# How to bet?

#### ZMan

##### Well-Known Member
I only use Basic Strategy - no card counting. I flat bet \$5 every hand.
I've been looking at two other betting options.
Are either of these better than flat betting?
Not out to make a killing - just wanna have fun and win a little or not lose too much.

Option 1:
Flat Bet \$5/hand just like I've been doing.

Option 2:
2 step Progressive Staking (betting) plan.
Here is what an article said about it:
An effective method for increasing your profit at blackjack is the progressive staking method. In it’s simplest form it easy to learn but still effective.

Here is how a 2 level progressive staking plan works.

You need a minimum bet and a maximum bet. Let’s take \$5 and \$15 as an example. Start out betting \$5. When you win a hand, your next bet should be \$15. When you lose you would return to \$5. As long as you continue winning, you continue betting \$15 until you lose a hand.
Option 3:
Bet \$5. If you lose, bet \$10, if you lose that bet \$15. If you lose that, return to \$5. Any hand you win, return to your \$5 bet. I realize this is close to a Martingale, but since I'd return to \$5 after losing a \$15 bet, it doesn't seem like it would get too expensive.

Side note:
I have BS down pat. I've been dealing to a friend and teaching him BS. He can bet any amount and if he attempts a move other that BS, I tell him and he will follow BS. It helps him and reinforces BS for me.
After about 8-10 sessions of anywhere from 2-10 hours each, he is still up about 20-30 units. Since I'm the dealer, and therefore have house advantage, I should be up. (He knows this, but doesn't mind or want to deal)
Anyway, he's been betting almost using Option 3 (except he will bet \$5, \$10, \$15, \$20, then \$25 if he keeps losing - and return to \$5 after any win or after losing a \$25 bet) and it seems to be working for him.
Are his winnings above what would be expected? Is he that lucky? Or is this just standard deviation.
Any comment on this appreciated.

Thanks in advance for all replies.

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#### LeonShuffle

##### Well-Known Member
Of those three, you'll lose the least by flat-betting because your average bet will be lower. Neither a positive nor a negative progression will do anything other than increase your average bet.

##### Well-Known Member
Option #2 works when you are on a winning streak,but kills you in choppy play. You are winning \$5,but losing \$10 repeatedly..
Flat betting works best over the long run.

#### ColorMeUp

##### Well-Known Member
ZMan said:
Side note:
I have BS down pat. I've been dealing to a friend and teaching him BS. He can bet any amount and if he attempts a move other that BS, I tell him and he will follow BS. It helps him and reinforces BS for me.
After about 8-10 sessions of anywhere from 2-10 hours each, he is still up about 20-30 units. Since I'm the dealer, and therefore have house advantage, I should be up. (He knows this, but doesn't mind or want to deal)
Anyway, he's been betting almost using Option 3 (except he will bet \$5, \$10, \$15, \$20, then \$25 if he keeps losing - and return to \$5 after any win or after losing a \$25 bet) and it seems to be working for him.
Are his winnings above what would be expected? Is he that lucky? Or is this just standard deviation.
Any comment on this appreciated.

Thanks in advance for all replies.
What rules are you using when you're dealing to each other? It's possible that if you're using 1 deck, the player actually has the advantage, depending on the rules you're using.

#### ZMan

##### Well-Known Member
ColorMeUp said:
What rules are you using when you're dealing to each other? It's possible that if you're using 1 deck, the player actually has the advantage, depending on the rules you're using.
4 decks
DOA 2 cards
DAS
Dealer stands on soft 17
BJ pays 3:2
Split up to 4 times
One card on AA split and if it ends up 21 it does not pay 3:2
According to BS Engine on this site, casino (me, as dealer) has a .38% advantage

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#### Kasi

##### Well-Known Member
ZMan said:
Are his winnings above what would be expected? Is he that lucky?
I'd guess not at all unexpected or particularly lucky.

In general, I think you're proposed betting systems are way too aggressive consistent with a goal of "just wanna have fun and win a little or not lose too much".

Just an opinion, that's all.

