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Progressive Blackjack Betting Systems

Blackjack Betting Strategies

A “progressive betting system” is a strategy for playing casino gambling games — including blackjack — in which you raise or lower the amount of your bet based on whether you won or lost the previous hand. There are various progressive betting systems around, but they all fall into two general categories: “positive” systems are those that have you increase your bet after you win, while “negative” systems have you increase your bet after you lose. But do the blackjack systems really work?

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Card-Counting Is the Only Blackjack System that Works

Because most gambling systems don't really work, the casinos love "system players." They love all system players except for card counters, that is. Blackjack card-counting can actually change the house edge, but that's about the only system that works — no other "system" (as opposed to a mathematically-based playing strategy) will hurt the house in any serious way. That includes a progressive blackjack betting system.

Progressive betting is a popular blackjack strategy but it's not necessarily going to turn you into a big winner. In theory, the wisest way to gamble is to bet more when you are winning and less when you are losing. In other words, after you win, you gradually keep increasing your bet (as long as you keep winning); when you lose, you decrease your bet back to the minimum. This is known as a positive progressive black jack betting system.

Positive and Negative Progressive Blackjack Betting Systems

A positive progressive betting system is a strategy for betting; it's not really a strategy for playing. It works like this: You make a $10 bet (the minimum bet) and win back your money. You're even — not ahead — so you stay at $10. When you win again, you increase your bet to $15; win again and increase to $20, etc. If you lose, you go back to the minimum bet — $10. Some positive systems allow the player to double his bet each time he wins, as opposed to increasing the bet by certain increments. There are quite a few betting systems, each with its own particular view on what works best.

The type of progressive betting system described above is considered "positive" because it increases your bet when you win. It is a relatively rational system of money management. An example of a "negative" progressive betting system would be a system called the "Martingale System," which recommends increasing your bet when you lose, in the hope that you'll get back your money. This is dangerous and not highly recommended, although negative betting systems do have a loyal following. Progressive black jack strategies like the Martingale System can make losers out of unwitting black jack players.

The Good and the Bad of Progressive Blackjack Betting Strategies

No progressive blackjack betting strategy will work consistently because it relies on and takes advantage of streaks and short-term changes in probability. Even though the player can quit at any time — preferably when he's ahead — most players do not. Most of them stay at the blackjack table and keep going — progressively — until they end up losing whatever profits they may have made. This is why blackjack casinos don't mind progressive bettors — the casino knows that these players will lose over the long run. A progressive system can't beat human nature and the gambler's desire to keep going while the going is good.

The good thing about a progressive blackjack betting system is that it does afford a fairly good blackjack player the opportunity to win more money than if he were betting in an even or flat way. A progressive player can lose more money but he can also increase his winnings and get ahead, which usually offsets the possibility of losing.

Progressive betting systems have been around for hundreds of years — probably since gambling starting. Since casino gambling began in France, that's most likely where the types of progressive systems we see today took root. In fact, the best-known systems have French names such as D'Alembert, and LaBouchere. The Martingale, mentioned above, is also a well-known system and "Oscar's Grind" is, as well.

As mentioned, the basics of the Martingale are that if the gambler wins, he sticks to his original bet; if he loses, the lost bet is doubled. With this type of progressive betting system, the gambler is essentially betting the casino's money, or so it can be perceived. As long as the player keeps winning, he's playing with the house's money, but the second he loses — which will eventually happen — the loss is definitely not the casino's loss; it's the player's. Oscar's Grind — an American-based, relatively recent progressive betting system — is similar to Martingale in that it's a "negative" system: increase your bet when you lose, stick to your original bet when you win.  
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Know Your Limit When You Play Blackjack

In recent years new types of progressive online blackjack betting systems have been publicized, some even so "top secret" that the user has to pay to find out more information. In truth, they are all variations on an old theme and on the classic systems mentioned above. They are all either negative or positive (or a combination thereof) and, as in most progressive systems, they allow — even recommend — the player to stop betting after he reaches a pre-determined win or loss limit. A blackjack betting strategy without a built-in limit is a formula for disaster; hedges are necessary for the benefit of any player who plays with a blackjack progressive betting system.

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