Common Progressive Blackjack Betting Strategies

Do you want to become a Blackjack pro? If so, you need to learn about the different betting strategies that are used in this popular casino game. In this blog post, we will discuss three of the most common betting strategies: basic strategy, card counting, and progressive betting. We will also provide some tips on how to improve your odds of winning at Blackjack. So if you're ready to take your Blackjack skills to the next level, keep reading!

Foundational playing strategies

Before getting into betting strategies, it is important to master basic strategy and even consider learning how to count cards.

Basic strategy is the foundation of all successful Blackjack players. If you want to win at Blackjack, you need to know when to hit, stand, double down, and split. Basic strategy also takes into account the dealer's upcard, which can help you make the best decision in any given situation. While basic strategy alone will not guarantee success, it will certainly give you a much better chance of winning than if you were to simply guess at what to do. This is the "foundation" that you need in order for your betting strategies to be effective.

Card counting is the "second layer" on top of basic strategy. While card counting can be difficult, it can also be very profitable as it takes you from a ~49% edge against the house to > 50% if done correctly. In other words, you're tipping the deck in your favor, literally. Card counters keep track of the high cards and low cards that have been dealt out of the deck, and then adjust their bets accordingly. While card counting does require a bit of practice to perfect, it can be a very effective Blackjack betting strategy. And contrary to popular belief, it's not illegal to count cards in your head. Casinos won't like you and may "back you off" if they see you're winning too much, but this is still a valid strategy.

What are the most common Blackjack betting strategies?

There are a few common Blackjack betting strategies that you can play. While there isn't a clear "winner" here, each strategy suits different risk tolerances, which is why we've outlined how each strategy works and some downsides to each strategy below.

It is important to note that all of these betting systems are unreliable over the long run, but might help you catch a "hot streak" in the short run. The more important variable for long-term success in Blackjack is the ability to play basic strategy correctly, play deviations, and count cards.

Each of these strategies falls under two main "umbrellas":

  • Positive progression systems - increasing your bet after each win
  • Negative progression systems - increasing your bet after each loss

To start, here is the list of strategies we will be talking about.

  • Positive progression
    • Paroli
    • Parlay
  • Negative progression
    • Martingale
    • D'Alembert
    • Laboucherie

Positive progression systems

Paroli system

The Paroli system is one of the most popular positive-progression Blackjack betting strategies. With this system, you double your bet after each win, rather than after each loss. The thinking behind this system is that you are more likely to lose after a streak of wins, so by doubling your bet, you can recoup your losses and still come out ahead.

Many players will set a "cap" on the number of wins they can have before they lower their default amount.

Parlay betting

Parlay betting is a betting system in which you increase your bet after each win. The idea behind this system is that after each win, you add your winnings to your next bet. Once you lose, you return to your "default" wager.

Negative progression systems

Martingale system

The Martingale system is arguably the most popular negative-progression betting systems. This system involves doubling your bet each time you lose, in the hopes that you will eventually win back your losses. While this system can be effective, it also has its drawbacks. For one thing, you need to have a large bankroll in order to make it work, as your losses can add up quickly. In addition, some casinos may place limits on how much you can bet, which can render the Martingale system useless.

D'Alembert system

The D'Alembert system is a Blackjack betting strategy that is similar to the Martingale system, but with slightly different rules. With this system, you increase your bet by one unit after each loss and decrease it by one unit after each win. The thinking behind this system is that you are more likely to win after a losing streak, so by increasing your bet you will eventually make up for your losses.

The downside to the D'Alembert system, similar to Martingale, is that it can be risky if you have a long losing streak, as your bets will quickly become very large.

Labouchere system

The Labouchere system is another negative progression system, which means that you increase your bet after a loss. This system requires a bit more mental math than the others, pushes up against table betting limits, and isn't always the most effective. If you want to play Blackjack on "hard mode" (for fun maybe?), here's how you use this system:

  1. Define your "betting unit" - we'll say $5
  2. Define a set of numbers in sequence, such as 1-2-3-4-5.
  3. Your first wager will be the (first + last) _ betting unit. In this case, (1 + 5) _ 5 = $25.

If you win, cross those two numbers off your list. If you lose, take the result of adding those two numbers and add them to the end of your list. In this case, 1 + 5 = 6, so your new list would be 1-2-3-4-5-6.