You’ve booked that room at the Bellagio in Las Vegas — or settled into your recliner with your laptop — and have basic blackjack strategy down like the back of your hand. Whether you’re playing $1 a hand gambling online or betting hundreds at a high roller table, having a money management strategy better be part of your plan.
Here are some systems and strategies to keep in mind to go along with your card-playing preparation.
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1. Have a budget and follow it
Set a limit on your play, and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose. Going back into the wallet again and again is a bad idea. And avoid those ATM machines (or yet another bank card deposit on that online gaming site). Play smart and don’t throw good money after bad.
2. Build a bankroll
Another thing to consider when it comes to money to wager is having a bankroll to use. Rather than hit the ATM machine or your bank, next time you book a win roll those winnings into your gambling bankroll and hopefully keep building it over time.
3. Positive/negative progressive betting systems
Most blackjack systems fall into either positive progressive or negative progressive systems, with numerous variables related to these topics. In a positive progressive system, players double their bet after each win and decrease stake after a loss. The idea is that you will maximize profits when that hot streak (or deck) hits. A negative progressive assumes (possibly incorrectly) that everyone finally wins one, so it raises the bet with each loss, aiming to make up for previous losses once the player wins a hand.
4. Paroli strategy
This popular positive progressive system calls for doubling wins for three straight wins. It’s important to determine a complete bankroll and the amount for each bet. If your betting unit is $5 per hand, then start with that on Hand 1. After a win, double that to $10. If that’s a win, Hand 3 will be $20. If that’s a winner, players then go back to one unit. The system is over 100 years old and uses the idea that wins and losses come in streaks. Hopefully you’ll be hitting that third win all night and raking some nice profits.
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5. Martingale Betting System
This is another popular betting system incorporating a negative progression betting strategy. In this one, players start with their predetermined betting unit. If that is $5 and you win a hand, the bet remains the same on the next hand. If that next hand is a loser, however, the next hand will be for two units or $10. The concept is that after a loss a win will help recoup the previous loss, hopefully after accumulating some winnings. One drawback? You could go broke after several straight losses. In the $5 example, eight straight losses means your to bet would be up to $640 on a single hand.
Pro tip: There are many systems out there to help the savvy gambler and these are just a few. It’s important to realize that blackjack is a great game where the house edge can be reduced significantly. However, even with sharp play, the casino can take a big chunk of your cash. Set limits and play smart — and keep that ATM card in your wallet.