Monday, August 3, 2020

Beginner’s Guide to Progressive Betting Systems

Staff Writer in Casino Strategies 28 Nov 2017


The most common misconception about gambling and games of chance is that the player is left at the mercy of the random sequence of events and the most powerful ally of every gambler, luck. Although this may be partially true for games such as Baccarat and Roulette, introducing a betting system to your gameplay and employing some budget control can change things drastically. It is, of course, important to understand that the course and the outcome of the game will not be affected by the progressive betting systems implementation, but your own position most definitely can. Developing a betting plan is particularly useful when there is no strategy that you can follow and the outcome cannot be predicted, although both the negative and the positive progressive systems are universal enough to be combined with basic strategies or used on their own.

As mentioned, there are two ways of managing your money at the gambling table, and the difference between the negative and the positive systems is in their concept. In positive progressive system, the idea is taking advantage of the winning streaks while they last, which is why the player will increase the wager after every win. Negative systems take the opposite approach and the stakes are increased after a loss so that any next winning round would recover the balance.

The most popular positive betting systems and their weak spots

If you are still in the stage of weighing your options, positive betting systems should definitely be your starting point, as they are a lot safer than their negative counterparts. The most widely used positive progressive system is Paroli, where the player doubles the betting amount after every win.

The system starts with flat betting, up until the player’s first winning hand, which is the trigger for doubling the bet. Consequently, each follow-up bet will be increased for as long as the winning streak continues. Once the bet is lost, the player returns to the original bet and repeats the cycle.

The main disadvantage of Paroli is that the system relies on the existence of the winning streaks and  one can never predict the duration of the streak. On the other hand, the players can always modify the system and limit the number of times the stake will be raised. In other words, you do not need to wait for the losing streak in order to revert the bet to the original amount.

Traditionally used in Blackjack, Parlay betting system is another positive progression representative that you can apply to other games as well. This system also relies on a continuous streak of winning  hands and directs the won amount towards the next wager. So, hypothetically, the player will start the session with a certain betting amount and invest both the initial bet and the winning on the next hand. Should the player lose the hand, the next bet would be the same as the initial one. The weak spot of using Parlay is the same as with the Paroli – you need to be a firm believer in the winning/losing streaks concept.

The danger of negative progressive betting systems

With the negative betting systems, the players take a lot of risk, as the end result can potentially be disastrous. The bets are increased after every unfavourable result, in the hope that the first winning hand will compensate for the series of losses and recover the budget.

A somewhat safer negative betting system, and one of the most commonly used money- management approaches, is Fibonacci. Implementing this method, the player uses the integer sequence of numbers when placing the bets. Every next bet is the total of previous two bets and the starting point can be determined by the player, although it is recommendable that the sequence starts with unit 1 or the table minimum.

As a betting strategy, Fibonacci is valuable since the player can make profit even if there are more losing rounds, however, it will not serve as a long term approach.

Probably even more popular than Fibonacci is Martingale, the method that is preferred by a lot of players, despite of the higher risk factor. The progression should always start with the table minimum, doubled after the first loss and reversed to the original amount after the winning round. The drawback of the system is that it cannot be executed in full due to the table limits, in addition to quickly draining one’s budget.

System usually used by players with more knowledge and experience is Labouchere or Split Martingale. The reason you should avoid this strategy if you are a beginner is its complexity. It starts with selecting a number sequence, such as 1 – 2 –  3 and placing the bet that would correspond to the total of the first and the last number of the determined sequence – 4, in this case. The numbers adding to the total should be crossed out if the round is won:

1  – 2  – 3

If the round is lost, the total is added to the sequence:

1 – 2 – 3 – 4

When only one number is left in the sequence, the next bet will correspond to that particular number and the system is reset to the initial sequence after the player wins the round. This betting method is  easily manageable in terms of budget, but, as most of the negative progression strategies, Labouchere has a high risk factor of draining the balance on longer losing streaks.

Regardless of the method you select, pre-determining your budget and staying within the self-imposed limits is the alpha and omega of every smart and successful strategy. The methods described above are all subject to modifications and you can always adjust the approach to your style or reverse it and ultimately, make the scheme work for you.


Staff Writer



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