Advanced Blackjack Strategies

Blackjack is, at first sight, a very simple game. If you hit over 21 you lose. If you hit under or on 21 then you will win, provided the dealer doesn't beat your score. However, take a deeper look and it suddenly becomes a much more complex game with a lot more to offer than meets the eye.

For relatively new players, the Blackjack Strategy Chart is supposed to improve decision making and increase the odds for winning. But the more advanced players, who already know their way around the strategy chart, may find the more advanced Blackjack strategies or systems more appealing.

There are so many different strategies, or Blackjack Systems, some established and well known, while others are made up by enthusiastic players. Most of them don't deal directly with the actual game process and decision making, but give recommendations regarding the betting structure in the game. So these systems can be used in Blackjack but also in other games like Roulette.

Here are some of the more famous, established strategies. We have tried to depict them in an easy to understand manner, so they don't sound too complicated and also to present their more problematic aspects.

Parlay System

The Parlay System is a positive progression system, meaning you increase your bet with every winning. You bet what you won on your last hand. So if you bet $1 and win an additional $1 then you will add the $1 you won to the original bet and bet $2 on your next go. This pattern will go on and if all goes well you will end up with a tasty profit. However, if you lose, you will lose your entire earnings. You then go back to your original bet. This is the major setback of this system – it will either help you win big, or leave you with no winning.

Paroly System

Another positive progression system, where Every time you win you double your bet. So if you bet $1 and win, the next bet will be $2, the next $4 etc. This idea of only betting more when you win should, in theory, maximize your wins. As for the setback – it is the same as in the Parlay system.

Martingale System

As opposed to the previous two methods which were positive progression, this one is a negative progression system. Basically, in almost a complete reversal to Paroly, you only double your bet if you lose the previous bet. This is the most controversial method because it plays on a gambling addict's weakness of always wanting to try and eliminate losses, no matter what it costs. The main fault of Martingale and all other negative progression systems is that if you keep losing you might end up with no money left to complete your strategy.

Labouchere System

Another negative progression system. It is a more complex method which works by writing a series of six figures down. They can be any number or sequence e.g. 1, 3, 6, 6, 7, 8. They represent the units to bet. You start by betting the first and last numbers. In this instance 1 and 8 which equals 9. If you win you then cross out those two numbers and then move inwards to select the next two, in this case 3 and 7 that equals 10. If you lose you add your last bet, in this case 9, to the end of the sequence. So now your sequence is 1, 3, 6, 6, 7, 8 and 9. So your next bet is 1 and 9, equals 10. You repeat this process until you cross out the entire set of numbers. You then start a new round of numbers. It is quite complex and suffers, in addition, from the same faults as Martingale.

1-3-2-6 System

This method goes on the theory that a player can win four times in a row. The player will bet in units of 1, 3, 2 and 6 as they win. So the first time they win they will bet one times the amount they bet previously. If they then win again, they will bet what they won but three times the amount and so on. If the player loses a bet before the cycle is over then they return to the first stage and start again.

As you can see, these strategies are far from being fool proof and some are more dangerous to play with than others. Playing them might get you some serious profits, if you get lucky, but know that if you lose your luck along the way, these methods, especially the negative progression ones may severe your losses.

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