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Talk about casinos, whether it’s in an online or physical form, chances are your mind will immediately harken to blackjack. Indeed, the classic card game is one of the most popular casino table games out there — along with poker, baccarat, and roulette.
One of the main reasons the card game has received near-universal acclaim from casino patrons globally is the fact that blackjack has some of the best odds around, as well as easy to follow rules which make for an excellent game to dip your toes into if you’re a beginner.
This popularity is also one of the reasons why many online casinos have integrated (nay, are forced to include) blackjack to their gaming catalogue. And with the live casino scene gaining plenty of traction lately, you may expect even more coverage on blackjack on the virtual front, so that players can enjoy the game from the comforts of their own homes.
That being said, winning in blackjack isn’t a one-and-done deal — despite its widely accepted popularity. Far from it, blackjack is similar to any other card game in the casino scene as it all boils down to luck in the end.
First, you’ll need to know the rules, understand the odds, and use some basic strategy. Oh, and knowing how to count cards doesn’t hurt either. But this is not always enough.
This is where blackjack betting strategies come into play. If you want to excel in the game of cards, there are numerous strategies that you may adopt to increase your odds of winning.
Oscar’s Blackjack Betting Strategy
First developed in the 60s by mathematician Allan N. Wilson, the main idea of Oscar’s system is to win exactly a single unit after a series of bets. After you win, the series is then reset and a new set of wagers may be started.
First things first, you need to think of bets in terms of units instead of an amount. Select a unit size (we’re using one unit in this scenario) and then you may follow the general flow of the betting strategy below.
- If you lose a bet, your next bet will be down to one unit.
- If you win a bet, your next bet will be one unit higher.
- Once you gain a profit of one unit in the sequence, stop immediately. The next bet will be set back to one unit and you start the process again.
In short, as long as there aren’t any losses suffered in the sequence, you may continue adding units to your bets as long as your winning streak allows — until you reach the goal of gaining a one unit profit.
The idea here is to ride the wave of wins until it stops. Oscar’s blackjack betting strategy certainly affords you the greatest opportunity to capitalise on a string of good runs, though it requires plenty of patience as well.
The Martingale Blackjack Betting Strategy
As one of the oldest betting strategies around, it’s no wonder the 18th-century France-originated Martingale strategy is a well-known approach not only in blackjack but also a cacophony of other casino games like baccarat and roulette.
The original idea stands that an individual with a bottomless wallet could theoretically avoid a loss in even money bets by doubling the bets after each loss, assuming the casino doesn’t have a maximum bet limit. And this strategy is definitely applicable at the blackjack table too, albeit it’s more well-suited for players who are in it for short bursts at a time.
You’ll often see players, typically beginners, use the Martingale system in casinos, doubling their wager after each loss. And while the theory sounds solid, blackjack is unfortunately not an even-money table game. Plus, your bets could exponentially increase to unmanageable levels if you aren’t careful.
For instance, with a starting bet of $5, if you lose 8 hands in a row you would have to wager $1280 to recoup the losses. So unless you really do have a bottomless wallet, you’re probably better off taking the $5 loss.
But hey, don’t let that stop you from using the Martingale strategy if you’re up for it.
1-3-2-6 Blackjack Betting Strategy
Contrary to its rather complicated name, this blackjack betting strategy is actually very straightforward.
In essence, bet units are placed according to the sequence of 1, 3, 2, and 6 after winning a bet. You only trigger the start of a new sequence when you win a bet and it ends after you lose.
But how does the sequence work? Don’t worry, we’ll get to that soon enough.
Taking into consideration a single bet unit is $10, here are some examples:
- If you lose 4 bets in a row, all your bets would have been capped at $10. And without a win to begin the sequence, the bet size stays the same.
- If you win 4 bets in a row, the bets would amount to $10, $30, $20, and $60. The sequence starts when you win the first bet and continues as there is no losing bet. After 4 wins, the 5th bet would be reset to $10.
- If you win the first 2 bets but lose the 3rd bet, your bets would amount to $10, $30, $20, and $10. The betting sequence triggers once you win your first bet and continues until the 3rd bet, where the result is a loss. The following bet would then follow the progression of starting from $10 again.
An advantage of mixing up your bet sizes using the 1-3-2-6 strategy is that it reduces the risk of blowing out and going all-in on everything you have on one hand — which is the norm in other negative progression strategies like Martingale.
2-1-2 (Manhattan) Blackjack Betting Strategy
Firstly, there’s no real mathematical foundation for hot or cold streaks at the blackjack table in casinos. Mathematicians and statisticians will be quick to debunk the phenomenon. Though, most blackjack players are on the opposite side of the spectrum.
The 2-1-2 strategy aims to take advantage of your winning streak.
At its core, you start with a 2 unit bet. If you win, reduce the bet to one and if you win that bet again, increase it to 3 units. You’ll then further increase it to 4 units if you win again and so on and so forth. But once you lose, go back to your original 2 unit bet and start over again.
With this strategy, a blackjack player on a hot streak will win a bit more but at the same time, not sacrifice all their winnings on an eventual bad hand. Also, profits are safeguarded first by dropping the bet amount, then increasing it. And if the dealer wins, the stakes ultimately revert to their original amount.