Posts Tagged ‘betting strategy’

Parlay Betting System

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Gamblers are always looking for a way to beat the odds and blackjack players are no different from the rest. Blackjack basic strategy can already reduce the house edge to 0.5% if played perfectly and counting cards in conjunction with basic strategy can lower the edge farther and even tilt the odds in favor of the player. However, some people aren’t content with that and also want to incorporate betting systems.

I said this before when covering the martingale betting system, but I’ll say it again: I do not recommend any betting system. The best chances you can give yourself in blackjack are to play perfect basic strategy and do flat betting, which is to bet the same amount on each hand, whether you win or lose. Betting systems are designed to maximize your profits when you win and minimize your losses when you lose, but none of them work as well in practice as in theory. That is because they don’t take into consideration the randomness of the games.

Blackjack is a game that is a combination of skill and chance. Even if you are the smartest blackjack player in the world, you can’t win with a bad hand. Which cards you and the dealer are dealt plays a large part in the outcome. This is where the parlay betting system fails.

The parlay system basically says to “let it ride,” which means to bet all or part of your winnings in the next hand. Using a parlay system, if you bet $10 on a hand and got a natural blackjack, you would win $15. You would then bet $25 on the next hand (your $15 in winnings plus a $10 bet). Some people think this is a good idea because you’re “playing with house money.” That is the wrong way of thinking. As soon as the dealer gives you money, it’s yours.

Playing perfect strategy, the blackjack table will take 0.5% of the money you bet; the rest you keep. By always betting your winnings, you are exposing your winnings to the house edge and in the long run, you will lose more money. Think of it this way: In blackjack you are more likely to lose money than win it (thus the house edge), so why would you be so eager to bet money that you have just won? Logic states that you are more likely to lose that money than to increase it.

The parlay betting system would only make sense if you could predict a winning streak, which the random nature of the dealing of cards all but makes impossible. The only chance you have of predicting a streak is if you’re counting cards and know the count is heavily in your favor. In that scenario, it might be a good idea to use the parlay betting system. However, if you are not counting cards or if the count is not heavily in your favor, it is without a doubt a better idea to use flat betting.

My betting system is actually the exact opposite of the parlay system. It is to protect all of your winnings. I advise that you go into the casino with a set amount of money that you are willing to spend and don’t wager any money other than that. Any winnings that you have should be set aside and not touched until it’s time to cash out. This will guarantee that you don’t turn around and give your winnings back to the casino and will make sure you leave with something to show for your night.

Budgeting for Blackjack

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The story sounds familiar. You hit the blackjack table full of confidence, placing $10 bets on each hand, but early on are losing. Knowing that your luck is about to turn around, you decide to double your bet in order to make your money back. By the time you realize this is a mistake, you’re out of money and the night is still young.

Or maybe this story rings a little more true to you. You’re doing well at the blackjack table and have made lots of money. In order to increase your winnings, you start placing larger bets. At first, that strategy works and your pile of chips is getting larger and larger, but then you start losing and the pile begins shrinking. Determined to make that money back, you increase the wager again and soon enough are out of chips. After a quick stop at the cashier, you have more money, eager to get back on that winning streak. Before you realize what you’ve done wrong, you are calling your wife to explain why you have to cancel your anniversary trip.

There are countless other scenarios I could bring up, but they all amount to the same thing: poor budgeting leading to you losing money you never intended to spend. Anytime you go out for a night on the town, a vacation, or any other trip that isn’t free (and what trips are?), you should always make a budget ahead of time.

Before you ever sit down at a blackjack table (or log onto one if you’re playing online blackjack), you should decide how much money you want to spend at the casino. Think of it as an outing like any other and one that requires money to have a good time. How much money are you willing to spend? Always consider that any money you wager you might lose. In fact, statistically you are more likely to lose than win each bet. Therefore, you should never wager money that you can’t afford to lose.

A good idea is to determine a specific dollar amount that you are willing to spend, cash in that amount for chips (or deposit it in an online casino) and do not spend anything else, no matter what happens at the blackjack table. In addition, any winnings should be kept separate. Put that money aside instead of adding it to the money for you to wager. That way, you can’t lose any of your winnings and you are guaranteed of having at least something to show for your time at the table, even if you still had a net loss.

Once you decide how much you’re willing to spend at the blackjack table, you need to decide how much you’re willing to bet on each hand. Obviously, those two amounts are related. To come up with the amount you want to wager, you need to take into account the total amount you are willing to spend and the amount of hands you plan to play. The easiest way to do that is to first decide how long you plan to play blackjack at the casino. Though the speed differs for each table, as a general rule at a full blackjack table you can play approximately 55 hands in one hour.

