Blackjack is on the face of it a very straightforward card game. You have to beat the dealer and not bust out yourself by scoring over 21 with the value of your cards.
You simply put down your stake then in simplistic terms see what happens. But how much do you bet, when and how – is it purely a random thing to bet what “feels” right or is a more strategic approach beneficial.
It is a matter of personal choice and one possibly better played out in the online betting website you favour playing in.
You could stick to your “feel” bets or you could try any one of a number of different blackjack betting and staking methods. Let’s take a quick look at a few. Betting a percentage of your chip stack is a simple method. Say 5% – this means you could stand 20 straight losing hands before having no chips left. But if you hit a winning run you are betting more thus can win more. Just don’t get carried away. Learn when to leave the table with a profit!
Another important thing to remember before we look at a couple of progressive betting and staking methods is that whilst in theory you “cannot lose” due to the fabled law of averages the casino knows this so slaps on a limit to the size of bet they will let you have to eventually stop you from being able to place a bet on your hand. Always know what the table limit is before you take your seat and bet accordingly. Set yourself a limit and if you lose it, turn the computer off, leave the online casino and go do something else.
Now to the progressive betting strategies. Each is designed to place a bigger bet in a progressive way after a losing hand to recover your loss and make a profit.
The D’Alembert approach is a very simple staking system named after the eighteenth-century theorist Jean le Rond d’Alembert. Basically you raise increase your bet by a fixed amount if you lose and lower your bet by the same a fixed amount when you win a hand.
The Martingale system is even simpler – you bet one unit on the first hand and double the bet after each losing hand with the result being that when you do win a hand you will have recovered your losses and made a one unit profit. So you stake 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and so on until you win. Big beware here – sounds great but it’ll wipe you out quickly if you suffer a bad run and before that happens you’ll probably hit the table limit and not be able to get on. Under such circumstances you might set yourself a stop-loss and cease or go back to your starting stake after say six losses.
Another progressive staking plan which can be used in blackjack is the Fibonacci sequence which looks like this: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21. To get the next bet stake you add the previous two numbers together. It is arguably a safer approach that the Martingale above and less risky.
There’s a key word – risk. When playing blackjack you have to consider your own attitude to risk and how far you are prepared to go and of course never, ever play with money you cannot afford to lose.
I hope this article has given you a little food for though for next time you play blackjack.
By Andy Machin
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