When betting progressively at blackjack, you’re simply increasing your bet as you win hands. This style of wagering differs from that flat of betting, where you consistently stay at the same amount for each bet whether you win or lose the previous hand, and negative progression betting where you increase your bet after a previous losing hand.
Does progressive betting give you and edge over the house?
Simply stated, no betting system under the sun will give you an edge. You cannot convert or change the house edge no matter how you bet. However, intelligent use of progressive betting while winning hands can keep you in the game longer while minimizing your losses.
Since in the long run the dealer will win about 52% of the hands, winning and losing streaks will occur almost equally between the dealer and the player. With that in mind, positive progressive betting is built upon the strategy of taking advantage and winning more when you have your winning streaks than what you lose when the dealer has his winning streaks.
An easy example of this would be a five-hand win streak for the dealer. If you’d bet one unit each of the five hands, your total loss would be five units for the dealer’s streak, If, however, you’d bet two units during each hand of a five-hand win streak in your favor, your total win for your streak would be ten units.
Combining the two streaks in which you won five hands and lost five hands, your overall profit would be five units, 33% of your total investment, which is quite favorable when you only won fifty percent of the hands.
Putting the Progressive Theory to work
The above analysis does not take into account that five-hand win streaks in either direction are relatively rare. It will happen only about one time in every twenty-five new five-hand slates for the player, so you want a progressive betting system that takes this into account and rounds out a better way for you to stay in the game.
The Key second hand
Virtually all positive progressive betting systems give maximum weight to the second winning hand of a streak, which of course is the very impetus of any streak no matter how long it may run. I personally think a 1-3-2-6 positive progression is a solid weapon for your blackjack attack.
To start off you bet one unit. If it loses you stay at one unit, but when it wins you increase your bet after the initial win to three units. If that bet loses you return to one unit, and if it wins you drop to two units. You follow the same betting tactic toward a maximum bet of 6 units, after which you return to one unit whether you win or lose the biggest bet.
The possible results of each series are as follows:
The key is to win the first two hands, after which you are at least guaranteed a break-even for the four-hand series. If you win the first two hands then lose the third, you have a two-unit profit for the series. If you win the first three hands then lose the fourth, you break even, but if you win that fourth hand and complete the series sweep you have a whopping twelve-unit profit!
And if you hit a streak of eight winners in a row you rake in twenty-four units!
Of course you would have won lots more on a more aggressive progressive (pardon the rhyme) during an eight-hand win streak, but you could have also given your entire profit back had the streak lasted a hand or two less.
This article was written by former professional casino cheater, Richard Marcus. Richard Marcus is also the author of American Roulette, a controversial book that reveals how he and other professional cheaters ripped off casinos.
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Also read our section about various methods and strategies of Card Counting.