Blackjack is a skill-based game and as such, players can influence the outcome of every hand by applying a reliable strategy. However, in order to become consistent winners, blackjack fans should also have money management skills. Nowadays, **a number of betting systems and strategies**.

Most of the betting strategies are based on increasing or decreasing the size of your bet. In theory, they are quite logical – place bigger bets to recoup your losses. Unfortunately, they have proven to be not so effective. Stick with us to learn why these betting strategies do not work.

Before discussing their flaws, we would like to first shed light on their basics and fundamental principles. In that way, we will be able to determine why the betting systems are not profitable. In order to make the basics of these betting systems as clear as possible, we will delve deeper into two of the widely used types of betting systems.

## Types of Betting Systems in Blackjack

The betting systems fall into two main categories – **negative and positive progression systems**. Nowadays, both of them have many variations which incorporate features from the two systems. In positive progression systems, players should increase their bets every time they win and reset the size of their bet to the original amount when losing. Such betting systems are considered more reliable and risk-free due to the fact that even if players are on a losing streak, they won’t lose as much money as they would if they were using a negative progression betting system.

In contrast to the positive progression betting systems, **the negative ones require increasing the amount of the bet when players are losing and decreasing it to its original size when winning**. In general, this approach is considered riskier due to the fact that if they lose a few consecutive hands, their bankroll will be gone in no time. However, the betting systems of this type give players the chance to make a profit, even if their losses outnumber their wins.

### How Long a Winning/Losing Streak May Last?

In most cases, winning or losing streaks last for 2 to 3 hands. However, **blackjack is a casino game that has an element of unpredictability**. Even though the chances of a losing/winning streak to last for more than 4 consecutive rounds are relatively small, they do exist. If you want to calculate the possibility of a different-length losing streak occurring, you have to take into account only the possibility of winning or losing. In other words, you have to ignore possible ties. Hence, the probability of a single win is 47.4% and the probability of a loss is 52.6% when the probability of a tie is excluded.

To calculate the probability of losing a given number of hands in a row, you have to divide the probability of a loss by 100, which makes 52.6 ÷ 100 = 0.526. Then, the equation for calculating the probability of losing two hands in a row will look as follows: 0.526^2 = 0.2766. Multiply this number by 100 to express the probability of a losing streak that lasts for two rounds as a percentage, or 0.2766 x 100 = 27.66%. To **calculate the probability of a losing streak** that lasts for nine hands, use the same strategy – 0.526^9 = 0.0030 x 100 = 0.30%.

You can also easily calculate the probability of a different-length winning streak. This time, you have to take into account the probability of a single win and divide it by 100, or 47.4 ÷ 100 = 0.474. Now, let us calculate the probability of a winning streak that lasts for nine hands – 0.474^9 = 0.001. To express this number as a percentage, multiply it by 100. Then, the chances of a winning streak that lasts for 9 rounds is 0.001 x 100 = 0.12%.

## Positive Progression Betting Systems

If players decide to use a positive progression betting system, they should increase their bet when winning and decrease it when losing. The idea behind this strategy is to help players win more money when they are on a winning streak and vice versa, prevent them from wagering substantial amounts when on a losing streak. However, it is hard to determine when exactly a winning streak will occur and for how long it will last.

Despite the aforementioned drawback, **the positive progression system is preferred by many blackjack fans**. The reason why is that by using it, players have the chance to play longer and thus, make small but consistent profits. The key is to determine the exact time when a winning streak will occur and get the most out of it.

**Paroli System, 1-3-2-6 System, Reverse Labouchere, Contra D’Alembert**, and others.

In order to illustrate better how the positive progression betting system works, it is best to consider the following situation. Let’s assume that the set amount for 1 unit is $10 which is also the initial amount that players need to bet. **Every time you win a hand, you should double your original bet**. In this sense, you should start playing by placing a $10 bet.

If you get lucky and win the hand, then the amount you are supposed to wager should be twice as much – $20. If you win again, then you have to wager $40 on the next round. You should continue following this pattern until you lose a hand or reach your win goal. If you lose, you are required to start from the beginning and place a $10 bet. This way, if players are on a losing streak, they will lose only 1 unit at a time or a maximum of $10 per hand. However, if they are on a winning streak, they will get extra cash and win twice as much.

Blackjack Positive Progression Betting System | |||
---|---|---|---|

Bet Number | Bet Size | Hand Outcome | Net Winnings |

#1 | 10 | WIN | +10 |

#2 | 20 | WIN | +30 |

#3 | 40 | WIN | +70 |

#4 | 80 | LOSS | -10 |

#5 | 10 | LOSS | -20 |

#6 | 10 | WIN | -10 |

#7 | 20 | WIN | +10 |

#8 | 40 | WIN | +50 |

## Negative Progression Betting Systems

The negative progression betting system is the opposite of the positive – **players should increase their bets when losing and reduce them when winning**. This type of betting system is based on the probability that at some point, players are bound to win a hand which will make up for all of their losses. At first glance, this theory looks very reliable. However, it has some major flaws. Perhaps, one of its biggest drawbacks is that players can run out of money before they reach a winning streak.

It is not possible to predict when a losing streak will come to an end and whether players will be able to manage to stay in the game until this time. Therefore, this system is considered to be rather dangerous as by using it, players can run out of money very quickly. However, if they are lucky enough to win after a few consistent losses, they will be able to compensate for the time when they were on a losing streak. **Some of the most famous betting systems of this type are Martingale, Labouchere, Fibonacci and D’Alembert**.

This betting system can be applied very easily as the pattern players need to follow is very simple. First, they need to set an initial amount which is the minimum money they can bet every time. For instance, let’s assume that players start playing blackjack by wagering $10. If they lose the hand, their next wager should be $20. Assuming that the outcome of the next round is no different, they should continue doubling their bet by placing a $40 bet.

**They will be able to make a profit each time they win on the condition that their bankroll lasts long enough to reach this stage**. This example illustrates very well why this betting system is considered risky as it can consume players’ funds in no time.

Blackjack Negative Martingale Betting System | |||
---|---|---|---|

Bet Number | Bet Size | Hand Outcome | Net Winnings |

#1 | 10 | LOSS | -10 |

#2 | 20 | LOSS | -30 |

#3 | 40 | LOSS | -70 |

#4 | 80 | WIN | +10 |

#5 | 10 | WIN | +20 |

#6 | 10 | LOSS | +10 |

#7 | 20 | LOSS | -10 |

#8 | 40 | WIN | +30 |

## How Efficient are the Betting Strategies in Blackjack?

As we already explained above, **both betting strategies have their advantages and disadvantages**. The main problem with them is that they require an unlimited bankroll as you have to double your wager every time you win or lose. Even if you have deep pockets, eventually you will reach the table limit and you will no longer be allowed to increase the size of your bets.

In addition, **you can never predict when and for how long a winning or losing streak will occur**. Another problem with these betting strategies is that they do not take into account the player’s option to double down and split pairs. For example, if you split pairs, you have to double both of your bets. In other words, if you use such betting strategies, you are bound to lose.

## Conclusion

Nowadays, it is possible to find a number of betting systems that have features of both systems. The reason for this is that the negative and the positive progression systems have some significant drawbacks and by combining them, experts are trying to eliminate these flaws. However, up to this moment, **no betting strategy guarantees success**.

At first glance, the positive and the negative progression systems are quite logical. But the problem with the betting strategies is that they ignore some important aspects of the game and that is why they do not yield the expected result. Blackjack fans are strongly advised to use such betting strategies if they do not want to leave the casino empty-handed.