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Blackjack Systems

As a game of skill, blackjack can be quite profitable for skilled and experienced players in a land-based or an online casino. Unlike games of chance such as roulette, you can become a master of this game and sway the odds in your favor with more than a few blackjack systems.

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Of course, not each one works in the long run, but many do in the short run. No system guarantees that you’ll be profitable by the end of a night of gambling, but using one such as card counting can greatly increase your chances of success.

Blackjack Systems Explained

The most common system of betting used on blackjack is flat betting or using the same amount for each bet. It’s a pretty safe technique, but one that doesn’t cut down the house edge and isn’t really exciting. That’s where betting systems come in play. In blackjack, there are a variety of systems you can use. They can be divided into two groups – positive and negative betting systems plus the famous card counting strategy which has had the most success by far.

Blackjack Systems
Learn about the best blackjack systems

You may have heard about card counting in the media as the most successful blackjack strategy. It is indeed – it’s a system that relies on skills and is quite favorable for the player, which is why most casinos have it banned.

Using card counting to win at blackjack can result in being blacklisted or ejected from the casino, so unless you’re a pro, we wouldn’t suggest using it. It’s a good thing to learn a few things about it though, as it significantly raises your chances of success.

Positive Progression Systems

The general theory behind positive progression systems is increasing your bets after every winning hand. This means that each bet is funded by the previous bets, so even if you’re caught up in a bad string of losses, you won’t lose all the money in your pocket. It’s a much safer alternative to negative progression systems which we’ll get to later.

Both blackjack progression systems have many variations. Many of them don’t work, but most do, at least in the short run. They won’t reduce the house edge but will prevent you from going bust.

The Parlay system is one of the oldest betting systems and is in fact based on the concept of compound interest banks use to calculate profits.

It’s a generally safe betting system intended for beginners in which you double your bet after every win. If you’ve started with a wager of $1 and won the first round, you’ll win $2. You bet that amount and win again, you get $4. The run goes on by doubling your bets. If you keep your bets low, it’s pretty safe to play around with, but the problem with the parlay system is that one loss is all it takes to wipe out all your profits, leaving you to start from scratch again.

As a positive progression system, the Paroli system doesn’t differ from the parlay so much. The only difference is that it uses 100% of your profits for the next bet.

Let’s follow the example from above: you start with a $1 bet and win it – you get $2. Your next bet would equal the winnings and 100% plus, equaling $4. If you win again, you bet 4+4 which is $8. However, just like the parlay system, you can lose it all with a single loss, so it’s important to know when to quit.

The goal of this system is to win 4 hands in a row, betting 1, 3, 2, and 6 units in each of them. It’s a strategy many new players use to play for fun and one that can be profitable in the short run.

However, due to its inefficiency in the long run, it’s often skipped by experienced players.

Read more about The 1-3-2-6 Betting System

Negative Progression Systems:

Negative progression systems work the other way around – instead of increasing your bets after wins, you raise your bets when you lose. It’s a much riskier strategy that is not recommended for beginners at all. Negative progression systems are very dangerous and can make you lose a lot of money, although many players still use them.

The only negative progression betting system that applies to blackjack is the well-known Martingale system. It’s generally applied to even money bets (like in roulette) and based on the idea of infinite losing hands.

Martingale betting system

With the Martingale, you bet the same amount when you win, but twice that amount when you lose. In this way, you’ll cover your losses, but there’s also the possibility that you’ll get stuck in a bad run, so you could potentially lose a lot of money.

The Martingale system is not very reliable if your bankroll is small and is quite risky even if you keep your bets tiny. For this reason, we suggest avoiding it altogether.

Read more about the Martingale Betting System

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What’s Card Counting?

Card counting has been used by pro blackjack players and teams to win large sums of cash in the past. It has even made its way to Hollywood, where a number of movies based on incredibly skilled card counters have been made. But, just because it’s so popular, it doesn’t mean that you should try it. In fact, card counting is reserved for the most skilled blackjack players as it’s based on a mental tally of high and low cards seen by the player, which can be quite challenging if you’re only starting now.

Card counters are known as advantage players whose goal is to slash the casino edge. It’s the only blackjack strategy that works, although it doesn’t guarantee winning. One misstep and you won’t be able to recover from your losses, so we don’t really suggest trying it if you’re a beginner.

If you’re already a skilled blackjack player, then card counting can be profitable. Of course, you’ll need to conceal it well as casinos don’t allow card counting at their tables. If the casino suspects you’re using card counting to win at blackjack, you will most likely be blacklisted, and you can bet that other casinos will know it before you enter.

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