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Blackjack Progression Systems

Progression systemsare strategies where bets are placed according to previous results. There are thousands of such systems, which include rules like increasing bets after a win, decreasing bets after a win, stop losses (switch tables if you are losing), stop wins (switch tables if you win), etc. They range from simple double your bet if you lose to nightmarishly complex sets of rules. They all share one characteristic. They all fail to gain an advantage.

Actually, it is good that progression systems don't work. Maya Lin said, To fly, we have to have resistance. If a trivial method of beating Blackjack existed, then the casinos would no longer offer Blackjack. Beating the casinos has to remain just hard enough that most people will not bother to learn. Instead, they will learn Blackjack betting systems that do not work, and they reap huge profits for the casino industry. Let us take a simple case study.

Blackjack Betting System Test

For this test, I simulated four players as follows:

  Player 1: Flat bettor. All bets are the same.

  Player 2: Flat bettor who stops after four consecutive losses. This tests the belief that stop losses can affect the game.

  Player 3: This player uses a popular strategy progression system. Without going into details, this is basically a 2-3-4-5 positive progression, reset on shuffle, stop after four consecutive losses. But any progression will do, as they are all the same with regard to EV.

  Player 4: Hi-Lo card counter spreading 1-8. I call this a lazy counter because just very simple card counting betting is utilized. No indexes are used.

  All players play exactly the same basic strategy except that the card counter bets insurance according to the count.

  All players receive exactly the same cards. This has no effect on simulations at all, but was demanded by the designer of the progression system.

  Total amount bet is measured including splits, insurance, and double downs.

  One billion hands were run.

 

 © 2009 Norman Wattenberger

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© 2009 Norman Wattenberger