Best Worst Blackjack Betting System

I have got to say that there is no better birthday present than stumbling across a blackjack betting system written about by someone who knows nothing of the game. Yet this betting system they are writing about is the big secret key to blackjack. Oh it makes me laugh.

So this is my blackjack birthday present to me: presenting and poking holes in the latest blackjack betting system.

This blackjack betting system is called the Labouchere. And its writer claims that it is the most precise way to “consistently winning big money.” This Labouchere betting system is a negative progression system. This however is incorrect as the progression is based on winning, meaning you only progress to the next step if you win the round.

Winning is positive. Losing is negative. So, yes, a negative progression system based on winning. Hmm, what does that tell you right there?

In the opening description about this betting system, the writer claims that you have to win all bets, meaning that you have to win every round. Yes, this is a realistic betting system because you win every single round of blackjack you ever play. If you did win every round, you would not need a betting strategy or system, and the casinos would not offer blackjack.

The Labouchere begins by the player righting down a series of number. These numbers can be any number and the series can be any numbers in length as the amount of numbers needed is not stated. For explanation purposes here is a string of random numbers 4, 6, 3, 7, 2, 1, 9.

We then add the first and last number together for our first wager. Based on the above string we are betting 15chips. What value of chips is up to you, but it must be 15 chips. If you win, you cross the first and last numbers out and then add up the next two. So our next water is 6+1=7 chips.

This continues as long as you win. But if you lose you have to start all over with the beginning first and last numbers. But as long as you win, because remember that you win every round of blackjack, you are done playing when you have combined that last two numbers.

So if we were playing blackjack with this betting system and were winning every round, we would bet like this:

7+ uh oh, I do not have a second number. Hmm, guess the writer of this betting system should have mentioned that your random length of random numbers needs to be even in total.

The problems with this betting system are very obvious. The numbers used to determine wagers are random, and random does not work in strategies. The number of numbers needed is random as well. This betting system is based on the idea that the player wins every round of blackjack, which does not happen.

Clearly, the creator of this betting system does not understand the first thing about blackjack. And you can see why betting systems should be avoided when playing blackjack.

Blackjack Strategy: Strategies vs Systems

Being that it is a game of skill, it is no surprise that blackjack is played with a strategy. Unless you wish to lose scads of money and in that case you play however you want. But for blackjack players who want to turn a profit, they will use a strategy.

Over the course of yesterday and today I compared flat betting in blackjack against progressive betting. I showed how progressive betting is not all that it is said to be and that it can cost you more money in the long run. What I did not talk about is what a progressive betting system in blackjack is.

First off, let’s you and me get one thing straight—a strategy and a system are two different things. A strategy is a plan of a blackjack player plays his hands. Strategy can be worked with to fit different situations in the game. For example, if the cards are running high, the blackjack player who is playing with a strategy can adapt his playing accordingly.

A player who plays by a system does not have that adaptability. He must abide by his system. Which means he plays the same way no matter how the cards are flowing, and in doing so, he loses opportunities along the way to make blackjack even more profitable.

An example of a betting system that is commonly used in blackjack is the Paroli progressive betting system. This is the betting system that Player B used in the comparison I spoke of.

In the Paroli betting system, a player will begin with a base wager. If he wins he will increase his wager by double. He will then keep increasing his wager by doubling until he loses a round, at which point he will return to his base wager.

If a blackjack player were using a progressive betting system like the Paroli system and happened to notice that the cards were running high, he would be unable to deviate from his betting system to take advantage of it because he cannot upset his system.

That is the difference between a betting strategy for blackjack and a betting system. So while a betting strategy may require more time to make a larger profit, it is safer in the long run to use than a progressive betting system in blackjack.

The Epic Tale of Progressive Betting in Blackjack Strategy—The End

Throughout yesterday we followed two blackjack players—Player A and Player B—through a few rounds at the blackjack table. Or it could be both of them playing blackjack online. Whether they are playing blackjack online or in a casino does not matter since the effect of progressive betting is the same no matter where you play.

After all, you still stand to win around 42% of the time and lose the other 58% regardless of whether you prefer to sit at a blackjack table or play online.

