Stack of Chips
Betting strategies

Blackjack betting strategies

Blackjack has some of the best odds among the casino games, if you use the basic strategy your odds to win each hand are about 49%. But that also means that you will lose 51% of your bets and run out of money in the long run, if you always bet the same amount of money. So is there a way to improve your chances of winning? Yes, by using betting strategies. Look at it this way: if you bet 10 dollars once you chance of losing is 51%, but if you lose and bet the second time the same 10 dollars then it becomes 0.51*0.51 = 26%. What about 3 times? Your chance of losing is 13.3%!

If that sequence of doubling down sounded familiar, that’s because it’s the famous Martingale system. The idea behind it is solid: if you bet $10 and lose, bet $20. If you lose again, bet $40 and so on. This way when you eventually win you’ll get your $10 back. The issue with this is that your bets grow geometrically and at some point you might have to bet thousands just to get back those initial $10. Not only you might just run out of money but the casinos knows about this and limit the bets you can place, usually to a few thousands dollars.

The Martingale is an example of a negative progression system, meaning you increase your bet after losing. There is also the reverse Martingale system (or anti-Martingale), the positive progression system, which means you increase your bet after you win. That strategy is supposed to work by riding the winning streaks, but since previous wins do not guarantee future wins the reverse Martingale does not really work.

Another positive progression strategy is 1-3-2-6. If you lose, you keep the bet the same. If you win the next bet should be place in line with the sequence of 1, 3, 2, 6. For example for the $10 bets the 3 winning bets in a row would look like this: $10, $30, $20 and $60. After that even if you win the bet goes down to $10. The four-step progression make the game a little bit more exciting, without having to bet the same amount every time.

Oscars Grind strategy is based on losing streaks being “compensated” by winning streaks. The algorithm of this strategy is more complex: you start with a 1 unit bet (let’s say $10) and the goal is to win 1 unit per cycle. If you win on the first try–the goal is achieved, start again. If you lose keep betting 1 unit and remember how much you lost. If you finally win, add 1 unit to the bet size. Keep betting 2 units until you win and after each win add 1 unit to the bet size. If you manage to get close to being in the plus and your bet size is bigger than the amount you lost then change your bet so the win would only put you up 1 unit.