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Many people swear by betting progressions, but the reality is, some systems are based on hitting a string of winning hands, and other systems are based on the false notion that a win becomes due after a losing streak. Despite these shortfalls, it’s still interesting to learn the various betting progressions that are used by players.


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Positive Betting Progressions
The most widely-used positive betting progression is the Parlay System, which entails riding your wins. When using a positive progression, you increase your wagers following each winning hand.

Positive betting progressions are less aggressive than negative betting progressions because every time you lose a hand using a positive betting system, you revert back to wagering the table minimum. This slows down the rate that your wagers increase by.

When using a positive betting progression, you can increase your wagers by adding one unit at a time, or you can increase them by doubling your wagers with each win. Let’s use an example of blackjack with a $5 minimum to clarify things.

Hand No. 1$5Win
Hand No. 2$10Lose
Hand No. 3$5Lose
Hand No. 4$5Win
Hand No. 5$10Win

In this scenario you are up $20. As you can see, every time you lose, you lose the profits you’ve been building, so you’d need to end the game during a winning streak. You can also choose to increase each bet by one unit instead of doubling, which would mitigate losses but also result in a smaller return.


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The most common negative betting progression system is the Martingale System. This system entails doubling your bet following a loss. The idea behind negative betting progressions is that you will win back your losses and gain one unit as soon as a bad luck streak ends. Of course, any prolonged unlucky streak can wipe out your bankroll, so never play more than you can afford to lose. See below for an example of the Martingale System.

Hand No. 1$5Lose
Hand No. 2$10Lose
Hand No. 3$20Win

The amount lost is $15 and the amount won covers the losses plus adds one unit, giving you $20.

All betting progression systems should be used with caution and in combination with basic blackjack strategy.