Using simple math then, you can decide how much money you are willing to spend on each hand. You should then bet that amount (or less) and bet the same on each hand. There are a lot of betting strategies out there, such as the martingale strategy, that claim to give you better odds, but statistics show that you are better off with flat betting. Once you decide on an amount per bet and the total amount that you are willing to spend, you are ready to have a good time playing blackjack at the casino. Best of all, you don’t have to come up with any excuses for how you lost money that you needed.

Blackjack Budgeting

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Blackjack, like all other forms of gambling, is supposed to be a fun game. Some people, however, get caught up in the game and lose too much money. Others look at it as a way to make money. You shouldn’t do either. Playing perfect strategy can lower the house edge to 0.5%, but it’s still a house edge, meaning that in the long run, the odds say that you will lose money. You should go into the game thinking that if you do lose some money, it is the price of your entertainment, in the same way that seeing a movie or visiting a theme park cost money. With that in mind, enjoying your blackjack experience and making the best decisions requires some budgeting strategy. Here are some pointers.

If you are going to play blackjack, or any other casino game for that matter, you need to create a budget ahead of time. Before you walk into a casino, you should decide how much money you are willing to spend that night and set that money aside. No matter what happens while playing, good or bad, you should not spend any money other than what you have put aside. It is common for players to lose money because they either try to spend their way out of a slump or increase their betting because they are doing well. Setting aside your betting funds ahead of time can help you avoid both of those pitfalls.

And while we’re on the subject, you should never increase your wagering to either pull yourself out of a hole or extend a good streak. Flat betting is the safer, smarter betting strategy.
Knowing when to walk away from the table is also important. If you are having a good streak and have made a lot of money, it is tempting to keep wagering that money, maybe even increasing each individual bet, in order to make more money. Usually this results in the players losing the money. A better idea is to separate your winnings from the money you have budgeted for wagering. That way, the money you win at the blackjack table is always safe. It is also a good idea to set a target win limit. That will keep your eyes from getting too big for your stomach. Set an amount of money that you want to win (be realistic) and once you reach that amount, walk away.

Proper budgeting separates a fun time playing blackjack from throwing your money away. Too often, people do the latter. All of these tips apply to brick and mortar casino as well as playing online blackjack at an online casino.

Playing with a Cool Head

Monday, January 11th, 2010

It is said that the best athletes play with ice water in their veins. They keep their emotions in check, always remain cool, and stick to the gameplan. It is true for sports and it is also true for the game of blackjack. When playing blackjack, it important to check your emotions at the door, go in with an even head, and stick to blackjack basic strategy. Doing otherwise, allowing your emotions to affect your decisions will only result in you giving more money to the house.

Blackjack is a game that is a combination of skill and chance. Luck is involved in which cards you and the dealer are dealt. The skill is in determining what move to make. Unlike many games, though, emotions cannot help you. Wanting to win the hand more than your opponent won’t help you. Being angry won’t help you. Blackjack is a game of odds and basic strategy was developed to give players the best odds of winning. The best strategy is to memorize basic strategy and stick to it, no matter what happens. In the long run, sticking with the strategy will be the most beneficial to you.

It’s not easy to do, though. Often, a player loses several hands in a row, thinks about the money that they’ve lost, and then decides that, in order to make their money back, they should start betting larger amounts. The thinking is that since they lost several hands in a row, they are now due for a winning streak, and by increasing the wager, they will make their money back faster. There’s a word for people who employ this strategy: broke.

Losing several hands in a row doesn’t increase your odds of winning the next hand. Whether or not you win is determined by 3 factors: what cards you are dealt, what cards the dealer is dealt, and what decisions you make. The first 2 factors are completely random and beyond your control. Therefore, there is no way a shift in betting strategy can affect the outcome. Instead, it is best to use flat betting (betting the same amount each time) and not get emotional over the losses. After all, as I’ve said countless times, the game is supposed to be fun, and if you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t play. If you’re getting terribly stressed out over the money you’re losing, maybe you shouldn’t be betting that money in the first place.

Statistics say that increasing a bet when you lose causes you to lose money faster, rather than win it back. That’s because, though some of the times you will win, you are still statistically more likely to lose each hand (due to the house edge), so increasing the bet will result in increased losses more often than increased wins.

There is a similar strategy called the martingale betting system, which in its simplest terms is doubling your bet after each loss. While this may seem like an easy way to recoup your losses, this also results in losing money faster. What it all comes down to is this: The best strategy is to stick to blackjack basic strategy and use a flat betting system (counting cards is also helpful if you can). In the long run, this gives you the best odds.