And that brings us to the conclusion of our tortoise and the hare version of blackjack and progressive betting.

We learned that in Part I that Player A and Player B both won four rounds, leaving Player A with a gain of $40 and Player B with a gain of $100. This shows that a progressive betting system can be profitable in blackjack.


In Part II we learned, with a win-loss-win-loss streak that Player A broke even; he won $20 and lost $20 in those four rounds. But Player B, because of the progressions of his betting system, wound up with a net loss of $20.

Looking at Player B we see that while his progressive betting system pulls in money on a winning streak, he stands to lose what he gains and then some if he does not hit a winning streak.

And playing without a winning streak is a more realistic approach to blackjack considering that, like I said above, you stand to lose around 58% of the time in blackjack. Knowing that you stand a greater chance of losing, even if you are using basic strategy, means that your chances of hitting a winning streak are not high. And without several winning streaks and not a lot of losing, the profitability from using a progressive betting system will not payout in the long run.

While it will take longer and might not be as thrilling, flat betting is the safer and more enduring way to earn a profit in blackjack, your best odds at making money in other words. Which makes Player B our tortoise and Player A, with his snazzy betting system, the hare of blackjack.

The Epic Tale of Progressive Betting in Blackjack Strategy—Part II

Where did we leave our players in our tale of progressive betting for blackjack strategy?

We left our Player A and Player B—our tortoise and hare—at the blackjack table. Both players had each won four rounds. Player A had won $40 as a result, while Player B had won $100 as a result of his progressive betting.

Clearly Player B is feeling quite relaxed and enjoying his blackjack playing. And he is probably feeling pretty confident that his progressive betting strategy will put him ahead in blackjack—unlike poor Player A who is flat betting.

See how it is reminiscent of the Tortoise and the Hare?

With the $40 compared to the $100, progressive betting has the edge. Not unlike the hare’s edge over the tortoise.

Now we are going to take our players for a little up and down playing. The next four rounds go like this: win, loss, win, loss. For Player A, he will be wagering $10 each time. Player B’s wagers will look like this: $10, win and increase to $20, lose and drop back to $10, win and increase to $20, and lose.

When you break the math down you can see that Player A will break even. He will have won $20 and lost $20 overall, and his bankroll be exactly where he started.

But Player B, well that is a different story. He won $10 in the first round, then increased his wager to $20 and lost. He then dropped back down to $10 and won. So he then increases his blackjack wager back up to $20, but he loses that round too. So in rounds one and three he won $20, but in rounds two and four he lost $40, which gives us a net loss of $20.

This is the moment when the hare realizes that he has goofed off far too long in the race and that the tortoise is ahead him, heading for the finish line.

As for you, you are beginning to see the down side of using a progressive betting system as a part of your blackjack strategy. But how will the story end for Player A and Player B? Check back tomorrow to find out!

The Epic Tale of Progressive Betting in Blackjack Strategy—Part I

It is not uncommon to see players using a progressive betting strategy when at the blackjack tables. They seem content with their system but I am not sure they are aware that a progressive betting system just does not pay off in the long run in blackjack. And how you bet is a big part of your blackjack strategy since your aim in blackjack is to make money.

Like usual let’s take a look at an example and compare flat betting in a game of blackjack to using a betting system in the same game of blackjack.

In this example players A and B are playing at a $10 minimum table and both start out betting $10. Player A is our flat bettor and player B is our progressive bettor.

Both players have played four rounds of blackjack. This could be online blackjack or blackjack in a brick and mortar casino. It does not matter where it is being played considering the effect of both bettering strategies will work the same in both types of blackjack.

In four rounds player A has wagered and won, brining in a total of $40. Player B has also won all four rounds but because he has wagered $10, $20, $30 and then $40, he has won $100.

In this instance the point goes to the player B and his progressive betting system.

This example shows us why players tend to resort to progressive betting systems when playing blackjack. They see it as an easy way to win money and make a profit when playing blackjack. Not to mention faster.

