Progression Systems


When it comes to leaving the blackjack table with more money in your pocket, it’s important that you become skilled at betting. Many blackjack players rely on several progression systems to make the game more exciting and to yield more profits. The most common system of placing a wager is called flat betting. However, every other type of betting is either a negative or positive progression. A progressive betting system is when you raise or lower the amount of your bet based on whether you won or lost the previous hand. But which strategy works the best? Let’s delve into the differences between positive and negative progression.

Positive Progression

Positive betting systems are those that have you increase your bet after you win and hand. There are a few different ways of playing positive progression.

Parlay System

The parlay system is both a simple and effective positive progression betting system. In fact, it’s one of the oldest forms of betting and is originally derived from the same concepts that banks used to compound interest.

How it Works:

With this strategy, the more wagers that you win, the greater your next bet will be. It uses features similar to compound interest betting in blackjack. For example, let’s say you make a $1 bet. If you end up winning the hand, you will then have $2 to play with. The next bet would become $2 and a win would bring you $4 and this would double for each bet.

[Insert Graphic of a line of chips on a table increasing in amount (ladder like) $1, $2, $5, $10]

When it Should be Used:

This is a fairly safe betting system, because if you lose your original water, then you just keep betting the same minimum bet. The only question many players ask is when to stop using the parlay system when they reach a certain profit or winnings. In order to make a huge profit, you need to keep winning hands. Think of it as a ladder betting system – each win starts you up the ladder. If you were to continue betting if you’re at the top of the ladder, then you risk losing all of your profits in a single bet and fall all the way back down to the first rung. Knowing when to stop and when to take risks comes with plenty of practice and can help increase your odds of winning.

Paroli System

The paroli system is very similar to the parlay system, with one major difference: the paroli system uses 100 percent of the profits won.

How it Works:

If a player bets $1 on a game and wins, they would have $2. The next bet would use this entire profit, plus the original bet of $2 and a win would bring this to $4 – your winnings would keep doubling after every win. If you lose on the original $1, your next wager would still be $1.

[Insert Graphic of Player pushing winnings back into the betting square]

When it Should be Used:

Players should use the paroli system if they’re searching for a safe strategy or when they have a small bankroll. But just like the parlay system, players need to know when to stop betting and cash in some of the money now instead of trying to win too many hands. It’s also similar to the parlay system in that it works well with card counting and basic blackjack strategy.

The 1-3-2-6 System

This is yet another positive progression strategy and it derives from the paroli betting pattern. For blackjack players, it can be a useful tool for taking advantage of a long series of wins. Your goal is to win four consecutive rounds.

How it Works:

The basics of this strategy is all in the name. The idea is to bet 1 unit, 3 units, 2 units and 6 units, consecutively. You only increase unit sizes after winning a bet. For example, if you lose three bets in a row, you’ll still be wagering the one unit until you win. Let’s say you make a $10 bet. Assuming you won four bets in a row, your first wager would be $10, the second would be $30, the third would be $20 and the fifth would be $60. After you’ve completed the sequence, you return to a $10 bet.

[Insert Graphic Showing four stacks of chips in a line $1, $3, $2, $6]

When it Should be Used:

Many blackjack players use this system to play for fun, while it’s not a system that most serious players utilize often. The strategy is suitable for a short run play, and not for the long run. The advantage of the 1-3-2-6 system is that the player risks a small amount of money. You can lose a couple cycles and compensate your loses by completing just one cycle

Negative progression

Negative progression betting systems are the opposite of positive progression. It’s when you increase your bet after you lose. This system is also known as the “let it ride” betting strategy.

Martingale System

The Martingale system is a common strategy when it comes to negative progression betting. It’s based on the probability of losing an infinite number of times. It’s usually applied to even money types of bets.

Martingale Betting - with logo

How it Works:

With this strategy, once the first bet has been placed, then you play your hand and make your next bet strategy based on whether you win or lost that first bet. For example, if you win the bet, then you keep placing the same wager. But if you lose, then you must bet twice the amount that you wagered. If you bet $1 and lose the hand, this means your next bet has to be $2. And if you lose again, your wager would increase to $4. In other words, you’re betting on the chance that you won’t lose 10 hands of blackjack in a row.

[Insert Graphic of Player Betting large amount of money after dealer takes losing chips]

When it Should be Used:

For this system to work, it’s best if you have a large bankroll. It’s not uncommon to lose a few hands in a row in a game of blackjack. After losing a consecutive amount of hands, you’re risking large amounts of money. It gets risky if you’re doubling bets following losses when you’re on a lengthy losing streak. Even making small bets can put you in danger of losing much of your profits.