Blackjack progression betting: does it really work?

Having a betting plan and managing your bankroll will keep you in a game of blackjack for longer. A betting plan also increases your chances of making a profit over time. Blackjack progression betting is a betting system that supposedly makes your money go further. Here’s a little about how it works:

Blackjack progression betting: the basics

A Blackjack progression betting system can either be positive or negative. A positive system encourages you to bet with your winnings. When following a positive progression system, you add your profits to whatever you were going to stake next. For example, if you bet £5 on a game of blackjack and win £5, your next bet is £10 (carrying over the profit you made). Therefore, you’re putting your profits at risk rather than risking a lot of your own money.

As it relies on winning streaks, positive progression betting doesn’t work as well for blackjack as it does for other casino games. Usually, winning streaks break quite quickly in blackjack, scuppering the system. Also, if you lose hand after hand, your money’s going to run out pretty fast.

A negative system is risky. In negative progression, you double the money you put down each time you lose. Sound crazy? Well, the progression system works on the basis that at some point you’re bound to win. When you do, you’ll have put a lot of money down as the system tells you to do. It would look like this:

  • Bet 1: £5 (lost)
  • Bet 2: £10 (lost)
  • Bet 3: £20 (lost)
  • Bet 4: £40 – WON (£80 returned in winnings)

In this scenario, the player has put down £75 but won £80, giving them an overall profit of £5. See, not so crazy after all.

As negative Blackjack progression betting can be stressful, most players following this strategy think in terms of units – the minimum bet in a game of blackjack is one unit. When the stakes are high, this unit-focused thinking helps players to take higher risks for bigger gains.

Why card counting and progression betting complement one another

Card counting is a skill that goes hand-in-hand with blackjack progression betting. You can decide when to start your progression if you know how the deck stacks. When the deck doesn’t stack in your favour, you stick to the minimum bet and protect your bankroll.

Which system should you use?

Neither system works especially well for blackjack. Positive progression is limited because blackjack isn’t a game where winning streaks continue over a long period. Meanwhile, negative progression can be risky.

Instead, keep your bets consistent and do more research into when to hit and when to stand. In blackjack, the calls you make when deciding to hit or not are the most important decision you make. By sticking to a consistent bet, you can leave your wagers on autopilot and focus on beating the dealer.