Think more in terms of how you will win one extra \$5 bet once every 3 hours or so. That's about all you have to do to break even.

#### Mr. T

##### Well-Known Member
Option 4 is the best

What is Option 4. Don't play at all. If you do play expect to lose.
You always lose the least by flat betting. I only play because the Comps here far outweigh my loses. Also there is such a thing as entertainment valve. You have to put a value to that yourself.

#### EasyRhino

##### Well-Known Member
I think it's important to emphasize this, even if it's beating a dead horse: no betting system is going to change the house advantage. You've got to have some predictive knowledge of what cards will come out of the deck (e.g. counting) in order to change the house advantage.

As already has been mentioned, anything besides option 1 will have greater average bets, and therefore will lose more. If you can get enough entertainment valve by flat betting the minimum, gor for that.

However, a betting system can, under certain circumstances, redistribute your ratio and size of winning and losing sessions.

Option 2, (the positive progression) is going to have fewer wins, but they will be bigger. Option 3 (negative progression) is going to have more, smaller, winning sessions, and small number of really big losses.

Sounds like your friend has been grinding out some small wins without quite getting hit by his full share of larger losses.

#### flysrb

##### Well-Known Member
Hey Now!
I play flat bet BS more or less just for fun and comps.
But every once in a while I get a gut feeling and bet a bit more..
I was wondering if ya'll know of a way to count just by looking at the cards and going by feel or instinct. I play 6D in AC (Borg or Trop) and sometimes my gut tells me it's time for an Ace...I realize it's silly but, it's kinda fun just to be right ..and no big deal either way.

I expect to lose in the long run but I can't place a high enough value on just the rush from being on the table.

Especially since I don't drink, the ploppys are priceless after they get bombed....

14 days till shoe time!!!

#### treehugger

##### Member
Ace/Ten Front Count

Check out this link on the A/10 Front Count. It may be just what you are looking for.

(Administrator's note: Previous link referencing anmore2003.tripod.com was removed because material posted was stolen from BJInsider.com.)

The original article is available here:

While not a true counting system, it beats the hell out of gut instincts!

Regards, treehugger

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#### ZMan

##### Well-Known Member

Since I only get to play in a casino about once a year, I'll probably not do any counting. I may look into the Ace/10 Front Count if the opportunity to go more frequently comes up. I think it is also covered in Blackjack Bluebook II which I have.

I 've been doing more reading on both negative and positive progression betting and think that I'll just stick to flat betting. I've been very comfortable with that.

Value - as long as I bet the table minimums, I don't lose too much. And, yes, the amount I do lose is worth the entertainment value to me. And, sometimes, I do win.

As for my friend, his luck ended. Last session he lost \$180 which puts me back up over the long run. He was down \$300 at one time and fought back to be down \$180.

Thanks again!

#### aslan

##### Well-Known Member
Zman

Counting is not so hard as you might think. Give KO a chance. It won't take you any time to learn it, and I bet you'll find the KO Rookie system even easier to learn than basic strategy.

#### treehugger

##### Member
aslan said:
Zman

Counting is not so hard as you might think. Give KO a chance. It won't take you any time to learn it, and I bet you'll find the KO Rookie system even easier to learn than basic strategy.
Good advice! IMO the Ace/10 front count allows the BS player who is toying with the idea of learning a counting system an opportunity to "test the waters" in the world of AP and become convinced the counting really does work. However...as already stated in another thread by Paradox, aggressive spreading and backcounting while using this weak system could have you sent packing rather quickly. KO is hard to beat in terms of simplicity and ease of use.

#### a_MASTER_pickup_artist

##### Member
try speed count/OPP if you only intend to play casually. it's ridiculously easy. 2,3,4,5,6 are +1 and then you just subtract number of hands at end of the round (including split hands). from waht i've read it's not too reliable in the long run but it still gives you a little bit of an edge which might be nice if you don't play too much . i started by learning this but i switched to hi-lo which really isn't much harder if you keep in mind that a lot of cards will cancel eachother out.