Do you recall the tale of the tortoise and the hare? The hare assumed that because he was the naturally faster animal he would win the race; he goofed off and played around with confidence. He figured he had the better method.

Check back and find out what happened to player B and his progressive blackjack betting system, and which player is the hare and which is the tortoise when it comes to blackjack.

Blackjack Myth—I am Due to Win

While you may not have seen this in online blackjack, unless you were the one doing it, this is a pretty common occurrence at blackjack tables in brick and mortar casinos: players who have lost several hands of blackjack in a row (hope they were not using a progressive betting system) and now feel it is their due to win a round.

It is all too common. Whether the blackjack player has only lost a couple of hands or is just having a bad run with the cards, he will begin fussing about how it is high time he won a hand. As if the cards were really listening. But cards are inanimate objects and the odds in a round of blackjack do not bend to a player’s desire to win.

The myth that a player is due to win ties in with progressive betting systems and why they are not healthy for a blackjack player. Both the myth and such betting systems are based on the idea that it is some sort of right for the player to win and that hands in blackjack are dependent on previous hands.

As a result players will often begin raising the amount of their wagers after their magic number of losses have happened, believing that it is time they win and that they can make back all the money they lost in previous rounds. Again, you see how players believe that future hands are dependent on previous hands.

This is so very not true.

Hands in blackjack are not dependent on each other. This means that it does not matter how many times you have won or lost. Each hand of blackjack is independent of the previous one.

Here is how it is: players will win around 48% of the hands they play regardless of whether they won or lost the previous round. Those odds do not change. There is no blackjack rule that says you are due to win after losing X number of rounds.

And because they do not change it is in your best interest to not believe that you are ever due to win. Just play using your blackjack strategy and hope that the cards are with you.

Blackjack Betting System No-No’s

A good number of blackjack players are tempted by betting systems. And most will try at least one at some point in time over the time that they play blackjack. I will admit to having tried one very early in my time of playing blackjack. I fell victim to the Martingale method.

What is the Martingale method? It is a betting system that is unfortunately used in blackjack. The way it works is to double your wager each time you lose. You only return to your original betting amount when you win.

For example, if you wager $10 and lose, the next round you would bet $20. Then $40. Then $80. Then $160. And that only covers five rounds of blackjack which you can do in less than half an hour. You can see how it adds up and how it can spin out of control.

The problem with this blackjack betting system is that eventually you are going to hit the table maximum for betting. It also requires a rather large bankroll in order for you to keep using it.

But the biggest problem, and this applies to every blackjack betting system out there, is that hands of blackjack aren’t linked. They aren’t dependent on each other. This means that there is no certain number of hands that you have to lose until you win again. Each hand is independent of the last. And that applies to online blackjack as well.

Translating this to blackjack betting system, using our Martingale example, this means that you’ll probably keep double your bets because there is no way to know if the end it in sight. And that is how you lose your money.

With blackjack hands being independent of each other there is no way to predict how the cards are going to flow. So it’s almost like you aren’t just betting on winning a hand of blackjack, but are also betting that you know when a losing streak will end.

Because these blackjack betting systems rely on a card system that is dependent on itself when in reality, the cards in blackjack are independent of each other, using a betting strategy is one of the fastest ways to run through your bankroll. Regardless of whether you’re playing blackjack online or in a casino the outcome is highly likely to be the same. And you won’t’ like it.

So avoid using a betting system and either stick with one betting amount or learn to card count if you play in a land based casino.

Basic Card Counting

Card counting isn’t the hard complicated skill that it’s made out to be. Yes, there are more complex systems out there for card counting, but not every single system in existence is difficult.

You don’t have to have a photographic memory or be a math genius to learn how to count cards. If you hear that, ignore it. Does it take effort to learn? Yes, like any skill it will take time and dedication to learn. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a hard thing to do.

Many blackjack players at least start out with the most widely and simplest to use: Hi-Lo.

What makes Hi-Lo so simple is that the math involved is easy. If you can add and subtract 1 you can use the Hi-Lo system. It works like this:

Cards 2 through 6 are classified as low cards and are counted as +1. Cards 7 through 9 are classified as neutral and are counted as 0. And finally 10’s, face cards and Aces are counted as -1.

