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.

Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive is Sneaky too

And I thought that insurance was being sneaky. It has nothing on Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive by DEQ Systems Corp. DEQ has spent the last five years creating and designing a new electronic side bet that can be built into blackjack tables.

Shall we compare the two and see just how sneaky Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive is.

First we will look at insurance. Insurance is offered when the dealer has an Ace showing, and essentially is a side bet on whether the dealer’s hole card is worth 10 or not. If the hole card is worth 10 the dealer has a natural blackjack, you would lose your original wager, but you would collect 2-1 on your insurance side bet so that you were paid an amount that is equal to the wager you lost.

There are only four Aces per deck. Let’s say that you are at a table that is using four decks, like a Vegas Strip Blackjack table. That means there are sixteen Aces out of 208 cards. On average there is a 7% chance that an Ace will show as the up card. So you only have the opportunity to take insurance sixteen times.

Now we will look at Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive.

This is a side bet that will pay the player if they have a final hand total of 20 and are beaten by the dealer with 21. The more cards that make up the dealer’s 21, the more the player receives on their side bet; but a dealer 21 made up of seven cards will payout the progressive jackpot.

Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive plays on the notion that the player will always receive something if his strong hand is beaten. Which on the surface sounds like a good idea. But there are several problems:

– It only covers a player 20, not a player who hits to 21.
– It does not cover if the dealer beats you with a natural blackjack.
– It does not cover pushes.

And perhaps the biggest problem of all is that the side bet can be made every single round. This is very bad. At least with insurance there are only certain times it is offered. But Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive puts players in the position to lose even more money every single round. The probability of you having a hand total of 20 and the dealer beating you with a multi-card hand of 21 is actually very slim.

This is one type of side bet that should be high on your list of things to avoid since you stand a better chance of losing more money each round than you do of winning a payout off of it. And it is just horrible to prey upon player feelings in order to extract more money. Sure, it is a blow when our 20’s are beaten, but that is a part of the game.

And this company, this DEQ Systems Inc., has created a way for casinos to cash in on that feeling. Because of the increased opportunity for players to lose money Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive should be avoided. There is no sense to throwing money away on almost every hand to collect on a hand here and hand there—the financial cost does not balance out unless the dealer has a seven card 21.

Blackjack and Betting Strategy

I have to admit I am sighing a little as I write this. I keep hearing about blackjack players who not only continue playing with betting systems, but that they also insist this is the best way to manage one’s blackjack betting strategy.

But there is one little problem with those betting strategies. I do not care if you are playing with a positive betting progression or a negative betting progression, they are still systems. And systems will in the long run, cause you to come out with less than when you arrived.

Think about this for a moment. A betting system totes the notion that it can overcome the house edge by allowing the player to walk away with a profit from blackjack.

But these betting systems are based on an infinite line of betting, meaning they do not tell the player when to walk away from the table. They are designed so that the player keeps playing and playing and playing. Without knowing when to walk away from the blackjack table anything you win you can lose. And with a betting system you can lose it very quickly.

Rather than using a betting system that has you increasing your wager without any guarantee that you will ever recoup your losses, stick to flat betting and set yourself a goal to reach in winnings.

Having a goal to reach in winnings will allow you to know when to walk away from the blackjack table. If you tell yourself that you are going to play until you have won $150, it gives you a stopping point.

And by flat betting to reach it your, winnings and your bankroll or more solid. Losing $20 in one round is easier to swallow and make up for than losing $320 in one round because your betting system’s progression has taken your wagering that high.

Betting systems for blackjack have their appeal in that they appear like a fast way to make your profit from blackjack. But in truth the flat betting as the basis of your betting strategy will make your bankroll more solid and steady, causing you to come out ahead. Think of it like the tortoise and the hare—flat betting is the tortoise and betting systems are the hare.