Blackjack Betting Systems Strategy

Of all casino games that you can choose from, Blackjack is one of the better options you will have. It is one of the only games that a skilled player can turn the house edge in their favor. Doing this is no small feat and will take some learning, patience and a bit of luck. But the sheer fact that you can turn the odds in your favor is reason enough to take the time to perfect the strategies and start making more money playing Blackjack.

The following article will become your new guide to Blackjack. It will cover every strategy out there that works and even a few popular methods that you should stay away from. This guide will assume you already know the basics such as; rules and how to play. If you are unfamiliar with Blackjack, please read our article on how to play blackjack and its history.

For those still with me, let’s dive right in and get to the meat. For this of you who wants to play Blackjack now, sign up at Club World Casino.

Basic Blackjack Strategies

Some mathematician has already figured the perfect way to play the game and took all the guess work out of it. There are a variety of charts that you can find anywhere for free that will show you exactly how to play each and every scenario at a Blackjack table. We won’t go into much depth about the strategy behind it, as we would be here for 2 days and you would likely need a Doctorate in Math to understand how it works.

The basic principle is that each situation has a mathematically correct decision that will show the best possible results. These decisions are made based on what the dealer up card is; and the chart will tell you exactly how to act. If you can read, you can use this strategy. This chart can be found in our Blackjack Tips Section for easy use.

It’s considered optimal strategy and will have you playing perfect Blackjack each hand. However, the built in house edge of .48% assumes everyone is playing perfectly. Most of the time players are making the incorrect mathematical choice and their odds will be much worse. So, even though we are playing optimally, we will still need something else to overcome the house advantage.

Blackjack Card Counting System

There are many misnomers about card counting that we need to clear up before we talk about how it works. The first is that many people think it is illegal or banned by most casinos. The truth is, casinos do not have specific rules, or bans on card counting. They may not like it, but you cannot be arrested if thought to be counting cards.

Having said that, a casino can ask you to leave for whatever reason they feel is necessary. If you’re believed to be a counter, they will simply ask you to leave. This is well within the casinos rights and there is nothing you can do about it. The casinos are scared of a good card counter, because it works.

Also, counting cards will not tell you exactly what card will come next. It merely gives you a solid basis on what the remaining deck contains. The goal of counting cards is to figure out when the deck has more high value cards and take advantage of this. When a Blackjack deck is rich in higher cards, the player gains a slight edge, thus making it invaluable information.

To start, you need to assign each card a value. Cards2 through 6 will count as -1. Cards 7 to 9 will count as 0. And, cards 10 through Ace will count as +1. This means anytime you see a 2, you subtract one from your true count. Anytime you see an 8, you keep the count the same. Lastly, anytime you would see a 10, you add 1 to your count.

Card Counting Example

We always start at zero and work our way up and down from there. We sit in on a hand and start our count at zero. We are dealt a 10 and a Jack. Both of these are +1 cards so we now have a count of +2.

The player next to us is dealt a 2 and 5, which are both -1 value cards. This now gives us a count of 0. The dealer shows a 2 up, which is also a -1 value and brings our count to -1. We keep doing this for every card we can see, even when the dealer flips over their down card, we count that one as well.

The principle behind card counting, as I stated above, is to take advantage of the deck when it has more high value cards. However, we don’t want to base this off of a single hands count. A typical Blackjack deck will contain 4-8 decks. Knowing only 8 or so will not give us a very accurate read on the deck. It’s important to go through a few hands before basing your bets off this count.

If you’ve gone through the deck a bit and your count is -4 or less, this means more high cards are in the deck. You should begin to make bigger bets to take advantage of this. You never want to deviate too much from your normal bet sizes, as this is a sure tip off to casinos that you are using some type of card counting strategy. If you go from betting $5 and all of the sudden bet $25, this is an obvious red flag.

On the flip side, if your count is in the positive, this would mean the deck has less of these high value cards and is not optimal for the player. Your best during a high count should be smaller to limit losses on a weak deck.

Blackjack Martingale Strategy

The Martingale Strategy is a betting system that uses a negative progression to recoup lost bets. This is one of the more popular betting systems around and is used by many gamblers. Its super simple to learn, and even easier to use.

To start the Martingale system, you pick a base amount to be bet and work from this point on. When you lose a hand, you will double the previous bet amount. When you win, you go back to the original base line amount we started with.

Let’s say we start out by betting $1 per hand. The first hand we are dealt a 20 and win. We are up $1 and continue to bet our base amount of $1 since we won the hand. This time we lose, and based on this system we need to double our previous bet.

At this point our winnings are at even and we have to bet $2 on our next hand. We are unlucky once again and lose our $2 bet. We are now at -$2 and have to double our previous losing bet which was $2. We do bet $4 now and win this time, giving us a profit of $2. We can now go back to betting our original amount of $1 and continue this process based on the rules of the system.

It’s crucial to note that you do not just double the initial starting bet. You always double the losing bet amount, not the starting amount!

Paroli or Reverse Martingale Blackjack System

This betting system is the exact opposite of the Martingale. Instead of doubling your losing bets, you will double all winning bets until you lose. At that point you would go back to the starting amount.