When you’re playing a round of blackjack you add the +1’s and the -1’s of all the cards played during that round. For example. If you have a 10/9 and the dealer has 7/10 it translates as such in the Hi-Lo system: -1 + -1 + 0 + -1 = -3.

Then with each new round you add the card values of the cards played to get a running total.

If the total goes into the negative by at least -3 it means that a high number of high cards have been played and that the remaining deck is rich in low cards—and low cards favor the dealer. This is when you would reduce your wage a bit. But not too much, you don’t want to attract too much attention from the casino staff and risk getting kicked out of the casino.

Likewise if the running total goes positive by at least +3 it means that a high number of low cards have been played, and that the remaining deck is rich in high cards—cards that favor you. This is when you would increase your wager a bit.

As you can see, the math involved with card counting it not all that complex. You can always take a deck of cards and practice on your own.

Lazy Card Counting

I read about this card counting system this morning. I’m not too sure if it’s a real system or someone who is writing about their theory on card counting, but I have to comment on it. In the defense of good ol’ card counting.

This article I read gave several misconceptions of card counting. First they said that card counting required intense concentration and a mathematical mind. And here’s what’s wrong with that notion:

While card counting does require concentration it isn’t an intense concentration. If you have the ability to tell a 2 from a 10 you can card count.

As for the mathematical mind, do you have the ability to add and subtract numbers? Like 1 plus 1? Or 3 minus 1? If so you can count cards. Low cards are +1 and high cards are -1 in terms of card counting. Card counting doesn’t require a high level of math.

Now what this new theory on card counting in blackjack requires is for the player to recognize and keep track of how many small or large cards have been played.

See, the player is supposed to calculate how many dealer friendly cards there are. Dealer friendly cards are 4, 5 and 6. In a six deck game there are 72 of them, which is about 23% of a six deck game. So what a blackjack player is to do is count how many 4, 5 and 6 cards have been played. And when 23 of them have been played it should mean that there’s now a higher concentration of high cards left in the deck.

Should mean. But what about other low cards that, while they don’t favor the dealer as much, still favor the dealer? And ‘should mean?’ It seems a little imprecise. If I have money on the line I want a better idea of what I’m betting on. And ‘should’ isn’t a good enough idea.

It seems to me that this unnamed new card counting system for blackjack is on the lazy side. Simply count how many 4, 5 and 6 cards have been played and then go hog wild with your betting.

I think I’ll put a little more serious effort in to my game, add and subtract ones and make my betting off that. It seems much more sound to stick with the classic hi-lo counting system than staking money on this lazy man’s version of card counting.

Best Betting Strategy in Blackjack

For those of you who are always on the hunt for a betting system to use in blackjack I have one for you. And this one is by far the best—or at least the most reliable.

Card counting!

Yes! Card counting is the most reliable betting system that can be used in blackjack. For those players who take the time to learn and practice card counting, they are the ones in the best position to take the most advantage of their wagers.

See card counting will give a blackjack player the best idea of whether the remaining unplayed cards are rich in high cards (blackjack friendly cards) or low cards (dealer friendly cards).

Blackjack players who count cards know to raise their bets when the reaming deck is rich in high cards because they know that their chances of being dealt a strong hand, if not a natural blackjack, are on the high end.

They also know that when the remaining unplayed cards are rich in low cards that the dealer stands a better chance of winning than they do. They also know that if the remaining deck is rich in low cards, then there aren’t a lot of ten value cards or Aces left. And those Aces are an integral part of having a natural blackjack—can’t have one without them. So if the remaining deck is rich in low cards these card counting blackjack players know to lower their wagers.

When players try using a betting system like those progressive ones that so often pop up, they are at a disadvantage. Each hand in blackjack is independent of the previous one. Meaning, just because you haven’t had a blackjack yet and this is your seventh round it doesn’t mean you’re going to be dealt one. This is why betting systems are a bad idea—they are based on the idea that the next hand is dependent on the previous one.

So if you want a better gauge to your betting strategy, give card counting a try.