This morning I wrote about the Labouchere negative progression betting system that unknowing blackjack players will use in place of a good betting strategy.
The use it because they come across one of those article-generating sites in which the people writing the articles do not always understand the finer points of their subjects. In the case of the article I saw today, it said that the best way to bet in blackjack was to use a betting system.
This is simply not true. Betting systems limit how a player makes their wagers in a game of blackjack. These systems are also based on principles that go against the essence of blackjack.
Now we are going to look at the Paroli betting system.
This is a positive progression system, meaning that it works based on wins. If you win a hand, you would double your wager on the next round. You would keep doubling until you lose a round and then return to the amount of your original wager. Take a look:
If you were to wager $20 and win, you would wager $40 on the next round. If you win that round you would wager $80. But if you lost, you would return to the original amount of $20.
The Paroli betting system is said to make the most of a winning streak. Unfortunately there is no way to predict how long a winning streak will continue. This can result in a very heavy loss if you lose a round after several successful wins. Imagine in the above example winning five rounds and wagering $320 only to lose that $320.
The problem with the Paroli betting system is that it is based on winning, and is meant to be used in a casino game in which the house has the advantage. Players can only expect to win around 48% of their blackjack games.
So if you have less than a 50% to win why would you use a betting system based on winning?
Exactly—you should not!
Betting systems should not be used in blackjack—especially those that are based on winning streaks in casino games that do not have an edge over the house.
I saw a posting from one of those article-generating sites that pertained to what the author was calling blackjack betting strategies; he was talking about the Labouchere and Paroli methods.
I am going to say this right now. The Labouchere and Paroli methods are not blackjack betting strategies—they are only betting systems. And those systems can cost you more money in the long run than what they claim you could win.
And I will show this.
First up, the Labouchere. The Labouchere is a negative progression betting system. The way it works is that the player will make his wager and double it every time in the next round if he lost the previous round; he will keep doing this until he wins. The Labouchere’s claim is to beat a losing streak.
Look at a sample of a few rounds of Labouchere: you start out wagering $20 and lose; the next round has you wagering $40 and you lose; the next round is $80 and you lose; the next is $160 and another loss and you are up to $320 in five rounds.
The Labouchere’s claim to fame is to beat a losing streak by winning back all the money you lost in previous rounds and then some extra. It plays on the fact that for the majority of players, the house has the edge and the player’s blackjack odds are 52% for losing. Logically this betting system makes sense.
Does it sound too good to be true? Yes? That is because it is.
First off the Labouchere requires an infinite betting limit, meaning there is no limit on how high you could bet. Unfortunately casinos do not allow this and tables have betting maxes on them to protect themselves from paying out too much in one payout to high rollers.
The other downside to this betting system is that it implies that the player will eventually win. There is no guarantee in blackjack that a player will win. So you could go rounds and keep doubling your wager until you have lost almost if not all of your bankroll.
So there are your reasons for not using the Labouchere betting system as a blackjack betting strategy. It is not a strategy. It is based on a principle of blackjack that is not true, and it can wipe out your bankroll.