Betting Progressions and Blackjack

When playing blackjack you always want to go into playing with a playing strategy and a betting strategy. And while basic strategy is an easy to use playing strategy, not all pieces and parts of blackjack strategy are that simple. But some players think all parts of blackjack strategy should be easy. These would be the players who fall into using betting progressions, calling it a betting strategy.

Let’s get one thing straight from the start: betting progressions are not betting strategies for blackjack.

Think of this phrase: “Progression to depression.”

That phrase is exactly where a betting progression will leave you, not only in blackjack but in any casino game.

An example of a commonly used betting progression is a positive betting progression. In this progression the player doubles the amount of their wager each time they win, only returning their starting amount when they lose. Let’s say that you start out with a $10 wager. Here is what it would look like:

Round 1: $10, win, Round 2: $20, win, Round 3: $40 win, Round 4: $80, lose, Round 5: $10

The problem and the reason why players should stay away from any betting progression, positive or otherwise, is because you stand to lose in the long run. This is because the house has the edge. In the above example, the player won three times in a row. This is not a likely scenario. Yes, it can happen, but you are then betting on chance rather than the statistics of the game. Betting on chance is how you lose money.

In blackjack, your odds of winning are only 48% each round. This means that the likelihood of getting on a winning streak that is long enough to make a profit off of any progression is slim. A more realistic example looks like this:

Round 1: $10, win, Round 2: $20, lose, Round 3: $10

You would have won $20 in Round 1 and then lost that $20 in Round 2. Over time you will lose more hands than you win. Yes, basic strategy will help you to win more hands than you would if you played without it, but the house edge is still against you.

The real trick to winning in blackjack is taking advantage of money making opportunities, such as double downs. Betting progressions in blackjack are the sure way to lose money over time.