May

29

2015

Betting Progressions In Blackjack

Betting progressions are nothing new at blackjack. Ever since the game was devised, players have been trying to hit on a magic formula for when to increase their bets.

Truth be told, there is no magic formula, but a friend of mine decided to give it a go when he spotted a new one in April. He was at a \$10 blackjack table, sitting next to a player with a four-step progression/regression. He’d start with a \$10 bet, and if he won he would raise to \$30. After a second win, he’d drop to \$20, but winning a third in a row brought a \$60 bet.

After any loss, he’d drop back to \$10, and he’d also drop back to \$10 after the \$60 bet, won or lose.

My friend decided to give that 1x-3x-2x-6x pattern a go, and won \$650.

“I tried it, and it coincided with a ridiculous hot streak on the table,” he wrote. “ I’m normally a tight, tight player, so 6x betting once was a jump for me.”

I him told a progression like that can lead to some spectacular wins, but it also leads to more frequent losing sessions.

Let’s look at the pattern in pieces. If you win \$10 and lose \$30 on the second hand, that’s a \$20 loss, whereas flat-betting \$10 breaks even after a win and a loss. With two wins and a loss, the progression has a \$20 overall win. That beats the \$10 win you’d have after flat-betting two wins and a loss.

With three wins and a loss, you win \$10, \$30 and \$20, but then lose \$60 and just break even. Flat betting three \$10 wins followed by a loss brings a \$20 profit, so you risk less but win more than with the progression.

It’s not till you win four in a row that the progression pays big. Wins of \$10, \$30, \$20 and \$60 total \$120, three times the \$40 you’d win with flat \$10 bets. If you’re having one of those all too uncommon nights when the wins are fast and frequent, this 1-3-2-6 progression will fill your wallet. On an ordinary night, well, let the buyer beware