Blackjack Betting


Much like virtually every casino game out there, blackjack requires a certain know-how when it comes to placing bets on the outcome. Before putting money on a game, it’s best to know exactly how blackjack works. Playing online is an easy and free way to learn the ins and outs of the game, which will put you in a more comfortable position to place a bet. However, just like every other game, betting in blackjack carries a certain risk. There are different betting styles involved in blackjack, depending on the strategy you’re looking to utilize.

Blackjack bets are made using casino chips.

Blackjack bets are made using casino chips.

Flat Betting

This type of wager means that you bet the same amount for each hand. There are positives and negatives to this betting strategy. While you won’t lose much in the overall game, you don’t stand to win a whole lot either. This means if you bet $5 on every hand in a standard game, the house will have an edge of 0.5 percent against the skilled basic strategy player. You may lose an average of 0.5 percent of every bet you make. Some players don’t like this method because they figure the dealer wins more hands than they do, so they’ll never come out with any money in their pockets by the end of the game. Most also feel this is a mundane strategy if you’re not new to the game. However, it is a safe strategy, because the losses don’t make as big of a negative impact.

Progressive Betting

This style of wager means varying your bets in some way or another from one hand to the next, rather than bidding the same on every hand. While there are different types of betting progressions, they all have one thing in common: You either increase or decrease your next bet depending on whether you won or lost your last hand. There are two different ways to go about progressive betting:

Increase as you lose: With this type of system, you increase the amount of money you bet each time you lose a hand. The hope here is to win back what you’ve lost. If you happen to win a hand, you return to your original bet.

Increase as you win: Some players choose to take their strategy in a different direction with increasing as they win. With this system, you increase your bet after every win instead. After a loss, however, you return to your original bet.

So, which one do you choose? Each system has its advantages and disadvantages. Increasing your bet as you lose means that you will have recouped all your losses and will be up one betting unit. However, if you encounter a long losing streak, you may lose more money than you planned.

If you opt to increase your bet as you win, you’re not putting your cash at risk. Instead, you’re only raising your bet when you’ve actually taken money from the casino. And if you have a long winning streak, you’re going to end up with a large sum of money. However, during periods where you’re going between wins and losses, you will lose more money than if you were flat betting each time.

The Martingale System

The Martingale System is one of the oldest betting systems around. This happens when the player doubles his or her bet each time he or she loses, on the assumption that the player will eventually be victorious and show a profit from his or her original bet. There’s a certain risk that comes with betting this way. Because you’re doubling your money each time, if you have enough loses in a row, you may not have enough cash left to place the next bet, or you’ll pump up against the table limit. This system can work in the short term, but the longer you play, the more likely you are to have a slightly longer losing streak during which you can’t double your bets high enough.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to make bets with the Martingale System, ask yourself if in exchange for increasing your chances of winning, you’re willing to lose a larger amount than normal if you do lose.

Martingale Betting - with logo

For more information on the Martingale betting system see our Progression Systems Guide.

The Parlay Betting Method

If you choose this system of betting, you let your winnings ride to increase your next bet. It’s also known as the “pyramiding” or “let it ride” method. Players wager their winnings plus the original bet following a win. Say a player puts up $10. If the hand loses, one more unit ($10) is wagered. The player continues betting until he or she wins. Once a win occurs, the player will leave the original bet and the winnings on the table as the next bet. For instance, if a player got a blackjack paying 3-2 ($15), the next wager would be a total of $25. This method of betting is specifically designed to take advantage of blackjack winning streaks. After three wins in a row, $10 yields a profit of at least $70 and even more if successful double downs, splits or natural blackjacks are included. The only decision a player using this betting method needs to make is knowing when to stop and rake in the profits. You must remember to pull back profits at some time because a losing hand is inevitable, especially if you’re playing for a longer period of time.

The D’Alembert System

This is a safer choice for blackjack players. This system was named after its creator, 18th century mathematician and physicist Jean le Rond D’Alembert, who theorized that his work could be used to balance out wins and losses over the long term. This system is similar to the version of progressive betting where players increase wagers following losses. With this version, however, players increase bets by one unit after a loss, while decreasing wagers by one unit following a win. This method doesn’t call on you to make huge bets following a loss. Instead, you only raise one unit after losing, which makes for much less of a risk – a perfect betting strategy if you’re new to the game.

D'Alembert Betting -with logo

For more information on the D’Alembert betting system see our Roulette Strategy Guide.