

You get the idea. Starting with 1, in 25 doubling periods (6 days in this case), we end up at almost 17 MILLION. Consider that many countries now have dozens of cases, or in the worst instances (Italy, China, South Korea) thousands of cases. Also consider that experts claim that in the best case scenario a vaccine will be six months away.

Folks, we don’t want to fear-monger, but we want our readers to start preparing now. There is virtually nothing that governments can do at this stage other than lock down entire regions and millions of people at a time. Don’t panic, but don’t be complacent either.

We hope that this simple roulette betting system helps you to understand how fast this thing can grow in a matter of weeks. We started from 1 in the example above, but many places are starting from 20-50 if we begin counting from today. Let’s look at another quick example, based on 60 days, starting from 50 cases.

  • 50
  • 100
  • 200
  • 400
  • 800
  • 1,600
  • 3,200
  • 6,400
  • 12,800
  • 25,600
  • 51,200
  • 102,400

With an apparent 3% fatality rate in identified cases, many of these countries will lose thousands of people within a couple of months. If measures aren’t taken to break the chain of transmission, it could be a lot worse and could spread a lot faster.

What can you do?

  • Avoid socializing in crowded places.
  • Wash your hands more often.
  • Try to avoid touching your face.
  • Wear an N95 mask when interacting with the public.
  • Stock up on non-perishable foods, but don’t hoard. Others need these things, too.

Thanks for reading, and we wish you and yours well in the coming days and weeks.