Betting Strategy

Using Progressive When Playing Blackjack

A progressive betting system is a very popular strategy when playing casino table games like blackjack. For this strategy, you simply raise or lower the amount of your bet based on whether you won or lost the last hand. There are various progressive betting systems around and they all fall into two categories. There is the “positive” system which have you increase your bet after you win and a “negative” system which have you increase your bet after you lose. Both are very straightforward, but do they really work?

Positive and Negative Progressive Blackjack Betting Systems

The important thing to remember with any progressive betting system is that it’s a strategy for betting and not really a strategy for playing. You gamble to make money after all and not just win hands of cards. This is an important distinction. Let’s say you make a $10 bet and win back your money. You’re now even, not ahead so you stay at $10. When you win again, you increase your bet to $15; win again and increase to $20, etc. If you lose, you go back to the $10 bet. Some positive systems allow the player to double the bet each time you win, as opposed to increasing the bet by certain increments. There are a few varying betting systems like this and each has its own particular view on what works best.

This type of progressive betting is considered “positive” because it increases your bet when you win and it’s a relatively simple and safe betting strategy. It re-enforces the idea that you can only gamble more when you are ahead. On the other side of the same coin is a “negative” progressive betting system, also called the “Martingale System.” This strategy suggests you increase your bet after a loss, in the hope that you’ll get back your money. If this sounds a bit reckless, that’s because it is. Negative betting systems do have a loyal following. However, the key difference between the two progressive blackjack strategies is that this Martingale System can make losers out of unwitting blackjack players.

The Good and The Bad

Progressive strategies should be used at certain points of a session. No progressive blackjack betting strategy will work consistently enough for you to rely on it completely. At their very best, they take advantage of streaks and short-term changes in probability. Even though the player can quit at any time, preferably when he’s ahead, most don’t. Most of them stay at the blackjack table and keep going with a progressive strategy until they’ve lost their stake or whatever profits they’ve won. As such, casinos don’t mind progressive bettors because they know that these players will lose in the long run. A progressive system won’t beat out human nature. That’s the bad.

The good is that progressive blackjack betting systems do give a good blackjack player the chance to win more money. A progressive player can lose more money but he can also increase his winnings and get ahead, which usually offsets the possibility of losing. A good blackjack player will employ the strategy at key moments of their session and back off if they fall behind. Again, this is not a strategy to live and die by because, ultimately, it’ll be the latter. You want to use the strategy when it can win you the most money.

Play Blackjack Online

Playing blackjack online is essentially the same as in the casinos. The only difference is you won’t be playing with a multi-deck shoe. Every deal starts anew and this makes online blackjack the perfect place to use a progressive betting system as there are less hot or cold runs of cards. Online casinos also give away tons of bonus money to bring in customers and there is nothing wrong with free money before a session of blackjack.

Best Practices

So, let’s play. And remember, this is about wagering, not card playing. We are here to make money. The cards are dealt. Your initial bet should be your baseline bet and the table minimum. Playing bigger wagers is for when you’re ahead. You don’t have to play the minimum, however, you should keep it reasonable. Now, as you play, you are going to win and lose, and it’s up to you to get a feel for the table and to keep an eye on your stack. Are you up or are you down. Once you are up a fair amount, two or three bets, increase your bet amount. Again, keep this raise reasonable and keep it at this amount until you lose. Hopefully, you can win a few hands at this amount before losing. Then, once you lose, go back to your original bet amount. In this scenario, you are still up after that first loss. Continue to raise your wager after every win unless you go cold and find yourself down. (If you find you are down, ditch the strategy until you’re up.) If you are playing in a casino at a multi-deck shoe, start anew with every shoe. If you are playing online, keep going.

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