Winning money is the object of this game; not losing money is almost as important. If you don’t bet properly, your chances of accomplishing either of these goals is almost nonexistent.
Most blackjack tables allow the player a wide range of latitude in the amount that can be wagered on each hand. The minimum and maximum allowable wager is posted at each table, with the maximum bet normally being twenty to forty times the amount of the minimum bet (Examples: $5 to $200, $25 to $500). Some tables have maximum wagers ranging from $2000 to $5000.
The player may wager the minimum, the maximum, or any amount in between as his initial wager on each hand dealt.
If the player should split or double-down, he is allowed to exceed the table limit in order to match his previous bet.
Since blackjack is a game where betting systems applied by an expert have a chance of generating substantial profits, a thorough understanding of the various systems is essential.
These systems are designed to accomplish specific goals, such as directing the player to wager a higher amount when his chances of winning are better, or suggesting that the player place his bets in such a manner that new wagers won offset previous wagers lost.
Card counting includes a betting system as part of its philosophy. The player is advised to increase his unit bet up to four or more times his initial unit bet when conditions favor his winning the hand.
Some of the more well-known systems, and their potential shortcomings, are explained below:
The Martingale System
This system, invented in the late 1700s, instructs the player to double his bet each time he loses, on the assumption that he will eventually win and show a profit from the initial wager.
A typical betting sequence, after each loss, would be as follows: $5, $10, $20, $40, $80, $160, etc. The bet would remain the same ($5) each time a hand is won. AB lost wagers are recovered when a hand eventually wins.
Faults: Table limits are specifically designed to eliminate the effectiveness of systems like Martingale. On a $5 table with a $200 maximum bet limit, a player would no longer be allowed to double his previous bet after losing six hands in a row. His last losing wager would be $160, and he would be disallowed from making a $320 bet due to the table limit of $200, thus destroying the whole principle behind the system.
The d’Alembert System
Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, a French mathematician, invented this system in the eighteenth century. The player begins by betting one unit. Each time he loses Togel, he increases his bet by one unit. Each time he wins, he decreases his bet by one unit. The object is to return to the one unit bet, assuring the player of a profit.
Faults: The d’Alembert is not as dangerous as the Martingale because the required bet increases are not as severe, but it still requires the player to increase his bets while losing, thus threatening his bankroll and facing the maximum table limit dilemma.
Also, with both of the preceding systems the player’s bankroll can be severely damaged if he should lose a split or double-down hand when large sums are being wagered. Additionally, both systems require that the player increase his bet after losing-not an easy thing to do for most players.
Progressive Betting Systems
There are several schools of thought regarding progressive betting-automatic increases in the size of the wager after winning a hand. Many experts, especially those that are card counters, feel that a “flat” bet (the same amount on every hand) should be wagered until the point count favors the player, at which time the bet should be increased from two to ten times the original amount.
Other experts suggest that basic strategy players should only increase their wagers for three or four consecutive winning hands, since the odds of winning a large number of consecutive hands are slim. Still other experts recommend using a regressive progressive system which instructs the player to reduce his first winning wager by one half, and then increase the bet by one unit after each consecutive winning hand. This system allows the player a profit if he wins the first hand and loses the second hand.
Fault: The player’s overall profit is reduced if he wins consecutive hands.
Another type of system, proposed by Donald Dahl and others instructs the player to increase his bets as he is winning, and return to the original unit bet only when he loses. The suggested betting progressions vary, but might be like this (all winning wagers):
$5, $5, $10, $10, $15, $15, etc.
$5, $7, $9, $11, $15, $20, etc.
$10, $15, $20, $25, $30, etc.
If at any time a split or double-down hand is won, the player is instructed to “Jump” one level, because he won at least twice as much at the previous level.
In the event of a loss, the bet reverts to the one-unit level. No change occurs with a push hand.
The obvious advantage of this system is that the player wins ever- increasing amounts when he is on a winning streak, and loses only the minimum wager while on a losing streak. Also, the system is simple to follow and requires no mathematical skill; simply add one or two units to each winning hand, and revert to the original unit bet after a loss.
Another advantage is that the player is often using “house money”(cash he didn’t have when he entered the casino) to risk on winning additional profits. One or two extended streaks of winning hands can be very profitable, and can quickly offset a series of losing streaks where only the minimal bets were lost.
Faults: As in all other systems, the player can lose consistently if the cards are running against him. Short-run fluctuations can defeat the best player at any time.
Also, the player’s profits from positive progressive betting can be wiped out by the loss of split or double-down hands.