An example would be; if you bet $5 to start and win, your next bet would be $10. If you win again, you bet $20. Once you lose, go back to betting the original $5.

The advantage to using this system is that it takes a much smaller bankroll to employ. Using the traditional Martingale system of doubling losing bets can get expensive if you go on a bad run of cards.

The only downfall to the Paroli system is that you need to set a limit of when you will stop doubling your winning bets, thus putting a cap on your winnings. This threshold is often difficult to determine and can be more of a guessing game. It does work however, and can be a valuable tool in your arsenal.

Blackjack Parlay Betting Strategy

The parlay system has been around for decades and is quite common among horse racing bettors. The concept is to use part or all of your winnings on a bet to increase your next bet size. It’s simple in theory and allows you to win more using less of your own money. To demonstrate this system lets use an example.

You start with a bet of $10 and win. In Blackjack you always get 1-1 on your money except on dealt Blackjacks which is 3-2. However, we are not lucky enough to get dealt a natural 21 and only win $10. You would then take part or all of that $10 profit and put it towards your next bet. Your next bet could range between $11 and $20. Never exceeding more than your winnings from the previous hand, and the original bet amount.

The advantages to this system are much like the Paroli. You can have a much smaller bankroll to use this system to start. Also, it allows you the opportunity to win much more because you are increasing bets with money that was not technically yours before the hand. It can be viewed as risking $10 of your own money, plus $10 of the casinos to win $40. Anytime you can risk $10 to win $40 is a good deal for you.

Blackjack Labouchere Betting Strategy

This system is a bit more complicated, but much like the others is guaranteed to make a profit is used correctly.

To start, you write a series of numbers down. These can be any numbers you choose and as long as you want. It’s recommended to keep it between 4 to 8 and nothing more than a 7 to start. A good example would be: 1-3-5-7-5-2-2

Using the sequence of numbers you wrote down, you will take the first and last numbers in this sequence and add them together. Each number represents a unit which is equal to one bet. If your bet sizing is $1 per hand, then 7 units would be $7.

In the example sequence of; 1-3-5-7-5-2-2, our first bet would be 3 units which equals $3. If you win this bet, cross out the first and last numbers. You would now have a sequence of; 3-5-7-5-2. We would now add the first and last number of our new sequence together, giving us 5. Your next bet amount would be 5 units, or $5. Each time you win a bet, cross out the first and last numbers until you are done the sequence and start a new one.

If you were to lose a bet, you would add the amount you wagered on the losing hand to the end of the sequence. Let’s say we are still using the; 1-3-5-7-5-2-2 sequence and lost our first bet of $3. We would add the 3 on to the end of our sequence which represents how much we lost. Our new sequence of numbers would be; 1-3-5-7-5-2-2-3. Therefore, our next bet amount would 1+3 (first and last numbers of new sequence) giving us a total of 4 units to bet on the next hand.

In the example above you can see that each time we lose we are adding an extra unit to our sequence giving us the chance to win that lost amount back plus one extra unit. Each time we win, we are gaining that much more. In theory, this system will ensure you always make at least 1 unit of profit if followed correctly.

Blackjack Oscars Grind System

The word grind in gambling terms means to make money very slowly over a period of time. The Oscars Grind betting system will do just that if used properly.

Its goal is to use a progression of winning bets to keep you winning at least one unit. Each time you would win a bet, it is doubled the next hand until you lose. At that you point you would go back to betting one unit. Once you’re back to a profit of one unit, you would start the sequence over.

Example: You start by betting one unit of $5. You lose that hand and keep the bet at one unit. You are down $5 at this point. The next hand you win $5 and your profit is at even. Since we have not yet produced a one unit profit, we stick with the progression of doubling our winning bets. We would now bet $10 on the next hand. If we win, we would have a profit of 2 units and can now go back to betting our original amount of one unit. If we were to lose that hand, we would stick with the progression until we had a total profit of at least one unit.

If you start a progression over and win the first hand in that progression, just keep betting the same amount of one unit until you lose.

This strategy has its ups and downs, but does work quite well. It will limit losses when you go on a bad run, but in turn will not produce large winning sessions. It is a grind, but will show results with a little patience. It also requires a smaller bankroll that a negative progression would.

Blackjack Strategies Not to Use

Mimic the Dealer

This is one you will hear players use quite often. Its premise is to play by the rules of the dealer. After all, the dealer has a house edge, why can’t we do the same? The reality is, there will be many times that standing on a 12 or other low hand will have a much higher mathematical advantage.

If you go the dealers rule, you would have to hit on a 16 and stay on a 17. Correct strategy often dictates that you would stay on most hands when the dealer has a 6 showing. This is just one example of why playing by the dealers rules is never a good idea. In fact, the house edge goes from.48%, all the way up to almost 6%.

Taking Insurance

When the dealer shows an up card of an ace, you are offered insurance in most casinos. The insurance requires placing the same bet amount as you did to start the hand and wins if the dealer has a Blackjack in the hole.

The golden rule to live by in Blackjack, is never take the insurance bet. Its odds are some of the worse and will show a terrible return on your money in the long run. Even when the dealer flips over 4 Blackjacks in a row, resist the urge and “Just Say No”!

January 12, 2013 - Offer valid as of date published. T&Cs apply.