Having a strategic betting system when playing blackjack is the best way to ensure a winning session. The problem lies in figuring out which one is best for you. There are so many to choose from, keeping in mind the different deviations that can be played, that you should pick the one that’s the easiest for you to learn.
Basic Types of Blackjack Betting Systems
For the most part, blackjack betting is done with progressive betting, which is choosing to raise or lower the amount of your bet based on winning or losing the previous hand. Blackjack betting systems are defined as either Positive Progressive Betting or Negative Progressive Betting. With positive progressive betting, you raise your bet after a win. With Negative Progressive betting, you raise your bet after a loss. I personally like and use a simple positive progressive system because I don’t want to use something that is inherently negative! I try to always think positive!
Positive Progressive Betting – The Good
This type of betting is quite popular with blackjack players because you increase your bet as long as you’re winning and go back down to a minimum bet when you lose. This can be an effective strategy when the game play is “streaky,” as often is the case. In playing blackjack, there can definitely be streaks of several winning hands in a row or losing hands in a row. When you are on a streak of several winning hands in a row, it’s great because you’re raising your bet after each win. Once the winning stops, you go back to the minimum bet, If the losing streak continues, you’re only losing the minimum amount. What’s good about this is that it would allow you to probably play at the table for a while without a big loss if streaks are consistent. You’re going to be winning a little more with each wining hand in a row, and only losing the minimum with each losing hand in a row. Let’s take a look at how I would use this system, on a run of 10 hands:
- Hand #1 – Bet $15, win, win $15, cumulative win/loss: $15
- Hand #2 – Bet $20, win, win $20, cumulative win/loss: $35
- Hand #3 – Bet $25, win, win $25, cumulative win/loss: $60
- Hand #4 – Bet $30, lose, lose $30, cumulative win/loss: $30
- Hand #5 – Bet $15, lose, lose $15, cumulative win/loss: $15
- Hand #6 – Bet $15, lose, lose $15, cumulative win/loss: $0
- Hand #7 – Bet $15, win, win $15, cumulative win/loss: $15
- Hand #8 – Bet $20, win, win $20, cumulative win/loss: $35
- Hand #9 – Bet $25, lose, lose $25, cumulative win/loss: $10
- Hand #10 – Bet $15, win, win $15, cumulative win/loss: $25
This scenario is assuming all winning hands were even money wins, no blackjacks or double downs that pay more. You can see that with just 3 wins or losses in a row, I could still be winning with this relatively conservative positive progessive betting system. I find that I generally don’t have more than 3 winning hands in a row, so my betting rarely goes over $30. Since I don’t do this as a profession, that’s okay. Also keep in mind that if some of the wins were doubled or blackjack wins, I’d be up even more.
Does Progressive Betting Work?
Many blackjack players swear that progressive betting doesn’t work in the long run, because it does rely on streaks to work effectively. So, my theory behind using a positive progressive strategy is to know when to get up from the table. Sure the pros say it won’t work in the long run, I say, use it in the short run. My strategy is “don’t be greedy.” I live close to a casino, so I keep it a rule that if the cards start to run bad, get up and come back tomorrow! I have my own take on a positive progressive system, as outlined above, and my goal for each session is to win $100, or lose $60, or play for just 1 hour. Once 1 of those three results happens, I leave the table and come back another day. With any betting system you should always have a pre-determined win/loss limit.
Just a caution, I’m talking about a POSITIVE PROGRESSIVE system. A negative progressive system is a totally different story to be discussed at another time. As mentioned earlier, with a negative progressive system, you increase (usually double) your bet with every loss. Just imagine how quickly you could lose your money with just a short streak of losing hands.
Professional blackjack players will tell you that casino’s like progressive bettors (especially negative progressive bettors) because in the long run, they will lose There again are the magic words “in the long run,” and so your goal should be to play disciplined and not stay at a losing table. A positive progressive bettor can lose money, but will have increased winnings to get ahead and offset the losses. Positive progressive betting is good and can work!